While exercise is very important and not to be neglected; what you eat will account for about 70% of what you look like, how you feel and the state of your overall health. So let’s talk about Healthy Food Choices and Alternatives; Good Snacks to Have Around the House; How the Time of Day You Eat Affects Your Weight;What Happens When You Drastically Cut Calories and How to Lose Weight Successfully.
Healthy Food Choices and Alternatives make if easy to eat a healthy diet without a lot of sacrifice.
1. Drink enough water!
When you are losing weight, you are releasing toxins that are held within the fat cells. To help flush out these toxins, you need to have lots of water. Remember, the more water you drink, the less your body will retain, making you look even thinner.
2. Prepare your meals in advance.
Choose a day out of the week when you have a few hours and make all of your protein, vegetable and carbohydrate meals. Portion them out into proper serving sizes and put them in the fridge and freezer. This will stop you from grabbing unhealthy options on the run.
When it comes to CARBOHYDRATES, not all carbs are bad or fattening. The reason that they have gotten such a bad rap is the choice of carb and portion sizes that people generally choose. White and processed carbs, also called simple carbs, affect your system the same way sugar does – they cause you to store fat. Healthier choices are called complex carbs. They take longer to digest and will not be immediately stored as fat.
Some healthy alternatives are:
- Kamut pasta (found in the organic section of the grocery store)
- Brown rice or basmati rice
- Whole oat groats (not instant or rolled)
- Stone ground tortillas with salsa
- Stevia, organic cane sugar or turbinate sugar
- Real maple syrup
- Quinoa, barley, buckwheat
FAT is NOT bad. There are different types of fat; some are very good for you and actually helping losing weight. BAD fats include saturated, and trans-fat. These are what you want to stay away from. They are generally found in fatty cuts of meat, dairy products, and some processed food.
GOOD fats are monosaturated and polysaturated fat. These are not only good for you, they are actually essential. Called essential fatty acids (EFA’s); because our body needs them and can’t make them on their own. They can be found in foods such as, nuts, coconut, hemp and olive oils, flax seed and avocados. Beware of ‘fat-free’ labels. These products usually they double up on the sugar to make up for the absence of fat.
PROTEIN is vital to every healthy diet, It supports muscle and is especially important for the health of your hair, nails, skin and organs. Protein can be found in meat, poultry, fish, nuts, seeds, beans, dairy and eggs. Vegetarians can get quality protein from soy products like tofu, nuts seeds and beans. Other options available are soygart, veggie burgers, soy cheese, and plant-based protein powder.
Good Protein Choices:
- Skinless Chicken breast
- Omega free range whole egg or egg whites
- Baked or steamed fish (especially salmon, good fat)
- Extra lean ground chicken (1.5 g fat)
Remember, eating healthy is a lifestyle. If you are planning on removing the chips and brownies from your cupboard only until you lose the weight with the intention of putting them back again once you’ve reached your goal; you will be in for an unpleasant trip of yo-yo dieting. Instead, find healthy snacks that you enjoy to keep in your cupboards all the time, and indulge in a brownie on a special occasion. If it’s not in the house, you’ll be less likely to snack on it and ruin all of your hard work.
- Organic fruit
- Frozen Berries and bananas
- Crispy Minis
- Organic Rice Cakes
- Organic raw fiber bars (usually include things like dates, oats, etc.)
- Low sugar/ low fat granola bars
- 70% or higher Organic Chocolate
- Pre-cut veggies and low fat dip
- Stone ground whole grain tortilla chips and salsa
- Raisins and other dried fruit
- Unsweetened applesauce
- Apple or celery with natural almond butter
- Natural unsweetened plain yogurt with stevia, add your own fruit
When snacking, never eat out of a bag or a box. When you do this you cannot pay attention to your portion size and before you know it, you’ve eaten half of the contents. If you put what you want to eat in a bowl, you’ll know how much you’re eating and be less likely to eat unconsciously.
How the time of day affects you:
Your metabolism is like the fire in your body that burns calories. People with high metabolism’s burn calories rapidly; people with slower metabolism’s burn calories at a slower rate. The good news is, there are ways to speed up your metabolism naturally. One of the ways to do this is eating small meals throughout the day. Try to space the meals so you are eating every 3-4 hours.
Every time you eat, your body has to work hard to digest the food raising your metabolism. Therefore if you eat 5-6 small meals a day rather than 3 large meals a day, you are continually boosting your metabolism all day. The result of this is that you will burn more calories every day even though you are eating the same amount of total calories.
What happens when you cut your calories too drastically?
If you ever have the urge to lose weight right away, you may decide to reduce the amount of food you eat. That is fine, but if you cut your calories too much (below 1200 calories) then your body will go into starvation mode. You may initially lose weight, but as soon as you eat like a normal person again, you will gain weight and most likely end up bigger then you were before.
Losing weight successfully:
- Start today; why put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
- Commit to a healthy lifestyle.
- Clean out your cupboards and replace them with healthier versions of what was there before. (Donate any unopened unhealthy snacks to a food bank so you don’t feel committed to eating them).
- Find a form of exercise you enjoy. If you enjoy it, you’ll stick to it.
- Involve a friend to exercise with, go for a walk or join a gym with.
- Allow at least two months for the program to work. It takes that long to develop a habit. If you fall along the way, don’t beat yourself up and use it as an excuse to binge.
- Reward yourself. Go out and buy a new outfit or have a spa day.
If you make being healthy a way of life, you will be less likely to obsess, more likely to succeed and guaranteed to feel better about yourself.
Dawn Ciccone is a Nutritional Health Coach who will guide you soYou Certainly Can Feel Incredible! youcertainlycanfeelincredible.com