Often times people want to start fresh, lose a little weight to honor their New Year’s Resolution. The problem that happens with many people and why their resolutions fall to the way-side is that they go about this in the wrong way. Many of us have never had proper nutrition and fitness education, except maybe in middle school when we don’t really care anyway because, well, our hormones are running wild and there is too much social stuff going on. We tend to reach for the quick fix or what the food companies call “diet foods”. These highly processed foods can be unhealthy and dangerous. This article helps to explain what some of these “diet” foods do to your system.
When you want to lose weight (or what I like to say: Lose fat), here are some of the more important things to remember:
1). Eat whole foods. This does not mean you have to go to Whole Foods to shop. This means that you want to eat food that is unprocessed and in it’s natural form.
2.)Stay away from foods that are Non-fat or Low-fat or loaded with simple carbohydrates (sugar): naturally occuring fats actually satiate you, allow to to feel full, and help your brain to function. The good fats that are out there are in nuts and fish mostly, but even animal fats are ok once in a while. Most non-fat or low-fat foods are loaded with chemicals and fillers that act like fats, but because they are added or synthetic can have a worse effect on your system than full fat foods. Sugar is converted to fat when your body is not using it. Because so many processed foods contain added sugar and especially high fructose sugars your body get “empty calories” so your body is not feeling satiated and wants more to eat. You are also jacking up your insulin and your body is becoming immune to this response and can ultimately cause diabetes.
3.) Never drink “Diet Soda” or use artificial Sweeteners: These so-called food products contain dangers that your can’t overlook. Here are some reasons not to use these.
4). Don’t Starve yourself: If you are trying to lose weight by not eating, this can have the opposite effect on your weight loss. Your body actually starts shutting down it’s digestive and metabolic functions so to stay healthy with less food. When you starve yourself and you may lose weight at first, but will then gain it back when you start eating normally again.
5.) Drink Water and Tea to stay hydrated: Hydration helps your body to work more efficiently as well as helps you feel more full. If you drink a glass of water 5-10 minutes before a meal, you will tend not to over eat as much.
6). Exercise: Try to get out 5-7 days a week. This can be a brisk walk or jog, a bike ride, yoga, dancing, really anything active. If you make 1-2 days of your week resistance or weight training then you will lose fat faster. (Remember when you build muscle you might gain weight, but you are losing fat).
7.) Don’t eat after 6 or 7pm and wait 10minutes before having seconds: When you eat late at night, your body is still working to digest the food and doesn’t allow a good night’s sleep. Sleep is key to stress reduction, which in turn allows for less cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that make your body gain weight around the middle. When you keep eating after a meal you can tend to over eat as it takes a while for your stomach to feel full. Try waiting 10minutes before having seconds of a meal.
8.) Balance your food intake: 30% of your calories should come from Fats, 40% from proteens, and 30% from complex carbs like whole grains and vegetables
9.) Use the 80/20 Rule: If you follow these rules for most of the time (80%), and maybe indulge yourself a little bit (20%), then you will have more success. Make it a conscious decision to indulge and treat yourself and don’t think that you have failed just because you eat an oreo or two (maybe not the whole package).
If you want more information or want to work with me to keep on track I offer individual health coaching sessions. Contact me and I’ll get back to you.