The world of nutrition, dieting, and the fitness industry is littered with unhealthy, dangerous, unsustainable ideas and diets. When it comes down to it, the best way to eat to stay healthy and lose weight is to simply eat healthy. Extreme diets are not good, they usually do work, you’ll lose weight, but will you keep it off? When you go back to “normal” eating, the weight will come back, even if you make significant, good changes to your “normal” eating habits. Here’s another question, is it feasible to exercise while you’re on a specific diet? If not, then it’s not healthy. The single most important thing that you can do for your health is exercise regularly. Any amount of exercise is better than none, and if the diet you choose to do doesn’t recommend exercise, they’re crazy and aren’t truly concerned with your health. They just want your moolah!
But I digress, simply eating healthy is the way to go. It’s not the path to super fast results, but it is the path to consistent progress, and improvements to your health (lower BP, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, etc.). Here are Body Balance Healthy Living’s Top 5 Tips to Eat Healthier and Lose Weight.
#1-Control Calories-there’s no way of getting around it, the calorie is king when it comes to weight loss. Eat too few calories and your metabolism crashes which is probably the worst thing that can happen. Eat too many calories and…… well….it goes without saying. Most people looking to lose weight should eat between 1200 and 2200 calories per day. Definitely track your calories, you need to know how many calories your consuming most days. Technology is great, and can be very helpful, or you can be old fashioned and write everything down in a notebook. Either way patterns and staple meals and foods will emerge. It will become easier as you do it more. Lastly, as you become more experienced with tracking your diet and develop healthy eating habits you won’t necessarily need to keep track of everything anynore. You’ll be on auto pilot and you’ll automatically eat healthy. It truly is a better way to eat!
#2-Eat 5-6 times per day and every 2-3 hours. This does require some planning, but, once again, when you get in the habit of eating 5-6 times per day you’ll wonder why you didn’t always eat this way. You’ll have steady energy levels, and you’ll have more energy overall. This is mostly because you’ll be keeping your blood glucose levels more level. You will also be giving you body a steady flow of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to fuel and recover from your workouts. Here’s how most people do it: Breakfast, snack, Lunch, snack, Dinner, snack.
#3-Try to have fiber, protein and fat with every meal (except your post-resistance training meal/shake). Fiber, protein and fat all slow down digestion. You don’t want your food to digest fast because it will cause a spike in insulin which shuttles nutrients to cells, including carb and fat calories to fat cells. If you have 5 grams or more of fiber with every meal, you’ll bring in at least 30 grams of fiber which is good. Protein also slows down digestion, and, in addition, it provides amino acids that the body needs for muscle recovery and growth. A steady flow of amino acids every 2-3 hours is ideal for keeping the body anabolic (anabolic =building muscle as opposed to catabolic which = the body breaking down muscle for energy).
#4-Eat plenty of fruits and veggies-you can’t go wrong with fruits and vegetables, they’re packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and so much other good stuff that it’s beyond the scope of this post to list them. Try to have at least 1 serving of a fruit or vegetable with every meal. Experiment and try new fruits and veggies, the choices in our world economy are endless. For ideas, check out: The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth by Jonny Bowden. Lots of ideas and things to try in this book.
#5-Stay within your numbers and cut the artificial crap out of your diet. Fiber: at least 25 grams per day. Sodium: 1000-2500 mg per day. Saturated Fat: less than 10% of total calories. Sugar: 25 grams or less per day for women, and 37 grams of sugar or less per day for men.
Read labels, and ingredients lists. Limit or preferably eliminate all the artificial junk from your diet. Steer clear of artificial sweeteners, trans-fats, artificial preservatives, artificial colors, and the other crap that is in your food. If you are interested in what to look out for, e-mail me at: ian@BodyBalanceHealthyLiving and I’ll send you out a article on this subject. Read and educate yourself. Buy organic when possible.
Make a sincere attempt to follow these 5 healthy eating tips and I guarantee you will feel better, look better, lose weight, improve your health and have more energy!