Do you feel like you train and eat well most of the time but find yourself struggling to lose weight?
This can be a real source of frustration for people who exercise and generally lead a healthy lifestyle yet can’t seem to lose those last few kilos.
Well there is a huge difference between eating healthily and eating to lose weight. Eating healthy is about eating a variety of whole, natural foods and balancing your food intake.
Eating to lose weight however comes down to eating foods that will keep your blood sugar levels stable and knowing which foods to eat and how to prepare them to give you some variety.
When you eat foods that contain high levels of sugar (always check the macros and as a general rule choose something with less than 10g of sugar per serve) your body goes into internal chaos. Your nervous system has to work overtime which lowers your immune system and your blood sugar levels go sky high giving you that ‘sugar high’ feeling for about 20 minutes. What goes up of course must go down and then you experience the ‘sugar crash’ where our blood sugar levels drop very low leaving you tired and sometime guilty as to why you just consumed something that contained no nutritional value in the first place.
Just think about the roller coaster ride you are putting your body on if you are consuming these foods regularly and how this might be contributing to having a lack of energy and generally feeling tired.
It might sound backward but the secret to fat loss is actually all about eating regularly. You need to ensure you are consuming portion sized meals throughout the day and enough of the right foods to put your body into a position to burn fat which will make the most of the training you are doing.
Here are my top 5 all time weight loss ‘must do’s’ to get you on the right track to losing weight without leaving you feeling hungry:
1. Whoever said you could only eat greens in the evening? You have to increase your greens especially the fibrous ones like broccoli, spinach or asparagus and eat them throughout the day, not just with your evening meal. Get creative and pair them with a protein and/or some good fats.
2. Make sure you drink up to 2 litres of water a day to keep you hydrated and a great idea to improve your digestion is to squeeze half a lemon into your glass of water along with a few lemon slices. Your blood is made up mostly of water and it’s the vehicle that transports nutrients around your body so it’s important to keep yourself hydrated at all times.
3. Eating lean proteins is great to keep your tummy satisfied but also assists in building lean muscle, especially if you are weight training. Lean proteins like eggs, chicken, tofu, fish and quinoa are all great sources of protein with the bonus that eating these foods will have little effect on your blood sugar levels.
4. Consuming good fats is very important to weight loss. Putting good fats into your meals can actually encourage your body to release body fat. If you don’t eat good fats your body can enter a type of starvation mode that means it will try and hang on to your current fat stores (none of us want that!) Good fats like avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, seeds, nuts are fantastic for you in moderation and again have minimal effect on your blood sugar levels.
5. I believe in including certain carbohydrates into your diet. Quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato and oats are all great sources of carbs. These foods provide your body with long lasting energy so they are best eaten in the first half of the day. Getting enough good carbs into your system early during the day will minimise afternoon cravings.
So if you want to lose weight and look fit and healthy all year round it may be time to change up what you are eating. Think of food as fuel, keep your body full of clean food, it will work more efficiently and help you burn more fat.
For some ideas for balanced meals and snacks, take a look at my blog post from earlier this week here http://kimbeach.com/2014/01/9-quick-and-easy-meals-to-fuel-your-body-recipes-included/or head to the free recipe section of my website here http://kimbeach.com/free-resources/recipes/?food-type=