Do you train hard most weeks, eat well most of the time but are still not seeing a difference on the scales?
I know this can be a real source of frustration if you exercise regularly and generally lead a healthy lifestyle yet can’t seem to lose those last few kilos. It may surprise you that most people who subscribe to my app are wanting to lose ‘those last 5-8KG’s’ rather than a large amount of weight.
What I tell them is that there is a huge difference between eating ‘healthy’ and eating to lose weight. Eating healthily 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 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 has to work overtime which can lower your immune system and spike your blood sugar giving you that ‘sugar high’ feeling for about 20 minutes.
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What goes up of course must go down and then you experience the ‘sugar crash’ where your blood sugar drops very low leaving you tired and sometimes 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 tips to get you on the right track to losing weight without leaving you feeling hungry:
Do you only eat greens with dinner? You have to increase your greens intake especially the fibrous ones like broccoli, spinach or asparagus. Make sure you eat them throughout the day, not just with your evening meal. Get creative and pair them with a protein and/or some good fats for a delicious lunch or snack during the day.
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. Keep a bottle by your desk or in your handbag during the day. The only downside might be a few more visits to the bathrooms during the day, but the upside is huge.
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.
Consuming good fats is vital 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 into starvation mode which 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. Make sure you are consciously thinking about pairing good fats with a lean protein for your afternoon meals.
I absolutely 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, keeping your body full of clean food will make your body work more efficiently and help you burn more fat.
The tips above will definitely help you lose those last few kg, but the thing that will help you the most is consistency (not perfection). Doing the right things in terms of eating and training for a sustained period of time is the real key to success and maintaining a great body shape!
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