Contrary to popular belief, people who want to lose weight actually need to eat more than what they are eating: A lot more – but of the right foods. In fact, skipping meals is one of the biggest single methods of sabotaging any weight loss plan. But if you are eating the wrong foods – like 6 slices of toast with bacon and cheese for breakfast – you will not be able to lose any weight at all. Here's how to eat and lose weight at the same time.
Your diet is 90% of the success of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, which means that no matter how much exercise you do, you can’t actually eat what you want and still hope for a lean, muscular body.
Small portions and regular meals are key to weight loss success – so those skinny people who seem to be eating all day every day and still staying slim have got the right idea. But the difference is they are eating lots of vegetables, lots of lean protein like chicken and fish and just enough whole grains.
What food we choose to eat really does make a difference in how effective our weight loss will be. And when making decisions about meals and what to eat, we usually wait until we are hungry and then decide what we feel like eating; letting our emotions do all the talking. But when we make the active decision to approach food as fuel for our bodies – it immediately changes our approach to what we eat.
Healthy people who have successfully achieved their weight loss goals and are maintaining them are eating foods like couscous, whole grain pasta and bread, Low GI nuts and pulses, plenty of leafy greens, lots of vegetables and things like sweet potatoes, fish and lean chicken.
They are not eating any processed foods at all, and are eating very little animal fat in forms of meat and dairy, no white bread or white pasta and definitely don’t eat fast food or anything crumbed or fried. And you will find them eating dessert in moderation, every now and again, but you will never find them curling up on the couch with the TV remote and a box of cookies or bag of chips.
If you want to lose weight the healthy way, you need to take a good, hard look at what is in your pantry and your fridge. More than likely you are going to find that just about everything in there can be popped in a microwave, oven or pot and be ready in about 5 minutes. Convenience foods are packed with fat and empty calories and are not the kind of fuel that health-conscious people want to be feeding their bodies with.
This is a tricky one, everyone knows that alcohol is calorie ridden – and unfortunately, it too is empty calories. But alcohol leads us astray in other ways – towards the crisps, pastries and everything deep fried or smothered in chocolate. With the best of intentions, very few people will feel like ordering a salad after 3 nice glasses of wine – they want pasta, or a crumbed chicken burger or a nice steak, egg, and chips.
But alcohol has another role to play in that it really messes around with your metabolism – and if you are trying to lose weight – it is really going to sabotage your efforts. Your body is unable to store alcohol at all, so it has to metabolize it immediately – entirely absconding from other metabolic processes it may have been busy with in the meantime.
Metabolizing alcohol is made an immediate priority which has a detrimental effect on other metabolic processes – like trying to figure out what to do with the high-calorie steak, egg, and chips. In a rush to eliminate your body from toxins, your metabolism becomes unable to perform a number of integral duties – like enable your body to absorb nutrients or to produce glucose.
And if your body is unable to produce glucose – your blood sugar crashes and is unable to manage the right level of blood sugar in your body – and not able to come right up to 36 hours after your last drink or more. In fact, regular and heavy drinking leads to people becoming glucose intolerant and in some cases diabetic. Alcohol should really be limited in moderation – not only for weight loss but for health issues as well.
When we are hungry, we tend to dish up larger portions at meal times – eating twice and in many cases three times the amount of food that we should be eating at once sitting. But on many occasions, we are not actually hungry at all; we are dehydrated and thirsty instead. As our bodies are not able to differentiate between hunger and thirst – so we eat more.
Our bodies need at least 8 glasses of water a day just for normal metabolic functions and our digestive processes need quite a bit of water. So if you are already eating the right foods, and the right portions, you may want to increase the amount of water that you drink to help you not overeat at meal times. Drinking a glass of water before you eat will help you feel fuller.
Our bodies are made up largely of protein – our muscles, skin, and hair, for example, are almost primarily made up of protein and keratin. So we need to include a large portion of protein into our diets. And, in order to lose weight, we need to eat more protein and fewer carbohydrates. But the protein we choose to eat is as important as everything else when we are losing weight. Lean, low-fat protein like lean steak, the white meat from chicken, eggs, ostrich, fish – oily fish is very important - pulses like lentils, beans and tofu should make up a large part of our diet. And we should be eating protein at every meal if we want to lose weight. A hardboiled egg for breakfast, steamed fish at lunch and grilled chicken for dinner are good examples of protein choices for healthy meals.
Eating protein off of your plate first will help you feel fuller quicker, so when you sit down for dinner, leave the potatoes until last. Protein shakes are a great meal replacement when you don’t have time to cook anything – and will help you maintain your blood sugar levels until your next meal.
If you want to lose weight the healthy way you should be eating 3 meals a day with 3 snacks in between. With the right food choices and regular meals, you may feel like you are eating a huge amount of food initially, but you will start seeing the differences in the scale after as little as 2 weeks.
Start steering clear of sauces and salt for flavor when cooking your meals. Rather go for balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, herbs, and natural spices, lemon or lime juice – freshly squeezed of course and don’t forget the chili for a metabolism boosting kick.
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