There are so many quick fix solutions out there for weight loss. Pills, drinks, packaged foods, fat free, drugs to shake on your food, no carbs, high protein and combinations of them all. They may work in the short term for jump starting weight loss but unfortunately they usually don’t last. You temporarily become reliant upon a product or strategy that will not be something you continue to incorporate into your life. Most don’t offer a maintenance program or directions for how to eat after you have reached your goal. Once you stop, you go back to old eating patterns and gain the weight back or maybe even more. You want a permanent fix, something that helps you learn what drives your eating patterns, how food affects your body, what to eat when and to enjoy the process. I’ve developed a series of articles that will help you learn how to eat clean and get lean, easy tips that you can start incorporating into your life today.
Food is Fuel! Without food the body starts to burn its own fat for energy, when that is depleted, the body “cannibalizes” its own tissue to stave off starvation. Its important to get the correct foods and the right amount of food into the body. When this is done the body will process foods efficiently. Don’t drastically cut calories and don’t cut out carbohydrates, the key to a healthy diet is balance.
Calorie counting can be effective when done properly. Most women shouldn’t fall below 1200 calories per day. Drastically cutting calories sends your body into starvation mode. It may also result in a slowed metabolism so your “starving” body can maintain its weight. Once you resume normal calorie intake you may find that you are gaining weight back rapidly. Your body will be holding onto fat to protect itself from starving in the future. It may seem easy to reduce your calories with all the low calorie food on the store shelves but don’t be tempted. Many have high salt, sugar substitutes and many unnecessary artificial flavorings added to them to make the food taste good. You need to invest in yourself by taking the time to prepare most of the food you will be putting in your body. I’m not saying to bake your own bread (although that would be awesome), I’m suggesting you start off with little steps. Instead of buying the frozen prepared low calorie dinner, you actually prepare and cook the low calorie dinner. Websites like EatingWell.com and cookinglight.com have many easy low calorie recipes. Instead of eating the low calorie snack cookies or crackers, make smarter whole food snack choices like green grapes or spinach hummus wraps. The trick is to reduce your calories enough to lose weight, but not so much that you negatively affect your metabolism.
Lets talk about Carbohydrates, your body needs them. Many people eliminate carbs from their diet completely or reduce them to a very small amount. Carbs are the main energy source for our body, they are the energy that gets used first (before protein and fat). Choose low glycemic carbs instead of high glycemic ones to include in your daily diet. Why? Carbs with high glycemic index ratings cause glucose and insulin levels to surge. Insulin spikes cause you to feel hungry again two hours later or experience the two o’clock crash. When you eat low glycemic carbs your body easily controls and regulates insulin secretion making you feel full longer. Low glycemic carbs have a lengthier digestive process than high ones. Low glycemic carbs provide a healthy balance of blood sugar and fat storage, plus a there is a reduction in the risks of diabetes and obesity. Foods with low glycemic carbs will include choices like whole grains, fresh fruits, legumes, nuts, and other starches high in fiber.
Try to implement one of the suggestions from this article for the next few weeks. Fuel your body with less low calorie processed foods and spend more time in the kitchen. Try to consume mainly low glycemic carbohydrates to regulate hunger and appetite. Take a few steps closer towards living a healthier lifestyle!