Whether you like it or not there is a direct relation between what you eat and what your weight is…
plus how healthy you are. I didn’t make up the rules. Food feeds the body with nutrients crucial for maintaining its basic functions and has an influence on everything from energy level, stamina, concentration, to even sleep and libido. It works in the same way as fuel works for your car – if you don’t focus on the quality of the fuel, it may not work to its full potential and sooner or later you will notice.
You probably know that to lose weight you need to create ‘calorie deficit’ which means either eat less or exercise more or best do both. Start off with making a realistic goal. Don’t think about losing few pounds in a week, as first – it’s not realistic, second – it’s not healthy and third – it won’t last. All great diets won’t give you lasting results, and you will end up with JoJo effect. Moreover, rapid weight loss will slow down your metabolism so that you will be burning fewer calories daily. The best practice is to lose about 0,5-1kg per week.
There is no such a thing as the ideal diet for everyone as everyone is different. However, there are basic healthy eating principles which you need to implement to be able to stay on top of your nutrition.
Let’s check them out:
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
Eating healthy breakfast wakes up your body, and your mind gives you the energy to start a day and increases your metabolism. If you skip breakfast, you will be hungry and consume twice as much for lunch. That’s proven. People often say that they don’t feel hungry in the morning, that’s why they don’t eat breakfast. So, if that’s the case with you, check out what you had for dinner last night and what time that dinner was. If you don’t feel hungry in the morning, most likely your dinner was too big and eaten too late. That’s a recipe for a disaster. First, your body can’t digest that food properly, second – your body will not be able to rest as it needs to concentrate on digesting the meal, so you will wake up tired, third – that will slow down your metabolism and lead to weight gain. So, what I want to say is to check out your daily eating habit and reverse the cycle. You will see the difference.
For breakfast – eat porridge with fruits or shake with plant milk/yoghurt, avocado, and banana or seed roll with boiled egg and vegetables.
Eat less but more often
5 meals per day and do it regularly – between 3-4 hours. Why? If your body doesn’t get food at certain times, as once it’s every 2 hours, once every 7 hours, it doesn’t trust you and will keep storing food for later (just in case you won’t provide any). When I heard it for the very first time, I could not believe it, but really, that changed my life. If you eat regularly, your body knows that every few hours it will get another portion of energy, so the meal may be used and burned out. Eating every few hours feeds your body, helps to sustain energy level and increases your metabolism. Plus you won’t feel hungry.
Control your dinner
Eat protein and vegetables, reduce carbs (they block the overnight process of burning fat). Saying ‘don’t eat after 6pm’ is not a good idea, it all depends on what time you go to bed – if that’s after midnight and your last meal is before 6, you will be starving. It will be better to eat your last meal 3 hours before falling asleep.
Eating protein is crucial in fat reduction diet
Each cell in your body is made of protein. If you don’t provide enough amount of protein, our body starts consuming its own proteins, like muscles. Fewer muscles in your body will affect in the slower metabolism. Moreover – for your body to absorb protein, it needs to be broken down into amino acids first. The human body requires much more energy to break down protein than it requires to break down fat or carbs, so protein digestion burns much more calories.
Sources of protein – fish, seafood, soya, lentils, beans, meat, nuts
Watch out carbs – they will make you fat faster that fat
Carbs consumption increases glucose (sugar) level in the bloodstream and insulin release which the main job is to transport glucose into every single cell of the body. Depending on what you eat – this process may last shorter or longer, and it’s measured by GI (glycemic index). Products with high GI (sweets, white flour) makes rapid glucose spike. Your body only needs a certain amount of glucose so that any excess will be converted into fat. Also – fast glucose increase will lead to fast glucose decrease, affecting you feeling hungry again, eating another portion and going through the vicious cycle. The most important aspect of losing weight is to stabilize glucose level and eating products with low GI (brown rice, whole wheat pasta, etc.). The glucose will be released slowly, and you will feel full for longer.
Carbs (low GI) – wholemeal bread, brown rice, brown pasta, veggies, some fruits
Do not quit fat
First – some of the vitamins (A, D, E, K) need fat to be absorbed by the body. Second – fat digestion takes longer, so it keeps you full for longer too. Third – paradoxically – fat is required to burn fat. Go for essential fat acids from fish and plants, reduce animal fat. Avoid trans-fat (sweets, junk food, processed food) as these will make you storing 4 times more fat, especially around your waist area.
Fat (essential) – fish, olive oil, seeds, walnuts, almonds, avocado
Watch out ‘light’ products
Read the labels carefully – reducing fat (in yoghurt for example) often means that it’s loaded with extra carbs (sugar). And as I mentioned before – your body can only use a certain amount of sugar in any moment of time, the excess will be converted into fat and store most likely around your waist area. Plus, often when you see light products you will eat more, thinking that it won’t do you any harm. And that’s far from the truth.
If you don’t drink water, you will die. It’s that important. Without food, you can live for a few weeks, without water it will be just a few days. The human body is composed of roughly 70% of water. Every cell, every organ, nearly all systems in your body do not function well without the accurate water intake.
Proper hydration energizes you, improves your mood and state of mind, helps you stay alerted and thinking more clearly. It helps things moving digestion-wise, detoxifies your body, prevents headaches, colds, keeping you healthier. Water also aids weight loss by making you eat less, and feeling full for longer. Sometimes you think you are hungry when really, you are thirsty. Drink a small glass of water 15 min before the meal; you will eat much less.
I can go on and on about the benefits of drinking water, so I’ll write another post just about that.
Start each day with a glass of warm water with lemon and keep drinking at least 2l of water a day.