Weight Loss Doesn’t Have To Be Complicated and Stressful.
Discover just some of the simple strategies I teach my clients to be successful long-term.
Nutrition and diet info is everywhere!
Experts try to lead you in their direction because they know best and their advice is going to help you. Right?
Everyone has heard (and maybe lived through) the intense focus on how much you eat. This has gotten way too much attention because, while this can affect your weight and energy level, it’s certainly not the “holy grail” of health.
Let’s focus a bit more on the overlooked (and proven) benefits of what to eat and how you should eat it.
What you eat and drink
The “calories in, calories out” philosophy is being drowned out with research on other factors that may be just as important. Don’t get me wrong, limiting calories, carbs or fat can certainly help you lose weight but that’s simply not the only factor to achieve long-term weight loss. More often than not, it is approached completely wrong and ends up doing more harm than good.
Prior to working with me, my clients usually restricted calories way too much while looking for a quick fix. This left them constantly hungry, tired and metabolically suppressed. After this was no longer sustainable, their regular eating habits resumed (or worsened from the rebound effect) and the weight returned… and brought some friends. Yes, the dreaded yo-yo effect.
You can certainly still continue to count your calories, carbs, and fat but it’s not necessary. I would bet that 90% of you underestimate your calorie needs. Instead, try to pay more attention to what you eat.
Ideally, you need a varied diet full of minimally-processed foods (i.e. fewer “packaged” “ready-to-eat” foods). This simple concept is paramount for weight loss, energy, and overall health and wellness.
Every day this is what you should aim for:
- A colorful array of veggies at every meal and snack. Additionally, aim for about 2 servings of fruit each day. You need the fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
- Enough protein. Make sure you get all of those essential amino acids (bonus: eating protein can increase your metabolism. Read more here). Most people don’t eat enough protein. I have seen body recompositioning with clients who aren’t even exercising. Protein also stabilizes the blood sugar which allows for increased fat burning and reduction in cravings.
- Healthy fats and oils (never “hydrogenated” ones). There is a reason some fatty acids are called “essential,” you need them as building blocks for your hormones and brain and to be able to absorb essential fat-soluble vitamins from your veggies. Use extra virgin olive oil for salad dressings, cook with oils with a higher smoke point such as avocado oil, eat organic egg yolks, and get grass-fed meats when possible. Don’t forget about your high quality fish (I recommend my clients avoid tilapia. Read why here.) You don’t need to overdo it. Fats are very calorie dense, which means a small portion has a lot of calories. Just make sure you’re getting some high-quality fats.
How you eat
Also pay attention to how you eat and drink.
Studies are definitely showing that this has more of an impact than we previously thought.
Are you rushed, not properly chewing your food, and possibly suffering from gastrointestinal issues?
When it comes to how you eat, let’s first look at “mindful eating.” This is one of the first things I cover with my clients and it is extremely effective for fat loss and improving nutrient delivery.
Mindful eating means taking smaller bites, eating slowly, chewing thoroughly, and savoring every bite. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe.
This gives your system time to prepare for digestion and to secrete necessary enzymes.
It also helps with weight loss because eating slower often means eating less. We’ve all heard that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full, well it’s true! You will be satisfied instead of stuffed and uncomfortable. Think of all the needless calories that are consumed when you rush your meal!
Chewing food more thoroughly makes it easier for your system to digest and absorb all of those essential nutrients.
What about drinking your food?
Yes, smoothies can be healthy and a fabulously easy and tasty way to get in some fruits and veggies. Hello leafy greens! Due to the convenience and nutrient balance, I drink my breakfast every morning!
If your smoothies don’t fill you up like a full meal does, try adding in a spoon of fiber like ground flax seeds or chia seeds. You can also try adding a spoonful of peanut or almond butter.
Consider not only how much you eat but also what and how you eat it.
Recipe (Smoothie meal): Chia Peach Green Smoothie
1 handful spinach
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 chopped peach
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 serving of your favorite protein powder (click here for a 10% discount on my favorite brand!)
Add ingredients to blender in the order listed (you want your greens on the bottom by the blade so they blend better and have the chia on the bottom to absorb some liquid before you blend).
Wait a couple of minutes for the chia seeds to start soaking up the almond milk.
Blend, Serve and Enjoy!
Tip: Smoothies are the ultimate recipe for substitutions. Try swapping different greens, fruit or seeds to match your preference.
Bonus: Chia seeds not only have fiber and essential omega-3 fatty acids, but they contain all of the essential amino acids from protein.
Until next time…
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