Oh Weight-loss. It seems like everyone is searching for it and just can’t seem to figure it out. There are so many schemes out there and people that are more than willing to take your money for a fad diet. I actually used to work at a a weight-loss clinic. The diet consisted of cutting basically all fat and all carbs. You would eat manufactured protein that looked like food and vegetables with very little fat added. I did this diet for about a week and couldn’t hold out. I was extremely grumpy and irritable. In short it was awful. The food was gross and I got sick of eating veggies without butter really quick.
In Michael Pollan’s book, “In Defense of Food”, he says that as a people we are no longer eating food, we are instead eating “food-like substances”. The food many Americans regularly consume is so far from it’s natural state it’s scary.
Real Food for Real Weight Loss: 7 Steps
1. Make the switch to real food:
Food can be your friend (as in helping increase your metabolism, giving you essential nutrients and vitamins, leave you feeling great, even heal certain ailments) or it can be an enemy (as in cause blood sugar level spikes, mess with hormones, create cravings and addictions, decrease metabolism, ect). Packaged and processed food is loaded with fats and simple carbohydrates that really tax your body. Highly processed carbs cause weight gain, insulin resistance, and nutrient deficiencies. They are full of calories but almost void of nutrition. By eating real food you switch to more nutrient dense foods that heal your body. Just by switching to whole-wheat you gain many benefits. It doesn’t spike your insulin as much because it takes longer to be absorbed. It has more nutrients in it and it is more filling per calorie.
2. Eat more Fresh fruits and Veggies:
Veggies are probably one of your best carbohydrates. They are chuck full of nutrients, low in calorie, and the carbs in them take longer to absorb giving your body a nice even flow so as to keep blood sugar levels even.
3. Don’t forget the protein:
Protein means pro life. Protein was named as a building block of life. And we really do need it. Get your protein from healthy sources such as natural, organic, or grass-fed meat and eggs. Eating small amounts of protein throughout the day will increase your metabolism by as much as 30%.
4. Retrain your brain when it comes to fat:
We have been conditioned to believe that fat is bad for you and will make you fat. The right kind of fat enhances your metabolism. Good fats make you feel more full and when eaten with veggies increase the nutrient absorption. Good Fats won’t make you gain weight.
5. Plan, Plan, Plan:
It has been said that a goal is a wish written down. And so it is with food. If you want to eat healthy then plan to eat healthy. Write it down. I go shopping every Tuesday. So every Monday I sit down with a little food calendar and I plan out each of my family meals for the week. I pick meals that will go along with the kind of diet I want. Lots of veggies, a little meat, and lower amount of grains. I plan in lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Then I’m ready to shop and when meal time comes I know exactly what I want to make and don’t revert back to my oldie goldie (spaghetti).
To print off this meal calendar just click on the image, right click, and click download.
6. Move your body:
Any weight-loss program without exercise is most likely a scam. Although there are many people that just by eating less processed food would lose or simply by cutting out soda will drop weight eventually you will need to exercise. Now I’m not saying you have to exercise for hours a day just do something that gets you up and moving. I love High Intensity Interval workouts. There are a number of video bloggers that you can find online that instruct for free. High Intensity Interval workouts are super hard but super short. I usually do body weight workouts for 12 to 15 minutes a day. Muscle burns more than fat by a lot. It also takes up less space than fat pound per pound. So even if you weigh the same you look smaller…not to mention more well defined and stronger. If you don’t want to do that type of exercise just find something you enjoy. Train for a 5k if you like running, learn to swim, or play racquetball. Just move, move, move!!
7. Keep the right perspective:
Losing weight isn’t a means to an end. It really does need to be seen as a permanent change. What is the point of losing weight so you can start eating processed carbs again. You’ll just gain it back and be right back where you started but with a little less hope of ever keeping it off. Real food is something you can maintain. When choosing what you eat make sure you are enjoying your food. Season it, eat it with fat, even let yourself cheat every once in a while. In the last month or so I’ve lost 10 pounds. And I did that by eating healthy almost all the time. Once in a while I would make a real food treat and enjoy it. Then continue eating healthy. It’s ok to have a treat every once in a while. It is what you do consistently from day to day that shapes who you are.
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