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One of the problems about writing about weight loss is that everyone’s body works in a different way. For instance, some tips you see on the internet say that you should take milk out of your diet if you want to lose weight.
This is because milk has a high fat content. However, milk is also a great source of protein, and many people need the additional protein in their diet.
It’s complex, and there are not many universal laws that are perfect for everyone.
There are enough general pointers that everyone can follow, and then subsequently adapt to their own use once they understand how their bodies respond.
Firstly, it is worth spending a few minutes considering your current diet.
- What sort of eater are you? If this task can seem a bit overwhelming, let us break it down a bit further.
- Are you someone who monitors what they eat?
If you are but are not losing any weight, this article should help to fix that. If you currently do not monitor what you eat, there is no problem.
This article should start to shape your thinking and way in which you approach your diet.
Improving Your Eating Habits
- Are you someone who eats many small meals a day?
- Or do you let yourself get super hungry before having a massive meal at night?
Your eating routine is important, not because we are going to try and change what you do, but because you can be observant of the effects it has on your body.
Once you understand how you approach food, it is easier to make the small changes that will have the big effects.
To clarify this point a bit further, are you someone who eats a big breakfast? If you are, that is great, but we need to ensure that you are getting 20-30 grams of protein in that important first meal.
If you don’t normally eat much, maybe a breakfast smoothie might be something you want to consider.
It is very possible to receive all of your protein in a breakfast smoothie, and works for people who don’t want to sit down to a meal 20 minutes after waking up.
If you are someone who likes to snack during the day, what are your usual snacks? Keeping your body fuelled through the day is undoubtedly a good thing.
But are you just feeding it a sugar snack or something that will keep your sugar levels constant throughout the day?
One of the biggest problems with a bar of chocolate, or something similar, is that your sugar levels spike temporarily but then quickly drop again.
This leads to more cravings, and ultimately more bad decisions, in the hour or two to follow.
A protein and vegetable snack like hummus and carrots will sustain your energy levels for a much longer amount of time.
Do You Like to Cook Yourself?
One of the questions that gets overlooked by many people enquiring about diet is, ‘do you like to cook yourself?’
If you do, this is usually a positive thing because you plan meals in advance. One of the key things to losing weight is to plan ahead.
If you can do that, you can ensure that the meals are delicious and you are eating the right food.
For some, including some of the new ingredients into their meals can be a fun process. If you don’t cook, you simply need to know what to look out for.
Stop Eating Carbs!
Let’s face it, many people lead a fairly sedentary lifestyle. In our modern world of cars, desk jobs, and servicemen, actually doing anything that requires physical effort takes extra motivation.
However, people still eat a diet that mainly consists of carbohydrate. There are several reasons for this, one of them being it is the cheapest and easiest food to produce, but it is the main reason for the expanding waistlines.
Simply put, eating less carbs could be the thing which loses you the weight fastest. This is particularly the case in the evening.
When you are about to watch TV or go to sleep, a high energy meal is not necessary.
So, if you’re going to make one change to your carbs intake, simply remove it from the evening meal. If you’re unsure what is included in the carbohydrate category, here is a quick “stay away” list: bread, pasta, pizza, potato (French Fries), rice!
So, now you’re removing some of this excess carbs from your diet, what should you be looking to replace it with?
Let me introduce you to the world of legumes. This group of lentils, beans, chickpeas, and other such products are secondary forms of protein and can add serious bulk to any meal.
Some people think that replacing carbs from your diet means that you just constantly hungry. This does not have to be true at all.
You simply need to replace the quantity of carbohydrate with more vegetables, legumes, and protein.
Your body can also process these types of food far faster, resulting in an improved metabolic rate. Once your metabolic rate goes up, your body works more efficiently and can help you lose a serious amount of weight.
It should be mentioned before proceeding that if you do have a high energy lifestyle, eating carbohydrate is necessary, and should be cut cautiously.
Be Careful What you Drink!
Not only do you need to be considering what you eat, but you should also consider what you are drinking during the day.
Are you consuming many calories through sodas, juices, iced tea, and other such beverages? If you are, the biggest problem in your diet could be what you are drinking.
This is surprising for some people, who just think of fizzy drinks as something that could be bad for their teeth (which they are, incidentally).
To lose weight, cutting these indulgences out of your life are necessary steps. If you are craving something, having a diet soda or a soda zero are preferable options.
With these, you want to be drinking no more than 400ml a day, but up to that amount is just fine.
If you are someone who drinks a lot of alcohol, this may also be an area you need to think about.
There is no point in expecting your weight to drop when you are drinking a case of beer every evening! If you do want to make a transition in this area, try and replace the beer you drink with a couple of nice glasses of red wine.
For many people, rather than cutting out alcohol completely, making a change to red wine is something they can consider.
Unlike white wine and most beer, red wine is low in calories and even has some anti-oxidant qualities. If you do miss beer, try and just refine your consumption to one key day each week!
Number 1 Dietary Mistake
“Calorie counting is the key to solving all problems.”
This is patently not true and actually rather counterproductive for many people.
It engenders an approach to weight loss that is negative, and a bit bleak. A change to your diet needs to be more than just cutting out things.
It is a change in approach to how you approach food, and more broadly, how you approach life. If this is something you have no interest in doing, then you can’t expect to be losing weight in the long term.
Once people start to view weight loss in this way, then it is amazing to see some of the other benefits in their lives.
People generally have more energy when they eat a more nutritious diet and their bodies work more effectively, sparking all sorts of positive things.
Be Patient, You’ll Be There!
To focus the mind and to help you to achieve your goals, set an initial time limit for a small amount of weight you are hoping to lose.
Some people say that it takes a week or two to see any change but I don’t think this is right. A two week assessment date will give you chance to see the improvements that you will be making.
It is important to remember, however, that weight loss is not everything. For instance, people replace muscle with fat if they are working out.
Muscle weighs more than fat, and so people can get despondent. The main thing is that you are happy with how you look.
Photos taken at the start of the process and at the end are always good ideas. Remember to weigh yourself at consistent times in the day.
If you want to be very precise, weigh yourself after waking up in the morning.
Key Foods to Add in Your Diet
1. Green vegetables. Practically all types of green vegetables have a fantastic amount of nutrients in and are very easy to digest. Spinach, broccoli, leeks, collard greens, rocket – all these good things! If you have trouble eating these because you find them very bland, add them to a tomato sauce, plenty of salt and other spices, and they are much easier to consume.
2. A handful of nuts (or seeds) a day. Nuts are high in fat but are fantastic things to add to your diet. They are a great, low calorie but high energy snack. Walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds – any nut that hasn’t been overly processed and covered with sugar!
3. If you’re a big fruit fan, eat more berries and less of the acidic fruit. Blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries all have great anti-oxidant qualities. This effectively means that your blood is cleaner than it was before! They are delicious to add to Greek yoghurt, by the handful as a snack, or in a green smoothie.
4. Eat plenty of garlic. Garlic has many, many fantastic properties. One of them is that it encourages weight loss. How it does this, I’m not exactly sure. However, the scientific community have a firm handle on this and ensure that it is so. Add an extra clove to each meal. Thankfully, cooked garlic is a wonderful taste.
5. Eat more fish, and not like the English serve it! Fish is a fantastically healthy, nutritious, mental enhancing source of protein. It is also versatile to cook. You can fry it in a pan in a matter of minutes, bake it in the oven, or even grill it in tin foil. However, it is best served fresh and without a layer of batter around it – however tasty it might be! A filet of fish, a tomato and cucumber salad, and some sweet potato fries is one fantastic, low carb meal!
As people become more educated about the world of nutrition, it will become easier and easier to understand what is making your weight go up.
As the restaurant industry becomes more accustomed to people wanting to eat a lower carb diet, there are more of these options popping up on menus around the country.
I have even seen a low-carb pizza advertised in the last few weeks. Whatever advice you choose to take, enjoy the changes you are making to your life and you will have a far better chance of success.