One of the secrets to losing weight is to eat smart.
It is difficult for any woman to juggle work, family and then on top of it all, still have to worry about weight, looks and following a healthy diet. It's very easy to get into bad habits like grabbing quick, non nutritious meals and ditching exercise for the couch.
What you should do is PLAN ahead.
This all begins with your grocery list. So think of nutritious meals and snacks you’d like to eat and buy the ingredients ahead of time. Stock up on lots of fruit and vegetables and opt for low fat snacks. If the chocolates and potato chips aren’t there, you can’t eat it, can you? Therefore out of sight… out of mind!
At the end of everyday plan and pre-pack your meals for the following day, that way you avoid buying unhealthy fattening foods from the canteen or from drive thru’s etc. You’ll not only be healthier but you’ll save money too.
Always keep healthy snacks at the office and in the car, such as almond nuts, green apples, flavoured rice cakes etc.
The key is to make a healthy diet part of your lifestyle
If you really feel like cheating, then have that piece of chocolate cake or whatever else you feel like indulging in. Don’t deprive yourself, everything in moderation, that’s what I say.
Something to think about before indulging
It takes an entire hour of cardio to burn off the 500 calories that is found in a piece of chocolate cake. Which would you prefer to do? Cardio for an hour in exchange for a piece of cake or not eat the chocolate cake. Okay sometimes I have to admit, depending on how good the cake is I would rather do the exercise and it eat the delicious cake.
A thought on carbonated Soda drinks
You would have to run13 minutes or walk for 42 minutes to burn off the calories contained in a can of soda.
Some reasons as to why people are overweight
- Food portions are too large
- High calorie diet… fatty foods, excessive sucrose in diet
- Slow metabolism (metabolism, is the process where the liver converts stored fat to energy)
- Toxin buildup in the body
- Imbalanced hormones
- Underactive thyroid
- Emotional Eating (reaching out for “comfort” foods, eating because of stress etc)
- Eating late at night
7 things I try to do to keep slim
- I try not to eat dinner after 7pm
- I try not to drink carbonated soft drinks (approximately 150 empty calories in a can)
- I make sure I get my daily dose of H20
- I try and cut out fried foods
- I try to get active - I do home workouts (as per my previous blog) at least three times a week
- I try to get plenty of shut eye (although since I had my baby, sleep has become a luxury, if I get 6 hours a night, I’m lucky)
- I try and eat 5 small meals a day
I like to indulge, so I definitely have ‘cheat’ days
NOTICE I said “I try”. I’m only human and I simply LOVE food (bad food especially) and I have some bad habits too, but because I suffer with IBS, I really try to be healthy. As the saying goes “You are what you eat”
A few weight loss tips…
Set a Goal
Give yourself a realistic date and aim to look better by then. Don’t be too tough on yourself, you took a while to put on the weight and it’s going to take a while longer to lose it. Think of what will motivate you; that pair of jeans you’d like to get into, or an old photograph of yourself (you’ve looked like that before, you can do it again), or that beach holiday you have planned.
Keep your eye on the goal and not the struggle in order to get there.
Get your daily dose of Calcium
Calcium may be the biggest weight-loss secret.
Calcium can fight body fat and help keep your weight under control.
According to Dr Michael Zemel, not getting enough calcium triggers the release of calcitriol, a hormone that causes us to store fat, whereas meeting our daily calcium needs helps us burn fat more efficiently. Foods like turkey, yoghurt and other dairy foods are leading sources of leucine, which also helps fight fat. Get your daily recommended dose
Water – drink up
Water improves muscle tone, muscles need water to contract easily, and therefore water makes weight loss easier and your workouts more effective. You should drink water throughout the day, don’t allow yourself to get thirsty (dehydrated) If you don’t like the taste of water, try adding slices of lemon, lime or even mint. Water is great as it flushes out impurities in the body and makes your metabolism burn calories faster .Remember, dehydration, can be mistaken for hunger, therefore causing you to eat more. So drink up sister!
Celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson (whose clients include Jennifer Lopez and Penelope Cruz) recommends popping something into your mouth within 30 minutes of waking. "You want to send your body a sign that you're not starving so it starts burning fat," Peterson says. His suggestion: a cup of oatmeal and several scrambled egg whites or some sliced fruit. The oatmeal and fruit is full of filling fiber, and the egg whites are rich in protein, which is satiating. Try it.
Research shows breakfast eaters are more successful at long-term weight loss than those who skip this meal. "It jump-starts your metabolism and prevents you from getting so ravenous that you overeat later in the day," says Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D., a New York City-based spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.
Tip – Eat your fruit on an empty stomach, start your day off with a fruit, the nutrients of the fruit is best absorbed on an empty stomach
Drink Green Tea
Studies have shown that you can burn fat during the day when drinking 3 to 5 cups of Green Tea
Eat more fiber
Getting more fiber in your diet can help you lose weight. When you cleanse your colon, you are flushing out the undigested trapped food, giving you a flatter stomach. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables as it is packed with beneficial fiber, vitamins and antioxidants, fiber will also help you feel fuller
Make exercise apart of your life
Losing weight is a combination of exercise as well as a healthy diet. Exercising accelerates weight loss
Get plenty of sleep
Researchers say that how much you sleep and possibility the quality of your sleep may silently orchestrate a symphony of hormonal activity tied to your appetite. http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/lose-weight-while-sleeping
A large-scale study at Case Western Reserve University (more than 68,000 women) found that those who sleep less than 5 hours a night gain more weight over time than those who sleep 7 hours a night. The women who slept less were more likely to become obese, and here’s something that may be counterintuitive: the women who slept less consumed fewer calories than the ones who slept a full night, on average. http://www.sleepdex.org/weight.htm
Limit your salt intake
Excessive salt can cause water retention and bloating
Learn to love foods without condiments
Try to eat food without butter, sauces, fattening salad dressings etc.
Tip- opt for balsamic vinegar or lemon juice to add flavor to whatever you are eating
Nice to know - Cayenne pepper and Tabasco sauce can increase metabolism and fat-burning ability
Do not skip meals
Eating small frequent meals help to balance your calorie intake throughout the day and this also keeps your blood sugar levels balanced. Instead of eating 3 big meals, try to eat 5 - 6 smaller meals throughout the day
Have a cheat day
On this day you can have your favourite foods, dessert etc. you don’t have to count calories. Just remember not to derail too much as you’ve worked hard to eat healthy, so you don’t want all your hard work to be in vain. The jest is to enjoy yourself but don't go overboard. A little indulgence is good.
Reward yourselfAfter you’ve lost weight, even if it’s just a kilo, get some retail therapy, sometimes looking good makes you feel good. This will motivate you to lose even more; taking pride in your appearance is good for your soul.