Fat Loss Nutrition – Start losing weight by using these 8 simple nutrition tips
There is a lot of confusion about how and what to eat in this country. This is not surprising considering that a search for nutrition books on Amazon.com turns up over 50,000 books! Are there really 50,000 ways to eat? Possibly, but in my opinion effective nutrition programs tend to have more similarities than differences.
Let’s put the differences aside and get back to basics. Here is a list of basic nutrition tips to help you start losing weight and improve your health:
1. Drink more water
Start your day by drinking a glass or two of water as soon as you wake up, and then keep drinking water throughout the day. How Much Water Should You Drink? Experts’ opinions vary, but I personally use half my body weight in ounces of water as a guide. I weigh 194 pounds so I should be drinking about 97 ounces of water a day. Try only drinking water or green tea if you feel like you are losing a lot of weight.
2. Eat balanced meals
There are many different expert opinions on this including the Zone Diet, Atkins, Pritikin, Metabolic Typing, the government food pyramid, etc. I like to keep things simple. Eat some meat (lean beef, chicken, fish, or eggs), some starch (brown rice, quinoa, etc.), and some vegetables (spinach, chard, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, peppers, etc.). Nutrition research is beginning to show that we are all individuals and that our metabolism is influenced by our genetics and lifestyle. There is no definitive answer to what you should be eating without genetic testing and tailoring it to your lifestyle. Nutritional genomics is the future of diet prescription, but consuming all of the foods above will put you on the right track.
I meet so many people who start their day with coffee or coffee and a bagel and then end the day with a huge meal before bed. This is exactly the opposite of what they should be doing. When you wake up in the morning your blood sugar is low because you don’t eat while you sleep. Make sure you start your day with breakfast by following the guidelines I listed above for balanced meals. You’re not hungry in the morning? No problem, just eat what you can and gradually increase the amount until you’re eating a full breakfast. After a while, you’ll find that your body is craving a meal when you first wake up. You should also find that as you start giving your body what it needs at the start of the day, your energy levels and mood will improve.
4. Eat several small meals throughout the day
In addition to eating a balanced breakfast, you should eat 3-5 meals/snacks a day. These meals and snacks should be eaten every 3-4 hours. How many should you have? This is a complex question that should be clarified with a professional. A more general answer would be: Eat when you’re hungry. Some people have metabolic or psychological problems that cause them to feel hungry even after they’ve eaten recently. Most likely, you are not one of these people, so do not starve. Eat when you are hungry.
5. Minimize processed foods.
I really want to say never eat processed foods, but let’s be honest: some of these things taste good and many of us will never completely eliminate them from our diet. That’s fine, but remember, the more you eat, the harder it will be for you to maintain weight and improve your health. How do you recognize processed foods? Just read the label. Forget the marketing on the box, the nutritional information on the label gives you the best information about the product. Ingredient labels must list certain things and meet regulatory standards.
Ingredients are listed from largest component to smallest component. For example, if the ingredient list says: water, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, and orange juice, you know the product really is water, high fructose corn syrup, and sugar. There probably isn’t much juice in there. If you read the label and the product contains words you can’t pronounce or that sound like chemical warfare agents, there’s a good chance it’s processed food. Keep intake of these products to an absolute minimum.
6. Eat or prepare your meals at home
This can be time inconvenient, especially if you don’t consider yourself a decent cook, but I believe that preparing your own food is a necessary key to steering your eating habits in the right direction. Many restaurants and fast food outlets keep costs down by purchasing the cheapest ingredients they can find. Also remember that most restaurant dishes are prepared to taste good, not necessarily to help you with your nutritional goals. To taste good for some cooks, you need to add things that you might not have if you were cooking your own food. You can not cook? That’s fine, just learn a few basic concepts to get the job done. Cooking scrambled eggs and preparing salads are a good place to start.
7. Follow the 90/10 rule
Everyone is busy and we all give in to the delicious temptations. Don’t stress yourself out too much about it, or set unreasonable expectations of yourself. Instead, try to follow good eating principles 90% of the time. Even if 90% is too big a behavior change for you, try 60/40. Eventually, you can increase the percentage, but start with something that’s appropriate for you. Just make sure your healthy diet outweighs the unhealthy and you’ll be on the right track.
8. Listen to your body
Our bodies are so complex and there are many systems that give you feedback on how what you eat is affecting you. For example, you might eat too much ice cream. It might taste pretty good when it goes down, but the tummy ache or sluggishness you feel afterwards is your body’s way of giving you feedback on your eating habits. Your body is an amazing machine, so make sure you listen to it!