In the following article we’ll try to approach fat loss somewhat differently. We’ll try to suggest a few changes that can help you lose weight for good. This won’t be fast. And it won’t work like magic. But using this approach, the fat won’t be back anytime soon. It won’t bounce back like a Jack in the box the moment you stop your diet.
What we offer you are several simple principles, which combined together provide you a solid base for stable fat loss. Learn them by heart and apply them in your every day diet. Once you start applying them, the results will come and keep on coming. Just remember, this is not some magical diet. Our 7 principles will help you increase your lean muscle mass, and lower you body fat once and for all.
Increase Your Protein Intake
Eating meals without protein increases the chance of remaining hungry and turning to other food to compensate. The reason for this is simple. The other nutrients, carbs in particular, stimulate the insulin production, triggering blood sugar spikes, which manifest as cravings for something sweet. In this respect, even the healthiest foods, like fruit (eaten in higher quantities), can do damage to your shape.
With protein you eliminate this risk. Protein offers numerous advantages. In addition to controlling blood sugar level, it also increases the feeling of satiety, and its digestion process requires a greater amount of calories.
That being said, we have to stress out that you should not totally eliminate all the other nutrients. Carbohydrates and fats should still be a substantial part of your diet. However, they should never be consumed alone, because then they can trigger different mechanism in our bodies that can be very damaging. Just remember that including the protein in your meal will help you manage the daily diet more easily.
Fat is Not Your Enemy
During the last decade or so, the science has been successfully engaged in proving that eating fat can help you slim down. In fact, the current recommendation of the Institute of Medicine is that you consume 20 to 35 percents of your total daily calories from fats. Of course, this should not be taken as an excuse to hit the first fast-food joint, and stuff yourself with grease.
Not all fats are good for you. You want to avoid trans fats and add monounsaturated, polyunsaturated fats and some saturated fats to your diet. Stay away from cookies, breakfast sandwiches, margarine, doughnuts, onion rings, deep fried foods, and anything with refined vegetable oil.
Let’s take a look at some studies that prove this premise. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition reports that the subjects who had been on a diet rich in monounsaturated fats reduced their body fat, although they were consuming the same amount of calories as before.
According to another study, eating a breakfast high in monounsaturated fats stimulates calorie consumption during the course of the next 5 hours. This was especially noticeable in people with tendency towards storing belly fat. In a study performed at Johns Hopkins, the researchers recorded that the people who was on high-fats diet took 25 days fewer to lose 10 pounds compared to the group that was on high carbs diet.
The lesson learned is simple: Fats are not your enemy. As long as you don’t eat fried or processed foods high in trans fats this nutrient may in fact help you in reducing your body fat percentage and make you leaner. Beef, pork, whole eggs, some fish varieties (like salmon), cheese, nuts, avocados are some of the best food sources that provide you with all the healthy fats you need. Try including them in your diet if you want to stay fit.
Avoid Ready Made Meals
Although many of the diet foods at the market claim that they are low in calories, sugar and fats on their packaging, they might be more damaging than you think. Let’s make something clear: diet foods are just smoke and mirror show. Claiming to offer you the same taste as the high-calorie variety minus the calories, they are in fact packed with preservatives, artificial sweeteners and a full range of different chemical.
However, this trick is somewhat flawed. Although you do get some sense of fullness for a short period of time, the cravings return after a short period of time. As a result, you tend to overeat. Another thing that diet foods lack is nutritional value. Like eating empty shells. As a result you find yourself not only gaining weight, but also lacking some essential nutrients that keep your body rolling and your health booming. Still not convinced? Try this: the artificial sugars in diet soda greatly increase the risk of metabolic syndrome.
For those of you who don’t know what this is, it includes problems like increased blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and greater inclination towards storing body fat.
Consume unprocessed foods and prepare you own food. By preparing your meals you always know what you get, and how much calories you consume. Plus, you avoid any chemicals that may come with prepackaged foods. And remember that nothing provides you with the necessary nutrients as fresh food.
Enjoy Your Meal
The quantity and quality of food is not the only thing that has the ability to restrain your hunger. How you eat your food is also important. A study coming from Japan reports that eating fast increases the chance of gaining weight. According to their findings, people who gulped their food faster manifested greater tendency toward gaining weight than those who took their time to enjoy the food.
Eating slow has a remarkable ability to switch off your fathomless appetite. It will help you increase the sense of satiety by consuming less food. Just have in mind that it takes 20 minutes for the brain to receive the signal sent by the stomach that the food you’ve consumed had been processed.
Of course, it may sound strange for you to time how long you eat your food. Eating by the clock doesn’t sound that appealing, does it? Focus instead on chewing your food. The more you chew your food the more flavor is released, making your meal tastier and more enjoyable. In addition, chewing your meals well will prolong the process of eating, allowing you to feel fuller with less food. And it’s more elegant then gulping your food in one go as a hungry wolf.
Less Stress Equals Less Food
We know that nowadays stress seems unavoidable. Yet, it would be good to try and relax at least before you start eating. Stress makes you crave for comfort food and lead you to overeating. According to the scientists this is the result of higher presence of ghrelin in your blood. This hormone is also known as “hunger hormone” and several studies suggest that it is activated by stress.
The researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center report that they have recorded decreased levels of dopamine in the brain when eating under stress. As a result, the food you eat lives you unsatisfied, tricking you that you need more.
Although we can agree that stress is not always possible to avoid, there are some methods you can use to calm yourself. In fact, it’s not as difficult as it may sound. Some simple things have fantastic ability to calm you down. You don’t need to do yoga, or meditate. Listen to some music before you eat, or watch TV for 5 to 10 minutes. Even a friendly talk helps in soothing your nerves. Just don’t rush into the fridge full of vengeance.
Don’t Avoid Desserts
Many of us hard it find to enjoy our food without a dessert, and we’ve already agreed that taking pleasure in what you eat is one of the most important aspects in staying lean. This is especially true when you try to lose weight. Eliminating all the indulgences has psychological effect increasing the sense of withdrawal. According to the German researches, people with this mentality find it harder to stick to a plan, and increases the risk of cheating the diet.
They recommend satisfying your cravings for sweet by eating controlled portions of desert every once in a while. Another study performed at the University of Alabama reports that eating four small deserts throughout the week helped overweight women lose 9 pounds more than those who eat occasional larger deserts. Satisfying your indulgences helps your motivation, and there are smaller chances that you’ll derail from the diet.
You don’t need to increase the amount of calories in order to treat yourself. Try cutting down 10 to 20 percent of your calories from some other meal, and redirect them in a small cup of ice-cream. It will make you feel better, and might even prevent you from eating a whole bowl of ice-cream later on.
Include Protein Shakes in Your Diet
Protein shakes are not only meant for bodybuilders. They can also help in flattening the belly of the average Joe. Sure, they can appear as some nasty concoction, but in fact, most of them provide all that your body needs. They are good source of protein, they don’t increase the calorie intake, and help you in losing body fat instead of muscles.
In this respect, one of the most efficient supplements is the whey protein. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition reports that taking whey protein for 12 weeks resulted in reduced body fat and waist line in the participants, as opposed to those taking soy protein. Moreover, including the whey protein in the diet resulted with double figures in the fat loss department compared to the participants eating the same amount of calories but without whey supplementation.
In other words, protein powder can provides you with the touch of magic you need to reveal you true muscular self.
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You don’t even need to drink them every day. Take a whey shake every once in a while and see it work its magic. Shakes don’t have to be consumed only before or after a training session. They also make a good substitute for breakfast or snack. What they don’t make is a complete substitute for food. Whole food sources will always make a better option.