Basic nutrition for effective weight loss

Basic nutrition for effective weight loss

Trying to lose weight by starving is really stupid. It only makes the body panicking and holding on to the body fat as well as slowing down the metabolic rate for reasons of preservation. Your body needs nutrients to function properly and skipping food can results in nutrient deficiency. The is no silver bullet, but there are things to consume that together can contribute to a quicker weight loss.

Water

Water is something that you should get in high doses. Both from foods with high water content like fruits and veggies and from drinking clear, clean water. Be sure to drink only clean water. Maybe you should check the quality of the water where you live if you usually drink tap water, to be sure that you don’t drink a lot of water with chlorine, toxins, heavy metals and micro-organisms. Drinking lots of clean water helps the body to flush out toxins, support all the vital body functions and makes the fat burning process of metabolism work effectively. Studies have shown that water can increase the metabolic rate. Water also keeps you feel full, which will help you to keep your thoughts away from food.

About 1.5-2 litres of cold water is what an adult should knock back a day and that may sound a great deal. Good to have some sports bottles to bring in your car, by the desk and some other strategic places. I find it easier to drink a lot from bottles with spouts. If you want some flavour, try putting carefully cleaned lime and/or lemon slices or cucumber slices in the bottle. Cold, brewed organic green tea is also a good choice as it has lots a health benefits.

Carbs

A source of energy that I’m trying to avoid as much as possible as I’m trying to lose weight, but occasionally eating a little whole grain bread, rice (preferable brown and wild), potatoes, and whole grain pasta has no one died of. I guess. Anyway eat carbs in moderation and try not to get them from refined grain products. Carbs are as, mentioned earlier, good after intense workout as it starts the recovery and muscle growth process, and as the body is depleted of energy (glycogen).

Fat

Now were are talking. That’s a nice one. I think there is two basic forms of fat. The one around the waist (the enemy) and the one we eat (the friend) ;-) There has been a misconception for a long time that fat is all harmful and makes us…fat. We have been thought since childhood by mothers and authorities that eating fat is bad for us, but modern science proves the opposite.

Of course there are bad fats like man made trans fats (hydrogenized vegetable oils), brainchilds of mad scientists with grey blowzy hair. Not really, but scientists anyway. These fats are made to make cookies last for decades on the shelf, and they confuses our bodies as they are not natural. Look out for hydrogenated fat or partly hydrogenated fat. Margarines should be avoided as much as possible as well as they are made from sometimes low quality vegetable oils and made with questionable processes.

When it comes to saturated fat, typically from animals and dairy products there is a schism. Personally I think this fat is good for us and I enjoy a good deal of cream, sour cream, cheese, butter, and meat with fat on. Some “experts” claim that saturated fats clogs the arteries and raises the level of cholesterol. However there are no studies that I know of that has proved that saturated fat really is harmful.

Monounsaturated fat is found in canola oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts and almonds has been shown to have good health benefits.

Polyunsaturated fat is found in walnuts, flax seeds, fat fish and fish oil supplements for instance. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are well known fats to most people. What you maybe didn’t know is that too much of Omega-6 and to little of Omega-3 is not good. The ratio should be 2:1 for optimal health (Double the amount of Omega-3) but we often get way to little Omega-3 as the vegetable oils mainly contains Omega-6.

Studies show that eating Omega-3 supplement combined with a proper diet and exercise makes the body burn fat easier. It has the benefit of using a surplus of calories to build muscles instead of storing them as body fat and burn stored body fat instead of muscle tissue in case of caloric deficit (that is eating less calories than your body needs a day).

Protein

Protein is the building blocks of your body. It builds up and repairs your body and gives you high quality energy. You should look to get 0.8-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day. When losing weight, you are trying to get rid of only the fat. The protein helps keeping the muscles intact, so eating lots of protein is important when trying to lose weight. You want to get strong, lean, calorie-burning muscles and lose the fat.

Protein also has the largest thermogenic effect, which means that it requires the most amount of calories to digest beacuse it is harder to digest than the other macronutrients. It takes five times more calories to digest protein than carbohydrates.

Eating protein in the morning helps stabilizing your blood sugar and keeps you full for a long time, so eating protein in the morning is a smart idea. One of the best sources of protein is eggs which makes eating one or more eggs for breakfast a smart choice. Some other great sources of protein is cottage cheese, quark, greek yoghurt, almonds, tuna fish and turkey breast.

Vitamins

The word vitamin means “essential for life” and that pretty much sums it all up. Vitamins is something that we must have in the diet on a daily basis for our bodies to work properly! Vegetables and fruits, as well as animal products contains the different kinds of vitamins, but a problem here is do we really eat enough of the green stuff and unprocessed food to get all the vitamins we need? I don’t think so. That’s why I do like lots of “health experts” and take a vitamin/mineral supplement on a daily basis, to ensure an optimal intake of the good stuff.

What I take is a liquid formula that is complete, easy to take, tasty and well documented. It has great benefit both in short and long term! Of coarse I eat a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables too, but due to depletion of the soils, optimized agricultural methods and toxins the greens nutritional value has dropped over the decades. I don’t really trust the fruit and vegetables I see in the supermarket to contain sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals.

As an example B-vitamins is essential for metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates.

Minerals

As well as vitamins, minerals are very important for the body to function as it should. Deficiency can lead to a wide range of troubles and great illness. Minerals is more important than most people think. All nutrients such as vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats require minerals for proper cellular function. For your metabolism to work properly you have to have magnesium, potassium, calcium and zinc. Minerals are actually more important to nutrition than vitamins. Without minerals the vitamins cannot function. The great majority of the people in US and Europe are deficient in minerals and trace elements. Are you one of them?

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What to avoid in order to lose weight

What foods to avoid if you want to lose weight

Sugar

Sugar, sugar, sugar. Everybody is talking about this sweet stuff. You maybe already know that sugar is one of the main contributors to weight gain. The problem is that sugar is in everything these days. At least half of the sugar we consume comes from soft drinks, fruit drinks, and sports drinks. Do you actually know how much sugar you are consuming everyday? Start paying attention to the “hidden” sugars in food. Look at the labels. The ingredients are ordered by their amount so if some kind of sugar comes in first, second or third place, you can be sure there is a great deal of the white stuff in there. Everything ending with -ose is some kind of sugar. Hey, it may not even be white. It can be in different forms like high fructose corn syrup (beware), brown sugar, invert sugar, glucose syrup or fructose. All of them contributors of weight gain and the grave health problems that implies. Don’t be fooled by the tricks of the food industry. A label saying “No suger added” doesn’t mean a product doesn’t contain sugar. It can contain insane amounts of sugar from concentrated fruit juices. All sugar counts, even fruit sugar (fructose). Do you love to drink sodas, like drinking one can a day? Maybe it’s time to change that bad habit and save yourself the disservice of adding about 15 pounds to your body weight in one year?
An excess of 3500 calories is stored as 1 pound of fat. One soda a day per year makes 365 days x 140 calories = 51100 calories. 51100/3500=15 pounds added per year!

Some foods with “hidden” sugars are:

  • Spice mixes (for instance Thai wok mix)
  • Fruit juices
  • Low fat products
  • Milk (1 cup of skimmed milk = 3 sugar cubes)
  • Fruit yoghurt
  • Dressings
  • Dried fruit
  • Ketchup and BBQ sauces
  • Canned soups
  • Baked beans
  • Tinned vegetables and fruit
  • “Healthy” cereals

Wheat

It is not as commonly known that grains, and especially refined wheat, is even more dangerous than sugar. Two slices of white bread is equal to 6 teaspoons of sugar! Wheat is really high in carbohydrates (carbs) and has a very high GI (glycemic index).

In the 60’s and 70’s scientists were sent out on a mission to solve the world starvation by developing an improved, gene modified version of wheat. They came up with a new type of wheat that increased the yield tenfold and everybody had wheat in abundance. Thumbs up! Hooray!

But it turned out they got more than they bargained for.

You cannot genetically modify something without side effects, and the new version that was supposed to still the third world hunger, was introduced in the west world as well. Little did they know about creating a monster high in gluten (blood sugar raiser and inflammation inducer) and starch (amylopectin A that is super fattening).

Wheat also contains a protein called Gliadin that is a appetite stimulator which is bad when you are trying to eat less and lose weight.

In short; wheat is really something you should look to avoid now that you have a weight loss goal. Try eating a minimum of bread, pasta, pastries, pizza, breaded and battered foods, sauces, ready to eat food and cereals to mention some. Wheat and other grains contains a protein called Gluten that may cause chronic inflammation and digestive problems, even if you’re not gluten intolerant. Unfortunately wheat is “hidden” in a wide range of foods. Foods that you wouldn’t bet on containing wheat in some form does actually have wheat added. Don’t think that bread that contain whole grain is a safe bet. Just because the label on the loaf says “Whole grain” it’s perfectly healthy (even if the food industry wants us to think that). Whole grain doesn’t contain much less calories and raises blood sugar quite as much as refined wheat. However eating 100% whole grain is an upgrade compared to munching toasted white bread every morning.

Carbohydrates

All carbohydrates end up as glucose so you can say that carbohydrates = sugar. In other words carbs gives you lot of energy and that may be good if you are running a Marathon, or participate in Iron Man Triathlon, but for you and me carbs gives an excess of energy that eventually turns into fat and should be avoided as much as much as possible. Carbs is however good for restoration after a intense work out as it’s needed for building of muscles so getting some “good carbohydrates” after training is okay. Hint: A double white toast sandwich with jam is not a good source of carbs (but a fruit and some freshly squeezed juice is).

Carbs prevents fat burning

Carbohydrates raises the blood sugar level in the blood which raises the insulin level as well. Insulin has the function of controlling the blood sugar level by taking sugar from the blood to the cells. It also tells the fat cells to store excess glucose (sugar) as fat. With a diet rich in carbs, the insulin level is constantly elevated which makes the fat cells hold on to the fat. Insulin is preventing fatty acids to enter the blood stream by keeping them “locked up” in the fat cells. In other words carbs prevents the fat to be burned which is really bad as you and I are trying to lose body fat.

Choose good sources of carbs

The carbohydrate intake should mainly come from fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes. Cutting out carbs from gluten and starch rich foods like white rice, pasta, potatoes, bread, corn products, gluten containing cereals and such will make the body start to burn that nasty body fat instead of the excessive energy from the carbs. There are more benefits than weight loss with controlled intake of carbohydrates. Proven health improvements are: stable insulin levels, bad cholesterol goes down, good cholesterol goes up, controlled blood sugar, blood pressure and body fat levels. Eating a minimum of carbs can be very difficult if you’re used to eat lots of the foods mentioned above, but you should start to choose your carbs wisely.

Alcohol gives a lot of excess energy

Cutting back on alcohol will be a very smart thing to do as it is very high in calories (double the calories in protein and carbs), has a very high glycemic index and the disadvantage of slowing down your metabolism by over 70%. If you eat and drink alcohol, it’s the alcohol in that drink the body burns first, postponing the burning of the energy in the food.

Ever been craving for a late night meal after a wet night out? Alcohol has appetite increasing attributes, and together with a fattening food like a burger meal or a pizza, you are sure to store some extra unwanted fat. Carbs and alcohol is a very bad combo. Drinks with drink mixers contains lots of sugar. The best choice for drinking is red wine, as it contains a good deal of nutritious anti oxidants.

Abstaining from alcohol is something a lot of people find very hard. You should anyway try to do your best to limit your consumption as much as possible, and choose the occasions when you get to “celebrate” with a drink, or a cold one. It’s up to you if you want to lose weight fast or not. Alcohol is going to make it a lot harder to drop pounds.

If you are going to a party all night, let’s have a low-calorie, no-carbs day and the best is if you can have a good, intense workout before to boost your energy burning mechanism and start your after burn effect (that will burn calories even on your hang over day :)

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Empty calories – eat less, lose more

Luckily loosing weight goes hand in hand with getting a healthy lifestyle. If you begin you journey towards a lighter body and smaller waistline, your health will improve at the same time. Good healthy food is like medicine for your body and the right food will make you lose weight quickly. If you wanna find a fast way to lose weight, it’s your diet you have to take a look at as weight loss is 75-80% diet. So what to eat to lose weight? Is there really diets to lose weight fast?

There are lots of talk about fat burning and weight loss plans, and tons of information which makes you kind of confused. The basic of losing weight (excess body fat) is getting less energy, calories that is, into your stomach than your body is burning during one day. However counting calories is quite boring and time consuming.

Let me give you another key here – you have to adopt ideas, routines and habits that you can stick to for a long time. If things get to complicated we tend to give up. Who has time counting the calories in everything we put in our mouth every day?

Avoid empty calories

It’s far more easy to start avoiding things that you know will give you lots and lots of energy that you’ll have hard time burning. Here is fat loss tip; you must avoid the pitfalls like foods that make you wanna have more of it, that doesn’t make you feel full, that just is “empty calories” and food that makes you addicted to it. Stop drinking drinks with calories as they contains lots of sugar (calories), have no nutritional value (most of them) and they are easy to consume in great amount without being full. You have to eat less and less of this food and more and more of real, nutritious, satiating and healthy food options. Small changes eventually leading to big results.

To get a picture of your situation, write down everything you eat during a regular working day in detail. Think for instance about yesterday. What did you eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks? Do your best to calculate the number of calories in this food with help of nutritional facts labels and calorie tables on the net. A great site for keeping track of your eating and exercising habits is www.myfitnesspal.com. They have an iPhone app as well. You shouldn’t hesitate to sign up for a free acccount and download the app. If you start keeping track of what you eat every day for a while it may be an eye opener for you. Maybe you don’t really know how much food, snacks and treats you actually eat every day. When you see it “black on white” it’s harder to ignore it and it will make you more aware of you current eating habits.

Woman should go for about 2000 calories per day and men ca 2500 calories (in general). If you go way above this you can be sure to store some of them (as fat) “for a rainy day”, and we don’t like rainy days. You should also count the calories for the weekend as well as it probably is a lot more, especially if you go out partying every weekend. Family dinners with big portions of starchy food and fun-sized, sugar-packed desserts are also a part of many peoples weekends, and the calories keeps getting stacked.

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Avoid the pitfalls that prevents fat loss

Avoid the pitfalls that prevents your fat loss

Do you feel hungry most of the time and have problems getting full?

You are probably eating food that raises you blood sugar sky high and after that leaves you wanting more. Again, sugar and wheat is responsible for this to a great extent. You have to get food with good nutritional value, protein and healthy fats to keep you feel full and give you energy for the whole day. Otherwise it will be very hard to not give in to unhealthy snacks here and there, and you will easily get cravings. A smart choice can be a handful of nuts or almonds to suppress hunger between meals. Almonds contains protein, fibres, magnesium, vitamin E and powerful antioxidants. Both protein and magnesium help regulating the blood sugar, which dampens the hunger.
You should eat at least five times a day, but in smaller portions, and it should be a balanced diet with lots of veggies, fruits, protein and some selected slow digested carbs. If you eat breakfast at 7 or 8 you are probably starved at lunchtime and eat a way to big portion of some convenient fast food. At six you have dinner at home and you are once again really hungry, eating two big portions of food and finishes off with a nice sweet dessert. After that you’re not fit for anything else than being a couch potato for the rest of the evening.

Oh, sorry I forgot. On your way home from the office you stopped at the supermarket to get some basics like milk and bread, and as you were so hungry everything looked soo delicious and you ended up buying glazed donuts, an over sized  fridge-pack coke, a couple of candy bars and some bags of snacks. Can’t run out of these at home, right? One and a half of the candy bars got eaten when you got stuck in the traffic jam.

Plan when to shop and what to eat

You must begin to plan your meals more carefully. A steady breakfast is a must, and a healthy snack after 3 hours so that you aren’t starved at lunchtime. A breakfast containing lots of protein keeps you full for a long time. Another snack in the afternoon will keep your energy level up and fit for fight. In between meals and snacks – drink lots of water. Start bringing home made food (leftovers) for lunch, and prepare snacks in the morning so you don’t have to go with what the vending machines offers. You will save lots and lots of money if you start eating lunch that you bring with you, and you will have total control of what’s in it.

Plan your food shopping carefully and try to buy more on fewer occasions. Be sure to always have a wide range of healthy food in your fridge and freezer.

Do not go long periods without eating. You may get very hungry eventually and do something irrational like grabbing for a candy bar. You should eat every third hour, but smaller portions than you eat now.

Hide and seek

Another pitfall is food with hidden sugars, carbs (wheat and starches). It’s time to start looking at the nutrition facts. Look for the amount of carbohydrates per 100g (preferably not more than 10g carbs/100g), and look if some kind of sugar is one of the first ingredients. Don’t think that fat in products will make you fat. That is a misconception that has been told to us way too long. What you should avoid is low fat products, where the fat has been replaced with thickeners, chemicals and sweeteners to make them look, feel and taste as good as the original. Nasty.

You’re stressed out and don’t have time

Stress is something that can be good for us. A little positive stress for a short period of time gets us focused and energized, able to do lots of work in a short period of time while feeling that we are in a flow. Everything seems to work like a clock.

However the most of the time is stress something very negative. It gets you in a bad mood, makes you be a person you don’t want to be – short-tempered, introvert, hot-headed and downright unpleasant. The most of us has a lot of pressure on us when it comes to work, family life, financial situation, worries and fears about the future. To be stressed for a long time, to have chronic stress,  is not healthy at all. The levels of the “stress hormone” Cortisol is constantly raised and this has bad impact on the blood sugar balance, blood pressure, immunity, muscle mass and bone density. Stress makes you crave more fatty, salty and sugary food and at the same time it slows down the metabolism which makes you put on weight, preferably abdominal fat (yes, that dangerous fat around your waistline). Excess of nervous energy can cause you to eat more than you normally would.

Yet another TV-dinner

Yes! You would like to exercise more, but you can’t find the time! Your work is so demanding, you spend far too much time in the car back and forth to work and the traffic jams are killing you. When you finally get home, you don’t have the energy to do much more than to heat up another TV-dinner or pick something up from around the corner. You don’t feel you have the time to make nutritious food to bring with you to work and this makes you go for the usual fast food when lunch time comes the following day.

You have to learn to plan more! Manage your time. Every person on the planet has the same amount of time. 24 hours per day, no more, no less. The difference between the most of the people and the people we call successful is that they have learned time management in perfection. They have learned to prioritize and focus.

You say you don’t have the time?

The most of us have more available time than we actually think. Can’t you spare 15-30 minutes a day for exercise at least? How much time do you spend in front of the TV each day? A good pulse-pounding interval exercise session in the house, apartment or the garage every day will give good results and doesn’t have to take that much time. After a while you will have much more energy and will be able to stay up late in the evening without feeling tired. Could that extra time in the evening be a good time for you to prepare a healthy lunch and dinner for the next day and after that write down a priority ordered list of things to do the next day? You will fall asleep faster, have a good nights sleep and wake up refreshed. Maybe you could get up 30 minutes earlier to be well on your way to work before all the other commuters jams the roads and highways.

You will be able to get more out of your day with a little planning and some ingenuity. You will find time to do the most important things, feel more harmonious. Don’t forget to deep-breathe whenever you feel that the stress level is raising.

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Problems you encounter when trying to lose weight

Dont close your eyes to avoid the problems

The steps you have to take towards weight loss is actually easy to do. But they are also easy NOT to do. That’s the reason “successful people” are successful and the rest is not. They know that it takes hard work, persistence, passion, resolve and energy to take the necessary steps.

You may be super charged in the beginning and ready to take the world by storm, but it’s gonna come up things that will make it harder for you to succeed.

No support from people around you

People around you may not always be that supportive, especially if they see that you have a goal that you are working to achieve, and they don’t. Some people don’t want you to succeed as it makes them look bad. Maybe they are struggling with their weight themselves and if you start losing weight and they don’t, it’s hurtful for them as they feel like losers. Other people will make fun of you, or just being negative.

Gain respect

If your family still eats the same old junky food and never consider that you are having a hard time not to be defeated by the temptation, it’s gonna be hard for you. In the beginning it may not be so funny being the only one eating carrots when the others are feasting on chips and chocolate. Maybe they don’t mean any harm, but they don’t support you the way they should. You should tell them and show them that you are really serious about reaching your goal. This will hopefully make them show more respect and even be influenced by you in a good way.

Your friends thinks you’re boring and tries to talk you into another evening of watching TV, eating snacks and drinking beer. Maybe it’s time to team up with someone that think like you?

Hard to stay away from the goodies

Cravings is another thing that you will probably encounter as your new lifestyle will include abstaining things that you love to eat. It’s best to get rid of this stuff in order to minimize your exposure to it. Cravings can be really mean. For me it works quite well to think about and visualize how I will feel afterwards if I give in and eat for instance a big piece of cake. To go for a walk or exercise can really help to suppress cravings, as well as taking a really hot shower.

When it comes to these food and sweets cravings you should try to get out of the line of fire so to speak. Putting yourself in situations where you have to test your mental strength should be avoided. Go with friends or the kids to a fast food restaurant may result in you eating more than everybody else, even if you said yourself you were going to have just a salad. Having lots of sweets, soft drinks, ice cream, cakes and pastries at home will make it a hard time for you too so get rid of these products asap.

Cravings for sugar and wheat are common as these things are highly addictive. It’s almost like drugs. If you are used to get lots of sugar every day it may be hard to stop eating sweets, but cutting the sugar out of your diet is something you should try to do. Same goes with wheat that contains an appetite stimulating protein that makes you wanna have more of it. Nasty.

Even if it can be very hard to stop eating sugary things, you will find that your cravings decreases more and more the longer you refrain from them. The best way is to go cold turkey but that will take a lot of will power. When the craving for something sweet gets to intense, try to satisfy your sweet tooth with just a little bit of a “good quality sugar source” like a piece of 70% (or more) dark chocolate, and eat it slowly, enjoying every single bit of it. A sweet fruit may work as well. If you have a habit of eating something sweet after the dinner, maybe you should try to adapt the new habit of taking a 10-15 minute walk instead. Mint is known to decrease your cravings. Chewing on a chewing gum, fresh mint leaves or brushing your teeth might work for you.

Cravings for something sweet can be a sign of hunger, so maybe you should grab something to eat. Real food that is. Never go around hungry.

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