Nutrition Tips to Improve Fat Loss
Incorporating these fat loss tips will improve your nutrition program. Start off slowly and add one a week, you don’t have to adopt all of them at once. Before long, you’ve cleaned up your nutrition program and on your way to reaching your goal. Trendy diets, fads and the infomercial product of the month, are not going to help you reach your weight loss goals. A well-thought-out nutrition and exercise program will.
Proven time and again, those who eat breakfast are more successful at controlling their weight than those that don’t. Plus, when doing strength training exercises (and you know you should be), it’s even more important to make certain you fuel those muscles after an overnight fast. The perfect time for burning fat because glycogen, blood glucose and insulin levels are all low.
Unfortunately, it may also be perfect for burning muscle, because glycogen levels are low, and levels of the catabolic stress hormone cortisol are high. If you skip breakfast and eat lunch at noon, you’re not only in a highly catabolic (muscle-wasting) state, but you’re also sending an unmistakable starvation signal to your body.
Eat less sugar
Start reading labels! Sugar is hidden in almost every commercial food item. A single tablespoon of ketchup gets 3 of its 4 grams of carbs from sugar. A 12 oz can of cola has a staggering 40 grams of sugar, and ALL of the carbs in a cola are sugar! Why does that matter?
Simple sugars are digested very quickly and cause a rapid spike in blood sugar. Your body then releases large amounts of insulin. Insulin quickly clears the glucose from the bloodstream leading to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia.) Low blood sugar causes cravings, hunger, weakness, mood swings and decreased energy. These cravings for sugar result in a vicious cycle of ups and downs in blood sugar levels throughout the day.
Eat More Often
Studies have shown that those who eat 4-6 smaller meals per day have less body fat than those eating 2-3 meals a day, even if both groups eat about the same number of calories. This is because of maintaining steady blood sugar levels. Too much insulin activates fat storage enzymes and forces fat in the bloodstream into fat cells for storage.
High insulin levels also inhibit enzymes that promote the breakdown of existing stored body fat. You can manage your blood sugar and insulin levels by choosing fewer simple carbohydrates, more complex carbohydrates, eating fiber and having your carbohydrates with lean proteins approximately every three hours.
Be sure to include enough protein for your level of activity (you are exercising…right?)
Protein speeds up your metabolism because your body has to work harder to digest, process, and utilize it compared to fats or carbs.
The “thermic” effect of protein is one of the reasons that a higher protein diet is more effective for fat loss than a diet high in fat or carbs. Too much of any food can be stored as body fat, but protein is less likely to be converted to fat than any other nutrient.
Eat nothing from a box
The closer your food is to nature the better off you are. Have you looked at the ingredients list in most packaged food these days? You need to be a scientist to figure out what half the ingredients are. Stick to real, wholesome foods, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, etc.
Eat your vegetables
I don’t mean fast food french fries. Try to get as many vegetable servings into your meals as you can. It’s nearly impossible to over eat vegetables. They are full of fiber and will help keep you full between meals. They also contain loads of antioxidants. Raw is great, steamed is another good way to have them. Hold the heavy cheese sauces please!
Eat protein and carbs together
If you want to keep your blood sugar in check, then don’t eat your carbs by themselves. Strive to always have balanced meals of protein, carbs and healthy fats. You’ll feel better and your muscles will thank you.
Prepare your own food
Best for several reasons…It’s cheaper than eating out, you know exactly what you are eating, and it saves time. It takes no more time to cook up 6 healthy chicken breasts than it does to cook one or two. Make things easy. Prepare them over the weekend and your lunches for the next few days are done. While you are at it, put on a pot of brown or wild rice, or bake up some sweet potatoes and you’re good to go.
LOTS! Most people are already dehydrated. Strive to drink a gallon a day. If you drink a lot of coffee, then you need an extra 8 oz for each cup of coffee. Exercise will put more demands on your fluid levels. You need water. Drink 50-75% of your body weight in ounces of water. Add an additional 16 oz for strenuous exercise. No complaining!
Get more exercise
Get some exercise on most days of the week, and alternate between strength training exercises and cardio training. If you are a beginner, shoot for two weight workouts a week and progress to 3 or more depending upon your goals. Get in as many cardio sessions as your schedule will allow, but aim for at least 3.
Commit to adopting these nutrition program changes and you’ll be well on your way to reaching your weight loss goal, whether it’s ten pounds or many more. Sound nutrition and exercise will always succeed in the long run. Don’t give into the temptation of fads.
The information contained in this article is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended to provide medical advice. If you are sedentary or over 40 please get clearance from a doctor before starting an exercise program.