Believe it or not, food is the difference between a six pack and not!!! High carb, low carb, no carb!!! Where to begin? Let’s first take a look at the difference between general weight loss and nutritional weight loss. A good friend of mine lost two stone by eating light pasta each evening and not eating a huge amount of protein and veggies!! She won the ‘calories in’ v. ‘calories out’ war!! It’s a simple equation that works, you burn off more than you consume. Let’s call it the French Connection of weight loss. But what if you lose the same amount of weight, by eating foods that are fabulous for you? We’re talking lean meat and fish, tons of veggies, and some fruit! You can lose the same amount of weight but feel amazing. So why go for French Connection when you can have Valentino! You look good and feel fabulous with clearer skin and a brighter mind!!
Some simple food rules to follow:
1. Eat plenty of lean meat and fish, vegetables and some fruit. Going crazy on smoothies because it is fruit and therefore good for you is a little trap that many people can get themselves into. Your body recognizes fruit as sugar, and in excess it will be stored as fat. Tropical fruits are the worst offenders in this department. Stick to antioxidant packed, low in sugar, berries instead! With veg the more colourful the better. The Queens of vegetables are broccoli and spinach, a girl can never eat too much!
2. Ensure you get enough protein. Protein contains amino acids which are the building blocks of our physical structure. Also digesting protein requires a lot of energy in the breaking down process and so in fact burns extra calories while you eat! Protein also reduces the rate of sugar absorption into the blood stream from carbohydrates, reducing excess fat storage. Hoorah!!
3. Make friends with fat. Again the old food pyramid had us believe that fat was bad. And more recently we have come to discover that eating the right kind of fat (particularly omega 3s) can help us shift the bad fat. Not to mention the daily oiling it gives to our joints.
4. Eat breakfast. This gets your metabolism going at the start of the day and you are more awake as a result.
5. Follow the 80/20 rule. A restrictive diet is no fun for anyone. But if you eat right 80% of the time and relax for 20% of the time you’ll be doing good! This means that if you have 35 meals per week (breakfast, lunch, dinner and 2 snacks per day) – you can have 3 meals and 4 snacks that are a little more relaxed. Of course if you err on the side of virtue, you can follow the 90/10 rule!
6. Drink 1.5-2 litres of water per day. Since we are made up of 70% water, it’s pretty important to drink it in order to aid proper function. Of course if you are getting your fill of fruit and vegetables then you are naturally increasing your water intake and so don’t have to guzzle litres in order to fill your daily quota.
7. Don’t obsess over calories. A 500 calorie burger, is less healthy for you than 1,000 calories of fresh veggies. Count your nutrients, not your calories.