After all the Christmas excess and with New Year's resolutions it's not surprising that we all want to get in shape. And Sweaty Betty Fit 4 Free campaign is here to help you to stick to your programme and goals. When making a new start - meaning ditching all your old bad eating habits- the temptation is to embark on the latest fad diet which often means restricting what you eat. This may well bring dramatic weight loss initially but as soon as you come off the diet the chances are the weight will pile back on again. Successful weight loss should be achieved by a balanced diet combined with exercise. Healthy eating is for life, not just for one or two months. A quick- fix solution isn't going to work in the long-term.
Here are some basics:
1. Eat 5-6 times a day: 3 meals and 2-3 snacks- Rather than eating three square meals , split them into six smaller ones. Research shows that each time we eat, our metabolic rate increases by approximately ten per cent for ashort while , which ultimately burns fat.
2.Eat protein at each meal - One of the biggest reason why protein plays a big role in your supportive eating is because protein does not spike your sugar level up. The more blood sugar is steady, the more fat your body can release to be utilized as energy. Your body also uses 20 to 30 per cent more energy to digest protein than any other nutrient and elevates your metabolic rate. Each day you need to consume around 1.6g of protein per kilogram of your bodyweight. Here are the top sources of high quality lean protein: Eggs, lean skinless chicken and turkey, wild salmon, lean beef, tuna, sardines, cottage cheese, beans , nuts, legumes, tofu.
3. Avoid processed foods and fast foods - Processed and fast foods contain large amounts of salt and it's bad news for your abs because where salt goes, water follows. Excess salt can make you a kilogram heavier because your body holds on to thhe extra water to dilute it, so read labels carefully. We only need six grams of sodium per day.
4. Get your daily Fiber- Insoluble fiber helps move the food faster through the stomach and intestines to prevent constipation. Soluble fiber (ex. plain oatmeal) absorbs water making you feel fuller for a longer time. It is recommended to consume about 25-35 grams of fiber per day. Foods high in Fiber: broccoli, spinach, yellow and red peppers, cauliflower, kale, sweet potatoes, brown rice, plain oatmeal, tomatoes , berries, bananas, legumes, beans.
5. Watch your portions
6. Drink lots of water - Many times our brain mistakes thirst for hunger. Making yourself drink a glass of water when you feel a hunger craving, will help you confirm whether you are hungry or just thirsty. Water also helps you lose fat!!! It's true, keeping hydrated increases your ability to transform calories to energy that can be burned during exercise.
7. Take on quality carbs - Carbohydrates aren't the devil, especially carbs with low glycaemix index (GI) score such as brown rice, porridge oats and wholemeal bread. A lower glycemic index indicates slower rates of digestion and absorptions of the sugars and starches in the foods. A lower glycemic response is often thought to equate to a better long-term blood glucose control. Low GI foods keep your blood sugar from spiking because of the slower rate of digestion. Good Foods GI = 0-50. Without carbohydrates you'll find it hard to lose fat and build muscle, because carbs are essential in keeping your body's levels of glycogen- which provides energy- topped up. It's simple: if your glycogen levels drop, your body will start burning protein, which you need for muscle.
8. Eat slowly - it takes 20 minutes for your brain to register that you are full.
Combine healthy eating with interval training to see amazing results. A study by Laval University, Canada showed men who endured 15 weeks of interval training lost nine times more subcutaneous fat than men who did 20 weeks of steady -state endurance training. For tips on interval training please check my older post and for some tips from Yolanda please sign up for Fit 4 Free. Good luck Betties.