Everyone loves simplicity. In fact, it’s one of the main mantras I use for this website. KISS or Keep It Simple Silly. When something is simple it’s typically easier to follow and stay on track, especially when it comes to dieting. Losing your gut not only depends on a diet but also how active you are. These two factors will make all the difference in the world. The main premise of this article will focus on the dieting aspect. If you are interested in workout routines I suggest checking out my Workouts Page.
If you’ve already read my 4-week diet plan then consider this an adjunct. There are a few interesting extras here that can help you lose weight and keep it off. But, if you are really needing to drop some pounds quickly check out the 4-week diet plan. This diet combined with a quality workout routine will work wonders for your physique.
If you are simply looking for some healthy eating tips and ways to lose some pounds then read on!
Simple guidelines for simple eating
Cut out added sugars. Sugar is everywhere! From your morning latte to your afternoon yogurt snack. It’s nearly impossible to find foods without it unless you know where to look. Here’s a hint, try avoiding the center aisles in the grocery store. Stay around the perimeters where you will find the fruits, veggies, and lean meats. I don’t mean the deli meats either, even those can contain added sugars. Fruit is OK because the large amounts of fiber slow the digestion of the fructose sugar found in fruit. By simply avoiding sugar-laden products you will instantly clean up your diet by avoiding processed chemical laden foods. You’ll soon realize eating a clean natural diet is a major theme here.
Cut out starches. A quick lesson in human evolution. Let’s say the entire existence of mankind is the length of a football field, all 100 yards of it. For 99 of those yards, we have been hunter-gathers eating mostly lean proteins, veggies, and fruit (if we could beat the monkeys to them). It wasn’t until the last yard line did we become an agricultural-based civilization. What’s more is as the agricultural boom started to take a foothold so did a number of other ailments plaguing mankind. Cavities, low bone density, and even Alzheimer all started to increase about the same time we started harvesting grains.
Now, there’s no way to know for sure the cause and effect relationship between the two but it’s certainly something to chew on. One thing that is for certain is research has shown that cutting back on carbs is a sure way to lose fat. Too much starch in the blood stream quickly turns into fat. This is our body’s way of storing energy for lean times. By simply cutting back on starches we can keep our blood sugar levels normal and our waist slim.
Focus on three key food groups
Protein: this one’s a no-brainer. Protein is essential to life. By eating high-quality meat-based proteins we give our bodies the three Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) responsible for growth and muscle repair. You can find the BCAAs in plant-based products, but you typically have to combine two or more of them to get all three. As stated above avoid processed protein products like hot dogs, deli meat, and bacon. Yep, sorry bacon lovers the packaged stuff typically comes laden with preservatives, sugar, and lord knows what else. By the way, did I mention it’s OK to cheat every once in awhile?
Fruits and Veggies: Put down the multi-vitamin and eat an apple! Raw fruits and veggies are a fantastic healthy way to fill your belly and your grocery cart. Ever see one hundred calories of sugar next to one hundred calories of veggies? it takes only six teaspoons of sugar to equal 100 calories. It takes 48 grape tomatoes to equal 100 calories! Talk about an eye opener. I dare anyone to try and get fat on fruits and veggies alone!
Fats: Yup, you heard that right. Fats are a fantastic way to fill up without filling out. Don’t believe me? Research shows a diet that is 60% calories from fat is just as effective as one that is only 20% at reducing the risk of heart disease. This works by filling you up faster requiring fewer calories overall. There is one caveat If you haven’t cut out that added sugars than, well, this certainly won’t do anything to help. But if you are cutting out the sugar and starches don’t hesitate to reach for quality fats derived from nature. Avocados, olive oil, coconuts, and even butter are all great sources of fat.
Foods you should eat more of:
Pork: Delicious and nutritious, pork contains many important vitamins and minerals essential to life. Grilled or pan fried with butter this is a great source of protein!
Mushrooms: Adding great flavor and a meat like consistency mushrooms are also considered to boost your immune system.
Peppers: Capsicum giving peppers their heat is a renowned super food. Some research has even shown it to kill cancer cells. Not to mention consuming capsicum before a meal has been shown to reduce overall calorie intake.
Dark Meat: Chicken thighs are not only juicier and taste better they may actually be better for you. With higher amounts of vitamins and minerals, the extra fat will also help you feel full longer.
Butter: If you can get it go with all natural grass-fed butter. A dab of butter only contains about 35 calories and helps the body absorb key vitamins and minerals.
Sour cream: Another great flavor booster you’ve been told to steer clear of. This is a great way to add flavor to without adding too many calories.
Coconuts: Coconut oil has the highest amount of saturated fat when compared to all other oils. So, why is it on this list? The saturated fat in coconut will increase your LDL cholesterol (bad) but it will increase your HDL cholesterol (good) even more. This means it will decrease your overall chance of heart disease. Not to mention coconut water is extremely good for you.
Eggs: Eggs are good for you!… no, wait, eggs are bad… OK, nope, it’s final eggs are good for you! It seems every five years or so there’s a flip-flop on this one, but I think science is finally at a place now where a solid decision has been made. Research is now actually showing eating an egg at breakfast may reduce the overall number of calories you consume the rest of the day. This is when compared to a group consuming the same number of calories in a bagel. These findings are based out of research done at Saint Louis University.
“Health Foods” that aren’t healthy
Yogurt-fruit cups: Talk about a sugar bomb. these are typically lurking right next to the no-sugar natural versions and can be easy to grab if you aren’t paying attention. What worse is some of them are labeled as light and contain a sugar/aspartame mix. Reach for the good old fashion non-sweetened version and add your own fruit.
Baked beans: Beans are pretty healthy but the canned version you typically see at your weekend barbecue isn’t. The sauce is essentially a syrupy concoction that’ll send your blood sugar levels sky high. Typically the fiber from the beans will help offset the effects of the sugar but in this case there is way to much sugar to fiber content.
Sushi: Another one you might be surprised to see. The fish is OK, it’s the rice you should worry about. White rice, although gluten free, digests almost as quickly as sugar. This causes a spike in blood sugar levels followed by a crash. Ever wonder why after eating sushi 30 mins later your heading to the fridge for a snack? The lack of fat from the fish combined with the sugar crash causes the feeling of being satiated to quickly fade.
Reduced-fat peanut butter: Another product laden with hidden sugars. What’s worse is this one is hiding a secret. It usually contains confectioners sugar. That’s the same stuff used to make cake icing. So, next time you think you’re doing the kids a favor giving them the reduced fat stuff think again. For a healthy alternative try almond butter, sunflower seed butter, or sesame seed butter. Mixing any of the three is also delicious!
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