Weight Loss Tips for Dummies
Last night I was at Safeway getting groceries and right behind me in the line-up was a man in a suit and tie who was quite overweight and was huffing and puffing carrying his cart of food. It was sad to see and I had to look at the items he was putting on the conveyor belt – chips, potato salad, hot dogs, coca cola, and a bag of frozen perogies. As I was leaving the cashier asked him how he was and he said tired and couldn’t wait to get home. It was 9pm so I wasn’t surprised, and I just wanted to reach out, shake him and give him a pep talk, specifically “do you know how much better you’d feel if you had a healthy diet full of lean meats, fruits and veggies?”.
But alas, I didn’t, I just carried my bags out of the grocery store feeling like I wanted to help more people. I hope this blog is doing that, scratch that… In fact, I know it is helping people as I get a ton of positive feedback all the time and it’s what keeps me writing. Please help me and share this site with your friends and family so we can keep others motivated and on a healthy track, in the end it will benefit us all (if you don’t believe me look at the health care crisis in America).
Nevertheless, let’s roll up our sleeves and get into the meat of this article, I think you’ll get a kick out of it.
P.S. although the title of this article says it’s for dummies I know you’re not, but there are times when our stomach takes over our brain and makes us act like we are – and yes that definitely includes me!!!
To keep this brief I’m going to split this article into two parts, the first one is about Diet and the 2nd one will be about Exercise.[ad#ad-2]
Fat – High Fat Intake vs Low Fat Intake
Most North American diets are quite high in fat intake, and this is especially noticeable with people who eat out all the time. Restaurants love to add oils and butter and use fatty cuts of meat because they simply taste better. Fat’s smooth and often creamy texture is especially desirable and is a large culprit in almost any pastry.
So what do we do? Do we cut out all these foods and stick to dry low-fat options? On the contrary, we take a smarter approach! We have one or two cheat days a week where we take real pleasure with this indulgence. I bet that you will enjoy these foods much more if you cut it down to once or twice a week.
We also cut our uncontrollable craving in half by making sure we are always well hydrated and are aiming for 5 small meals a day. This simple technique will ensure that you keep total control of your health so be proactive about it.
How low do we want to go with our fat intake? Some people overdo this and eliminate almost all the fat in their diets, but this has negative effects. Fat is a critical component of providing essential building blocks for the cells in your body. Fat also helps carry a number of important vitamins (A,K,D, E) and contains essential fatty acids such as Omega 6 which provide the the support system for natural growth of your body, and maintain healthy skin and immune and reproduction system as well as support for brain and visual system function.
A general consensus by physicians is that we should keep fat intake to about 30% of our total daily calories. This roughly equates to about 30-50 grams of fat for most of us depending on your body weight and level of physical activity (but don’t get caught up in the numbers!).
Carbohydrates – High Intake vs Low Intake
We’ve heard them all, low carb diets, high carb diets, and on and on. I could bore you with the details but instead a rule of thumb…if you’re getting about 80-90% of your carbs from veggies, fruit, beans, legumes and whole grain products then you are GOLD!
Take this to the next level by making sure your carbohydrates are emphasized in the first half of your day and especially before you workout. This will keep your energy levels high and reduce the amount that your body stores as fat as you sleep.
Again ideally your carbohydrates should be about 30% of your total calorie intake. For a 2,000 calorie diet this is about 250 grams (focus on how good you feel when you eat healthy carbs rather than the numbers, this is proven to give you more success with maintaining your weight loss efforts).
Protein – High Intake vs Low Intake
Most North Americans don’t get enough high quality protein in their diets. If you’re a vegetarian you have to be especially careful with this because veggies and beans/legumes don’t always contain all the essential amino acids your body needs to function at it’s best (speak with a registered dietitian or your physician to make sure you are giving your body what it needs). Ideally, you want to stick with beans/legumes, seafood, skinless chicken and extra lean beef.
If you’re training with weights a little higher than average amount of protein intake is especially beneficial to helping your muscles recover and grow.
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This concludes the diet portion of your Weight Loss Tips for Dummies. If you have any questions leave a comment below and remember any question about this articles goes!