Most weight loss diets are unsustainable and only offer short term results. A perfect example of this would be the original Atkins diet. It needed the users to stick to a weight loss meal plan that mainly consisted of fatty red meats. It also included little to know carbs at all, which was incredibly unhealthy, especially if living an active lifestyle. So when we do look to lose weight we need to think of a diet as a lifestyle change, instead of a quick fix.
So in this lifestyle change we need to also look at burning more calories through increased exercise. This should really be active functional training (Exercise that improves our daily living) like simply going for a walk / jog, taking classes or going to the gym and cross training (mixed weight and cardio session). But if this isn't possible or you don't like the idea of training then just look at trying to increase your activity levels throughout each day eg walking, dancing, swimming etc.
Now let's get down to the main reason your reading this article … the weight loss basics that will shed the pounds and keep them off!
When looking at eating to lose weight we just need to establish first what it is that puts on the majority of everyone's weight, Carbohydrates. It isn't actually fat like most people assume. Fat is important to our development and living especially if you choose to train with weights to help your weight loss. This obviously doesn't mean fat is your friend, just keep it to a minimum.
Carbohydrates are the main issue with the modern day eating habit; You need to learn the two different types and when to eat them. Carbohydrates can be split into two groups Complex and simple carbs.
· Complex carbohydrates: Foods that provide your body with a steady slow release of energy. Can be found in food like bread, rice, pasta, potato.
Simple Carbohydrates: Food that releases a quick source of energy like fruit, vegetables, salad.
The key to using carbohydrates in weight loss is eating the right types at the right time. Below is a list of complex carbs you should eat. You will probably notice that bread and pasta is not there. As a rule don't eat any carbohydrates that we have added things to (White rice) or created (Bread, pasta). So go all natural!
Simple carbohydrates can be eaten all the time, but again only if naturally produced like fruit, vegetables and salad. This eliminates things like chocolates, sweets and condiments. Listed below are some of the simple carbs (apologies for not listing exactly).
* Enhance your weight loss: Eating simple carbs that are the color green you will actually help alkali your body making it more efficient and thus creating a fat burning machine. If you would like to know more look to the "Alkali Diet".
Root vegetables (Apart from white vegetable like potato or parsnip).
Fruit (Be aware Avocados have an extremely high fat content)
Protein is used to build and repair your body, so if you're training ensure you eat enough protein for that athletic physique. As well as protein aiding your recovery, it also helps those hunger pangs without adding excess fat (as long as its lean protein). Protein comes in many different forms; just make sure that you eat a variation and that the cuts of meat are lean. The list below can be eaten whenever you want so should make up the majority of your diet.
Lean chicken breast
Eggs (Mainly whites)
Vegetable protein foods such as Quorn or veggie mince. (vegetarian products)
Other proteins such source like red meat (lamb, steak etc.) and pork tend to be very fatty unless you buy expensive cuts. For this reason try and make sure that you have a minimal amount; around once per week and that you trim the fat off before cooking.
Important rules for losing weight
* Eat 4 – 5 small meals, evenly spread throughout the day.
* Stick to carbohydrates straight from nature's back yard.
* Only eat meat if you can see where it's come from. Eg Can you obviously see what the cut of meat is and if it used to fly, swim or run? Don't eat processed meat.
* Choose a high in fiber breakfast – porridge, Weetabix, Branflakes (this will hold your hunger for longer, providing you with a slow release of energy)
* Snack healthy: Eat beans, nuts, fruit and seeds. These have vital fats, vitamins, minerals and proteins used for recovery and sustaining health.
* Plan and cook your meals the night before and if you do get stuck think simple eg low fat cottage cheese on Ryvita or rice cake. Look through our recipes for help.
* Have one treat per week, TO KEEP YOU SANE. Probably one of the most important points, too many people try to cut too much out too fast and this is why they fail. Enjoy your food!
* Reduce alcohol intake.
* Replace fizzy drinks with fruit juice, cordial, water. You should be drinking 3 – 4 liters of fluids a day.
* Swap whole milk for semi-skimmed, or semi-skimmed to skimmed.
* Stop taking sugar in tea and coffee.
* Supplementing your diet with health products: This can be done as a healthy option and woman should especially look at what supplements they are taking due to their hormone balance. Herbalife products provide a great range of meal replacements. Herbalife is 100% natural, so woman especially can count it as a safe, healthy route to aid weight loss.
* Myth: eating before bed is bad
Reason: Your body still needs calories (nutrients) while sleeping so don't be afraid to fit your meal in or a quick snack. Don't starve your body just because its bedtime. The key is to stick to Vegetables and proteins after 5PM / 6PM.
Weight loss steps in order of effectiveness
1. For the biggest result in fat reduction cut out the complex carbohydrates completely and have a shake like Herbalife Formula 1 for breakfast or one of the listed above. This is an extreme and you must ensure that you eat as much vegetables and fruit as possible. Once the weight is lost you should start trying to introduce the carbs back steadily.
2. Reduce complex carbs through the day. By the end of the day you should really be only eating salad and vegetables, with a portion of protein. You can think of this as a sliding scale. In the morning you are eating natural complex carbs (Porridge), from that point you need to steadilly reduce the complex carbs with each meal. The complex carbs should be completely replaced with natural simple carb by around 17:00. The idea is to start the day with the same breakfast listed above (Point 1.), but then to just slowly reduce and remove.
3. This is by far the easiest and is mainly used for people who really struggle with their food and eating correctly. Simply make one change to your diet per week. Examples below.
Reduce alcohol intake
Stop drinking full fat milk
Eat 5 small meals a day
Drink more water
This is by far the slowest way to remove excessive fat, but is by far the easiest. The steady changes to your diet shouldn't make a huge impact on you but will make you start to lose weight due to the reduced calories and get you on the way to living a healthy lifestyle.