In part one you learned the importance of adding in exercise for successful weight loss. Today, I will share with you the strategy of eating a nutritional, healthy, well-balanced diet for successful weight loss. Each strategy will work on its own to help you lose weight, however if you want to increase your weight loss and efficiently live a healthy lifestyle you need to use both strategies.
Let’s continue on with step 2:
Step 2 – Eat a Nutritional, Healthy, Well-Balanced Diet
You knew this was coming.
You have that voice on the inside that keeps telling you to eat healthier. Listen to it, it knows what it is saying.
I know. I know. It is much easier said than done.
Your body uses energy every day, and just as a car uses fuel to supply that energy so does your body. When it comes to food, you need to begin thinking of food as fuel for your body.
Eating a variety of delicious and nutritious foods will allow you to super charge your body and give it all the energy it needs. As a side effect, you will begin to lose more weight because your body is able to efficiently burn the fat. Who doesn’t want that?
There is no way to emphasize enough how important breakfast is; you need to begin every day with a good, balanced breakfast.
Most people have a horrible habit of skipping breakfast. They may either be too busy, be running late, or not feel awake enough to eat.
…I am just going to outright say that, I do not care what your excuse is! That is all it is…an excuse.
***My high school coach always told us there are excuses and reason for not showing up to practice. Most of the time they are just excuses, since you don’t have a reason then you better be at practice or you don’t play in the game. I feel that this truly holds true with any goal you have set for yourself. If you do not show up to do the work, you are not going to achieve your goal.
You need to eat breakfast every day if you want to successfully and healthily lose weight. When you skip breakfast, all you do is deprive your body of the nutritional fuel that it needs.
Think about it this way…
When your body doesn’t eat for an extended period of time, it goes into starvation mode. In this mode your body stores all the excess fuel it can (as fat). You are already depriving your body of food when you sleep at night. Then, when you skip breakfast, you are depriving it even more. At this point your body is going to feel that you are not going to give it any more fuel to use so instead of burning the excess fat, it is going to store it.
When your body believes that it isn’t going to get any more fuel it will start using as little energy as possible (this is what is known as a slowing metabolism) and begin to take the energy it needs from your muscle stores. Now you have a double whammy, you are losing muscle and you are gaining fat.
So what can you do?
There are two easy ways you can begin training your body to believe it is going to get the fuel in the mornings. I know it can be difficult to eat a full breakfast when you are not used to eating one at all, so begin with simple steps. You can eat a high protein bar or a smoothie with protein.
Personally, on my busy days I enjoy smoothies. I can put veggies, fruits, and protein in them and have a well-balanced breakfast in a very short amount of time. The 7 Day Meal Plan has several more easy breakfast ideas.
Eating 3 main meals and 2-3 snacks a day is highly recommended for successful weight loss. Eating every three to four hours will give your body continual fuel, nutrients, and energy. Plus, it will keep you from that stomach-growling-starving feeling. You will be more alert and productive throughout your day as well.
I always recommend that you include a protein with each meal to help prevent that crash that normally occurs during the middle of the day. A few good snacks could be a hardboiled egg and fresh veggies, almond butter and crackers, or a piece of fruit and a handful of almonds. You can also find more snack ideas in the 7 Day Meal Plan.
Be sure that you eat an afternoon snack because that stretch from lunch to supper can be quite long. A helpful tip is to time your snacks half way between your meals.
You may notice that I added in a third snack to the mix. This is for those of you who eat supper around 5 or 6pm and do not go to bed until 10 or 11pm. Your body will be hungry again before bed. At this night time snack, you should avoid heavy carbs such as breads because they digest differently than other foods and may give you an upset stomach when you lie down.
Lunch is the perfect time to mix things up and try new foods. Including the variety will help you increase your weight loss because your body will be receiving a variety of nutrients.
Being on a healthy “diet” for weight loss does not mean that you have to sacrifice good food or eat the same boring thing day after day. You want to strengthen your body with the nutritional benefits of all foods. Lean proteins such as salmon, turkey, and beans are great ways to add healthy protein to your meals.
At the times when you choose to eat salads, make them interesting. Include a lean protein, some vegetables and lots of green leafy vegetables. (Make your salads colorful and nutrient dense.) One of the best things about green vegetables is that you can eat as many as you want without having negative weight consequences and they provide a great amount of much needed nutrients, so pile them on.
***As a side note: iceberg lettuce does not count. It is mostly water and contains very little nutrients. Instead use romaine, spinach, or other lettuce varieties (in this case, red lettuce counts as a green leafy vegetable).
Supper time, or dinner for some of you, is the perfect time to create a variety of hot meals that make perfect leftovers. Batch cooking is a great idea for suppers; make extra and you have lunch for tomorrow.
Make sure you include a lean protein, a healthy carbohydrate, and a vegetable for a balanced meal. As with the others, you can get more ideas in the 7 Day Meal Plan.
There will be times when you cannot eat what you want. At these time, make the best choices possible. For example, when you are out with friends you may be at a restaurant that does not serve very healthy options; it is okay to choose the best option you can. This is also a good opportunity to “treat” yourself, if you want to call it that. Changing the way you eat does not mean you do not ever get to enjoy foods that you love again.
The best way to eat a healthy, well balanced diet is to eat at home, or make your own food. Always take time to compare nutrition labels when purchasing your food to ensure that you get the best nutritional bang for your buck. If you make the choice to eat healthy when at home, when you go out making unhealthier choices will not affect your weight loss as much (unless you eat out every day).
Changing to a healthier diet for weight loss is not about giving up the foods you love. You can still eat chips, ice cream, cheese, cake, and candy bars. Simply be mindful of what you are eating and know that they are not providing any nutritional value; they are only providing taste bud enjoyment.
Remain mindful of the serving sizes that you are eating, no matter where or what you are eating. Create a new habit of eating only one serving at a time. It is okay to go back for seconds, but remember that the first plate is serving sized and the second plate is serving sized or smaller. The same goods for the goodies mentioned earlier; put a serving size into a bowl and eat that. Over time your body will become accustomed to the new serving sizes and you will not need to eat that second helping…all the time.
***Did you know that portion sizes have doubled over the past 50 years? Most portions are now 2 servings.
***One way you can help learn new portion sizes is to use smaller dishes; use the smaller plates and bowls.
Like I had mentioned earlier, you can lose weight using only one of the strategies listed above, however when you use both strategies together you will efficiently lose more weight at a faster pace.
Losing weight is not an easy, overnight thing that you can do. It takes effort and motivation to achieve all of your weight loss goals. Using the rewards of losing weight such as having more energy, being in better overall health, and having a higher self-esteem will help you achieve your goals even faster. Having personalized support, motivation, and guidance is very helpful as well. Schedule your free Get Me Started call today.