Updated May 22, 2008: When it comes to diet and nutrition, there is so much conflicting information staring us in the face on a daily basis. Every magazine has a different diet, a new ‘quick and easy’ way to achieve the body you have always wanted. Most of us have tried some of them, in fact, many of us may have tried them ALL!! The results are usually the same – we lose weight, but we fall off the wagon when we “finish” the diet and go back to eating “normally”.
Here are some simple tips for fat loss and increasing your energy levels:
- Eat more protein. Women in particular, do not eat enough protein. We need to ingest protein consistently throughout the course of a day. Many women will start the day with orange juice, a bowl of low fat cereal, skim milk, and fruit, believing this to be a healthy breakfast and good for fat loss. If you are a marathon runner, maybe!! It’s low fat, but it’s full of sugar, and as you will see below, sugar, not fat, is the enemy when it comes to fat loss! Eat more protein – tuna, egg whites, whey protein, chicken, lean beef, cottage cheese etc.
- Low fat diets do not work – mainly because the fat that is removed is replaced with sugar.
- Sugar is the ENEMY!! Sugar increases our blood sugar levels rapidly, causing the hormone insulin to be released to subsequently lower the blood sugar level again. Increased insulin levels are a pre-cursor for fat storage. This rise and fall in our blood sugar level is also responsible for our energy levels, our cravings and often our moods. We do need carbohydrates for energy, we couldn’t function properly without them, however, certain forms of carbohydrate are a better choice than others. Choose complex carbohydrates (oats, rice, sweet potatoes) over simple ones (sugar, honey, dried fruit). Some carbohydrates raise our blood sugar faster (high Glycemic Index (GI)) than others (low Glycemic Index), so choose low GI (ie sweet potato) over high GI carbohydrates (white potato) where possible.
- Eat 5-6 small balanced (protein/carbohydrate) meals, evenly spaced throughout the day. This keeps the metabolism firing and your body burning fat.
- Drink at least 3 litres of water every day.
- Watch your portion sizes! Fact is, people gain weight because they eat too much. Yes, it’s often that simple!