Beating the Calories with Wise Dieting
How important is your diet for weight loss?
Your diet is the cornerstone of your quest for weight loss. You should not rely solely on exercise when it comes to torching fat because it is your diet that has the biggest impact on your weight.
Certified fitness trainers, despite the nature of their work, agree that exercise only accounts for 15%-20% of the total effort needed to achieve a weight loss goal. The remaining 80%-85% of the outcome depends on what you eat every day.
Every meal and every snack counts!
A single meal will not make you overweight… But a month’s worth of junk food can affect your weight. There is a significant relationship between what you regularly eat and your present weight trend. There are 3 kinds of weight trends: static or unchanging, upward and downward.
How much weight will drop off when you start eating healthier foods?
Ideally, you should modify your diet so that you are on a consistent downward trend. A total weight loss of 1 pound a week is considered healthy and sustainable.
2 pounds per week is considered the higher average for men and women. If you are already dropping as much as 2 pounds a week, do not be tempted to overdo your dieting and workouts. Too much physical exertion can be bad for you.
However, if you are losing 3 or more pounds a week because of excellent diet choices, you shouldn’t be worried. Just remember to consult with your physician before modifying your diet.
What are the best ways to lose weight through your diet?
1. The Caloric Deficit – Your daily caloric deficit will determine how much weight will come off in a week or month. One pound of body weight is equal to 3,500 calories.
To lose 1 pound per week you need to have a deficit of 500 calories every day. There are 2 ways to produce your daily/weekly calorie deficit goal: through exercise or through dieting.
I highly recommend that you create the deficit by using both weight loss components equally.
Try reducing your daily caloric intake by 250 calories and then work out at home or in the gym to burn off another 250 calories or so. This way, you will not be pressure to exercise or reduce your food intake too much.
If you can only manage to create a caloric deficit of 200 calories or less, don’t be discouraged. We all experience low points during our weight loss journeys. The important thing is that you stay motivated and you make an effort to bounce back so you can start losing that weight!
2. Avoid Hidden Sugars – Refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup are commonly added to commercial foods and beverages as sweeteners. You will be shocked at how much sugar manufacturers put in their products. A small cupcake can have as much as 24 grams of sugar!
High fructose corn syrup is becoming even more common in food because it’s cheaper to produce than sugar, which is derived from sugarcane.
Simple carbohydrates like refined sugar and HFCS should be avoided as often as possible because they bog down your metabolism and also affect how your body responds to insulin.
Insulin is a natural hormone in our bodies that facilitates the absorption and utilization of blood glucose. How your body responds to insulin has a direct impact on your metabolism.
Excess sugar in your diet (especially in the form of HFCS) has been shown to cause some degree of insulin resistance, which affects how your body responds to excess blood sugar
3. Refuel with Vegetables & Fruit – Hunger is an old enemy that often beats even the toughest ladies. When hunger pangs are not addressed properly, you may feel fatigued and cranky.
This can affect your mindset regarding exercise and further dieting. To avoid this scenario, increase your consumption of vegetables and have fresh fruit to sweeten the deal.
Protein-rich vegetables like white beans and lentils are excellent “hunger busters” as they provide a moderate amount of carbohydrates in addition to lots of protein.
Plant proteins can help stop hunger pangs and keep you focused on your calorie deficit goals. Green leafy vegetables on the other hand, are naturally high in dietary fiber which helps fill up the stomach when digested.
How much fruit should you eat?
There is a general belief that you can eat as much fruit as you want because it’s wholesome, natural food. I agree that fruits are great in making a diet balanced and nutritious.
However, you should keep in mind that many fruits are high in natural fruit sugars and they can pack a lot of calories in every serving. Eat only a small quantity of fruits per day to benefit from the nutrients. Save the rest for tomorrow!