What you eat matters, but what you shouldn’t eat matters just as much, and there’s so much contradictory advice out there about what to eat that it may make your head spin. Here are some facts from an expert that will help you start eating in a smart and healthy way.
How many of us have tried to alter our diet only to give up a few days or weeks later?
Finding the advice that is most effective for you can be bafflingly challenging because there are so many suggestions available on what foods to eat and which to avoid.
Because of this, it can be hard to keep track of everything, but help is on the way.
It’s important to examine what’s wrong with your diet before making changes.
Here, nutritionist Lauryn Lax of BreakingMuscle.com explains the primary causes of your diet’s failure as well as solutions.
You don’t eat enough fat
Fat-free or very low-fat diets typically replace all those lost calories with carbohydrates, which puts you at risk of riding the blood sugar roller coaster, never a good idea.
Your body is always working to keep insulin and blood sugar levels in check, which might have an effect on how much cortisol (the stress hormone) is produced. Cortisol can cause you to eat more high-carbohydrate foods and tells your body to store fat rather than burn it.
Dietary fat can help prevent hunger and maintain more consistent energy levels. Try to include healthy fats with each meal, and choose snacks with healthy fat or protein instead of those that are carbohydrate-based.
Look for items like raw nuts and seeds, olive oil, coconut butter, avocado oil, coconut oil, ghee, grass-fed butter, full-fat fermented yogurt, fatty organic meat cuts, pastured eggs, and avocado.
You’re not including carbohydrates
Fats are good for you, but it doesn’t mean carbohydrates are bad.
When we consume too few carbohydrates, especially those from vegetables, we run the risk of omitting fiber, which is crucial for digestion and metabolic balance. Your metabolism can be harmed by extreme diets that fall on either end of the fat-to-carbohydrate continuum.
Which is better for dieting—low fat or low carb?—is a question that researchers and dieters ask frequently. However, there isn’t a single right response.
Some people respond better to higher fat and carbohydrate intakes than others. Everyone is unique. For instance, some women with insulin resistance or blood sugar problems have found short-term dietary success with low-carb diets to be useful. However, women who have stable blood sugar levels but experience some adrenal fatigue or hormonal abnormalities have discovered that such a diet is ultimately more damaging.
You should be counting colors when you’re counting numbers.
To thrive, our bodies require a lot of nutrient-rich foods. The issue with macros or calorie-based diets is that they focus solely on numbers, scales, and measurements without taking into account the nutrient density of foods and how your metabolism reacts to that. These are the nutrients we need in larger quantities to give us energy, so they are fat, protein, and carbohydrates.
A half-cup of gummy bears, for example, may provide your body with a punch of ‘fast digesting carbs’ after a workout, but the nutrient composition and health benefit it provides is vastly different from half a cup of berries or a small, sweet potato. Real food has a higher metabolic impact and increases your body’s satisfaction levels.
Chicken, olive oil, and rice provide protein, fat, and carbohydrates to your body, but what about their nutrient density and variety? Or, how many colors are there in that meal? In general, foods with less color tend to be lower in nutrients and provide less satiation when consumed. Your body may have reached your macro results, but it still yearns for the additional nutrients it requires to perform at its peak.
When we eat a lot of colorful vegetables, body-boosting healthy fats, and necessary proteins, our metabolism kicks into high gear, extracting numerous vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to keep your body running.
Top picks consist of:
- Dark leafy greens
- Colorful veggies (aim for 2-3 different veggie colors at each meal)
- Citrus (lemon, orange, lime, grapefruit)
- Organic herbs (parsley, cilantro, rosemary, thyme, sage)
- Organ meats
- Fermented foods like sauerkraut
- Pastured eggs and poultry, grass-fed beef, wild-caught fatty fish
- Coconut oil, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, ghee, and grass-fed butter
- Raw brazil nuts, walnuts, and macadamia nuts
While you’re at it, make sure you’re getting enough calories. Undereating is just as bad as overeating.
You worry too much about what you eat
The leading cause of all diseases, including stubborn body fat, is stress. In our society, stress is unavoidable, yet it is frequently disregarded in contexts other than mental health. The balance of your metabolism might be threatened by modest daily stressors, even if you don’t feel worried.
In order to lose body fat, your cortisol level must be balanced biologically. Your cortisol levels will become chronically elevated if your body feels threatened all the time. When your body believes it is struggling for survival, the last thing it wants to do is support your desire to reduce your body fat.
When your mind is in turmoil, your body cannot improve. It has been demonstrated that stress reduction can repair a damaged metabolism. Methods for intentionally lowering stress include practicing deep breathing, meditation or prayer, contemplative movement (stretching, yoga, dance), and reading or listening to positive truth (podcasts, books, speakers, etc.).
- You’re not paying attention to your meals
- Speaking of mindfulness, research tells us that practising it during meals can help reduce cortisol and abdominal fat.
Use these tips when you eat:
- Chew your food (fully)
- De-screen: turn off the TV, phone, computer and even books
- Assess your level of hunger and fullness. You don’t have to always finish your plate, and sometimes, you may need seconds.
- Be aware of how food makes you feel. Are you bloated, constipated, breaking out, anxious, have an allergic reaction? Something may be in your food that is not sitting well with you.
- Don’t eat the same things every day. Incorporate a variety of nutrients from real foods.
You haven’t changed the way you think
These crucial tactics might be the game-changers you’ve been seeking to jumpstart your efforts to lose weight. But the biggest of them all comes from a different kind of gut-check: not making fat loss your exclusive objective.
The only goal of fat loss is to obtain another, more important goal. Find the emotion you believe your weight loss will provide you, and start channeling it into hobbies and goals that don’t involve your weight or any other metric of fat to help you get what you really desire.
Making goals and setting intentions around other, more significant aspects of your life will be the biggest game-changer when it comes to attaining the body you want. It’s not wrong to want to enhance your body composition, but if our only motivation and priority are to lose body fat, we will never reach the full potential of that hanging carrot. There will always be someone who is superior to us, more fit, more attractive, or slimmer.
Instead, focus on achieving your personal development, food and body acceptance, hormone and digestive health, reduced stress, and improved relationships.
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