Arming yourself with a working knowledge of nutrition is the key to losing weight naturally and effectively. When you know how to eat, and why this is how you should eat, a healthy weight is your reward. There are many weight loss methods and programs out there from Hoodia diet pills to hypnosis. Some of them even have free trial programs for you to try. However, even though they may work and show some results for some of us, they may not give you that figure that you have been longing for. The cold, hard facts are out there. There is no quick fix to becoming healthy. With the right knowledge and mindset, trading in those extra pounds for a new healthy lifestyle can be easier than ever.
One pound is 3,500 calories. This is how many excess calories it takes to gain one, and it is the amount that must be burned to lose one. To figure out how many calories you need to maintain your weight you must take in all the factors of your height, activity level, and present weight. Not all calories are created equal. Complex carbohydrates are good, refined carbohydrates are bad. Essential fatty acids are good. Saturated fats are bad. It is important to know what choices to make because that is what determines success or failure. Your weight is not the only thing that matters. Your internal organs, heart, brain, and bones all benefit from a great diet.
Eating the right kinds of carbohydrates, with a low GI level, is the key to successful weight loss. The GI level of a food is the rate at which the food affects our blood glucose levels. Eating foods that have a low glycemic index balances out your blood sugars. With blood sugar balanced, so are energy, mood, and appetite. Low GI options usually are complex carbohydrates like whole-wheat pasta, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and legumes, to name just a few. Starting the day off with oatmeal, a tablespoon of flaxseed, and a cup of non-fat milk is one of the best ways to start your day off. A diet plan that is high in fiber will keep hunger pangs at bay. It also slows the absorption of carbs, and aids digestion. Aim to consume 25-35 grams of fiber every day. The oatmeal and flaxseed breakfast has 9grams of heart healthy fiber. These healthy diet options guarantee that you are getting an adequate amount of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and energy to power through your day. Watch your portions! Measure everything, and read every nutrition label you can! You have more power over your diet when you know more nutritional information for individual foods.
Protein is vital for maintaining and repairing your muscles from every day wear and tear. Protein increases your metabolism and energy levels. Make sure you are getting close to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight to prevent muscle catabolism during weight loss. You want to lose fat, not muscle! The best forms of protein are whey, casein, and soy. These are sources of protein with a B.V. (bioavailability) level of 100. These contain all of the amino acids that your muscles need. Eggs also have a bioavailability level of 10. Adding an egg and two egg whites to your breakfast gives your body an adequate intake of protein for the morning.
Meal timing and frequency is another crucial element when it comes to weight loss. It is best to eat small, frequent meals every three hours to keep your metabolism burning. Look at it like a fire; you don't want to throw all the wood on at once! Calorie counting and essential nutrients are already included in your diet if each mini meal contains roughly 300 calories, 25 grams of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and good fats.
Examples of good snacks are fruits, vegetables, or nuts. Eat whole foods. Avoid processed foods. That alone will keep you eating foods rich in nutrients. Do not drink soda at all. Avoid alcohol. These beverages spike your insulin levels quickly, which leads to weight gain. Avoid any drinks that have sugar in them. Even juice. Sugar is an enemy. There is even a browning effect on protein when sugar is introduced to it! Try to keep it to a minimum. Splenda is a great way to substitute for the taste if you have to have it. Take a multi-vitamin every day to insure your vitamin and mineral intake. Even the best diets have their shortcomings.
The next part of the weight loss equation is exercise. Aim to get in 60 minutes minimum of cardiovascular exercise daily. It has been shown in studies that walking first thing in the morning before breakfast is one of the best ways to burn fat. This makes sense as we wake up on an empty stomach our bodies are forced to find other sources of energy besides food. If you can't fit exercise in upon rising, you can break it up into 10 or 20-minute sessions throughout the day. Just make sure that you do something to burn calories, rev up your metabolism, and make your weight loss dreams come true. If you are new to exercise, be creative. It is important to do something that you will enjoy and stick to. Exercise should be a life-long love, not something to forebode. Experiment to see what gets you fired up. There are so many fun activities out there that will burn calories, and keep you in shape for life.
You can keep your diet fun and full of variety. You can have fun burning calories on things you love like swimming! You can be healthy! It may seem hard to imagine a life free of fast food, but your health will pay for a diet that overindulges in these unhealthy foods. You reap the rewards of a healthy diet! Eating healthy berries, luscious apples, and a nice filet of salmon can be so much more enjoyable than a grease-laden burger and fries! Taking a walk with a friend is so much more special than watching a sitcom on television. Forget about what kind of diet you should be on. Focus on what is healthy for you. Then incorporate those healthy choices into your diet by adjusting portion sizes. Invest in your health, and watch the weight drop off!