It’s good to see that more and more people are starting to pay more attention to what they eat. Being healthy has become a trend these days, but many of us mistakenly think that they have healthy or “clean” eating habits that would and should help them stay healthy and reach their nutritional goal. Well, what is “clean” eating to you is completely the opposite for me. Meaning of “clean” in this context is very subjective and varies slightly depending on your nutritional goal.
I can give you a small example of a healthy breakfast that would look as a great option for you:
• An omelet topped with mushrooms, green bell pepper and some shredded cheese (over 500 calories)
• A toast with an organic peanut butter spread (around 200 calories)
• A class of orange juice (over 100 calories)
This doesn’t look like a bad breakfast. Well, it turns out that our healthy breakfast is over 800 calories, and if an average diet for a person is 2000 calories per day, then it is almost half of your daily food intake. It is crucial to understand that some foods or ingredients that you consume may seem to be diet-friendly, however can blow your calorie intake substantially. And if you do this kind of mistakes once a day, every day, you are guaranteed not to lose weight and possibly on the opposite to gain-weight.
So, the best way to start is to eliminate those sneaky calories that enter your body. You can always substitute foods and ingredients in your diet. For example:
• Instead of sodas and fizzy drinks opt for drinking more water
• Replace your normal sauces with low calorie and low-fat ones
• Use less dressings on your salads and meals, you can reduce it to half
• Opt for low-fat high-protein dairy products instead of full fat ones
These sort of small changes to your diet will considerably reduce your calories during the day, without reducing actual food amounts. To kick start your weight lose it is enough to reduce your calorie intake by 200 calories over a period of time, and results will come. There is another way of doing it, you could eat sub 1,500 calories and exercise for 2 hours per day. But it is not a reasonable and sustainable approach to take, since you will only be able to stick on this plan for a limited time period (several weeks to several months in best case scenario). You may reach short-term goals, but you won’t really enjoy the process and won’t be able to sustain it. So, what you really want is to have a diet plan that you can stick to and enjoy the process. This diet plan can be accompanied by a good training plan to synergize your results. The more moderate approach you take in calorie deficit and working out the easier it would be for you to follow it. A long-term moderate approach will also give you far more superior results than of a short-term diet.
Once again, I want to stress the fact that what is most important is the amount of total calories you intake, compared to how much energy is being burned throughout the day. You maybe the healthiest eater on this planet, sticking only to lean meat, veggies, nuts and fruits but if you eat too many calories from these “healthy” foods you will still gain weight.
Second common mistake is that people do get confused by the macros (protein, carbohydrates and fats) ratio. An essential point to understand here is that protein plays the main role, therefore try setting protein amount first and the rest of calories fill with carbohydrates and fats. The ratio between carbs and fats is by far less important to the total protein intake amount. Protein consumption will depend on many factors including muscle mass and strength training but I would suggest you consume between 1.8-2.4g of protein per kg of body weight.
So, why “unhealthy” food is not your friend? Well, you can still lose weight by staying in a calorie deficit state and eating crap food like candies, sweets and other junk but it would be quite challenging thing to do since most “unhealthy” foods are calorie-dense with very little nutrients. This means that they will eat your calorie budget very quickly without giving you very much in return (small degree of nutrients). So what should happen to help you lose weight? Fill your plates with nutrient-dense foods that are rich in minerals, vitamins and fibers.
Remember, in order to lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit, it’s a fundamental. If you are not in a calorie deficit and eating super “clean”, you will not be able to lose weight. Reducing your calorie intake by 10-15% will give you some good results if you stay consistent for a significant period of time. And sometimes all it takes to reduce this 10-15% is to adapt the approach outlined above. Try applying it yourself. Build your diet around protein by consuming adequate amount of protein and fill the rest of calories with carbs and fats.
Apply 80/20 ratio to your diet, where 80% of your food comes from nutrient-dense foods like wholegrain, lean meet, nuts, veggies, fruits, and the rest of 20 % from other sources such as your cravings (ice cream, chocolates, etc). You can eat pretty much any food you like in moderation. Moderation and flexibility is the key to long-term dieting success.
By beFitness TEAM
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