Eating healthy to lose weight is the real key to losing those love handles! Exercising your muscles will burn calories, speed up your metabolism and tone your body, but the battle of weight loss is really won in the kitchen.
As a personal trainer, I can only monitor what my client is doing during our session of 30-60 minutes. What THEY do the other 23 hours of the day is out of MY control.
So I tell them if they really want to change, they have to dig deep and make the changes to start eating healthy to lose weight that I discuss with them when I’m not around.
The same goes for you. Stop playing around with this weight loss thing and get serious! The workout is the easy part – getting a grip on your eating is the tough part! But once you do, you will be rewarded with the fat melting away!
Keep reading to find out how to “fix” your eating so you can finally start losing weight!
In order to get where you want to go, you have to first figure out where you are and then do something different. So if you’re serious about losing weight and coming up with a eating plan to lose weight, break out the pen and paper!
Eat the RIGHT foods, at the RIGHT time in the RIGHT amount.
RIGHT foods: Look over the food lists. Kick out the bad choices you’ve been making and stock up on the foods that will work FOR you, not AGAINST you!
RIGHT time: The key to losing weight is keeping even blood sugar levels throughout the day – not too high, not too low. You do this by eating (not overeating) every 2-3 hours.
RIGHT amount: Most of the time if you over-eat it’s because you’re HUNGRY.
CONTROL how you feel (or WANT to feel) by the way you eat...Don’t eat according to how you FEEL.
1) Write down EVERYTHING you eat, what time you ate it, and the mood when you ate for at least 3 days. Don’t lie, don’t cheat yourself. Don’t try to be “good” just because you’re writing it down! You need a true view of the eating patterns that got you this way so you can CHANGE THEM!
2) Compare your current eating habits with the “Perfect Day” below.
First, some basics...
A “Perfect Day” of eating healthy to lose weight
Breakfast – Break the Fast the Right Way!
Louis Aronne, M.D., director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weil Cornell Medical Center says, “The single most important diet upgrade for people who want to lose weight is to eat a protein-rich breakfast”.
A good, filling breakfast wakes up your brain and puts your body in a fat BURNING mode instead of a fat STORING mode. Balanced with protein and carbs, it will slowly raise your blood sugar, but not too much.
Eating healthy to lose weight would be eating a protein-rich breakfast as soon as you can after waking. Also eat a low glucose carb (like whole wheat toast or even better – oatmeal).
Mid-morning snack – Keep it Going!
Even if you are not hungry, eat before your blood sugar begins to drop. Aim to include protein and carbs. It doesn’t have to be a lot - a handful of mixed nuts and water will do wonders!
Lunch – Make it or break it!
This can make or break you for the rest of the day….if you have eaten a good breakfast and a mid-morning snack, you should not be starving to death – it should be a lot easier to make wise choices at lunch.
Better still, you should ALREADY KNOW what you’re having for lunch – plan ahead!
Eating healthy to lose weight doesn't "just happen".
If your lunch is high in carbs, like breads, pastas, etc. and low in protein, you will feel yucky and tired all afternoon – you know the feeling I’m talking about. This also puts your body in a fat-storing state.
My experience is that if you eat a good portion of protein with a healthy carb, it will give you sustained energy for the afternoon and it keeps your metabolism humming along and burning off the fat!
Mid-afternoon snack – Beat the Cravings!
If you had a high carb lunch, you will be craving MORE carbs in the afternoon – spikes in your blood sugar levels you just don’t need!
First, plan a snack ahead of time and eat it before you get hungry. Make sure it includes a protein and a slow burning carb – a handful or two of mixed nuts…apple slices with peanut butter…yogurt – all are great choices. This will sustain your energy levels (and your metabolism) and should stick with you long enough that you are not starving by dinnertime.
Dinner has become something that it shouldn’t. It should not be a big meal to refuel from a long day. That’s like putting gas in your car after a long trip!
Your body works on the fuel that you have already fed it.
Your dinner meal should include healthy proteins, carbs and fats. Including foods high in fiber (whole wheat bread, all kinds of beans, etc.) will fill you up but with not so many calories.
Dinnertime should be at least a few hours away from bedtime. It is also the time that you may be able to eat a higher proportion of carbs. This will help raise your serotonin levels and allow your body to relax.
If you must, then make it light. Bedtime is the only time during the day that you should be slightly hungry – not starving, but slightly hungry.
If your stomach is empty, your body will have to delve into fat stores – which is what you want to happen! A good snack would be cottage cheese with some fruit, or a small bowl of cereal like raisin bran, corn chex or corn flakes.
Eating healthy to lose weight does not have to be perfect…if you “mess up” a meal (or two), you can still get it back on track with the next meal.
Review our different food lists for Proteins, Carbs, Fats, and high fiber foods - the more foods you have to choose from, the easier it will be to eat right!