Article written for Jacaranda 94.2 by Anna Wood
It’s the part where we all struggle with. We want to lose weight but knowing what to eat, when to eat or how much to eat, becomes a daunting task, and for most a stumbling block that curbs any effort towards our weight loss goal? Let’s see if we can find a simpler approach towards effective maintainable weight loss nutrition.
As said in our previous article, to achieve our weight loss goal we have to understand that nutrition is 70% of the process and training takes up the other 30%. Our bodies function very similar to a power station. If we want the lights to go on we kind of need to feed it some kind of fuel to kick-start the whole process. This is where food comes in, if we fuel our bodies with the right kind of food at the right intervals, with the right amount, the lights shine brightly, but change that to plates overloaded with sugars and fatty food – we find ourselves operating on dims. Grasping this fact will help you make better choices when it comes to food. Let’s change the word “diet” to “healthy lifestyle” because diet is a temporary solution whereas choosing to “live a healthy lifestyle” is a long term solution which is far more maintainable with lasting results.
Breakfast is most probably the most important meal of the day as it breaks the fast of being without food for 6-8 hours depending on how much sleep you had, hence the word “break-fast”.
Let’s say your last meal was at 6-7pm the night before, you wake up at 5-6am, jump in the shower, grab your stuff and rush off to work without having breakfast. By 10am you suddenly realize your body wants to consume itself from the inside out. It’s your body way of telling you it’s been without food for the past 14 hours and you got to feed otherwise it’s going on strike.
Having breakfast first thing in the morning will kick-start your metabolism and regulate your blood sugar levels giving your body the optimal energy levels to face the day ahead. You probably saying that you can’t eat so early, rather opt for a banana and protein smoothie. The first few weeks will be difficult, but after a while your body will be reprogrammed to want breakfast as a fuel source. Your breakfast should consist of healthy low GI carbs, protein and fibre.
Eat 5/6 times a day and do not skip ANY meal
It is recommended that you eat 5 small healthy meals per day each containing a lean protein source such as chicken, tuna or lean beef. Skipping meals will only slow down your metabolism, resulting in whatever you consumed to be stored as FAT. The more frequently you eat, the more you’ll burn, the more energy you’ll have, the lower your risk to diseases will be and the more weight you’ll lose. The biggest misconception is to if you do not eat you will lose weight.
Remember The Rock’s diet? Pre cooked and packed meals will save you money and save your waist line!
Drink 2l-3l of water per day
It has been said so many times before, yet we seem to avoid it like the plague.
Water is essential for the functioning of our nervous, skeletal, circulatory, digestive, and even respiratory systems in our bodies. Drinking water also aids in weight loss by speeding up your metabolism and curbing your appetite. You’ll notice when your drink enough water during the day, the less bloated you will feel once your body realises there is no need to retain water. Try 6-8 glasses a day. Yes, you will be burning extra calories from go back and forth to the but taking in enough fluids during the day is vital in the aid of our fat-loss goal.
You have to plan and prepare the next day’s food, the evening before. If you have all your meals ready and with you for the day there is no excuse for you to skip a meal or to eat unhealthy fatty food.