I've been getting a lot of requests lately for weight loss tips. I strongly believe that losing weight should not be about starving yourself or depriving yourself of the joys of food and eating. If you're trying to shed a few pounds, you want to make sure that the foods you are eating are filling and nutritious to keep you fuelled, satisfied and energized. First and foremost, I believe in eating a balanced, whole foods diet. Ditch the expensive products and supplements and eat real food! That is and always will be my #1 Tip! The closer foods are to their natural state (think an apple vs apple juice) the more nutrients are preserved. The act of processing food starts to break it down, which often means that these foods pass through you more quickly, leaving you hungry again soon after, or requiring large amounts to fill you up. Here are my top tips for weight loss without sacrificing energy or going hungry!
1. Eat regularly.
Starting with a good breakfast, get your 3-meals-a-day and snacks in between. Our body functions best when we eat every few hours. This prevents that sluggish feeling when you've eaten too much in one sitting and all of your body's energy goes to digesting. Eating regularly gives us a steady stream of energy throughout the day and prevents spikes and drops in blood sugars. Stable blood sugars help to minimize cravings and overeating.
2.Power up with protein.
Protein slows the rate of digestion, keeping you full longer after eating which helps manage appetite. Throw some grilled shrimp onto a salad or some leftover chicken into a whole grain wrap for a quick lunch. What about protein powders? As I mentioned above, food first is my motto. Your body digests nutrients from whole foods a lot more efficiently than it does from isolated nutrients in supplements. If you're getting protein with all of your meals and some of your snacks, there really is no need for all that extra. If you like to throw some in a smoothie to round it out for a quick meal here and there, go for it- but when you can, eat the real thing!
3. Fill up with fibre.
Fiber is bulky and fills you up quicker. It also helps to prevent spikes in blood sugars and insulin levels after eating, again, reducing cravings and delaying your body from storing these sugars as fat. It's the perfect time of year to take a trip to the farmer's market and load up on fresh, local fruits and veggies. Ask the farmers for ideas on how to cook and use different produce to make it interesting and delicious. Legumes like chickpeas and beans are another great source of filling fiber. Try this Roasted Curried Chickpeas recipe for an energizing snack.
4. Swap out sugar.
We know that refined sugars don't do much for us, but how does this impact weight loss? Refined sugars in things like sweets, juice and pop are digested and absorbed very quickly. This can leave us with spikes and drops in blood sugar levels that leave us tired, grumpy and craving more sugar. These types of foods are also lacking in nutritional value so our body doesn't get much lasting energy or fuel which leads us to eat more overall throughout the day.
5. Plan ahead.
This is key! Having all of the knowledge in the world won't help you if you don't have a plan to get these foods onto your plate. Plan out some meals for the week, pre-package snacks and try scheduling in your grocery shopping just like you would any other commitment in your week. You'd be surprised the power of writing something down or scheduling it in!
Stayed tuned for more articles to come on how to make each of these tips a reality. I will be following up with practical tips on how to add protein and fiber to your diet as well as ways to help you eat more regularly, including healthy and easy snack ideas.
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