Archives For carbohydrates

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I believe that the key to a successful fat loss plan is consistency, particularly with the food you eat. If your food doesn’t taste good, chances are you’ll crave the other options that could sabotage your efforts. Fat loss is a marathon. It doesn’t happen overnight. You need to find a system that works for you personally, and it has to be something you can do over a period of time.

The goal is to create a lifestyle change that is not temporary, but permanent. When you read a diet book that promises change but under extreme circumstances, you need to ask yourself whether or not you can do it long term. If not, you need to find something else.

Most of your fat loss is going to happen outside of the gym. I would be so bold as to say that the majority of it is going to happen in the kitchen. Finding foods that are healthy and delicious is how you are going to execute this plan of yours successfully until your reach your goal, or better yet, eat healthy forever.

One of my go-to healthy and delicious meals is oatmeal. When many people think of oatmeal their first thought is “boring.” That is why you need to spice it up a bit. Here’s my recipe to turn oatmeal from a boring meal into something you’ll want to eat every day.

½ cups oats

1 ½ cups of water

5 medium strawberries, sliced

1 tsp. cinnamon

10 almonds

Pour the oats and water into a pot and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling reduce heat to low and stir occasionally for 5 minutes. While this is happening slice your strawberries. Once the oats are ready pour them into a bowl, sprinkle your cinnamon on top, and add the strawberries and almonds. It’s really that easy.

You can honestly replace the strawberries for any berry, and the almonds for another nut. It’s up to you. Like I said, success is going to happen when you find a plan that works for you. The most anyone can do is make suggestions, and educate you on the foundation of building a food plan that is meant for fat loss.

Let me know what you think of this recipe if you try it, or what changes you make to better suit you.

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Should You Eat Carbs?

April 5, 2013 — 1 Comment

Ah yes, carbs – the bane of everyone’s nutritional confusion. Probably the most sought after answer in all of nutritional science, even. I can put money on the fact that if everyone was given one question to ask a nutritionist it would somehow involve carbohydrate consumption. How much is too much? How much is too little? Should I eat carbohydrates at all!?

The answer will generally, like everything in the field, depend on what your situation is. It’s impossible to give one universal answer to every single carbohydrate question ever asked.

Should you eat carbs? Of course you should. Carbohydrates are one of three macronutrients your body needs to function properly. How much you should eat, though, will mainly depend on your activity level.

Carbs are generally dense in calories, meaning it’s quite easy to rack up a total caloric count if you’re watching your intake. However, your body needs it for energy. Sounds like a catch-22 doesn’t it?

The basic idea to keep in mind is that the more active you are, the more energy you will need, and therefore more carbohydrates. If you eat a ton of carbs and lay around all day, your body starts to store the energy as fat. That’s when all the fun things develop like spare tires, and double chins.

You’ll hear a lot of nutritionists battling back and forth about eating carbs, and not eating carbs. It gets tricky when you start to know that your body can actually turn protein and fat into energy through physiological processes. That is why people don’t see a need for over consuming this “evil” macronutrient – which is fair.

So if you’re someone who doesn’t exercise a lot, or if you’re looking to lose fat, it may not hurt to reduce your carb consumption to produce. Vegetables are a great source of energy without tacking on too many calories.

Or, if you’re someone who is active pretty much every day, you may want to eat more breads, pastas, or other sources along with vegetables in order to keep your energy level up.

You can’t really say that carbohydrates are good or bad but just know that your body does need some in order to be healthy. It’s the type and amount that really matters. A healthy body is all about balance, so finding your balance between protein, fat, and carbohydrates is the ultimate key to mastering your nutrition.

What is your take on carbohydrate consumption?

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Congratulations! You finally decided to make a change. You’ve been cleaning up your diet, regularly exercising, saw a few pounds fall off, but now the dreaded situation has presented itself; your friends want to grab a bite to eat this Friday. This doesn’t have to be as tragic for your lifestyle change as you may think.

There are a few problems to look at when eating out and by making yourself aware of them you can fight it head on instead of cowering away.

Portions are usually way too big, health isn’t usually taken into account when making scrumptious dishes, and you really have no idea what ingredients your food is made with.

Don’t skip out on your next social get-together. The secret to weight loss is enjoyment and not resenting yourself. Learn these few tips so that you can enjoy your night out without worrying about your waistline.

Learn Portion Control

Arming yourself with portion control knowledge is one of the best things you can do when trying to shed a few pounds. Restaurants like to pack on the food so that you feel like you’re getting your money’s worth. This can easily lead to overeating. One little trick that I like to do is eat half of my food while I’m out, and  ask the host to pack up the rest to-go so that I can enjoy it later on, or the next day.

When it comes to meat, try not to go bigger than the palm of your hand. This will give you a nice combo of protein and fat to help keep you satisfied and not resenting yourself. I prefer to stay away from anything carb-heavy, so instead of coming with rice or potatoes, ask the host to have a vegetable mix instead. Most places will have no problem making the swap for you. If you’re absolutely stuck on something starchy, a good rule of thumb is to have no more than a closed fist.

As far as veggies and salad goes, eat as much as you can! Just ask for the dressing on the side and use it sparingly. I know it tastes awesome, but some chains have salads that are more calorically intense than whole entrees.

And yes, drink water. It’s really quite silly to drink a ton of calories. It’s not worth it, plus nothing rejuvenates the body quite like a cold glass of H20.

Pay Attention to the Toppings

This tip is huge too. Restaurants like to load on toppings to salads and other side dishes for added flavour. The real problem is that you don’t know what’s in them. I would recommend staying away from anything cream-based, and instead opt for something composed of oil. Generally speaking oils tend to be healthier for you.

Really try not to get any meat with a topping. With the proper spice blend you shouldn’t need to mask the delicious taste anyways. With that being said, herbs and spices are always the better option for your carnivorous cravings.

Focus on the Calories

If weight loss is your goal then at the end of the day it really is calories in versus calories out. If you know where you’re going to eat beforehand look the place up online. Most restaurants provide full nutrition information on their websites. Find all the dishes you like and see which one has the lowest calories with higher protein. You shouldn’t pick your homemade meals like this, but for eating out it will do. After all, you’re simply trying to avoid sabotaging your great weight loss efforts thus far.

The key is to find a dish that has some kind of meat, with vegetable, and preferably a salad. If you need to have some grain in there, opt for something completely whole wheat.

By looking and deciding what you want ahead of time, you will also be less tempted to look over everything else on the menu and be tricked into buying something terribly bad for you.

Enjoy and Indulge Guilt-Free

This tip isn’t necessarily something you might see as important, but on a psychological level it really is. Beating yourself up over an eating mistake can really take a toll on your motivation. We’re all human and we will over indulge from time to time. Don’t let it get you down. Instead, get back up on the horse and learn from your mistake going forward. One meal will not destroy all of your efforts, but continuously overeating will.

Sit down, enjoy your food, taste each bite, and have a great time. Making these smart decisions will make eating out a whole lot less stressful for you. Seeing as how stress can also lead to weight gain, it’s like killing two birds with one stone.

Are there any tricks you like to do to avoid overeating when eating out? Share them in the comments below!

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