Posted under: Nutrition
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- Posted by Jane Mukami
In order to lose weight, you MUST eat fewer calories than your body normally uses in a day. Calories are the amount of energy stored in the food you eat and the number of calories can vary from one food to another. Eating more calories than your body needs can lead to lead to weight gain. This is because extra calories are converted into fat and stored in the body (like belly fat).
Did you know that a pound of fat is about 3,500 calories? To lose 1 pound of fat in a week, you need to reduce your consumption by 3500 calories (i.e. 500 fewer calories per day). You can also “burn off” the extra 3,500 calories by rigorous exercising. The best way to lose weight is by eating fewer calories and remaining active. For example: If you cut 250 calories from your diet each day and exercise enough to burn off another 250 calories, it can add up to 500 fewer calories. Do this for 7 days and you can lose 1 pound of fat in a week.
As we age, the concept of nutrition becomes harder to grasp despite learning about it in high school. I believe this is because FOOD has become so closely intertwined with every aspect of our lives that we don’t seem to realize when we are excessively indulging.
FACT: Food is fuel for the body. The quality of fuel (food) intake determines the way we LOOK and FEEL.
Furthermore, there arevarious food groups which make up our diet. We will outline them so that you can monitor and create a diet plan that is suitable for you.
Main Food Groups:
Carbohydrates – Foods that provide energy to our body
Carbohydrates are foods that provide energy to our body. They are also known as starchy foods. They provide our body with the necessary fuel for all physical activity and for proper organ function. However, some kinds of carbohydrates are far better than others.
Good Carb Examples: Potatoes, Rice, Oatmeal, bread, pasta etc.
Protein –Foods to make you grow
They are the building blocks of our body and are essential for tissue repair, cell formation and making antibodies for increased immunity to diseases.
Examples of protein: meats, beans and nuts
Fats – Food that are stored in our body for energy
Fats are important for cell growth and development. Good fats can be found in nuts, fish and seeds. Examples of food which have bad fats include ice cream, cheese and butter.
Use of terms such as “Low Fat”, “reduced fat” or “Fat-free” are used as marketing gimmicks for products which aren’t actually healthy. What they do is that they compensate for the reduced fat content by using other unhealthy components such as sodium/salt for taste.
Vitamins –‘Glow Foods’
Vitamins are essential for all types of chemical processes within our bodies which create and require energy. These include digestion, elimination of waste through faces and urine, cell regulation and development etc. Hence, they can protect our body from various illnesses and make our skin glow.
Examples: Fruits and vegetables.
Water -I’m adding a new food group to this list as it is essential for keeping our bodies hydrated.
Water is life and is extremely underrated –you should drink at least eight glasses of water in a day.
Now that we have discussed the various food groups, let’s outline the ways in which you can eat healthily and cut back on your calories.
Reducing Calorie Consumption
1. Make better decisions about what you eat by paying close attention to nutrition information labels found on food items.
2. Eat 4 to 5 smaller meals a day, instead of 2-3 ‘BIG Meals’
Ever wonder why a new born baby is fed every 2 to 3 hours? Perhaps that’s the same frequency he/she received nutrition while in the mother’s womb, until he/she was introduced to society’s “feeding clock” of 3 meals a day.
Eating smaller and healthier meals throughout out the day can keep you energized. It also ensures that there are no extra calories which your body can ‘store’ as extra weight. This can also increase your metabolism since you’re providing nutrition toyour body on a regular basis.
3. Eat the heaviest meals during the earliest part of the day and lighter meals as the day progresses.
Eating a large and unhealthy meal for dinner is not a good idea. This is because the food can be stored as fat and slow down your metabolism.
4. Consume meals that are high in proteins and not carbohydrates. Avoid items like alcohol, cookies, ice cream, fried foods etc. Watch what you eat and when you eat it.
5. Water – drink as much as you possibly can because it helps increase your metabolism.
Doing the above will help you start eating healthy without the need for stressful dieting. Eating clean is sustainable and helps in keeping your habits consistent while still contributing towards weight loss. Many people eat anything, at any time and in large quantities which is extremely unhealthy. Hence, it is important to watch what you eat.
‘We eat to live, and not live to eat.’
Changing your diet is a MUST if you are SERIOUS about losing weight and being healthy!
Working on your health and fitness goal and don’t know where to start? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule time to chat.