Carbohydratesare your best source of energy and are food for your brain. If you have ever tried a high protein, low carb diet you may have found you get a bit foggy and can’t think straight, get irritated easily or forget things, this is because you are not getting enough carbs and possibly other nutrients. The key with carbs is to eat the right carbs. Go for low GI carbs such organic oats, legumes and multigrain breads, are slower to diegst and absorb, produce gradual increase in blood sugar and insulin. To keep it simple the keep you feeling full and give you longer lasting energy. Avoid high GI carbs such as white breads and rice, while these give you quick energy followed by a crash physically and emotionally.
- Have a plan. You need a plan for when you are going to exercise and what you are going to eat. I suggest a 12 week plan and revise a couple of weeks before the end of the 12 weeks. Know your weaknesses and have a plan to combat them. I am an emotional eater so I have my granola as my sweet temptation and I do yoga or go for a run to increase endorphins so I feel better and no longer crave comfort foods. Have healthy snack foods to take with you when you are out so you are not tempted to by that sausage roll, muffin or chocolate. If you do slip up instead of sabotaging your efforts by bingeing or feeling guilty, focus on doing something positive like eating a salad or going for a run.
- Eat a salad with every lunch and dinner. This helps your body increase its alkalinity which is the optimal state for functioning. It also delivers valuable nutrients and digestive enzymes saving energy from digestion and giving it back to you in whatever way you want to use it.
- Decrease your animal protein. You may have seen my Meatless Monday post which lists only some of the benefits of reducing your meat consumption, weight management is one of them. Portion size is not something you have to worry about when eating plant based foods, I used to eat small frequent meals to manage my ideal weight, but now I eat as much as I want, good fats and low GI carbs included.
- Eat slowly. This one is so important, especially if you have digestive issues. Eat slow, chewing approx 30 times and think about what you are eating. Turn off the TV, put down your phone or your book, sit at the table and eat. Distracted eating causes you to not chew food properly and over eat, so try slowing down your eating and notice how much less you eat and how much more settled your tummy is. I try to make it a competition to be the last to finish my meal :p
- Drink water. Feelings of hunger are usually thirst so before you grab a snack have a glass of water and wait 10 mins. This is also a great way to alkalise your body so make sure you fit in 2-3L of water a day, this can include herbal teas but not black tea or coffee. Try sipping instead of sculling your water and you will find you won’t be running to the toilet as often 😉
- Eat when you are hungry. When your body is hungry it is going into starvation mode and starts storing fat to protect your organs. It causes your metabolism to slow which means you will not burn fat as efficiently.When you are hungry your body also starts to turn acidic which is what causes most illnesses.
- Visualise: I can’t stress this enough, you can’t fail if you follow this step! Every day visualise you achieving your goal weight. How do you feel? Confident, happy, proud, light, energetic, alert? What do you see? Yourself toned in a crop top or cut off shorts? Who is with you? Where are you? Write this down, read and visualise daily – trust me 🙂
- Swap highly refined and processed foods for organic, natural foods: Chemicals in processed and refined food, clog up your body so it doesn’t function properly. Organic foods are nutrient dense and will offer quality energy and help the body function at an optimal level for weight management.
- Do a couple of resistance work outs a week. Increase your lean muscle mass and this will increase your metabolism – you will then burn fat while you are rested. If your female, don’t worry about bulking up, you wont. Unless you are taking steriods, testosterone or excessive protein this isn’t going to happen your body isn’t made that way. It will however give you some nice shape and tone. I will do another post soon on some great basic exercises.
- Do 4-6 cardio workouts a week. This may sound like a lot but this can start off as just a walk to the shops or playing fetch with the dog. Increase the intensity as you get fitter. Cardio burns fat while you work out so try to get a minimum of 30 mins a day. Park down the street and walk to work, vow never to take the lift again (unless its 5 stories plus :p)
- Rest. Allow your body a day to recover and repair and enjoy it, maybe even give yourself a treat, you deserve it.
Respect your body, calm your mind, move your body daily and feed it nutritiously. Enlighten Your Life.