Sunday, 18 April 2010

Shape up for summer

Well the sun really came out this weekend, it was even warm enough to wear a bikini on the balcony. But there's nothing like trying on your swim suit to make you conscious of the extra winter pounds!

Now the weather's warmed up it's also a more natural time for weight loss than earlier in the year, so all this week my blog will focus on the healthy way to lose weight.

I'm starting with some food ground rules:

- Combine protein and carbs in every meal and snack. Protein keeps you feeling full, is important for muscle building and repair and helps balance blood sugar levels, reducing the likelihood of sugar cravings so eating protein with every meal and snack can help weight loss. For example have eggs, smoked salmon or natural yoghurt with your breakfast, lean poultry, seafood or tofu
with lunch and dinner and nuts, seeds, edamame or soy beans with your snacks.

- Eat low GI carbohydrates such as brown rice, bread and pasta, oats and pulses rather than white refined carbs. These are higher in fibre and nutrients, keeping you fuller and releasing energy more slowly.

- Eat your fruit and veg. If your diet is low in nutrients your appetite will up regulate and you'll crave more food to try and increase your intake of vitamins and minerals. Therefore eating more fruit and veg can help regulate your appetite as can taking a multivit/mineral supplement. I try and have a portion of fruit or veg with every meal and snack.

- Don't eat sugar. In my opinion sugar is more of an enemy to weight loss than eating fat. Sugar encourages insulin production which encourages fat storage so cutting out added sugar is a great way to lose weight. Cut out confectionery, cakes and biscuits, honey and sweet drinks, and start reading labels avoiding food with added sugar or syrups.

- Eat a big breakfast and a small dinner. Starting the day with a substantial breakfast speeds up your metabolism helping you burn more energy during the day. You also burn most of your calories during the day so not eating much during the day and then having
a big dinner in the evening before you go to bed is a sure way to gain weight.

- Eat healthy fats. Very low fat diets will make you hungry as fat keeps you full and is also needed for many functions in the body. The key is to eat healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, olive oil and oily fish.


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