There is hardly any girl out there who hasn’t been dreaming about gorgeous body shape with the minimal percentage of body fat and those desired six pack abs. Such an image and the desire to stay strong and healthy make us reconsider our life habits and bring some changes if they are needed.
Healthy lifestyle is based on three pillars: regular workouts, healthy diet, and nutritional supplements (quality probiotics, vitamins, and micronutrients). They complement one another making the progress noticeable and long lasting.
But, while everything is pretty clear with sport and supplements, there is a lot of myths about clean eating and weight loss. In this article, we would like to clarify some information and make a list of some essential eating guidelines.
Eight Essential Tips of Healthy Dieting
#1. There is no need to rush.
According to some studies the pace at which we eat our meal directly affects the amount of food we consume. Moreover, people who eat fast put on extra pounds 115% more often than those of us who take their time.
The secret is in the 20-minute rule. This is the exact time that hormones in our body need to send a signal to our brain that we are full. If you eat slowly, the chance you will overeat falls greatly since your brain will get the signal in time.
#2. Complex carbs are better than no carbs at all.
Some people mistakenly believe that in order to lose weight, it is important to cut out carbs completely. The thing is that this nutrient is essential for our body. It gives us energy, and is a good source of many vitamins and minerals. When one cuts out carbs from their diet completely, the chance is high that in a few days or a week, when the deficit of carbs will be high, they will start feeling weak and depressed. Plus, such a diet always leaves a risk of a raid on the fridge that may end up bad.
For this reason your progress will be way better if you cut out simple carbs and add more complex ones. It is always a good idea to give preference to whole-grain bread instead of refined one and eat more cereal. There is nothing healthier than eating oatmeal for breakfast or buckwheat for lunch. These two types of grains are an integral part of an athletes’ diet regardless of their goals.
#3. Keep your diet balanced.
Some claim that you should always count calories of what you eat while the others can’t stop talking about the carbs/fats/protein ratio. We would say that both strategies are beneficial. For starters, in order to lose weight, you should burn more calories than you consume. 10% deficit per day is enough for safe weight loss – about 1 kilo per week.
At the same time, counting calories only, you may consume more carbs or fats than you actually need. That is why it is important to take carbs/fats/protein ratio into account when planning your meal for the next day. The proper ratio of these nutrients for bodybuilders is 40-60% / 15-25% / 25-35% respectively. If you maintain muscles, it will be 30-50% / 25-35% / 25-35%. Finally, the daily meal of those who are losing fat should contain only 10-30% of carbs, 30-40% of fats, and 40-50% of protein.
Carbs should never go below 10% since their presence in our diet is crucial, as well as fats, by the way. Their amount shouldn’t fall below 15%. It is better to consume monounsaturated fats (avocados, olives, nuts, etc.) and Omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, soybeans, tofu, wild rice, etc.). They are the healthiest ones, and you won’t gain in fat with them as much as you will do by eating saturated and trans fats.
# 4. Water helps you stay healthy and lose weight.
Everybody knows that our bodies are about 60% of water. We constantly lose it, and we must keep it in balance all the time. But did you know that water boosts metabolism, give us energy, and can help us maintain weight? You have probably heard that if you drink a glass of water before your meal, it will reduce your appetite thus helping you eat no more than your body actually needs. A glass of water will also make you feel full when you confuse thirst with hunger.
That is to say, drinking enough water won’t make you slim on its own, but it will assist you in achieving your perfect body shape.
#5. Add more eggs to your diet.
Eggs are very healthy. They are rich in protein and many other essential nutrients (B vitamins, omega-3s, and choline). It has been proved that eating a couple of eggs for breakfast will make you feel full for a long time. In fact, such a breakfast may help you consume about 300 calories fewer at lunch.
#6. The priceless value of protein.
Regardless of whether you are a regular gym-goer, a novice athlete, or simply wish to be healthy and eat clean, protein is a must-have macronutrient in your diet. Protein is crucial for our muscles. It is needed for muscle maintenance while we are on a diet or recover after a hard workout in a gym. Moreover, some studies show that higher protein intake helps improve bone health and mineral density, reduce the risk of fractures, and help build-up lean muscle mass.
By the way, gaining more lean muscle mass will help you burn a bit more of that undesired fat. Since it is a well-known fact that muscles need much energy to work. And the more muscle mass you have the more energy your body will use for its maintenance. So you will lose weight even while resting. Sounds fantastic, isn’t it?
#7. Fruit or green salad is always a better choice than a sugar-full dessert.
It is obvious that sugar influences not only our body shape but also our overall health. Yet, it is often a challenge for most of us to eat a fruit salad for breakfast instead of cereals loaded with sugar, for instance. And flakes are best of a bad lot.
Fruits and greens contain fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, water, and other healthy micronutrients so essential for our bodies. Including them in our meal can help decrease the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and many other health issues, not mentioning the reduced number of calories that we will consume after such an enriched salad.
#8. Smaller is better.
Finally, you may also find it pretty helpful to eat from smaller plates. It might seem unimportant at first, but actually it will affect the size of your portions. Because, on a large plate, your portion always looks smaller than on a small plate. Such a strategy helps you trick your brain into thinking that you eat more.
The Bottom Line
These eight dieting tips will help you build a great foundation of health for the future, and you will lose weight and feel great along the journey. Repetition equals results, so the longer you consistently stick to your new healthy eating lifestyle, the better and faster long lasting results will manifest.