Bigger muscles. Smaller waist. Less fat. Loosing weight. Toned body. All of us would like to be able to say we have accomplished these things as part of our overall fitness goals. And, to reach those goals, it takes a combination of exercise and diet. But, when it comes to the diet part of this equation, there’s a lot of confusion out there. For example, you’d get the idea from all the information presented out there that carbs will make you skinny – or not. Fat will kill you – or save you. Protein will ruin your kidneys, but you’ll look like a Greek god. So, to make things simpler, here are some weight loss rules that work.
Simple rule. If you use more calories than you take in – your body will make up what it needs by getting energy from burning its own fat stores. Part of the reason that “low-fat” is promoted to help accomplish this, is that fat is dense in calories, and easily processed. If you replace fat with protein, your body uses more energy to process protein than fat. Same with carbs. So, if you dial back the carbs & fat, replace some of that fat & carbs with protein, and for each meal, lower the total number of calories, you’ll loose weight over time.
Whey-based protein powders are a great supplement
Protein helps you feel fuller, longer. So, two scoops of protein powder, blended with water, a scoop of frozen berries, and some ice, make for a great smoothie to have between meals or right after your workout – so when you do eat your normal meals, you’ll not be so hungry, and you can keep your overall calories during those meals down while avoiding hunger pains between means.
Try eating fiber-rich foods as snacks
Junk food is bad, as your body can easily digest it, leaving you feeling hungry sooner. But, fiber takes longer to digest. You not only pick up your metabolism due to the extra time needed for digestion, but this also keeps your blood sugar from acting like a roller-coaster. And, with a steady level of blood sugar, you’re less likely to feel tired after eating – you’ll have more energy and less between meal hunger!
Make sure you have a meat-based protein at each meal
Just because you’re having protein shakes, doesn’t mean that should be your only protein source. When you eat, you actually burn calories when you digest food. Meat takes more calories to digest than carbs, and carbs take more calories to digest than fat. So, when you have meat at a meal (shoot for a portion about the size of your fist) – you’ll go a long way to burning the most calories during digestion as possible.
Make sure you get BCAA’s for your post workout meal
What are BCAA’s? Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. And, Branch-Chained Amino Acids – leucine, isoleucine, and valine – are the best of them. BCAA’s help you recover from hard workouts by reducing the protein breakdown within your muscles. Plus, they increase testosterone and growth hormone, your body’s most important fat-fighting and muscle-building hormone. Shoot for 10 grams per day – if during the day, you have 2 scoops of protein powder, and 3 oz of meat, you’ll get your 10 grams. You’ll find them in meat and dairy products – and cottage cheese is also a great source for BCAA’s.
Don’t fry stuff!
Refined carbohydrates are bad. They’ve had fiber and nutrition removed while being processed – so low-fiber breads, and those sugary drinks, as we all know, are horrible for your diet. Worse yet – frying them! Researchers have found a suspected carcinogen called acrylamide in such products as potato chips and french fries. Now – they haven’t proved that they are a true carcinogen. But, why take the risk? Want a healthy snack? Try broccoli crowns or celery sticks dipped in fresh hummus instead!
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