what to eat and what to avoid!
Protein – the best weight loss weapon!
High-protein foods take more work to digest, metabolize, and use, which means you burn more calories processing them. They also take longer to leave your stomach, so you feel full sooner and for a longer amount of time.
In a study published in Nutrition Metabolism, dieters who increased their protein intake to 30 percent of their diet ate nearly 450 fewer calories a day and lost about 11 pounds over the 12-week study without employing any other dietary measures.
And, as a member of zest, exercising regularly, you will be burning calories as well as watching them, protein is doubly essential for making sure you lose fat, not muscle. Your body uses the amino acids in protein to build lean muscle, which not only makes you stronger and more toned but also burns calories even when you’re not active—unlike lazy fat. Ultimately, this keeps your metabolism buzzing along at high speed so you can burn off the occasional cookie, no problem.
Low carb, no carb, what carbs? Just GOOD carbs!
Eat good carbohydrates, You need to eat carbs to stimulate insulin. Insulin is critical for glucose transportation, reducing fat storage by taking glucose to the cells to be used as fuel and keep other hormones in check. Eat 3-4 portions of carbohydrates a week around times you exercise. Eat things like sweet potato, jasmine or brown rice, quinoa, vegetables (yes these are carbs) Veggies you should eat every day especially green veg.
The big bad truth about fruit!
Avoid fruit where possible. The fructose in fruit shuts down your Ghrelin hormone (the hormone that tells your brain you are hungry). Fructose doesn’t allow this hormone to switch off, meaning you keep eating. Avoid fruit where possible and any products that contain ‘high fructose corn syrup’. Eat only blueberries, raspberries and blackberries for antioxidants. Otherwise you will over eat and consume more sugar that your body can handle thus making and storing more fat.
Avoid the Processed Food & “Healthy” Snack Trap
The more processing that a food goes through, the more additives and less nutrients it contains. Processing removes a great deal (if not all) of the vitamins, minerals and fibre in most foods. To make matters worse, processing then adds in unhealthy fats, a ton of sugar or sugar substitute and synthetic vitamins and minerals.
Most of these ingredients, including artificial sweeteners, artificial colours, hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup, are not even recognized as edible by your body. Think about that. You wouldn’t eat a bowl of paper clips, so why would you eat something else that wasn’t actually food? These non-food ingredients are considered toxins and most will end up languishing in your system, often stored with fat. Unfortunately, many of the so-called health or diet foods are just as bad as their unhealthy counterparts.
Research has shown that people who try to lose weight by eating low-calorie, low-fat foods such as ready meals, cookies and bars usually end up consuming far more calories than those who eat the full-fat, full-calorie versions. This is because they don’t contain enough healthy fats, fibre or protein to satisfy, so more must be eaten. However, consuming more calories is the least harmful thing about these foods. It’s important that you read the labels on these “healthy” foods to see what’s really in them.
Can you follow your food back to where it started?
Chicken – butchers – chiller cabinet of supermarket chicken breast – it’s an easy food item to track back to it’s origin. Can you say the same about chicken kiev or a chicken ready meal. What ingredients are in the meal to give it shelf life? Which part of the chicken are you eating? Do you know that many frozen chicken “breasts” are injected with water to plump them out and make them look bigger (and weigh more!). With all the food you eat, can you see within a few steps how it came from the animal or plant to your plate? If not, it’s time to change the way you eat.
Breakfast Cereal – Dead Food
To find a healthy cereal, you need to look in the per 100g column of the nutrition information panel on the cereal box. Look for the following criteria and choose a cereal that fits most, if not all, of the criteria:
Saturated fat: Less than 3g
Sugars: Less than 15g. For cereals with dried fruit, look for less than 25g.
Fibre: More than 6g
Sodium: Less than 400mg
But, there is more to the argument about not eating cereal than just concerns about their high sugar content.
Dry breakfast cereals are produced by a process called extrusion. Cereal makers first create a slurry of the grains and then put them in a machine called an extruder. The grains are forced out of a little hole at high temperature and pressure. Depending on the shape of the hole, the grains are made into little o’s, flakes, animal shapes, or shreds (as in Shredded Wheat), or they are puffed (as in puffed rice). A blade slices off each little flake or shape, which is then carried past a nozzle and sprayed with a coating of oil and sugar to seal off the cereal from the ravages of milk and to give it crunch.
In his book Fighting the Food Giants, Paul Stitt tells us that the extrusion process used for these cereals destroys most of the nutrients in the grains. It destroys the fatty acids; it even destroys the chemical vitamins that are added at the end. The amino acids are rendered very toxic by this process. The amino acid lysine, a crucial nutrient, is especially denatured by extrusion. This is how all the boxed cereals are made, even the ones sold in the health food stores. They are all made in the same way and mostly in the same factories. All dry cereals that come in boxes are extruded cereals.
Remember – this includes ALL breakfast cereals, even the organic ones. (But not things like rolled oats, steel cut oats, or whole grains in their original shape.)
Scary stuff isn’t it?
So, even if you can find a cereal that has the healthiest amount of sugars, it still won’t have the all nutrients you need it and it will still be hugely processed. Opt for a protein based breakfast instead such as poached egg or scrambled egg. If you can’t face eggs at breakfast, opt for porridge or homemade granola.