Making your diet work for you

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There are many people in New Zealand who are considered to be overweight, and an alarming number  of those who are overweight are actually obese. Being overweight or obese can lead to a whole host of health complications, including serious diseases such as heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes not to mention poor quality of life.  But weight loss is not the easiest thing in the world to accomplish, and for many of us it is a lifelong battle to maintain a healthy fat percentage.

Finding the Right Diet for You

If you have decided that it is time to change your eating habits in order to lose weight, you are probably wondering which diet is the best one. After all, every day we are bombarded with new fad diets, each one guaranteed to “melt away the pounds”. Okay, some of these diets do just that, but they are extremely low calorie diets, and as soon as you go off the diet and eat regular foods again, you will see the weight or ‘water’ you lost come right back. The best way to lose fat, and keep it off, is to follow a healthy nutritional plan that is loaded with all of the nutrients we need to stay healthy, and make sure that you are eating enough and at regular intervals so that you do not feel hungry. This is one of the first things that make people go off their diets – they are never satisfied with their meals.
Make sure that when you are on a diet, you allow yourself the occasional treat. This will help to prevent you from binging and boredom, which often happens to those who are on extremely low-calorie weight loss diets. There are all kinds of healthy foods that also make satisfying treats, such as nuts (unsalted are best), low glycemic(GI) fruit i.e. pears or berries, and even the occasional square or two of dark chocolate, which is loaded with anti-oxidants. Protein snacks are hard to find; marinated mussels, prawns and tuna make high protein toppings for crackers or to add to a salad. Cottage cheese or hummus are low fat/high protein additions to go with raw veges between meals. A hard boiled egg, yoghurt or handful of pumpkin seeds are the easiest thing to grab when rushing aorund. With all of these great snack options, and more, you should have no problem at all sticking to your diet, and you’ll seeing quick changes in your body and scales!

KLR’s TOP TEN TIPS to prevent sugar cravings, keep you feeling full and to encourage body fat loss:

  • Download a list of LOW GLYCEMIC (GI) foods and stick with these for most meals (moderately eat from the medium GI lists)
  • Choose low GI fruit to fill you up just before meals i.e. pears, apples, berries (note: bananas and watermelon are high GI and can cause sugar cravings at the wrong times)
  • Coffee is not a meal! This will increase the stress hormone cortisol and cause the body to store fat.
  • Drink water all throughout the day to help you to feel full and prevent the body from thinking it is hungry when it is actually dehydrated
  • Increase low fat/high protein food options such as prawns, fish, tofu, seeds
  • Increase essential oils in the diet to keep you satiated i.e. macadamia oil, fish oils, flaxseed oils, avocado, nuts and seeds
  • Try to move away from the high GI/high carb traditional breakfast of cereal + fruit + toast + juice. Instead try low GI oats plus macademia oil and grated apple or a spoon of yoghurt. Try salmon and poached eggs on 1 piece of grain toast. Try a coconut and soy milk smoothie with low GI berries
  • Do not skip any meals. There shouldn’t be longer than 3 hours between meals/snacks
  • Be aware of increasing too much carbohydrate when you suddenly increase cardio training into your regime i.e. rice should be half a cup cooked or less for most people
  • Watch your portion size, you can have too much of a good thing and a high glycemic load even if the food is low fat can cause a trigger in your sugar level to make you crave more