Ever wondered why the person sitting at the desk next to you can just eat and eat without gaining a pound, while if you so much as smell a chocolate muffin you acquire another belly roll?
You’re not alone.
Here’s the deal – if you want to lose weight (and keep it off!), it’s time to ignore your nan’s advice about ‘sewing your lips shut’ and start eating more food. Correction, more of the right food.
What Are The ‘Right’ Kinds Of Food?
It goes without saying – ice cream, chocolate and caramel slices don’t really fit the bill when it comes to eating more to lose weight. So what foods should you be eating?
Go for large volumes of nutrient dense, low calorie foods, that’ll keep you fuller for longer. If you spend your time snacking on donuts, not only do you need to eat a lot to feel full, you also actually starve yourself of valuable nutrients. Say hello to fat gain and poor energy levels!
These best foods to eat in high volumes when trying to lose weight are:
- Complex carbohydrates, such as brown rice, rolled oats and quinoa. These foods are Low Gi (therefore giving you sustained energy) and are high in fibre, which keeps you fuller for longer.
- High protein grains and vegetables, such as pulses (lentils, beans, chickpeas) and dark green veggies like spinach, kale and broccoli. These guys give you extra bang for your buck because natural, high protein foods always come with extra essential nutrients and antioxidants as well!
- Foods that are high in fibre, like rolled oats, chia seeds, quinoa and nuts. High fibre foods help keep hunger at bay, promote digestive health and flush toxins out of your body.
- Healthy fats, from sources such as nuts, avocado and coconut oil. If you don’t eat fats your body holds fat, so make sure you get some in there! Just ensure you enjoy correct portions… a quarter of an avocado is considered a healthy serve, or a small handful of almonds.
Don’t Cut Calories!
Starving yourself is one of the worst ways to lose weight and keep it off. It creates a bad relationship between you and food (mentally and physically), and doesn’t promote a healthy or balanced lifestyle.
How it affects you physically
Your body is great at adapting and responding to changes in its environment and diet. If you start cutting calories, over time your body will start grabbing onto and storing food (starvation mode) and slow down its metabolism to compensate for the drop in food intake. Then, because your body is REALLY good at using minimal energy to run efficiently, when you do start to eat more again your body will store a lot of it as fat, rather than using it as fuel.
In addition to this, lean muscle is the key to losing weight and keeping it off long term. Muscle is what chews up calories, and therefore the more of it you have the better your body’s metabolism runs and burns fuel. In other words, the process of eating well + regular, varied exercise will help you burn fat, build muscle and shed weight.
How it affects you mentally
There’s one thing in common between every yo-yo dieter and calorie counter… they have an unhealthy relationship with food. They may not be able to enjoy occasional treat guilt free. They may starve themselves, only to follow with a binge eating session. Perhaps they count every calorie they eat obsessively, rather than just enjoying a healthy, fresh and balanced diet. Whatever the case, when you start cutting calories you stop seeing food as something to fuel your body, and you stop seeing it as something to enjoy.
In short, losing weight shouldn’t be this enormous calorie-cut challenge that leaves you starving, cranky and unhappy. What it should be about is incorporating healthier habits into your day that leave your body looking and feeling better, and developing ways you can enjoy food – without packing on the pounds – long term.
Still Feeling A Little Lost?
Don’t worry – you’re not the only one!
Can’t stand the thought of planning, preparing and cooking healthy food? Not sure how to balance out your meals, portion meals, or even how to cook in the first place?
Check out Fast Fuel’s Weight Loss Range – designed to take the stress out of losing weight, give you more free time, and ensure everyone has access to fresh, clean, healthy meals.
Or, if you feel like you need a little extra help losing weight, balancing your diet, or simply want to get a better understanding of nutrition, Fast Fuel’s very own dietitian can help!
Through her business Revive Nutrition, Kirsty can provide you with one-on-one assistance, advice and tailored meal plans to help you achieve your health and weight goals. She has a PhD in Behavioural Science (focusing on childhood obesity), is an Accredited Practising Dietitian… and a totally awesome person! If you feel like this may be the best path for you, make sure you get in touch.