Learning how to eat to lose weight for good will mean making a commitment to some life long changes. Fortunately, it’s not really as hard as you may think once you learn how to make small changes and apply them consistently. In this post I will show you 6 effective tips on how to do this simply, easily, and effectively and with no restrictive diets just proper wholesome, low GI foods.
Firstly, you shouldn’t be put off by the sound of ‘life long changes’; just remember that short term diets don’t really work. Yes, you may initially lose the weight you were planning to lose, but what happens then? Your diet is over, you’ve reached your goal, and more often than not you will slowly but surely slip back into old eating patterns – those very same patterns that made you gain weight in the first place!
KEEPING WEIGHT OFF FOR LIFE:
This is exactly why they say diets don’t work, because you haven’t changed your mentality around food and instead just jumped straight back into your old and conditioned thinking patterns. This is only natural of course, but all is not lost as there is a far more effective method you should be using to keep excess weight off that involves changing the way you actually THINK about food.
Maybe you think this sounds boring and you want quick results, but these results can be pretty quick if you are willing to apply them. Yes, it may require a bit of effort at first as anything worth doing in life does, but the results for you are a long term healthy body with the added bonus of protection from those many diseases that stem from a bad diet and obesity. Makes it all SO worth it right?
The yoyo dieting cycle
Yoyo dieting leads to you not only gaining back all of your hard lost weight, but often more on top. And so begins a cycle of dieting and gaining weight again; each time it just gets harder and harder to lose that regained weight and in the process you eventually start to mess up your metabolism completely. Yep, it’s a slippery slope from there, UNLESS you do something about it now and make a few changes to your mentality around food.
Yoyo dieting was a pattern I was stuck in for years (since the age of 14, way back in the late 80’s when those ‘lose 10 lbs in 3 days’ types of diets were everywhere), but luckily I am out of that cycle now only because I changed the way I thought about food.
Starvation diet and weight loss problems:-
Seriously restricting your calories may very well work in the short term IF you have the willpower to starve yourself, but that weight loss is mostly water and lean muscle tissue (losing muscle is a very bad thing of which I will speak more about later). You may lose a bit of fat too, but this is minimal and in an ideal world you would want to lose just fat.
Simply put, your body goes into starvation mode when you restrict calories too far. You may seem to lose weight at first, but then fearing that food is scarce your body will go into starvation mode and actually hold onto fat! And for many of you serial dieters out there, that is just the worst possible scenario as all your efforts will have been in vain.
To make matters worse, as soon as you go back to your old ways of eating, you just pile it all back on again quickly – and usually MORE on top! This means you have ultimately done more harm than good. Depressing huh?
And so another vicious cycle begins, which hammers home my point about the need to make life long changes by eating healthily and exercising regularly. This is the only surefire way to keep your body in balance and your blood sugar stable; both of which are the major players of keeping your BMI within a healthy range.
So without further ado, let me show you the easiest ways to achieve this coveted altered state of consciousness around food so you can start applying it to your life and seeing results as quickly as possible. Warning: This lifestyle will change your life and make you feel amazing!
How can I lose weight fast? – The benefits of stable blood sugar:-
Stable blood sugar will help keep your body in fat burning mode – it really is that simple. Learning the low GI way of eating (GI stands for glycemic index, and refers to how quickly the sugars in a particular food are released into the bloodstream) will be of huge benefit to you not only in your weight loss efforts, but for your overall health and continual weight loss in the long term.
Examples of high GI foods that contain simple sugars are:-
- White sugar
- Refined white flour
- White bread
- White Rice
- White pasta
(ALL OF THESE ARE INCLUDED IN MOST CONFECTIONERY, CAKES, BISCUITS, JUNK FOODS AND SWEETS).
During the refining process of white flours, pasta, breads etc, the fibers are lost and most of the nutrients taken out. It is the fiber and nutrients in a food that would normally slow down the release of sugars into the bloodstream, however when they are taken out your body don’t have to do the hard work of breaking them down. This means their sugars hit the bloodstream almost instantly, starting directly inside the mouth through receptors on the tongue.
It is this ‘fast’ release of sugar that promotes the high insulin response that is needed to mop those sugars up from your blood. They are then directed to the liver where they are metabolised, and unless you are about to embark on a hard workout they will more than likely be stored as fat, and usually the most dangerous kind, which is belly fat. Eating these low carbohydrate foods, along with a low GI diet is the best way to keep blood sugar stable and ultimately keep your weight down for good.
Most ‘free sugars’ such as white sugar, syrups, and high fructose corn syrup, are derived of mostly glucose and fructose. Fructose is the sugar found in fruits, and when consumed in high doses will essentially gets stored as fat in the body. This however, does not mean that you shouldn’t eat fresh whole fruits, as the sugars in whole fruits are not processed in the same way as free sugars. This is simply because whole fruits also have a high fiber and nutrient content, thus making them a much lower GI than free sugars.
You should only eat high sugar fruits such as pineapples, mangoes, bananas, grapes, pomegranates, and papayas in moderation if you are trying to lose weight, for the simple fact they are much higher in calories than the lower sugar fruits.
Fruit juices – not as healthy as you may think… Sorry!
Fruit juices are a definite no no as they are concentrated forms of fructose that have usually been pasturised, and therefore have lost many of their their nutrients and live enzymes in the process. They have also had their fiber extracted in the juicing process, which is another reason why they are so high GI.
Even juices from the whole fruit ‘with bits’ are not great, for the simple reason you can easily consume 8 or 9 juiced oranges in one drink and therefore be taking in way too much fructose very quickly. This amount of fruit is something you wouldn’t be able to eat if you were to consume those whole oranges separately. Therefore those juices give you unnatural amounts of fructose, and that in itself promotes insulin spikes and fat storage.
How to Eat to Lose Weight for Good – 6 Effective Tips
As discussed before, losing weight and more importantly keeping it off for good usually requires some lifelong changes to your diet and lifestyle. You should follow a highly plant based diet for all the nutrients, fiber, antioxidants and everything else you need for a healthy body and mind, and combine fats, proteins and carbohydrates into every meal or snack. This helps to slow down the release of sugars into the body which in turn doesn’t lead to that high insulin response.
Below is a list of the 6 basic rules that should become part of your habits around food, and if you apply them daily you will soon start seeing the changes that you are looking for.
1. ALWAYS EAT WHOLEGRAINS
This means wholegrain pastas, breads, rices, buckwheat, quinoa, oatmeal, oats, millet, and cracked wheat. Cut out anything refined, such as free sugars, confectionery, pastries, white bread, rice, and pasta. Swap regular chocolate for at least 70% cacao chocolate as it is rich and you will not need to eat as much; it is also high in antioxidants and has MANY other nutritional benefits. Thank God for chocolate!
2. FOOD COMBINING
Never eat refined carbohydrates or fast sugars alone (and especially not on an empty stomach) if you want to stay trim and keep your blood sugar stable. Always try to combine low GI carbs in a ratio of roughly 2:1 with a protein such as soya, nuts, seeds, or pulses. Also, add a little healthy fat if not already available in the protein source such as in the case of olive oil, avocado, coconut oil, or tahini.
For example, a perfect low GI meal or snack could be a slice of wholegrain sourdough toast with tahini and smashed avocado. This has all the elements of low GI carbs, with plenty of protein and healthy fat to make it a great fat burning meal. Learn more on food combining and how to put a nutritionally complete meal together in my plant based food combining post.
3. EAT LOTS OF FRUIT AND VEG
You need at least 7-10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Yes this may seem hard at first but it’s not really, not when you get into a routine and it becomes a habit. You can easily add a couple of pieces of chopped fruit onto your morning oatmeal, add a side salad to your lunch, have a green smoothie for your afternoon snack and steamed vegetables with your dinner, and there you go, you’ve done at least 10 portions right there – simple!
Wherever possible you should always eat raw or lightly cooked vegetables, this way they will retain much more of their nutrients and fiber, therefore fill you up for longer and making them lower GI. A highly raw food diet will also take your health to another level as you will be eating all of those vitamins, minerals, and enzymes in their natural form without destroying any of their health giving nutrients in the cooking process.
4. EAT A RAINBOW OF COLOURS
Other weight loss tips include eating ALL the different coloured fruits and vegetables you can source. It’s the actual colour pigment in the flesh and skin of fruits and vegetables that is where the goodness of their antioxidants and flavenoids lie. These are the active compounds that not only help mop up free radicals in the body, but are also very anti aging and help lower your risk of all manner of diseases.
Eating a rainbow of colours, such as blueberries, dark green leafy veg, carrots, and colourful bell peppers will give you an array of vitamins and minerals AND will cut down drastically your cravings for bad foods as your body will be satisfied and not starving of nutrients.
5. INCORPORATE SPECIFIC FAT BURNING FOODS
There are many specific fat burning foods that can help you to lose unwanted fat, such as almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, pulses, wholegrains, cacoa, spirulina, chlorella, wheatgrass, cinnamon, broccoli, berries, grapefruit, green tea and coconut oil.
To keep your antioxidant intake high and your body in fat burning mode, it’s always well worth having a green superfood powder shot every day. This will not only give you a noticeable zing of energy, but you will literally sparkle from the inside out. There is just something about that intense raw green nutrition that takes your health to another level, and I personally notice a difference in my health when I don’t have it.
Admittedly, some of these green powders don’t taste great, but hey, they’re immensely good for you and if you wanted a treat then you’d have a donut. No no no, these babies are about PURE nutrition, so man up and knock them back in a shot of water or juice, add to your smoothies, or do whatever else you need to do to get them in you and you’ll soon feel the benefits of what I’m raving about.
Obtaining enough protein (especially on a plant based or vegan diet) can sometimes be hard, and even more so if you’re in training or doing your fair share of exercise. In both of these cases you may want to use a protein supplement to help you burn fat and build muscle. High muscle mass is a VERY important part of long term weight loss, as muscle burns more calories than fat on a continual basis – even when you’re sitting on your butt doing absolutely nothing!
Do this easy weight loss hack every day:-
I recently had a conversation with a vegan bodybuilder, whom told me that in order to boost your metabolism and keep your body in fat burning mode all day, you should be eating 30 grams of protein powder as soon as you get up in the morning – NO carbs with it (except the small amount that may come in the powder). This means you may have to use powders that don’t have added sugars etc, but basically she meant just protein, with either water or sugar free nut milk.
Doing this fires up your metabolism for the day, which keeps your body in fat burning mode, especially if you carry on with your low GI diet too. We’re talking ultra fat burning here from hitting it from all angles. You can have breakfast after this if you still want it (you probably won’t), but the point is to get the protein in fast, and first thing in the morning. She said this was the ONE thing she started doing that finally shifted the fat she couldn’t get rid of before no matter how hard she tried.
Choose the right kind of protein powder:-
If you’re going to try this then be sure to choose a good quality plant based protein powder. And I do highly recommend that you are exercising too, as you will need to be putting stress on the muscles in order to rebuild them stronger in the first place. A higher protein, low in refined carbs diet will also keep you full up and stop you craving and snacking on the unhealthy stuff.
As a side note, if you’re a woman and worried about getting too muscly, then fear not as you won’t. It’s much harder for a woman to build too much muscle unless she is also taking steroids and working out hard for many hours a day – you will simply get nice and toned instead.
Weight loss supplements and diet pills are not something I would recommend in most cases, as many of them are either fake, a rip off, or are just plain unhealthy – even downright dangerous. I always advocate losing weight through your own hard work, diet, and exercise for long term success.
As you know, lifelong weight control is about the reprogramming of old bad habits and installing new ones. There are however some natural weight loss supplements out there that really do help give you a fat burning edge alongside diet and exercise. These are just natural appetite suppressors and metabolism boosters that seem to work (and have been proven to work) especially well with new dieters. Most reports show the body seems to respond better to them in the first few months of a diet plan, and after that you may well be wasting your money as your body becomes accustomed to them.
Please be assured that any products I recommend in the above natural weight loss supplements post are ALL chemical free and natural. I would never promote dangerous diet pills, super high caffeine products, or fat metabolisers, OR anything that hasn’t been thoroughly tested.
Supplements such as these are not crucial to weight loss, but in my own experience they do help you in the first few month to lose the extra weight; in turn giving you the confidence and will-power to carry on with your healthy eating plan for good.
Thank you for reading this article, I hope it has given you some insights in how to keep weight off for good. Do you have anything you would like to ask about weight loss and fat burning? If so, please post your messages below and I will be happy to help. I would also love to hear about your success stories and maybe even use them in upcoming articles.