Learning how to eat to lose weight for good will mean making a commitment to some life long changes. Fortunately, it’s not 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, with no restrictive diets just proper wholesome and low GI foods.
Firstly, you shouldn’t be put off by the sound of ‘life long changes’, and 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.
Lose Weight for Life!
This is exactly why they say diets don’t work when you haven’t changed your mentality around food, but instead just jumped straight back into your old and conditioned thinking and eating patterns. This is only natural as you still have a lifetime of conditioning and habit active, but don’t worry, there is a far more effective method can use to help keep excess weight off, and that involves changing the way you actually THINK about food.
Maybe you think this sounds boring, and you probably want quick results, but these results can be pretty quick if you are willing to apply them. It may require a bit of effort at first just like anything in life worth doing does, but the results for you are a long term healthy body, with added protection from the diseases that can stem from a bad diet and obesity. Makes it all SO worth it right?
What is yoyo dieting?
Yoyo dieting is the term used for on and off dieting that leads to you not only gaining back all of your hard lost weight, but often more on top. It can feel like a pattern that is impossible to break as you just keep losing and gaining weight over and over again; each time gets harder and harder to lose that regained weight and in the process you eventually mess up your metabolism completely. Yep, it’s a slippery slope from there UNLESS you do something about it now, and make changes to your mentality around food.
This kind of on/off 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 because I eventually changed the way I thought about food.
The problem with starvation diets
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.
To put it simply, 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 believe it is starving and actually hold onto fat; and of course, 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; meaning 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 nutritionally in balance and your blood sugar stable, both of which are the major players of keeping your BMI within a healthy range. Check your BMI here.
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 today and see results as quickly as possible.
The benefits of stable blood sugar
To kick off your lifelong changes you firstly need to understand the importance of keeping your blood sugar on an even keel in terms of fat loss. Stable blood sugar will help keep your body in fat burning mode; it really is that simple. Learning to eat low GI (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.
List of high GI foods
- White sugar
- Refined white flour
- White bread
- White Rice
- White pasta
- (All of the above 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 no longer has 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 needed to mop those sugars quickly up from your blood where they are directed to the liver and 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. Therefore eating 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, that when consumed in high doses, will essentially gets stored as fat in the body. This 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 because they also have a high fiber and nutrient content, which in turn helps to ‘slow’ those sugars down thus lowering the GI.
You should eat high sugar fruits such as pineapples, mangoes, bananas, grapes, pomegranates and papayas in moderation ONLY 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 high insulin spikes and ultimately fat storage.
6 EPIC WEIGHT LOSS 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 diet high in plant foods for all the nutrients, fiber, antioxidants and everything else you need for a healthy body and mind; and be sure to combine fats, proteins and carbohydrates into every meal or snack to help keep it low GI.
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. FOOD COMBINING
Food combining is all about understanding how to combine your macronutrients together to make a nutritionally complete meal. For example – 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. And 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.
An example of a perfect low GI meal or snack would 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.
2. 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; plus, it’s also high in antioxidants and has MANY other nutritional benefits. Thank God for chocolate hey?
3. EAT LOTS OF FRUIT AND VEG
Fruits and vegetables are definitely weight loss friendly foods, and ideally you should aim for at least 7-10 portions of fruit 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!
Whenever you can, you should try to eat only raw or lightly cooked vegetables to retain as much of their nutrients and fiber as possible, which will also have the added bonus of filling you up for longer and making them lower GI. A highly raw diet will also take your health to another level, as you will be eating all of those healthful vitamins, minerals and enzymes in their natural form without destroying any of it in the cooking process.
4. EAT A RAINBOW OF COLOURS
Other weight loss tips include eating ALL the different coloured fruits and vegetables you possibly can. 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:-
- Pumpkin seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Nutritional yeast
- Whole grains
- Green tea
- Coconut oil
Another awesome tip to keep your antioxidant intake high and your body in fat burning mode, is to have a green superfood powder shot every day. Find my great list of the Best Amazon Reviews Here. This will not only give you a noticeable zing of energy, but you will literally sparkle from the inside out, and there is just something about that intense raw green nutrition that takes your health to another level. It is also a great way to be sure you are getting ALL the nutrients you need to keep cravings at bay, especially if you don’t always have the time to eat as much fruit and vegetables as you should.
Admittedly, some of these green powders don’t taste great, but they’re just so immensely good for you, and if you wanted a treat then you’d have a donut. No no, these babies are about PURE nutrition, so man up and either 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 into you and you will feel the amazing benefits I’m raving about.
Obtaining enough protein (especially on a plant based or vegan diet) can sometimes be hard; 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. It’s worth noting that high muscle mass is a VERY important part of long term weight loss, because muscle burns more calories than fat on a continual basis due to the fact that unlike fat, it needs energy for movement.
Easy weight loss hacks
I recently had a conversation with a vegan bodybuilder whom told me that in order to boost your metabolism to keep your body in fat burning mode all day, then 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; even more so if you carry on with your low GI diet throughout the day too. 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, but bear in mind that she was hitting the gym too to build muscle, so that is another vital aspect.
Choosing a Protein Powder
If you’re going to try this then be sure to choose a good quality 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; plus, 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 really 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.
All-Natural Diet Aids
A dirty word in the weight loss industry, weight loss supplements and diet pills are not something I would certainly not 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, but there are some exceptions to this rule.
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 aids out there that really do help give you a fat burning edge alongside diet and exercise. These are just natural appetite suppressors, and gentle 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; 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, fat metabolisers, OR anything that hasn’t been thoroughly tested for safety.
Supplements such as these are certainly not crucial to weight loss, but in my own experience I have found they do help you in the first few month to lose the initial weight. Seeing these results can give you the confidence and will-power to carry on with your healthy eating plan for good.
I know I have scattered the importance of exercise throughout this post, but it also needs a section of its own it’s that IMPORTANT! Dieting without exercising will not end well; you will lose that all important metabolism boosting muscle mass that is CRUCIAL to long term weight loss. Sorry for shouty capitals but I really need to hammer this point home, as I don’t ant you to put in all the effort of healthy eating an miss out such an important step.
It doesn’t matter what you do, just make sure you do some kind of structured exercise of at least 1/2 an hour 4-5 times a week. Ideally go for a mix of cardio and weight bearing. Examples include:-
Weight Bearing Exercises
- HITT training
- Kettle Bells
- Gym work
- Weight Lifting
- Power walking
- Hill climbing
- Hot yoga (Bikram)
- HITT training
- Very fast power walking
Thanks for reading this article; I hope it has given you some insights on how to keep weight your off for good. Do you have anything you would like to ask about weight loss and fat burning that hasn’t been covered in this post? If so, please drop me a line 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. Thank you!