Ten Dieting Tips from a Personal Trainer
are plenty of misconceptions about weight loss and between us I'm sure
we've heard them all. If taken literally many of these 'weight loss
tips' can cause more harm than good in our fight against the flab.
In this article, we share 10 of the best weight loss eating tips we know of to help you move a step closer to being in the best shape of your life.
Tip 1 - Dieting makes us fat!
Most "quick-fix" diets are based on strict calorie restrictions and deprivation,
and often leave us feeling like we're starving.
Typically, these diets are successful at inducing "weight" loss initially; unfortunately the weight we lose is not all fat.
Most of the weight we lose in the first few days and weeks of such diets typically result from a loss of water and muscle tissue.
Losing an excessive amount of water can be dangerous because it leads to dehydration.
Losing muscle tissue is just as bad and is actually counterproductive to our weight loss goals. If we are eating too few calories each day, our bodies turn to muscle tissue to supply the necessary fuel to live and our body literally starts to feed on itself.
Muscles burn calories and having less muscle results in a slower metabolic rate which reduces the number of calories our body burns each day. In other words, we end up with a slower fat burning 'engine'.
With less muscle, once we start eating 'normally' again, we regain the weight we've just lost...plus interest!
Next time you are thinking of going on a diet, here is something to ponder - 1kg of fat is equivalent to 7,700 calories; do you really think it is possible to lose fat at a rate of 2kg per week as advertised by many diets, or are they just advertising what we would all like to believe?
Tip 2 - the two third, one third principle
Here is an easy to stick to eating plan - it is not a diet, it is simply a
guide you can use when making your daily food choices.
Try to ensure that two thirds of what you eat looks like it comes out of the ground or off a tree (i.e. Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts, Whole Grains, Brown and Wild Rice, and Legumes).
The other third should be natural protein sources like Fish, Lean Meats, Lean Chicken (skin off), Low Fat Milk, Low Fat Yoghurt, Low Fat Cheeses and Eggs.
Everything else should be consumed moderately.
Don't cut out your favourite foods!
The key is to eat everything in moderation. If we can't have it, shouldn't have it, mustn't have it, what happens? We usually want it more than ever before and end up bingeing.
Eat a little of your favourite foods and really enjoy them!
Tip 3 - Become a S.M.A.R.T.I.E
The next time you're considering going on a quick-fix diet, ask yourself the
S - Is it something you can Stick with for the rest of your life?
M - Is everything in Moderation?
A - Is it Achievable?
R - Is it Realistic?
T - Is it Time-efficient?
I - Is it Interesting?
E - Is it Enjoyable?
If the answer to all of the above is yes, congratulations because you have found a sensible eating plan, if the answer to any of these is no - you are about to go on another merry-go-round diet...and what do diets do? Make us fat!
Tip 4 - Don't rely solely on the Scales
Unless we are in the weight loss 'industry' scales aren't everything.
Many commercial weight loss programs (notice I didn't say fat loss) - actually discourage exercise, particularly strength training because they teach you to measure your progress by the scales.
It is in their best interest - not ours - for us to lose muscle tissue because it will show a greater reduction in overall body weight.
If we were to keep our muscle and only lose fat it would slow down the process and wouldn't be as dramatic a loss, and ultimately they couldn't advertise 'quick results'.
Muscle is our friend because it is what helps keep our fat burning engine running - do we really want to lose this precious resource?
Tip 5 - Know what Low GI is and what insulin does
GI or the Glycemic Index is a way of ranking foods, generally carbohydrates,
based on their immediate effect on blood sugar levels.
Foods that are high GI cause a peak in blood sugar and a rise in insulin levels. When insulin is present in the blood stream it encourages fat storage - which is what we want to avoid!
Low GI carbohydrates have been scientifically proven to:
- help lower insulin levels which makes fat easier to burn and less likely to be stored
- help to lower blood fats
- help satisfy and reduce appetite
- help to sustain exercise longer
- reduce the risk of diabetes
- reduce the risk of heart disease
So wherever possible, chose low GI foods.
Tip 6 - Beware of low-fat/no-fat diets
Fats should actually make up around 20-30% of our total calorie intake.
Recently there has been a huge swing towards 'fat phobia' because low-fat food manufacturers have spent millions of dollars trying to convince consumers that fat is bad.
The fact is that this is simply not true.
Whilst it's true that fat has 9 calories per gram, as apposed to carbohydrates and protein that have only 4 calories per gram, fat is an essential part of our diet because it ensures proper functioning of our mind and body.
Dietary fat also makes us feel full and satisfied; so if our diet consists of mainly 'low fat' foods we may end up eating a lot more calories overall before beginning to feel full.
The other issue with low fat foods is that most manufacturers add sugars to their products to replace the taste and texture removed with the natural fats.
Adding all this extra sugar increases the calorie count of these foods back to the original amount, if not higher, and then we have the problem of increased blood sugar levels and increased levels of insulin due the food now having a high GI rating!
The best sources of fat are from cold water ocean fish, raw nuts, seeds, olives and avocados.
Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil is great for salads but loses its integrity during cooking, so if you do need to cook with oil try using cold pressed grape seed oil.
Tip 7 - Drink plenty of water
The importance of water is often overlooked. Water actually aids our bodies in:
- Temperature regulation
- Nutrient transportation
- Waste elimination
- Fat burning
If we don't drink enough water our body actually retains fluid and becomes
less efficient at fat burning.
The general recommendation is that we should be drinking 8 glasses a day (the equivalent of 2 litres per day) but scientific research now suggests we drink 1 litre for every 25kg of body weight.
Tip 8 - A substitute for fruit and vegetables hasn't been found
I know this doesn't sound pleasant, but those of us who don't like to eat
fruit and veggies or who don't have time to, or who can't be bothered, have
a 40% to 90% increased risk of getting one of the many different kinds of cancer.
Fruit and veggies also help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease and obesity!
If we want to successfully lose weight and be healthier, we must eat more fruit and veggies.
Tip 9 - Eat breakfast everyday
We have all heard the saying 'breakfast is the most important meal of the
day', but do we really understand why?
Our metabolism is like a campfire...if we stoke up the fire and then go to bed, what are we left with in the morning?
There are red-hot embers but no fire, so to start it again we need to put some more logs or fuel on the fire - our metabolism is exactly the same.
When we go to sleep our metabolism slows right down and it won't start up again until we eat.
So if we are not eating until mid morning or lunch time, we are wasting all that time in between waking and eating with a sluggish metabolism when we could be burning fat instead!
Tip 10 - Be wary of 'Monday-itis'
It's Monday morning, you take a look in the mirror and you feel fat and frumpy.
You decide 'that's it, today I am going on a diet!' and you mentally make a
note of all the foods you will stop eating from today; all the foods that you
can't have, shouldn't have and won't have because this time you are really
So you start the day off with a healthy breakfast, you have your piece of fruit for morning tea and even make it to the salad bar for lunch; by which time you are obsessing about the chocolate bars sitting right next to the cash register (the chocolate bars that you CAN'T HAVE!).
You take your salad back to your desk feeling deprived and unhappy that you are missing out on that chocolate bar, instead feeling like a rabbit nibbling on your salad.
At some stage between now and the next 48 hours you start to feel depressed and/or angry that you are missing out; you are getting snappy and grumpy - What do you do??? You eat, of course, you eat!
But you don't just eat one biscuit, you eat the whole packet or you go and buy that chocolate bar and the cream bun which just happens to be strategically placed next to it...and then...you feel really guilty, bad, naughty - you feel like a loser with no willpower; you eat more, you binge and say "stuff it", I'll start again on Monday!
Does this sound like you or somebody you know? This is 'addictive' behaviour and it is this 'diet addiction' that I strongly believe is a huge contributor to the growing incidences of obesity in Australia.
Don't let this be you, take a sensible long-term approach to weight loss that includes healthier eating and exercise. And remember, you are not alone; there is plenty of great help available if you need it. All you have to do is seek and ask for it.
In this article, we shared 10 weight loss eating tips so that
you can move a step closer
to being in the best shape of your life.
Thanks for visiting weightloss.com.au.
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This article was written by Scott Haywood.
Scott is the editor of weightloss.com.au. Scott has developed an expertise in fitness and nutrition, and their roles in weight loss, which led him to launch weightloss.com.au in 2005. Today, weightloss.com.au provides weight loss and fitness information, including hundreds of healthy recipes, weight loss tools and tips, articles, and more, to millions of people around the world, helping them to lead happier, healthier, lives.
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