As you know, health is wealth, and if you want to lose weight to get fit and healthy, you need to begin by addressing your diet. When we think of diets, we think of minuscule portions, salad, vegetables, and other bland and tasteless foods that may be good for us, but are hardly inspiring when it comes to taste.
In truth, the entire concept behind a healthy diet is extremely complex as there is a lot to get your head around. While we won’t be going into too much technical detail when looking at diet and nutrition, we will be providing a basic nutritional overview and will be looking at some of the basic fundamentals associated with a healthy diet.
First and foremost, it doesn’t matter which diet and nutritional plan you intend on following adequate hydration are absolutely essential. The human body is made up of close to 80% water.
We need water in order for our cells to function properly, we need water to digest our food, we need water to convert calories into energy, we need water for our organs to function properly, and we need water to simply feel healthy and productive. Water helps speed up metabolism and promotes athletic performance, making adequate hydration perfect for people trying to lose weight. As well as that, water is also very beneficial for the brain. Experts recommend that we consume around 8 glasses of water each day. Avoid sugary drinks, as well as sugar-free drinks which are loaded with chemicals, and instead, get your hydration from fresh mineral or filtered water.
Macros, or macronutrients if we’re being technical, are made up of: fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Basically, these are your three macronutrients.
It is worth noting roughly how many calories the different types of macronutrients contain.
• Carbohydrates – 4 calories per gram
• Proteins – 4 calories per gram
• Fats – 9 calories per gram
We need a healthy balance of all three macros as they perform different functions and processes within the body.
Protein for example, is used to help repair and rebuild damaged muscle tissue. It’s also vital for cellular health and function. Carbohydrates are typically used by the body as a key source of energy, whereas fats are used to regulate your hormones, boost metabolism, promote healthy organs, and much more besides. When trying to lose weight, your macronutrient ratios should be at 50% protein, 35% carbs and 15% fat.
Micronutrients are another group of essential food groups needed by the body in order for it to function at its best. Micronutrients generally consist of vitamins and minerals. These all play incredibly important roles in the body and are vital for optimal health and well-being. We need vitamins for a healthy immune system, for wound healing, for organ function, for energy production, for hormone regulation, and much more besides. Minerals are equally as important as each one offers unique benefits and advantages to the body. Minerals such as calcium, for example, are important for strong and healthy bones. Iron is a mineral essential for the blood as it plays a key role in the production of hemoglobin.
Calories are basic units of energy. The human body needs energy for a whole variety of different reasons. We get our energy from food and drink. The amount of energy found in each food and drink item is measured in calories. To maintain itself in its current state, the body needs a certain number of calories. This number varies from person to person. If we consume more calories than the body needs for maintenance, we create a caloric surplus. Rather than letting these calories go to waste, the body instead converts them into fat and stores them to be used at a later date. If we don’t consume enough calories needed for maintenance, we create a caloric deficit, and the body taps into its fat reserves to make up the difference. This is a very simple explanation of how a caloric deficit promotes weight loss.
Are You Carb Sensitive?
This is a HUGE problem that is the underlying cause for why fat people keep getting fatter… and the rate of weight gain is accelerated. Some people are highly carb sensitive. When they consume even a little bit of carbs, they gain weight fast. This is due to insulin insensitivity. You’re probably wondering what causes this. The answer is quite simple.Let’s assume you drink a can of sugary soda. The sugar in the soda will spike your blood sugar levels. Your body will release insulin to prevent your blood sugar level from getting too high (hyperglycemia).
Now if you were to drink 3 cans of soda a day, your body will keep releasing insulin to cope with these elevated sugar levels. Over time, your body will get desensitized to the insulin and your pancreas will have to keep releasing more insulin just to cope with the same amount of sugar.
When this happens, the excess insulin will be shuttled off to the body’s fat stores through a chain of processes within the body. This will explain why overweight people often complain that they eat 1 slice of cake and gain 4 pounds. While this is a bit of an exaggeration, you do get the point. A long time of consuming junk food and processed foods has affected their body’s internal system. Another very nasty consequence of insulin insensitivity is that it sets the stage for type 2 diabetes which is the leading cause of kidney failure, blindness, and amputations. This is one of the worst diseases out there… and it all starts with a poor diet.
So what do I do if I’m insulin insensitive?
There are a few ways to reduce insulin insensitivity. Thousands of people will see rapid weight loss if they ‘reset’ their body’s insulin sensitivity. This is one of the biggest weight loss hurdles that most people aren’t even aware of. Fix your insulin insensitivity and it will become much easier to shed the stubborn pounds. Here are a few methods.
• Reduce your intake of all sugary and refined foods until you can eliminate them completely.
• Consume more foods that contain turmeric/ginger/garlic.
• Get enough sleep daily. This is very important. If you get insufficient sleep, consume some cinnamon. This will help attenuate the effects of the insulin resistance that arises from insufficient sleep.
• Lift weights.
• Run thrice a week in a fasted state.
• Drink unsweetened green tea regularly. The gallic acid in the tea will improve your insulin sensitivity.
• Consume leafy greens and food rich in magnesium.
• Reduce or totally stop your intake of refined carbs like white rice, white bread, pasta, etc.