Many of us will be surrounded by the scraps of the chocolate and cheese boards that we were bought during the Christmas period, there’s no point in keeping these temptations around us, it’s now time to clear out and restock with healthier food options.
Investing in this initial shop will get you on the path to creating some good habits this year. Making sure we buy plenty of green vegetables (Spinach, Kale, Broccoli, Pak Choi to name a few) great for providing the body with vital vitamins and minerals and are proven to reduce risks of heart attacks and strokes when consumed over 5 times daily.
You just have to scroll through your Facebook or go onto YouTube to find some great examples of using vegetables as a base for a meal i.e. Courgetti spaghetti or cauliflower rice are two that I have seen online in last couple of days.
images by Kat Stan and Lisa
Now I am not saying cut carbohydrates out completely as you will need to fuel the body for your gym sessions but try and keep the carbohydrate based meals for when you know you will be training that day so having a carbohydrate breakfast or lunch when you are training that evening, this will allow you to work to a higher intensity. Then for your evening meal apply the vegetable base with a small carbohydrate as a side, this will be a winning recipe to keep you losing weight and get those muscles defined.
We all will have experienced eating more than we usually do and thus you probably don’t feel full as quick as you did before the Christmas period. Now it’s easy to carry on with this into the new year making us put on weight, however we need to get back to where we were and control our portions especially with our carbohydrates and saturated fats.
Here are five tips to reach our fat loss goals:
- Drinking a glass of water before you eat can reduce feelings of hunger and are a great way of controlling how much we eat during meals. Staying hydrated during the day is vital for our overall health. Rumbles in the stomach are associated with dehydration as opposed to being genuinely hungry so stay away from fruit juices and fizzy drinks which can dehydrate you further and pick up a bottle of water instead.
- Have unlimited portions of vegetables with your meals – Use a variety of vegetables as a base for meals. Here are 5 things to remember when increasing our vegetable intake; 1. Potatoes, corn and beans should be treated as starches and not “free” vegetables. 2. Other fresh vegetables can be consumed freely just pay attention to how much salt, oil or butter you’re using. 3. Fruit contains a high amount of sugar and cannot be consumed freely as a rule of thumb. Restrict fruit to breakfast time only. 4. Make sure you eat a wide variety of vegetables to ensure optimum nutritional benefits. 5. Make sure we are consuming proteins and fatty acids as vegetables are typically very low in these food groups.
- Use carbs as a smaller side rather than the base of your meals – It is important especially when training that we fuel our bodies with carbohydrates, however to lose fat we should be mindful of our carbohydrate portion sizes, a great way to think about it is making protein and vegetables the main parts of the meal.
- Take your time eating – Chewing your food more has been shown to be a good strategy to lose weight, a recent study showed that people who chewed each mouthful 40 times ate 12% less than those who chewed just 15 times. In addition, chewing your food properly will aid digestion and make it easier for the body to absorb the nutrients.
- Stay off the booze – If your goal is to lose weight then cutting out alcoholic drinks is a proven way to reduce your daily calorie intake and reduce body mass. If you have a 125ml glass of wine a night with your meal that can add 85 calories which adds up to 425 calories per week, so by making this change you can reduce your body weight much easier.
Keeping to these 5 steps for January will help you to lose that Christmas belly and get lean for 2017.
If you have any questions about your nutrition, then do not hesitate to contact me!
All the best
Better Body Group, Sevenoaks