There is a lot of information out there in the health world. It can easily get your head spinning when trying to figure out what to begin with or even believe. Here is a breakdown of 5 areas to focus on when trying to lose weight.
- Start with protein and fat
It is common to start the day with carbs. Foods like cereal, toast, yogurt with granola, and oatmeal paired with juice are all common breakfasts. Unfortunately, all these foods will get you started on the wrong foot. Balancing blood sugar is a key component to your health and weight loss, which is why I recommend beginning with more protein and fat in the morning. Something such as an egg omelet loaded with veggies and a quality breakfast meat would be a good example. I highly recommend not eating any carbs for breakfast if you are borderline diabetic or are diabetic. As soon as you start spiking blood sugar levels (glucose levels) then you’re in for a battle. Keeping blood sugar steady will help fight hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), cravings, fatigue, aging, storing fat, and will keep you from having to manually balance taking more insulin or eat sugar.
- Eat as many plants as possible
We know the more fruits and vegetables in your diet, the better health you will have. Work to get up to 4-6 servings of fruit and vegetables a day so you can help prevent and fight diseases, obesity, heart problems, and the list goes on!
- Go for quality ingredients
Managing weight and health isn’t all about your carbs, fat, and protein intake numbers or how many calories you eat in a day. All of that will not matter if you aren’t eating quality. We know that eating an apple compared to a candy bar is a stark difference with how it will fuel your body. I recommend eating organic, natural, local fruits and veggies as much as possible. Look for hormone and antibiotic-free meats and dairy. Grass-fed, pasture raised, non-GMO, and uncured are another notch above hormone and antibiotic-free. Quality is important!
- Increase fiber
Fiber intake is very low for Americans. But a healthy amount of fiber in the diet is proven to increase weight loss, help you maintain a healthy weight, detox the body, help the digestive system and all the organs work properly. It really is foundational for healthy living. Coincidentally (or not), fruits and vegetables generally have higher fiber. Also adding things like chia seeds and flaxseeds to foods you already eat will boost fiber intake by a lot, and also choose healthier grains with higher fiber content. There are so many ways to increase fiber!
Water, water, water. It cannot be stressed enough to drink proper amounts of water each day. I recommend swapping out a sugary drink each day for 16oz of water. We need it to live, literally! It also helps with stiff joints, muscle soreness, aches and pains, digestive function, ridding the body of toxins, etc. So it’s really important that we don’t just hydrate with other beverages because it isn’t proper hydration for your body. 64-72 oz a day minimum for optimal water intake!
Losing weight is a long term journey. You do not have to master everything in the first week. I can guarantee that if you try to, you will most likely fail. Start with one thing at a time and build your way up. There might be 5 things listed here but pick one and start with that. After a week, pick another. The end goal should be a healthier lifestyle that can be maintained. Weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint!