11/06/2015 20:38

Bathing Suit Season Calls

Tis the season to embrace the Okanagan, where there is no shortage of sunshine for months on end! With our enviable weather and surrounding lakes and beaches, the great outdoors are calling for sun hats, sunscreens and, wait for it…bathing suits! If you cringed, I can only assume that you are in need of some weight loss advise—one that you haven’t already tried and failed at in the past. If that is the case, you’re not alone. Having worked in the weight loss industry as a weight-loss coach, I have met with countless individuals who have been defeated one diet after another, leaving them hungrier and heavier with each endeavor. Rest assured, that is not my game plan for you!

You see, to shed weight successfully, you need to begin looking at more than just cutting calories and ramping up your exercise routine.  Let me enlighten you: starvation is never the answer—neither is hours and hours of cardio. No amount of willpower can sustain such an approach. Becoming fully aware of what to eat instead of how much to eat will be your greatest ally in achieving sustainable weight loss. Following these basic principles can quickly jumpstart your weight loss and ensure that you keep those pesky pounds at bay this summer.  

Cut Back on Sugars and Starches—These are your greatest offenders because they secrete excess insulin in the body which happens to be your body’s main fat storage hormone. The removal of high carb foods will lower your insulin which will actually regulate your appetite so you will naturally eat less. Lower overall insulin levels—achieved by reducing carbohydrates—allow your body to more readily access fat stores for energy. A grain-free or low-grain diet generates the most ideal opportunity for you to lose weight and keep it off while improving blood markers such as cholesterol (LDL/HDL ratio), triglycerides, and blood sugar. That being said, learning which foods to replace them with is equally important. Healthy carbohydrates can be attained from legumes and non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, avocado, tomatoes, and sprouts. 

Eat More Protein—When it comes to weight loss, protein is the superstar of nutrients. By consuming protein at breakfast alone, science shows that you can rev up your metabolism by 25 percent and keep it that way for up to eight hours. Moreover, protein is the secret to reducing cravings, balancing blood sugar levels and keeping you more satiated between meals. The classic cereal and skim milk breakfast does not accomplish this. Protein powders, free-range meat, eggs, and wild fish are your best options. Aim for 50-75 grams of protein daily. 

Eat Fat to Burn Fat—Avoiding fat is one of the costliest mistakes people make when trying to lose weight. Contrary to what many still believe, not all fats make you fat! Consuming the right fats can assist hormonal and metabolic pathways while unlocking fat stores in the fat cells. Not only do certain fats ramp up your fat burning furnace, but they also regulate your appetite. Consume coconut oil, butter, ghee, flaxseed oil, olive oil and avocado, and avoid commercially produced and hydrogenated fats which promote weight gain—thereby hurting your cardiovascular health. Of your total daily calories, 25 to 30 percent should come from fat.

Eat Consistently—Eat within an hour of waking and eat often. Keep the fire of your metabolism burning all day rather than slowing it down during periods of “mini-starvation.” After breakfast, eat every three to four hours and try to schedule meals at the same time every day. Your metabolism will work faster and more efficiently allowing you to lose weight, have more energy, and feel better overall. 

Successful weight loss should not depend on time consuming methods like calorie-counting, measuring, or using a “points” system.  When you focus on the right foods, you automatically eliminate excess calories from highly processed foods that contributed to your weight in the first place. So, to maximize your goals, don’t forget to stay hydrated, exercise, get good quality sleep each night, and keep stress levels at bay. And before you know it, you’ll be waltzing your weight-loss success down a sandy beach, wearing your favourite bikini and wishing you had started on this journey sooner. 

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Did You Know?

Healing the gut is one of the most important steps we can take to ensure our lifelong health.

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