Forget the fad diets. Let’s talk about your new lifestyle in 2015. In this piece, I combine my own academic knowledge (I’m a registered dietitian) with personal experiences– with my own struggles with food, energy and, physical ailments to help YOU ‘kick start’ your 2015 fat-melting metabolism. This is not a trendy diet you follow for a few agonizing weeks. This is a way of living that boosts your body’s fat-burning capacity. Once you have this formula, you’ll never have to guess again how to design your ideal physique.
Here are TEN simple secrets to getting lean in the New Year:
1.Eat REAL food
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Eating blistering fuel from REAL food helps to melt away fat so that your lean/fit body can make its fabulous debut. REAL (whole) foods are jam-packed with superior nutrients that not only help control your appetite, they also enhance your body’s ability burn more calories.
REAL foods include: whole, unprocessed foods that are as close to their natural state as possible when you buy them at the grocery store—whole avocado, berries, tomatoes, dark leafy greens, and most other kinds of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds, whole grains (not processed), and lean proteins (such as: hormone-free chicken, turkey, fish, and lean cuts of beef, and egg whites). Buy organic as much as possible.
On the other hand, consuming too many foods that are processed, packaged in a factory, and far away from their natural state… is a complete roadblock to your body’s fat-burning capacity. These inferior (“fake foods”) not only make it nearly impossible to control your appetite, they also signal to the body to store more fat.
This year, make a commitment to limit inferior foods that suck all your energy and make you feel miserable shortly after eating them. You deserve so much better than that. Limit foods such as: refined or non-whole grain flour products (bagels, rolls, white bread, pastas, etc.), sugar and sugar-laden foods (candy, cookies, pastries, sodas, etc.), high-fructose corn syrup, fried foods, and hydrogenated oils.
If you start replacing “fake foods” with REAL foods today, you will not only begin to feel much better, your energy levels will begin to soar, your appetite will decrease, and your body will start chasing that unwanted fat away.
Study after study reveals that people who begin their day with a quality breakfast (such as: egg whites, whole grains, berries, nuts, etc.) tend to be leaner than those who skip this crucial meal. Eating upon waking helps to boost your metabolism and sets it on the right track for the rest of the day.
3. Include plenty of quality proteins
Quality protein is necessary for growth and repair of skin, hair, tendons, and muscles. It also helps your body recover from general activity and strenuous exercise. Not to mention the fact that protein is the most important satiating nutrient that exists. Upon digestion, quality proteins send signals to your brain to tell you to stop eating as SOON as you become full. It’s difficult to overeat when you include a lean quality protein at every meal.
The best sources of protein include: fish, eggs, dried beans, chicken breast, turkey, pork tenderloin, lamb, lean cuts of beef, and bison (bake, broil, grill, or steam—no fried foods please). A serving size is about the size of a deck of cards.
Eat a variety of vegetables to ensure a wide range of vitamins, mineral and other antioxidants in your diet. Many vegetables are also packed with fiber (including: broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, and sweet potatoes), which helps the body burn more calories while reducing the appetite. Enjoy your veggies fresh, frozen, cooked or raw.
Forget all that “fat free” hype. Our bodies actually need a little healthy fat to run properly. In fact, “good” fats actually help promote fat burning by helping cells burn greater amounts of oxygen (a metabolic booster).
Good sources include: fish oils, avocado, olive oil, flaxseed, coconut oil, nuts, and pumpkin seeds. Only a SPARING amount is needed each day.
6. Move your booty
In ONE word: mitochondria. These little cellular powerhouses (mitochondria) transform food and oxygen into energy. The more mitochondria you have and the more efficiently they consume oxygen, the faster your metabolic rate…. The higher the metabolic rate, the easier it is for your body to burn calories and lose excess weight.
The best way to increase the number of mitochondria and improve their functioning is to, yes… EXERCISE. Believe it or not, our bodies were genetically designed to move and to be active. That’s how they thrive. If you do not currently exercise, begin to do so. If you already exercise, do more. Your body will thank you for it. I know mine sure does!
(**Be sure to consult with your physician if you have any serious health conditions before beginning an exercise program**)
Muscle cells are known to have some of the highest concentrations of mitochondria. Resistance training stimulates muscle growth. Muscle chases away fat and deposits muscle fiber in its place. Therefore, building a layer of muscle tissue is a fail-proof way to increase your metabolic rate.
Incorporate at two to three, 30-minute strength-training workouts per week. Do 3 sets of 10-15 reps for each exercise. You don’t need heavy weights for this. However, if you can easily do the last few reps in a set, the weight is too light.
Drinking plenty of water helps flush out toxins, produce digestive enzymes, regulate your body temperature, and maintain healthy skin and metabolism. Drinking six to eight (8 ounce) glasses of water each day is highly recommended.
When we are asleep, growth hormone is produced. Growth hormone works on cells to also stimulate the metabolism. The reason why it is much easier to stay leaner in our youth is because growth hormone is produced in higher quantity. So, get at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night to keep the growth hormone generating.
Yes, you read that right. And all the husbands exclaimed, “Amen!” The release of male and female sex hormones causes an increase in metabolic rate. Yet, another perfect reason for enjoying sexual activity with your spouse.