What should I eat to lose weight ?
All in all you can eat everything in moderation if you are active. The main thing is to understand what your body needs at which point and be smart about what you put into your mouth. If you start counting calories or avoiding some food groups altogether, you might be a victim of some elaborate scheme.
The main energy sources of the body are fats, carbohydrates and protein which are also called macronutrients. When you are inactive and your body is not challenges the main source used for energy by your body are fats.
When on high intensity workouts you mostly use carbohydrates as a fuel for your body. Timing this right and using this to your advantage can help you to lose weight.
Fats have been the bad boys of diet for quite a time based on studies from the 1950. True enough as these are these are delivering the most energy out of the macronutrients (9kcal per gram for fat compared to 4kcal for carbohydrates and protein).
While you should therefore take care to not each too much fat as it has such a high energy value, it still made quite a comeback in recent years since diets which cut out certain foods got a bad reputation.
Fats help you to:
- Produce hormones (you know that ouberty and sex thing)
- Grow new cells
- Absorb fat soluable vitamins like A, D, E and K
- Regulate body temperature
- Have nice hair, ksin and nails
Fat which you want to avoid are hydrogenated fats which you find in margarine and other processed food which shelf live has been prolonged. Hydrogenation is a chemical process in which Hydrogen is used to turn vegetable oil into fats of different degrees of solidity. This allows industrial processing in an easier and cheaper way compared to animal fats.
The backdraw of hydrogenated fats is that the process also produces trans isomers which have been said to increase the likelihood of heart disease. Therefore Hydrogenation has been banned in some countries like Switzerland and Denmark.
Hydrogenated fats are also rare in things we would naturally eat like animals. So itmakes sense tat our body is not designed to cope with them, as it did not adapt to the processing of these fats during millenia because of its rarity.
Maybe if we let enough poeple die of heart diseases caused by hydrogenated fats for a couple of hundred years we will weed out the weak and create nice, industry friendly humans, who will run on these cheap and easily produced products.(Just kidding...)
Carbohydrates also got a bad reputation in some diet schemes where they apparently make you fat after being eaten after 6pm. Especially white carbs are said to be bad and there is an entire gluten free industry benefitting from people who want to avoid them at all cost.
It is true that white carbs (white rice, white bread) have a bigger and maybe even unhealthy effect on your blood sugar levels, but only if you eat too much of it. A nice load of carbs after an intensive workout is sometimes just what you need. So if you want to have a sandwich with white bread, don't feel like you can't.
- Main source for energy for your muscles forintense exercise (think carb loading for marathons)
- Needed for to keep your nervous system, kidneys and muscles functioning
- The fibre in them is good for your digestion
- Needed for healthy brain function
So get your carbs when you work hard.
Last but not least protein. If you want to get stronger and build muscle protein is your friend. Most of the strength athletes I am familiar with have protein as one of the main building blocks of their diet in place.
The easiest source for protein are animals. Eggs, fish, chicken and beef are your friends. If you are a vegetarian you can switch with ToFu and Quorn, but you need a lot more of these to get the same amount of protein. Protein helps you to
- Maintain structure and strength of cells
- Strengthen your immune system
- Repair and grow muscle
- Regulate your metobolism
I lost about 15kg when doing my first marathon in half a year and did not change a thing in my diet. So here you already see, that even without sef punishment you can get results. Eat when you are hungry and be interested in what you put into your mouth. The rest will take care of itself.
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