If you are one of those people who always manage to conjure up some way of excusing your lack of effort, then it is time to start making smaller steps. Many people will fail to improve their eating habits because they feel they cannot commit to the whole lifestyle switch, so they end up continuing down their current path – in short, a path to an increasing body fat and poorer health. Here are 7 very simple changes you can make to your eating habits which will get you on track without following a specific diet. Within 4 weeks you can expect a lower body fat percentage, better energy levels, enhanced mental focus and improve self-confidence. Sound good?
Counting calories is not the only way to burn body fat, but for those of you who are yet to get a firm grip on your diet this a great place to start. Aim for 10 calories per pound of body weight, getting them from clean protein sources, healthy fats and some low GI carbohydrates. It is amazing how fast you learn to remember the calories in certain foods. On your phone in ‘’notes’’ keep a little diary for the day, and make sure your calorie intake is on track. This gives you a great starting point for future diets as well. Remember not all calories are born equal, so don’t start thinking you can eat whatever you want as long as you’re within your calorie limit it doesn’t work!
Per gram of protein – 4 calories
Per gram of carbohydrates – 4 calories
Per gram of fat – 9 calories
Aim to eat something every 3 hours. This doesn’t have to be a full blown meal; it could simply be a handful of nuts with some low fat natural yogurt, or some guacamole with salad and chicken breast. The key is to keep your snacks frequent and to make sure they are nutritionally balanced.
Recently I was left speechless when someone said to me they were not eating things like brown rice, brown bread or potato because they were of on holiday. As they said this, they were eating yogurt and fruit salad. They used the phrase ‘’no carbs before Marbs’’ referring to Marbella I believe. In the right amounts at the right time of day carbs are fine! After every intense exercise session you do, have a good carbohydrate based meal such as baked potato with lean fish or beef. For breakfast you can start the day with oats and some fruit as well, along with a healthy protein and fat source.
Make sure your carbohydrate sources are wholemeal opposed to things like white bread for example.
Sugars need to be kept to a minimum because it causes poor insulin sensitivity. If you are a coffee and tea lover like me, you may want sugar. Switch to Stevia because it tastes the same, yet only has 2 calories per teaspoon and what’s more it is a natural sweetener so you are not putting unwanted chemicals into your body.
Once a week treat yourself a to a cheat meal where you can have a starter, main and dessert of your choice. Any cravings which are driving you up the wall through the week can be relieved on the weekend.
Go easy on cooking oils and switch to 1 cal extra virgin olive oil spray. Many people will get plenty of omega 6 fats from cooking oils yet they don’t get enough omega 3. Eat lean oily fish such as salmon, lean red meat, nuts and avocado to get a good range of healthy fats. These also help metabolise body fat, improve cardiac health and also support brain function.
Water is a very crucial part of our health and well being and it is also great for fat loss! Over half the UK population are dehydrated which is scary, because dehydration can alter mental focus by as much as 80%! Water also helps transport nutrients around the body which helps optimise body fat metabolisation.
Aim for 1 litre per 50lbs of body weight!
Making these 7 very small yet very significant changes to your current lifestyle will enable you to drop body fat, improve your health and feel better about yourself!