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Fat & Discouraged
Let’s face it, safe weight training, effective cardio, and a healthy diet is harder for some people to obtain than others. A small number of people have been raised in a healthy situation from the time of birth. Select families put health and wellness as a goal and teach their kids the right way to eat and encourage them to stay active. For the rest of us that grew up or are growing up in a house full of fried comfort foods and really no idea of what, how much, and when certain foods are healthy, it can be a little more difficult or frustrating would be a better word. The media, supplement companies, and so called diet gurus screw it up even worse by flooding the market with extreme diets, expensive caffeine pills, and news about what foods are good for you. This week an egg helps prevent heart attacks and the next week the same egg is related to formation of Alzheimer’s. This only confuses the person that is trapped under pounds of fat and on a fast track to a heart attack and or death. Hopefully after reading this article those doubts will turn to confidence and it will be your start to a new life.
I grew up in a house typical to many of yours. A loving family, but a family with no idea of what a healthy life style was suppose to look like. I suffered through being over weight for a long time and almost felt helpless in the situation. Sure, everyone knows to eat less and be more active, but what in the heck does that really mean. I was active, I played every sport available. Why was I still fat? Food companies slap fat free or low sugar on so many products to give them the appearance of being good for you. The next time you buy fat free ice cream, look and see how much carbohydrates and sugar is in it. Does it really even matter that it was fat free? Then you have the amazing diet pills that will shred you and prove it with before and after pictures. They don’t tell you that the pictures are of bodybuilders or other professionals who gain and lose weight throughout the year for the purposes of getting ready for a contest and diet and exercise had EVERTHING to do with their results.
Exercise and cardio do have a lot to do with your physique, don’t get me wrong, but a healthy diet trumps all other modalities of health. Anyone can obtain a healthy weight with a balanced diet. I hate the word diet too. We will call it a healthy eating lifestyle. Along with a healthy eating lifestyle, exercise is paramount for quicker results. What is the number one exercise for losing weight and obtaining general fitness goals? Walking is the answer and it doesn’t get any simpler than that. So, am I telling you that with only a healthy eating lifestyle and walking, you can loose as much fat as you want? I am not only telling you that, I am going to take it one step further and lay it out for you.
Healthy Eating Lifestyle
The most important part of obtaining a healthy weight is what you eat. Your food is your fuel and with the right type of fuel, your system will run better. That should not be a stretch of the imagination or anything but common sense if you think about it. If you put a higher grade fuel in an engine it runs better. Your body is the ultimate engine and it runs best on high octane fuel. In this case the high octane refers to high quality, nutrient dense, whole foods.
Nutrient dense foods are those foods that provide sizeable amounts of vitamins and minerals while providing comparatively few calories. For example, vegetables are considered nutrient-dense food, while products containing added sugars, saturated fats, and alcohol are considered nutrient-poor food or “empty calorie foods”. Whole food refers to those foods that are unprocessed and or refined as little as possible before being consumed. Whole foods typically do not contain added ingredients like sugar, salt, or fat. Quaker whole oats are an example of a whole food in comparison to prepackaged individual servings of instant oats with flavoring.
A healthy eating lifestyle consists of a healthy eating schedule as well. Eating five to six small meals in a day as opposed to two to thee large meals is key to a good metabolism. This is due to the assurance that you give your body that your not going to starve it. When eating on a fixed schedule your body runs at a faster and more efficient rate. This will naturally cause an increase in calories burned do to your body’s new found confidence in the ability to give it quality fuel all day instead of filling up on crap two times a day.
A healthy eating lifestyle will also consist eating the right amounts and types of macro-nutrients. The macro-nutrients consist of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Protein and carbs both yield 4 calories per gram while fat yields 9 calories per gram. You should get about 35% of your total calorie count from protein, 45% from carbohydrates, and 20% from fat. Your total calorie count should be determined specifically in relation to age, height, current weight, goal weight and gender, but a rough estimate is 2500-3000Kcals per day for men and 1800-2400Kcal per day for women.
A 210 pound male on a 2400 calorie diet should be getting 840 calories from protein, 1080 calories from carbohydrates, and 480 calories from fat. That equals to 210 grams of protein, 270 grams of carbs, and 53 grams of fat.
Protein is a key ingredient in you bodies repairing of tissue and many other cell functions. The amino acids strands that make up protein are broken down and used by the body. Protein and more specifically protein from an animal source is important due to the body’s inability to make some of the amino acids the body needs. This being said, the main thing to take from this is the importance of protein at every meal.
Your choices of protein can range from most any animal source as long as it is a lean cut. Egg whites, skinless chicken, fish, extra lean beef, and even venison are all good choices when it comes to protein, but in a crunch protein powder will also suffice. Protein powder, just like the other sources, should be low in fat and sugar. All meat should be cooked by baking, grilling, or boiling only. Egg yolks are the source for 2 grams of saturated fat so a plate of four eggs would have over 8 grams of saturated fat so get rid of them and only use the whites.
So if you are the same 210lb man we were talking about previously and you were trying to eat at least six meals per day, you would have to shoot for 35 grams of protein per meal. That would be roughly a 6 oz piece of chicken, 9 egg whites, or in most brands one and one half servings of protein powder.
Carbohydrates get a bad name and that is due to the low carb dieting craze of less than five years ago. Atkins diet and the South Beach diet both took aim at carbs, but didn’t explain the whole story. The perception those diets gave was eat anything but carbs and you will loose weight. The only problem is it was a false weight loss. The lack of carbs acts as a dehydrating effect and you drop weight quick, only to regain usually with interest when carbs are added back into the diet. News flash, any diet that cuts out one of the macro-nutrients is not a healthy diet.
What people should be limiting is certain kinds of carbs. For the most part complex carbs can be ate in abundance with much less affect on body weight than simple carbs. Complex carbs can be described as fibrous carbs that burn slow. Simple carbs are the starchy or sugary version of the macro-nutrient. Simple carbs provide quick energy, but are also stored as fat if not used. Complex carbs burn at a slower rate than simple carbs. This is due to the fiber that slows down the breaking down and release of energy. Think of complex carbs as a time released energy pill and simple carbs as a quick energy boost.
You should limit yourself to simple carbs only in the form of fruit and even then it should be limited to one serving per day. Carbs that should be utilized the most would be complex carbs such as Ezekiel bread, whole oats, sweet potatoes, and brown rice. Ezekiel bread is sprouted grain bread that uses no white flour in the process of making. This along with the high fiber count of the bread allows it to be a perfect choice for sandwiches or toast in the morning.
So if you are the same 210lb man we were talking about previously and you were trying to eat at least six meals per day, you would have to shoot for 45 grams of carbs per meal. That would be roughly a ¾ of a cup of oats, one large sweet potato, or two pieces of Ezekiel bread.
Everybody that diets is scared of fat, but you would be interested to know that you need fat. Fat is essential in skin, hair, and nail health along with the fact that the body uses fat to transport certain nutrients. The fat that should be avoided like the plague is saturated fats. These are usually of the animal source. Fatty pieces of meat or god forbid deep frying your protein is a quick way to add saturated fat to you diet. Stay away from it at all costs. Stick to good fat sources such as natural peanut butter, almond butter, raw almonds, or supplement with flax seed oil.
So if you are the same 210lb man we were talking about previously and you were trying to eat at least six meals per day, you would have to shoot for 9 grams of fat per meal. That would be roughly 16 raw almonds or 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter.
The key to staying full on a healthy eating lifestyle is the abundance of green vegetables. These life savers are abundant, low cost, and defiantly calorie dense. For example, green beans have only17 calories, 0.1g of fat and 3.9g of carbs in each serving with 2 grams of the carbs being fiber. This means you could eat a whole can of green beans and not break the 100 calorie mark. Other greens that make the best in class list include broccoli, asparagus, and spinach.
Put it all Together
Looking back over this article it should be clear the foods you should eat. If they are not covered in this article then chances are you should not eat them. Remember that metabolism is the key and you have to eat to speed it up. Most people see stuff they don’t like or don’t want to try so they decide to not eat; that will cost you more than eating the wrong thing in the end. Refusing to eat or starving your self slows down your metabolism as your body adjusts to not getting food on a regular basis.
Example: Diet for 210lb Male
9 egg whites, two pieces of Ezekiel bread, two servings of natural peanut butter
Protein Shake, ¾ cup of oats
12 noon 6 oz grilled chicken, 1 cup of brown rice, 2 servings of green beans, 1 oz raw almonds
2:30p.m Protein Shake, 1 cup of strawberries
5:00p.m Lean flank steak 6-8 oz, medium sweet potato, 10 asparagus stalks
8:00p.m Protein shake, 1 oz raw almonds
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