In a world where healthy eaters are all about smoothies, shakes, energy bars, and supplements, the role of “health” seems to have dropped out of the spotlight. However, recent research about healthy eating supports the fact that eating for health is certaintly a strategy you should pursue.
If you’re just starting your “healthy eating” journey, here are a couple of things you should know to be sure your strategy is optimized for the best possible results.
Balance Is Key
Nobody likes giving up tasty foods, happy hours, or the occasional cocktail. But, if you think I’m about to say “everything in moderation” you’re wrong.
When it comes to eating healthy, the most important thing to remember and learn is “Macro-Balancing.” Your main macronutrients are fats, carbs, and proteins. Then of course, you have hundreds of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and nutrients. But, we like to keep things simple here, so let’s focus on the big three.
Start your meals and snacks with a protein and fat. This ensures when you add your carbohydrate, it doesn’t matter if it’s a sugar, starch, or fruit you’ll maintain a steady stream of glucose and insulin so you don’t overload your cells.
Try to avoid processed foods, shakes, meal replacements, fat-burners, and the like…Find a high-quality protein powder for the occasional smoothie, but FOOD is your foundation.
Using Protein To Make Weight Loss Easy
If you’re serious about losing weight, you should get acquainted with lots of protein for creating fat-burning, metabolism-boosting meals. The main benefits of adequate protein:
- Helps build metabolically active tissue, muscle
- Increases the thermic effect of your meals to burn more calories after eating
- Increased glucagon and growth hormone production. Glucagon is responsible for antagonizing the effects of insulin in adipose tissue, leading to greater fat mobilization. Growth hormone also helps keep stress hormones lower, improving your metabolic profile
I’ll discuss how to properly balance your meals more below, in the meantime, make sure you start with high-quality proteins, like grass-fed meats, organic poultry, organic eggs, and wild fish.
Think About Your Hormones
As you increase your calorie intake, you’ll likely increase your waistine. But there’s more to the story.
Most people believe this to be true: eat more calories than you burn and you’ll gain weight.
This is far from what’s causing our obesity problem, because not all calories are created equal. Certain calories or food affect your hormones differently, so it stands to reason you should be more concerned with the hormonal effect of food, than the actual food itself.
For instance, say Debra forgot to prepare her lunch today and decides to grab a sandwich at Subway. Sally on the other hand, prepared her own sandwich with gluten-free bread, organic turkey breast, vegetables, and homemade mayonaisse.
Who do you think is going to have a NEGATIVE hormonal consequence even though the meal is the virtually identical in calories?
Debra is going to have a hard time digesting the bread, her liver will have to deal with the conventional turkey, and her thyroid is going to slow down because of the unsaturated oils in the mayo.
Sally on the other hand has a perfectly balanced sandwich with easily digestible bread, vegetables, and olive oil mayo, resulting in a boosted metabolism!
A Metabolism Approach Is Proven To Be More Effective
This approach is proven to be most effective in terms of fat loss and health. In fact, when comparing calorie-restrictive diets based on long-term weight loss with a more metabolism and hormone focused program, while sometimes it takes slightly longer to lose the weight, you are far less likely to experience the dreaded, rebound weight gain.
We’ve discussed the importance of proteins and fats when it comes to eating balanced, fat-burning meals. The last and arguably most important macronutrient are carbohydrates.
Understanding Carbs and Carb Cycling
You see, MOST women make 1 of 3 mistakes when it comes to carbs:
1.) They eat too many, especially of the wrong kinds (i.e. inflammatory carbs)
2.) They don’t eat enough, especially of the right kinds (fruits, starches, grains, vegetables, etc..)
3.) They aren’t carb conscious, meaning they have no clue how many carbs they eat, why they need them, or what carbs are doing to their body
Whenever you lower carbs in your diet for more than 5 to 7 days at a time, it can lead to a downward spiral of metabolic problems including:
– Suppressed thyroid output (inefficient conversion of T4 to T3)
– Decreased testosterone production (women need this to burn fat too!)
– Compromised immune system function
– Slower metabolism and potential adrenal fatigue
– Muscle loss
– Slower fat burning and weight loss plateaus
– Leptin resistance (50% LESS fat burning hormone production)
For example, increasing your carbs strategically can give you:
– More efficient thyroid output (increased conversion of T4 to T3)
– Increased testosterone production
– Improved immune system function
– Elevated metabolism and healthier adrenal glands
– Gains in lean muscle
– Faster fat burning
– Better leptin sensitivity (increased levels of fat burning hormones)
The Art of Macro-Balancing
A simple, sustainable, and effective approach to eating for fat loss is Macro-Balancing. Since the goal is usually fat loss, a balance approach is naturally an important part of your eating strategy, so make sure you understand how foods affects your hormones.
When eating any meal, especially with high-glycemic carbohydrates, as well as anything that breaks down into sugar or glucose fairly quickly, it’s very important to combine a protein and fat with your carb of choice.
In The Flat Belly System I provide a simple 33/33/33 approach to balancing your macronutrients. Most programs on the market try to complicate your fat and carb intake by forcing you to count every single calorie. This approach is not sustainable and usually leads to rebound weight gain (here’s how to avoid rebound weight gain.)
As you know, it’s important that you find an easy and simple way to eat for weight loss. You don’t want to count calories or points for the rest of your life, do you?
Wouldn’t it make more sense and be more enjoyable to eat high-quality foods 85% of the time in the right ratios AND eat anything you want 15% of time?
That’s what a flexible diet that WORKS, looks like.
That’s what you deserve and need to avoid stressing out over your weight and every single meal.
I created this FREE presentation discussing how eating low-carb and doing cardio damage your MAIN fat-storing hormone, growth hormone. Macro-balancing keeps three particular stress, fat-storing hormones suppressed so they aren’t wreaking havoc on your metabolism.
Wrapping It Up
Everything here is very important to the success of your healthy eating and weight loss efforts. As soon as you are familiar with both fat-burning meals and pitfalls that might get in the way, you will be ready to take advantage of eating healthy for an efficient metabolism as a strategy to improve your health and lose weight.
In the end, I also want to highlight that eating for fat loss requires a delicate approach and sense of customization, as your ultimate goal is to upgrade the health of your body and metabolism. The only way you will be able to do so successfully is by knowing thre tricks and strategies behing eating for healthy fat loss.
Being a smart consumer, as well as taking the right actions, and learning from mistakes over time will help you tweak your approach for better results. Knowing your ideal meal times and macronutrient ratios us helpful, but learning how to prepare delicious, fat-burning meals around YOUR unique schedule is also a good way to keep seeing progress.
Over To You
If you learned something new or know someone who might benefit from these tips please share and help get the word out.
Have something to add? I’d love to hear your experience and any helpful ideas for others to get started on their healthy eating journey.