After all your salads, fruits and lighter eating this summer – how do you maintain your healthier, leaner body without putting on surplus weight? Don’t become another World Health European Organisation statistic! Worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980 with over 600 million adults presently affected. Yes, over the next few months your body will need more calories and start to crave different foods, but if you follow our guidelines you can still maintain a lower body weight and stay healthy without piling on the pounds.
No-No List. Avoid the following most (80% – 90%) of the time: Processed foods: Chemical additives, trans fats, salts and refined sugars. Alcohol: The body metabolises alcohol the same way it does sugar. Sugar-sweetened Beverages and Juice Drinks: Many are loaded with artificial sweeteners and fruit juices often contain added sugars. That breakfast orange juice is loaded with calories and sugars and these ‘empty’ calories will also trigger cravings and are not ideal sources of hydration. Instead, just get some of those delicious summer fruits you’ve enjoyed and pop them in a blender. Ready in a couple of minutes!
Focus on better choices. A preferred approach to making dietary changes is to focus on the better choices and use them to “crowd out” the things you want to avoid. Fill your plate with the following suggestions and you will not only feel better, but look better too.
Whole Foods: These have been minimally processed. Make your first supermarket stop at the whole foods section; foods closer to their original form in nature.
Lean protein: Every cell in your body needs protein to function properly and repair damage. Dietary protein is needed to build lean muscle, which should maintain your current lower weight. Protein is digested more slowly than most carbohydrates, so it also helps curb hunger. Lean cuts of meat, milk, fish, soy, eggs, beans, and vegetables are excellent sources of protein.
Healthy fats: Not all forms of fat are “bad” for you. Fish, nuts and seeds, olive oil, eggs, avocados, and coconut oil are considered “good fats.” Fats supply your body with energy and provide storage spots for energy in the body. The essential fatty acids in fats also play a role in brain development, blood clotting and managing inflammation.
Natural sugars and complex carbohydrates: Fruits, vegetables and whole grains (bread, pasta, cereal, etc.) are natural sources of carbohydrates that provide your energy needs. These carbs are preferred because they are combined with fibre that slows down their absorption and will help minimise blood sugar spikes. They also contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other necessary micronutrients.
High-quality nutritional products: Even when you’re doing the best you can and making good choices, nutritional gaps still happen. Fill those gaps as soon as they start with no or low fat snacks (cereal based and fruits). If you leave those hunger pangs too long you’ll need 2 or 3 times as much to satisfy that need of yours!