No matter where I go or who I talk to there are some universal questions everyone has. Hopefully I can help answer some of the most common questions I receive. Let’s dive right into it.
What’s the Quickest Way for me to Lose Weight?
If there was a quick way that was healthy and gave you lasting results, no one would have a weight problem.
The problem with crash diets or diets in general where you are looking for quick results is that the results won’t last. The minute you go off the quick diet you will not only gain the weight back but you will slow down your metabolism making it harder to lose weight in the future.
You will stretch the skin out with repeated “crash dieting” which will make it hard to tone your body leaving it looking older and unhealthy. Remember it did not take you a day to gain the weight and it will take time to lose it but if you do it properly with the right nutrition and exercise you will be healthy, build a fast metabolism that will help you to continually burn calories and fat and have good muscle tone, healthy skin and hair.
There is no quick fix that will give you lasting results and usually the faster you lose it the faster you will gain it and usually it will be more than you had to lose originally.
If I Cut Carbs Out Will I Lose Weight Faster?
There are unhealthy carbs like cakes, cookies, pastries, candy, white potatoes, white bread, white rice etc. And there are healthy carbs like whole grains, sweet potatoes, beans, fruit and vegetables.
If you cut out good carbs you can actually cause serious irreversible damage to your thyroid which controls most organ function as well as weight control, moods and general health.
Without any good carbs you will have no energy, slow brain function, mood swings even severe depression can be caused, low sex drive, dry hair, skin and and more importantly can cause permanent damage to your metabolism making it slow functioning.
Are Fruits and Vegetables Considered Carbs?
There are carbs in everything you eat and even drink.
Yes there are carbs in fruits and vegetables but not “starchy carbs” like breads, rice and pasta. The health, beauty and weight management benefits of fruits and vegetables far out way any carbs that are in them. And I have never met a person that gained too much weight from eating too much spinach.
So eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and limit processed carbs like the unhealthy ones I mentioned. Include some healthy carbs rich in whole grains like steel cut oatmeal or sweet potatoes but you don’t need them at night.
BALANCE is key to long term weight loss and health. Cutting out any major food groups will have it’s backlash on you in the end.
What Protein Bars are the Best?
This is a loaded question because it used to be that most protein bars are basically candy bars with a little protein mixed in. Most of them are loaded with sugar, calories and preservatives and the protein they use is usually low quality and chemical filled.
Sometimes there can be more sugar in a protein bar than a Hershey chocolate bar. But there a few on the market that are not too bad. The problem is people tend to have a false sense of security eating them because they are “protein bars” but the truth is most of them are not good for you and can actually inhibit weight loss or add unwanted pounds.
The best thing to do is make sure a protein bar has 6 grams of sugar or less and only has whole ingredients instead of processed preservatives. I prefer protein shakes made with whey isolate or another source of protein that is 120 calories a scoop or under mixed yourself with fresh fruit or on it’s own.
Try to limit protein bar use for emergencies or if you really like them you can find some healthy online recipes you can make yourself.
I Heard Fruit Has a Lot of Sugar. Should I Eat Fruit if I am Trying to Lose Weight?
Yes fruit has sugar in it, but it is natural sugar not processed like the sugar you will find in candy.
Our body needs a little natural sugar to help absorb nutrients from other foods and help our yeast balance. The nutrient benefits you get from fruit, again, far out way the sugar in them and they should not be cut out of any diet.
You receive a whole host of vitamins, minerals and anti oxidants from fruits. A couple of small servings a day is recommended. Don’t overdue it but you should not overdue anything. Berries of all kinds are very low on the glycemic index meaning they are lowest in sugar but also highest in antioxidants.
Citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C which can increase metabolism function by 30% as well as keeping the skin young by increasing collagen.
Is it Important to Eat Breakfast?
YES it is the most important meal of the day.
Firstly your metabolism does not start working or burning calories until you feed it a healthy breakfast. If you skip breakfast your body will go into starvation mode and you will start to store fat instead of burning it.
Skipping breakfast can lead to binge eating later in the day and starting your day off with a nutritious breakfast gives you the energy and brain function you need to have a productive day.
What Time Should I Stop Eating at Night?
The general rule is to stop eating at least 2 to 3 hours before you go to bed.
Most of us are slowing down and not active enough to burn calories from food we eat, therefore eating late at night or eating a large meal before bed will end up storing as fat. Some people say to stop eating by 7pm but if you are a night worker and don’t go to bed until 4am then that won’t work because you cannot go that many hours without food while you are awake, especially if you are working.
So as long as your last meal or snack is 2 to 3 hours before bed you are fine.
How Many Calories Should I Eat if I Want to Lose Weight?
This will vary from person to person.
A simple way to figure it out is to take the amount you WANT to weigh and times that by 10. For example if you want to weigh 130 lbs then you should be around 1,300 calories per day. HOWEVER I am not a fan of counting calories because you will never keep that up the rest of your life and some days you will require more calories than others.
The best way to deal with calories is to eat when you are hungry and eat ONLY until you feel satisfied. That is better for long term weight loss and maintenance than counting calories. If you LISTEN to your body’s needs and give your body only what it needs you will never overeat and therefore never have the need to worry about calories.
What About Healthy Fats? Won’t I Gain Weight?
I cannot stress the importance of including a small amount of healthy fat at each meal.
For example use a little olive oil on your salad or a few almonds. Healthy UNSATURATED fats from sources like nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut oil, flax oil, avocados etc will burn bad fat, maintain weight loss and help maintain healthy skin tone, brain health, heart health, mood stability and hormone balance.
An example of a little fat is either a teaspoon of olive oil on your salad or a 1/4 of an avocado or 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in your oatmeal or 7 to 10 unsalted almonds or walnuts.
I could go on and on with the questions I receive regarding the right way to lose weight and what to eat and not eat, how much to eat, when to eat and when not to eat. I will do a few blog installments to cover the most frequently asked questions. I hope this helped with the basics to get you started on your journey towards a healthier, leaner and happier life.
Remember eating mainly fresh vegetables, whole grains and fruits, drinking plenty of water, having some protein and healthy fat at each meal and limiting packaged, frozen and processed food IS the secret. NOTHING will ever take the place of a healthy, well balanced diet of fresh foods. You may not get the results as fast as you would if you just took a pill or ate some diet processed foods but this is the ONLY way to get results that last and make you feel and look your best.