Have you ever thought that calories are more than an amount of energy that fuels your body? Seeing healthy food as more than just the means for weight loss, will expand your perception about all the reasons for eating clean and making it a way of living!

Food has never been the enemy to maintaining a gorgeous slim body full of energy. In fact, with smart nutritional choices and a better understanding around nutrition you can eat much more than before and turn your body in a fat burning machine! Yeah, baby! 🙂  It is only the choices we make that can either break us or make us. Having a good understanding about healthy nutrition will help you in so many different ways!

I’m pretty sure that you already know that a balanced diet combined with regular exercise and activities will give you the best results, but is not always about energy in and energy out ( see How much should I eat for weight loss? )  There is much more into nutrition than what meets the eye. Counting calories is only one aspect towards your weight loss or achieving any fitness goal. Being on a holistic healthy diet is much more essential for your overall well being; for a body and mind that can respond efficiently to the multiple daily responsibilities and stresses. You don’t only want to look your best, you also want to feel and give 100% of what you got.

During the day, our body urges for energy, but how many of us really cover our energy requirements with nutrient-rich foods? All vital body functions rely on the sufficient intake of macronutrients. Macronutrients describe the composition and nutritional value of each food. The primary macronutrients (commonly known as macros) are the proteins, carbohydrates (carbs) and fats, including essential vitamins and minerals. Eating clean and choosing unrefined-natural foods is a very broad answer for adopting a healthy lifestyle, yet understanding dieting in a macronutrients level is important for making lifestyle changes that matter (more on this on my next nutrition blog post). The quality and amount of foods we eat shape our lives, bodies and moods, so choosing food randomly and counting calories only, won’t benefit much your lifestyle changes.

Especially, when you aim for a calorie deficit diet, it is important to take into consideration that you already diminish an amount of energy from your body, so your requirements for nutrient rich foods increases.  Eating nutrient rich foods and having balanced meals will help you stay on track, and avoid the first signs of low energy, tiredness and cravings. I believe the most important is to choose a diet that you can follow and you feel confident about it. Not a fad, or a quick results magic!

A few weight loss tips for staying on track:

1. The best thing to do when on a diet plan is to give yourself time to adjust and see how your body is responding to it. For example, if you have decreased your carbs intake in order to shed the fat, but you have cravings, or you suffer from insomnia, then maybe your diet needs some adjustments. Of course, take into account that any changes at the beginning will have some “side effects”, so just give it time!

2. If you see no results in 2-3 weeks, or you find it hard to stay on track it’s time consider altering your diet to a new one. Consulting a nutritionist for getting a personalized plan is the best solution. A diet is not an overnight miracle transformation, so be patient and always think health first!

3. Water is your best friend! Do not forget about having enough water. Water is essential for processing calories. Even mild dehydration, is slowing down metabolism. In a study, adults who had eight or more glasses of water a day burned more calories than those who drank the half amount.

4. If you are extremely busy and have no time for cooking, it is better to spend a few hours during the weekend for preparing some meals. This way you’ll always have something to snack on when you are tired. When on the go, think about healthy snacks like energy bars, nuts and fruits.

5. It is usually recommended to keep the portions of your meals small and have at least 3 main meals per day including 2-3 snacks in your diet. Our stomachs are not as big as you may think. Without stretching, our stomachs can only hold 2 cups of food. Having small portions of food throughout the day will help you minimize your appetite, control your cravings, keep your energy levels high, boost your metabolism and have a flat, sexy stomach!

6. Protein all the way! I would recommend to include protein in every meal or snack you have. Protein whether is plant based or animal protein, will keep you full until the next meal and minimize your hanger. A high protein diet helps with burning more calories and stabilizing blood sugars. It also assists with post workout recovery, it helps with building muscle mass and boosts mental focus.

Until the next post, keep working on your goals xx

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