Want to lose fat and make better progress in your fitness goals simultaneously? Read on to learn how we integrate our food plan to help us reach our goals faster with some base level knowledge on what to eat! (Download our Fat Loss Grocery List for your next trip to the store!)
What is the Paleo Diet (and why should I care)?
The Paleo Diet involves you eating lean meats, fruits & vegetables, some nuts & seeds, a little bit of starch, and no sugar. It is also known as the hunter and gatherer diet because, like the name, you can eat anything you can kill, trap, catch or gather just like it was 10k years ago. Although, the Paleo diet truly consists of removing certain things from your diet such as grains, pseudo-grains, legumes, dairy, soy, alcohol, and sweets. The reason we recommend eating this way is that it includes the most nutrient-dense foods that have essential proteins, vitamins, and minerals needed for human growth and maintenance of the body. It also reduces blood sugar levels, and eliminates inflammation from your diet, which are two things that are linked to a whole host of medical issues we are seeing in society today such as diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, alzheimer’s, dementia, and anything else linked to problems with inflammation.
What is inflammation and how does it affect my health?
There are two types of inflammation: acute (Good for you) and chronic (Problematic). Acute inflammation is good because it is your bodies natural response to protect your body when you get injured. That is why when you sprain your ankle it gets swollen (that is acute inflammation) to protect your ankle by not letting it do further damage. Chronic inflammation is bad, is caused by eating too much processed foods or foods high in omega 6 fatty acids, and ends up making your skin puffy, because it causes damage to arteries, and has been connected to many heart problems and degradation diseases. Omega 6 fatty acids are cheap fats like soy oil, canola oil, corn oil, palm oil, and other oils like them. An easy and simple fix to this, since most of us are consuming these beyond our control when we eat out, is by eating omega 3 fatty acids, or supplementing with a high quality fish oil. Omega 3 fatty acids are healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, avocado oil, fish oil, almond, and grass-fed butter.
What should I do if I’m trying to lose weight?
The first thing you can do is eat vegetables at every meal and go very easy the starchy carbs like potatoes. Humans can not eat enough vegetables, and you will never experience a poor side effect of doing so – so eat up! However, starchy carbs weigh more and do not have as much minerals and vitamins in them as vegetables do. Tied for first with eating veggies, and just as important is to avoid sugar at every opportunity. Sugar causes a huge spike in the insulin levels in your blood. Insulin, a hormone that tells your body to store fat, can be detrimental to your health if it is always being secreted due to eating high amounts of sugar. It will continue to secrete until all the sugar has been pushed through your body, or until it is no longer able to keep up with the demand and shuts down (that is known as Type II diabetes, which is why it has been reffered to as the “disease of the fork”). Sugar also interrupts the production of leptin, which is the hormone that tells your body that you are full. So if you are eating lots of sugar, you are telling your body to store fat, and you’re never getting the brain signal that you’re full. A total recipe to put on fat, not good.
Lastly avoid mindless snacking as the serving size on most snacks are ridiculously small. No one in the history of time has just eaten 8 nuts or one chip. You are better off just eating a meal if you are hungry. A meal would consist of a good lean protein source, complex carbohydrates like veggies, and a fat like we discussed above. That ensures that your body is getting a good balance of all your macronutrients, will keep the insulin response minimal, and the fats will make you full faster, and keep you full for a longer time period.
How should I eat to increase my athleticism and performance?
The first thing you need to make sure you doing is drinking enough water throughout the day, and are staying hydrated. You should be drinking at least ⅓ your bodyweight in ounces of water a day if not, you are not drinking enough water. Every 1% you are dehydrated you lose upwards of 10% of your performance for that day. The second thing you can do is make sure you eat a good protein source, and starchy carb (Sweet Potato, Squash) at the latest 30 – 60 minutes after you finish your workout. That 30 – 60 min. window after is the prime time for your body to absorb your protein and carb source. If you miss the window you will just not recover as fast, and might feel a little more sore the next day. The last thing you can do is sleep at least 8 hours a night. Sleep is the best recovery tool you have. Sleep provides energy back to your brain and body, which will improve your mood, performance, and concentration throughout the day. It is in deep REM sleep (the last cycle of sleep starting around hour 7) when you get the most positive benefits from sleep – a boost in testosterone, human growth hormone, & muscle repair. It is vital!
How can I get started with eating better?
Here are 7 steps you can take to help start your journey of eating better.
- Plan Ahead: Food Prep. Pick a day each week to prepare food so you have no excuses.
- Clean out kitchen. Get rid of the crap. If it’s not around, you won’t eat it.
- Get family support or get them on board. Tell your support crew what you’re aiming for. I bet they help you stay on track!
- Decide on how you’re going to start — one meal at a time, one elimination at a time, cold turkey. Whatever you pick, go all-in.
- Keep yourself accountable to someone, put money on the line. Put a $50 wager up with a friend to hold yourself accountable.
- Learn to cook some basic Healthy meals. Use cooking as a way to relax and hit your goals.
- Keep your kitchen stocked with the right foods and snacks. When you get hungry, an apple will suffice.
We hope you enjoyed our article and that it helps you reach your goals with fat loss or boosting your athleticism. If you’d like to discuss these topics further, please consider giving us a call for a free assessment to see how we can help you further!
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