4 Easy Tips That Can Help You Lose Weight
By EVAN SHY
With all of the different and often conflicting nutrition and fitness resources available online, it can be difficult to tell what's best for your health. As soon as you think you have the best resource, you find something completely contradictory. This leaves people frustrated and more confused than ever.
What I've found over years of coaching is that it's best to keep nutrition simple. By focusing on these four simple tips, you can drastically improve the effectiveness of your weight loss or nutrition plan.
1. Restrict Carbs and Choose Healthy Fats
In the initial phases of your weight loss plan, focus on restricting carbohydrates without any constraint on fat consumption. I encourage “good” fats like almonds, nuts, avocados, whole eggs and fish, which are great alternatives to carbs. By eating these healthy fats, your body is encouraged to utilize fat as a primary energy source once your body adapts to the shift away from glycogen (typically 2-4 weeks).
When facing dining situations with limited food options available, choose fat over carbohydrate-dense foods. This is because carbohydrates cause the most significant spike in blood sugar (relative to fat and protein). In response, your body starts secreting insulin, which creates the perfect environment for energy storage (a.k.a. fat accumulation)!
When you deplete carbohydrates/glycogen, your body's natural response is to begin utilizing fat for energy production. Positive hormonal and chemical changes are taking place simultaneously to further enhance this fat burning effect. A hormone called glucagon begins secreting into the blood stream in response to low blood sugar (carb depletion) and works to raise blood glucose by conserving it and pulling fat from adipose tissue to use for fuel. It actually helps burn body fat.
2. Eat With Your Hands
By this, I don't mean eat with your hands literally! Rather, I encourage you to use the palm of your hand to measure portions. This is a simplified way of implementing portion control with a natural scale correlating with your individual body size.
I recommend using the following scale for a weight loss plan (for each meal):
*Protein Portion: Male = Two palms, Female = One palm
*Fat Portion: Male = Two Thumbs, Female = One Thumb
*Carbohydrate Portion: Only from green vegetables, portion unlimited.
3. Drink More Water
I would imagine that anyone reading this article is aware that water is key to any weight loss plan, but I'd like to give you a tip that works very well with my clients! Instead of carrying around a small water bottle that you have to constantly refill throughout the day, carry a large water bottle that is the equivalent to the amount of water you need to consume for the day. I personally carry around a one-gallon water bottle that I only refill a few times a day.
Water consumption will pay huge dividends across the board including improved energy, enhanced metabolic functioning and appetite suppression. The necessity of adequate hydration cannot be overstated!
4. Preparation is King
Preparing your food in advance for the week is so incredibly important when it comes to weight loss. Now, I understand it can be overwhelming or seemingly impractical for most people to prepare and pack all their meals several days in advance. But I find that the individuals that do this are far more successful at achieving their health goals in the long run. If this means purchasing a small dorm refrigerator to keep in your office or maintain a stash of pre-made protein shakes in your car (in my opinion EAS – Carb Control shakes are a good option), then that’s what you should to do.
If you can't or don't want to prepare all your meals in advance, then it's essential to at least sit down and identify what options are available to you within your standard work schedule. Look through menus online and pick one or two restaurants that enable you to stick to your diet. Then commit to those in your plan! The goal here is to remove all emotional decision-making and start manipulating the environments you find yourself in on a daily basis.
Readers - Are you trying to lose weight? Which tips were helpful to you? Do you pack a lunch to avoid emotional eating decisions? Do you drink enough water each day? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.
Evan Shy, owner of ShyTown Fitness, is a personal trainer, motivator, life coach, elite fitness competitor, world traveler and icon in the health and wellness community. His mission is to empower people all over the world in their quest to optimal health through tailored workout programs, nutrition consultation, and systematic accountability. For more information, visit www.ShyTownFitness.com.