The research continues to stack up against our biggest dietary enemy…refined sugar. Processed sugar is the cause of many modern diseases and plays a hefty role in several major health problems including fatty liver disease, obesity, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and asthma.
20 Reasons Why Refined Sugar Is Bad For Your Health
Can you guess America’s number one New Year’s Resolution year after year? If you guessed losing weight you’re 100% correct!
So what is the best way to lose weight and keep it off?
Many believe the key to weight-loss is burning more calories than you eat. But many times it is not so simple. Sure, this works for some people, but often there are other factors to consider, including toxins, motivation, time, health, lifestyle, genetics, and thyroid problems.
Additionally, the quality and types of food we eat can affect whether our bodies tend to shed extra weight or hold on to those last 10 pounds.
I can relate to the weight loss ups and downs because I’ve experienced them at different seasons in my life.
After four pregnancies in six years time, with all the weight changes that come with pregnancy, plus breastfeeding all four babies, my body went through many transformations.
But being a full-time mama to four kiddos under the age of six didn’t leave time for anything outside of prepping and cleaning up after meals, changing diapers, reading to, cuddling and playing with the babies and caring for their needs 24/7.
And I would do it all over again because our children are precious to me and I cherish those times we spent together when they were little.
Being intentional about fitness and eating right was easier when we had our first two babies, but after that it became such a juggling act that most days I was happy to get a shower and brush my teeth. Maybe you can relate? And a good night’s sleep did not come until later.
I would try to fit in the occasional walk or run and eat healthy as much as possible. But it was a challenge. Some days more than others.
But my story is just one of many examples of challenges we face in life that can make it harder to stay healthy and maintain a healthy weight.
Sometimes we simply need tools to help us meet our goals. If you’re trying to lose weight and have plateaued or just need a boost along your weight loss journey here are some tips that can help accelerate your weight loss.
18 Ways To Lose Weight Faster:
1. Drink a glass of water before each meal.
Our bodies function more efficiently with plenty of purified water. Drinking water helps with the digestion process. The general recommendation is to drink 8 8-ounce glasses per day, or 2 liters, but depending on your size and activity level you might need a slightly different amount. Also, adding lemon to your water can give you some pretty amazing health benefits. To learn more about lemon water you may want to read: 9 Surprising Benefits Of Lemon Water.
2. Include protein with your meals and snacks.
Protein can help you lose weight naturally by reducing hunger pangs and boosting your metabolism.
3. Fill up on fiber-rich vegetables, fruits and other foods.
Eating plenty of fiber fills you and may cut your appetite. Examples of high-fiber foods include:
Did you know that not getting enough sleep can cause you to gain weight? Sleep deprivation disturbs your body’s balance of the hormones leptin and ghrelin, which regulate hunger and fullness.
If you have trouble winding down at night, try taking a hot bath or shower. How much sleep should you be getting? The average adult needs 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night.
5. Only buy healthy whole food.
Stay away from pre-packaged foods that have a long list of ingredients. A long ingredient list usually indicates many artificial additives, preservatives and other harmful chemicals which can wreak havoc on our bodies.
Nuts are a great on-the-go snack and fill you up. The healthy fats in nuts keep you satiated. My personal favorite is pecans. They’re so rich and delicious! Other healthy options include walnuts, almonds and pistachios.
9. Drink whey protein.
It has many health benefits and keeps you feeling full for a long time. Just make sure it is all-natural and does not contain harmful sweeteners, like Splenda or Aspartame.
They can fire up your metabolism, causing you to burn more calories.
Salsa, curry, peppers, horseradish and many Asian stir fry recipes contain plenty of heat to spice up your taste buds.
11. Chew your food well before swallowing.
We’ve all heard this before but it works, so it’s worth repeating. Chewing your food well takes more time which gives your brain time to process feeling full. This allows you to eat what you need but not more.
12. Eat your meals on a small salad plate instead of a typical dinner plate.
If you’re like most Americans, including myself, you tend to fill your plate with food. So if your plate is smaller, it makes sense that you’ll be eating less.
13. Keep a food diary.
Writing down everything you eat makes you more aware of your caloric intake, as well as whether you’re eating enough fiber, protein, and essential vitamins.
My favorite way to keep track of what I eat each day is myfitnesspal.com. I use the app on my phone. I also love that it syncs with my Fitbit so I don’t miss anything important.
14. Avoid white foods, such as white flour, white sugar, white bread and white rice.
They can dramatically alter your blood sugar and cause weight gain (which, of course, is the opposite of weight loss).
15. Drink green tea.
It has substances that cause fat cells to release fat, especially with exercise. How cool is that? Plus, green tea is so refreshing and delicious! I have a cup each afternoon.
Also, Kombucha is fermented green tea. I just learned how to make it and am loving this flavorful, probiotic-rich tea!
16. Include full-fat foods in your diet.
This includes grass-fed beef, nuts, coconut, eggs and avocados.
And don’t worry, studies have proven that (despite what we may have been told for years) eating saturated fat does not make us fat and does not cause heart disease (1).
In case you haven’t heard a low-fat, high-carb diet is bad for you and has been repeatedly proved ineffective (2, 3).
17. Drink coffee!
It speeds up your metabolism and causes you to burn more calories (4).
Intermittent fasting nutrition is essential if you’re aiming to lose weight, gain muscle mass and radiate health and vitality.
Intermittent fasting (IM) is a concept that has been around for ages. It is not about what foods you choose eat. But it is all about the timing of when you eat and don’t eat, cycling between periods of feasting and fasting.
Intermittent Fasting Nutrition
Many people will tell you that you can eat whatever you want and still lose weight while intermittent fasting.
And, while this may be true, if you want to be the healthiest version of yourself, then you may want to upgrade your diet and make healthier choices when it comes to nourishing your body with life-giving food.
Here are a few tips to guide your food choices and maximize your results when intermittent fasting:
Include a serving of protein with each meal or snack. Examples include plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, whole eggs, chicken breast, grass-fed beef, fish, whey protein, a can of tuna or beans.
Eat plenty of leafy green and cruciferous vegetables, such as spinach, romaine lettuce, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.
Include healthy fats, such as grass-fed butter, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts and nut butters.
If you’re in the mood for something sweet, fruit is an excellent choice.
A bit of dark chocolate (at least 70-80% cocoa) is full of antioxidants and makes a delicious and indulgent treat.
Complex carbohydrates, including sweet potatoes, brown rice, oats and quinoa are okay if you are able to reach your weight loss goals. Just keep in mind that if your weight loss is stalling you might try eating smaller portions (or eliminate these foods until you reach your goal weight) and see if that helps.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Coffee and green tea are healthy beverages you can include in your periods of fasting.
Avoid simple sugars and simple carbohydrates found in white bread and baked goods.
Avoid packaged and processed foods.
To sum up, intermittent fasting is a timing concept, cycling between periods of feasting and fasting.
It is essential to nourish your body with healthy foods such as protein-rich foods, healthy fats, and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. Complex carbohydrates are tolerated fine by some people, but this may be something to pay attention to if you have difficulty meeting your weight loss goals.
Finally, avoid sugary, simple carbohydrates and prepackaged foods. And always drink plenty of water.
Have you tried intermittent fasting? What do you like to eat?
Please share your thoughts and comments below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!
You may want to read more about intermittent fasting here:
If you’re an intermittent fasting (IF) pro, or fasting for the first time, you may be wondering how this lifestyle will mesh with your workouts.
Or if it’s safe to work out at all while fasting.
The great news is that, yes, you can continue your fitness regimen.
As it turns out, training while intermittent fasting has some pretty impressive health benefits which I know you’re going to love.
The Benefits Of Exercising While Fasting
Did you know that exercise and fasting combine to cause oxidative stress on your muscles? It may sound bad, but in this case it’s actually beneficial.
Fitness expert Ori Hofmekler explains acute states of oxidative stress are:
” … essential for keeping your muscle machinery tuned. Technically, acute oxidative stress makes your muscle increasingly resilient to oxidative stress; it stimulates glutathione and SOD [superoxide dismutase, the first antioxidant mobilized by your cells for defense] production in your mitochondria along with increased muscular capacity to utilize energy, generate force and resist fatigue.
Hence, exercise and fasting help counteract all the main determinants of muscle aging. But there is something else about exercise and fasting. When combined, they trigger a mechanism that recycles and rejuvenates your brain and muscle tissues.”
Technically, you can simply fast and reap the benefits. But many people want to work out and further maximize their results.
Thankfully, this doesn’t have to involve going to the gym everyday for an hour, unless you want it to.
The great thing is, this is highly individualized. You can find what works best for you and what activities you enjoy most and do that. Depending on your commitment level and your current personal fitness, your workouts can be tailored to your goals and abilities.
Because intermittent fasting is a lifestyle, you’ll likely find different workouts and schedules that best suit your goals and needs over time. Here are some examples of workout options you might choose while intermittent fasting:
Many beginners starting out with IM enjoy taking a gentle walk 2 or 3 days a week for 20 minutes.
Many people who love the IM lifestyle find that short, quick bursts of exercise followed by brief recovery periods, such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is very effective.
Looking for muscle gains and definition? Strength training may be what you’re looking for.
Swimming, hiking, yoga, rollerblading, skiing, jogging, dancing, Pilates, team sports, etc. Any activity that gets you moving it great!
So now that you have some ideas for how to train while fasting, I want to share some important tips to help you get the most out of your workouts, as well as some special considerations to be aware of.
Tips For An Intermittent Fasting Workout
An easy way to get the fat-burning effects of working out in the fasted state is by exercising first thing in the morning before you eat your first meal of the day. This works great with the 16/8 (or other) IF plan and allows your body to tap into its fat stores.
Listen to your body. Be mindful of individual factors such as medical history, whether you’re taking prescriptions, age, and physical fitness level. If you need/want to drink a whey protein shake before your workout, do it. If you feel light-headed, your ears are ringing, or you feel like you’re going to pass out during a workout, don’t “tough it out”. Use common sense and pay attention to warning signs like these. Plus, here’s something to consider: A study published in the Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise journal revealed that consuming 20 grams of whey protein 30 minutes before a resistance training session boosted metabolism for up to 24 hours after the workout. (5)
To sum up, working out and intermittent fasting can be done together, with many health benefits. These impressive benefits include fat burning, weight loss, improved cognitive and hormone function and improved body composition.
There are a variety of workouts you can do while enjoying the IF lifestyle. Keep in mind if you’re doing heavy lifting or other strenuous workouts, you should eat a high-protein meal, such as a whey protein shake, after your training session. Everyone is unique and requires a specialized fitness regimen. Always listen to your body and use common sense when working out and fasting.
What tips do you have for working out and intermittent fasting? Please share below!
You may want to read more about intermittent fasting here: