Have you heard the saying, “Fat loss is 80% diet 20% exercise” or “Abs are made in the kitchen”? Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand when it comes to a healthy living lifestyle especially if the goal is fat loss, but you probably already knew that! But that doesn’t mean we don’t need a helping hand, support or advice when it comes to educating ourselves about what to feed our bodies.
In no particular order here are my 11 nutrition commandments for living a fitter, cleaner and leaner lifestyle:
1. Drink More Water
Aim for 2 – 3 litres a day. Your body is made up of 50 – 75% water so getting enough H2O is essential for your health. It will also keep you full, hydrated and will flush out all the toxins that may be preventing your body from burning fat.
2. Cut out sugar
Say goodbye to soda, fruit juice, cakes, cookies, ice cream, sweets, chocolate and all things full of sugar. For so many reason but here are a few: 1. They are calorie dense 2. Full of empty calories which give you no vitamins and minerals. 3. Causes blood sugar spikes and insulin resistance. 4. Sugary foods do not make you feel full. 5. Sugar is addictive. Need me to go on?
3. Cut out processed foods
Although this point can be argued because some healthy foods are processed to some degree (hello oats, tinned/frozen vegetables, cheese), but you know the ones I’m talking about.. white bread/rice/pasta, crisps, breakfast cereals, processed meat (salami) and so on. These processed foods are high in bad fat, salt and sugar.
4. Don’t drink your calories
Why would you drink a bottle of fruit juice or coca cola for the same amount of calories you could eat a meal? Eat your calories! Enjoy and savour them, feel full, get you daily dose of vitamin, minerals and fibre. The only exception here would be a filling, nutritious smoothie which would actually make a great meal.
5. No or minimum alcohol
This also falls under don’t drink your calories category. Alcohol is empty calories, it is the only thing we can consume that does not fall under a macronutrient category (protein/fat/carb), in other words our bodies gain no benefit from it. Another interesting fact for you.. while your liver is processing alcohol it stops metabolising fats so any fats you eat while enjoying that tipple gets stored as (funnily enough) FAT! There’s no harm in enjoying a drink in moderation, opt for a dry glass of wine or a vodka/gin/tequila, soda and fresh lime.
6. Eat 5-7 portions of vegetables a day
Veggies are full of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and antioxidants) your body needs to function, repair, thrive, expel toxins and so much more. EAT YOUR VEGETABLES!
7. Eat 1-2 portions of fruit a day
Yes, fruit is a form of sugar but it is also full of those micronutrients I mentioned above and is super healthy for us. What fruit has that your favourite chocolate bar doesn’t have is fibre.. fibre slows down the digestion of sugar which prevents the large blood sugar spike that follows eating your pick n mix.
8. Buy organic when possible
Topping the list of foods to buy organic is dairy products, eggs, meats, berries and leafy greens. However, it’s not always easy on the bank account to buy everything organic so check out the Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen list. Always buy organic versions of the dirty dozen.
9. Choose lean sources of protein
Lean meats contain less fat therefore less calories, which makes staying in a calorie deficit for fat loss a lot easier. You will get more volume out of meats such as chicken, turkey, tuna, white fish, prawns/shrimp, lean beef, bison and pork tenderloin.
10. Eat protein at every meal
Your body is basically protein, proteins are the building blocks which make up our body so eating a diet high in protein provides your body with a continuous stream of bricks to keep building, restoring and repairing. Protein is very satiating which means you will feel full and satisfied resulting in eating less calories, great for fat loss. It also requires more energy (aka calories) for the body to digest then carbs and fats, this is called the thermic effect of food. Eat protein = lose fat.
11. Eat 2 servings of Omega 3 rich fish per week
The body cannot produce these essential fats on their own and they play a vital role to our health, brain and bodily functions. Omega 3 is an anti-inflammatory and may prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease. Other then salmon, mackerel and sardines other dietary sources include walnuts and flaxseeds. If you don’t get enough Omega 3 from your diet you can buy a good quality fish oil supplement.
Have these 11 commandments been helpful?
Are there any commandments you would add?
Let me know, comment below.