Eating Lean: What Works and What Doesn’t

Eating Lean: What Works and What Doesn't

To keep unhealthy weight off not just this month but all year-round check this advice on what to avoid and what to go for when trying to eat lean or simply maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Things to Avoid

1. The “Magic” Pill

Image Credit: Tomaž Štolfa on Flickr.
Image Credit: Tomaž Štolfa on Flickr.

The industry will always try to re-invent and sell you the magic pill. You know the one. That pill that solves all your problems and makes all your imperfections (or extra kilograms) disappear. Be wary that it’s not always in pill form. It could also be that special supplement, the new diet drink, that perfect exotic food. Don’t waste your money or your time on them — eating locally and seasonally is the best ‘pill’ you can get.

2. Surgery

There are many types of surgeries that have been created to affect your hunger. For example, those that decrease the size of your stomach, minimise your taste, or even impede your tongue from detecting flavours. No matter how good they are, their greatest limitation is that they are ineffective in the long run. Without addressing the behaviour at the root of any weight problem, a relapse will always occur.

3. Vitamins Supplements

These products are excellent at slimming down one thing very well: your wallet. Sophisticated diets are usually hard to keep and are therefore not maintainable in the long run. Another disadvantage and danger of certain supplements is that they may cause a surplus, or toxicity, in the body. It is not uncommon that when isolating certain types of chemicals, contaminant particles such as heavy metals may also be part of the final product. The overconsumption of vitamins, supplements and miracle products may also lead to unsafe levels of nutrients which may cause toxicity. Common examples of these are spirulina, algae, sea water and vitamin A.

See Also: The Whole Fruit And Nothing But The Fruit; What You Need To Know About Juicing

What to Go for Instead

1. Behaviour Change

The best way to reach a healthy weight and life is not by buying the latest book, a new yoga mat or special organic food. The key is to generate a behavior change. This type of behavior should be one that you can maintain throughout your life and that sticks your taste and likes.

2. Recognise When You’re Full

One way to avoid overeating and achieving a healthy weight and dietary patterns is by making sure you can identify when you’re no longer hungry. Achieving satiety can be accomplished by focussing on what you are eating, eating slowly and making meals part of a relaxed and social environment.

Avoiding ‘light’ food or products, which contain sugar substitutes is also recommended. Research has indicated that these types of products might increase your appetite, due to the fact that your brain does not receive the energy that your tongue and stomach think they receive when drinking for instance diet beverages. Examples of behaviours that will help you feel full are balancing meals and snacks through the day, avoid skipping meals, including and balancing a variety of foods as well as mindful eating.

See Also: What It Actually Means to Eat Healthy in Four Simple Sayings

3. Physical Activity

No healthy lifestyle can go without physical activity. Finding the enjoyment in a physical activity is important to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. Simple things like opting for the stairs instead of the elevator are a great way to get more steps in your day. At parties or in your free time choose activities which will keep you off the couch.

Image Credit: Karl Grenet on Flickr.
Image Credit: Karl Grenet on Flickr.

4. Mindfulness

Be here and now. Listen to what your body has got to say. Sleep and eat when it’s time to do so. Sleep deprivation leads to greater visceral fat. Less sleep equals more fat. When you eat, do only that. Don’t watch television or stay working on your desk. Listen, taste and feel the experience of your meal, your body will thank you for it.

5. Diet

Eat well. Don’t skip meals, dedicate quality time to the preparation of your food, it’s what will keep you going in your day, your routine and your life. Here’s a good guide on how to distinguish between what works and what doesn’t:

A Good Diet
A Fad
Includes a variety of foods, you can keep it throughout your life, suits your preferences and promotes a healthy dietary pattern that meets all your nutrient needs.Would limit your food selection of some food groups or include only certain types of food or combinations limiting the variety and nutrient intake.
Promotes a gradual weight loss of per week and does not limit your calorie intake to under 1200 Kcal a day.Promises rapid weight loss in a short amount of time.
Promotes or includes physical activity.Promises weight loss and health without the need of doing any exercise or effort.
It allows you to be flexible by being able to choose from different foods such as when you eat out.May ask you to avoid specific foods or include special foods that promise to burn fat or speed up your metabolism.
Will not ask you to buy special and expensive foods or supplementsMay ask you to consume special food, products or supplements.
Motivates you for a positive behaviour change, healthy habits and provides social support.Tells you that you don’t need to change a thing in regard to your activity or eating habits, recommends a difficult diet to maintain and provides no support other than to follow a book.
Is based on scientific evidence and professional guidance or monitoring is recommended.Relies on celebrities, trendy places or promises to be a new scientific discovery, based on unscientific claims.
Image Credit: David Saddler on Flickr.
Image Credit: David Saddler on Flickr.

To sum up, making healthy options part of your routine is what will help you achieve a healthy weight. Small changes, consistently implemented, can help you lose weight and transform your lifestyle. Instead of buying a special food or supplements, focus on implementing positive behaviours and think about key changes in your life that can have a greater impact in your health. Walking or riding your bike to work, having healthy food at hand when your cravings strike or swapping that awful habit for something that makes you feel better might just make the difference for you.

See Also: How To Set And Reach Your Healthy Eating Goals

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