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Diet

The basic rules of nutrition

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So many people are still looking for the best diet to help them accomplish their fitness goals, unfortunately this is not possible. There´s not a single diet that will give everyone of us the best results.

Instead of looking for the best diet to lose weight we need to think about what are the basic rules of nutrition that apply to everyone or almost everyone and from there adjust them to fit our lifestyle and goals.

As we´ve mentioned on our first post there are certain essential proteins called amino-acids and certain essential fats called fatty-acids that we need to give our body through food, but there are no essential carbohydrates, the only reason we need carbohydrates like vegetables and fruits may be for micronutrients which are vitamins, minerals and fiber but we can also get these micronutrients from other foods which is the reason why carnivores claim you can only consume meat and animal products and be completely fine.

Our body, our cells, our brain need energy and certain nutrients to keep everything working and functioning properly. A healthy diet needs to focus on giving your body this essential proteins and fats, the vitamins and minerals, fiber, prebiotics and probiotics so that everything is functioning properly and it also needs to avoid unhealthy foods as much as possible. All this nutrients come from meats, fatty fish, whole eggs, nuts, seeds, yogurt, fruits and vegetables.

We also need to consider energy, our body needs energy, our brain needs energy and we can´t deny the fact that healthy fats are a better source of energy that our cells, our brain and our entire body can use more efficiently. 1 gram of fat contain 9 calories compared to 4 calories in one gram of carbs, and our body, our brain and our cells can use healthy fats as a more efficient fuel compared to carbs or glucose. For this to happen you need to be fat adapted and have a flexible metabolism which is how our body is supposed to work.

So many people focus a lot on what they need to eat but they don´t eliminate unhealthy foods, those unhealthy foods create inflammation and stress on our body so you can eat all the healthy foods you want but if you keep eating unhealthy foods you won´t get any benefits. The foods you need to avoid are the ones that contain highly refined sugars, flours (except nut flours), seed oils and trans fats.

We can´t deny the fact that eating unhealthy foods is damaging our body, if you´re struggling with your weight, if you´ve tried to lose weight and fail the reason is simple, you´re not giving your body the nutrients it needs to function properly and all the unhealthy food you´ve been eating created damage on your metabolism and hormones this is why you feel tired all the time and your body hurts, this is why you can´t stop eating. When you give your body the nutrients it needs and you stop eating unhealthy foods your body starts to fix and repair all the problems so you start feeling better, with more energy and motivation, you are able to eat less, cravings disappear and this is when your weight loss starts getting easier and easier.

The easiest way to start improving your diet is by swapping unhealthy foods for healthy ones, instead of having a bowl of cereal and juice or a bagel or sandwich change it for scrambled or fried eggs on coconut, olive oil or butter, if you don´t have time to cook you can have natural Greek yogurt low in carbs with some chia seeds; instead of having a kit kat bar or any other candy for a snack have some pecans, almonds or pumpkin seeds.

It all starts with what our body needs to perform at its max every day and find healthy foods that can supply our body with those requirements and also that we enjoy. Any diet needs to be sustainable so finding foods that we also enjoy eating and that makes us feel satisfied is key. Once you have this under control you have more freedom to enjoy your favorite meals, snacks and desserts every now and then.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Diet

Pre / Post workout meals

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If you´ve been on the fitness industry for some time you´ve may have heard about pre and post workout meals, or if you´ve trying to lose weight you may have heard about it too, you may have read about the best foods to eat before your exercise routine and the best foods to eat after exercise, but are the really beneficial?

Unfortunately, this is not a black and white answer it all comes down to your goals and context. Planning your meals around your workouts is a great strategy to help you achieve your goals. Post workout meals is the one I consider more important regardless of your goal, when you exercise you give your body and muscles the stimuli to grow, to get stronger, to change and the moment you finish your workout your body starts to recover so by giving the right nutrients is key to make sure your body has everything it needs to start the recovery process.

When we talk about pre and post workout it can get a little complicated especially if your goal is just to lose weight and improve body composition, if this is your goal then keeping things simple is the way to go. For this doing cardio in a fasted state can be really beneficial but not everyone feels good exercising fasted. You can have an electrolyte drink before exercising just make sure the one you choose is low in carbs and sugars and also don´t contain unhealthy ingredients. If you prefer to eat something just make sure that whatever you eat makes you feel good, you don´t want to feel sick during your workout you want to feel energized and able to perform at peak.

For pre workouts it all depends of your goal and what works best for you, for weight loss what you really want is to lose fat, in this case for some people doing cardio first thing in the morning in a fasted state is really helpful, for some people doing resistance training in a fasted state also works great while others don´t find it beneficial and it impact negatively their performance especially for bodybuilders and power lifters. If you´re doing resistance training and your main focus is strength then a pre workout meal will be beneficial.

What is the best meal for pre and post workout also depends of you, of your goals and the type of diet you´re following, if you are keto getting some MCTs some carbs or caffeine pre workout might be beneficial or having a more complete meal a couple hours before exercising, depending on how hard is you session you may want to have some carbs to help your body fuel the workout. For post workout having a protein shake with some MCTs or coconut oil is better then to getting just a protein shake, whey, casein, egg protein are all great options and there are so many protein powders that contain them, adding some healthy oils work better for a post workout shake.

If you´re having a complete meal before your workout make sure it´s at least one hour before exercising and make sure you don´t get too full or what you eat won´t cause digestive issues, when you´re exercising you want to make sure you can perform at your max and your pre workout meal (if you have it) is supposed to fuel that workout not make you feel sick.

If you go to a gym you may have seen or heard a lot of people taking caffeine as a pre workout. For pre workouts we want something that gives us energy, increase performance is really important, even if you can take something pre workout that helps you increase performance for 5% that can make a huge difference on your workout when you´re lifting heavy and you want to go hard this is what caffeine does. Some people don´t like caffeine because of the crash , if this is your case, supplements like Ginseng and L-citrulline are also really helpful.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Diet

If it fit your macros (IIFYM)

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If you´ve been following bodybuilding or the fitness industry in general you may have heard some girls and guys following the “if it fit my macros” type of diet or nutrition program and most of them are fascinated with it.

For this diet strategy you need to understand what macronutrients are, we talked about this on a past post (click this link to learn more), for now we´re going to keep it quick and simple, macronutrients are divided into 3 categories, proteins, fats and carbohydrates this are the 3 macros that our body needs in big quantities.

Any diet that you want to follow or most of them are based on different macro ratios, for example a high protein diet is high in protein and low in carbohydrates and fats, a keto diet is based on high fats, moderate protein and very low carbohydrates, in the case of IIFYM most of the time people follow a most balanced approach between the 3 macronutrients, to follow this the priority and focus is on macronutrients, not on calories so you need to find out what are your needs for each macro and make sure you hit those numbers every day. Lets say you need 45 grams of fat per day, 122 grams of protein and 183 grams of carbohydrates per day, once you got this numbers you only need to make sure that by the end of the day you meet those needs.

This diet or strategy is a great way to make your diet is sustainable for long periods of time even if you are losing weight because it gives you the opportunity to fit it unhealthy foods, you can have your favorite snacks, meals or desserts as long as you are able to hit your target for each macro, it gives you a lot more freedom. The problem is that a lot of people use this diet to fit in a lot of unhealthy foods, most of their foods choices come from fast food and highly processed foods, the reason for this is that they only focus on hitting those numbers, they´re only interested on hitting the macros and they don´t consider quality of food this is why they can eat pizza and donuts or ice cream for dessert every day, however the problem with this is that those unhealthy foods won´t make you feel full, the impact on satiety is not the same as the one you get from eating healthy foods.

Even when this strategy is a great option for weight loss, we can be pretty sure that if you hit your macros every day you will achieve your goal whether it´s weight loss, muscle growth or maintenance, so if your goal is only to build the physique you want then IIFYM is a great option, but if you´re also considering overall health then you need to think about food quality.

The benefit of this strategy is that it´s flexible and it gives you freedom, you can actually use it with different diets, if you´re vegetarian or vegan, if you´re keto you just need to do the math to get your macros according to your goal and the diet you want to follow and from there you can decide if you want to focus on healthy foods most of the time or if you want to eat more unhealthy foods.

We do need to mention that quality of food does matter, if you get all your macros from unhealthy foods you will get results regarding weight loss, muscle growth and maintenance, but with healthy sources you´ll get better results, some foods even when they help you hit the target for each macro are poor quality or incomplete sources so you won´t get the same positive impact and the impact on hormones is really different between healthy and fast foods or processed foods.

When you focus on healthy foods most of the time you´ll achieve your fitness goal and also improve your health at the same time, there are so many healthy options for each macro. If you want to get the best benefits then using IIFYM and focusing on quality of food, making healthy choices most of the time is the way to go, remember that you can fit some unhealthy snacks and desserts or even meals just don´t do it every day, this is what makes your diet flexible and sustainable.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Diet

The impact of food in mental health

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When we think about food and diet mostly we relate it with weight loss, some of us muscle growth and health, especially diseases like diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc; but we don´t think or relate food with our brain or mental health and it has a huge impact.

Many people is diagnosed with mental diseases like depression, anxiety, ADD, PTSD, OCD, but a lot of people suffer of symptoms from any of this and have not been diagnosed. I´m not saying that by being diagnosed you need to take drugs which I don´t recommend, this is the last option when you´ve literally tried everything else. Now I need to mention that depression, anxiety, PTSD, and some other mental illnesses could be cause by an accident or a situation the person went through and if it´s not treated it will get worse and worse over time. It´s really important to talk with an expert, but life is hard and we all go through situations that lead to depression or anxiety or other and we can all do something to improve and start feeling better and it all starts with our food choices.

Food is a great strategy to help us cope with the effects or symptoms of mental illnesses like the ones I´ve mentioned before, certain foods can make the symptoms worse while others can lower them down. We can see this on a day to day basis just be aware of how you feel after a meal, be conscious of what you´re eating and how you feel after, you´ve probably been on a bad mood more than once, if you eat unhealthy foods and even certain foods that can be considered healthy they can make your mood worse and if you eat certain foods that contain certain chemicals and micronutrients they will make you feel better.

For some people processed meats can make their symptoms of depression worse, if you´re on a bad mood turmeric can help improve it and it´s also anti-inflammatory. Berries are one the best fruits rich in antioxidants that also are very beneficial for your brain.

Food also has a huge impact on dementia and diseases like Alzheimer´s and Parkinson, certain diets like ketogenic have been used to treat Alzheimer´s when it actually started as a treatment for epilepsy.

We´ve talked before about inflammation and how certain foods cause inflammation, this occurs not only in our body also in our brain and this is how some diseases develop, inflammation in the starting point, we´ve also talked about insulin resistance which is when our cells start ignoring insulin signaling, this also happens in the brain and it´s also the starting point of many diseases.

Diet can reduce or increase inflammation and it can also improve or worsen insulin resistance. We know that certain foods are unhealthy and we need to eliminate them for a period of time and then avoid them as much as possible, those foods are unhealthy seed oils, flour (nuts flours are the exception), sugar and certain carbohydrates. This foods cause inflammation and raise insulin and when we eat them continually it leads to insulin resistance. So a way to start is avoiding this foods.

If you want to take this one step further you can try an elimination diet, you´ll need to eliminate grains, dairy, gluten, sugar for a couple of weeks which cause a lot of problems for many people and slowly start introducing them one by one. One week add grains to your diet and be aware of how you look and feel, stay with it for a couple of weeks, then add dairy and also be aware of how you look and feel, continue.

Now, if you want to improve your brain you need to consider that what you need to eat to improve it is as important as what you need to avoid, if you eat a lot of berries but you´re still consuming unhealthy seed oils and sugars you won´t get the benefits, in fact those unhealthy foods can have a greater impact.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Diet

Everything we eat impacts our brain.

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We all love food, at least most of us but how many times have you asked yourself how everything you´re eating affects your brain? We do know that diet is a crucial part for maintaining optimal health and a healthy weight, we´ve all heard that to lose weight we need to eat less, but whether you´re losing weight or not, every single food choice impacts your brain positively or negatively.

Even when you do need to eat less and move more to lose weight and it´s possible to get to your desire weight eating unhealthy foods it´s not healthy and there are many reasons why, one of those is the impact that food has on your brain. You can eat less junk food, do some exercise and you´ll lose weight but your hormones will be out of balance and this causes health problems, one of those hormones is insulin, too much insulin for long periods of time lead to health problems like insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity and it also affects your brain.

So many people is worried about their physical health, and they´re making changes to their habits and routines focusing on diet and exercise, but most people don´t talk about mental health and our levels of energy, how we feel, our mood are all impacted by what we eat even the symptoms of mental issues like anxiety, depression, ADD, PTSD can get worse or improve just by our food choices. Dementia, Alzheimer´s, Parkinson can also improve or get worse by our food choices. Some experts like to talk about Alzheimer´s as type 3 diabetes and they make a huge emphasis on how food can slow the disease and improve the symptoms.

We know that most of us follow a diet high in unhealthy foods, most of what we eat is highly processed and refined foods full of added sugar, unhealthy seed oils and chemicals that are toxic for our body, we eat too much sugar and it depletes our body from nutrients and we´re not eating enough of what our body needs. In the case of our brain too much carbohydrates simple or complex have a negative impact, if the brain becomes insulin resistant which is the result of high levels of insulin for a long period of time, when this happens insulin is not only affecting your body, it´s now also affecting your brain so following a diet that lowers insulin and increases ketones is beneficial for the brain.

Alcohol and smoking also impacts our brain negatively, so if we put everything together our unhealthy diet very high on sugars and unhealthy oils plus alcohol and cigarettes and not enough nutrients it´s not a surprise that we´re seeing mental health problems increase and they just keep getting worse.

The brain needs certain nutrients like MCTs and Omega 3 but most of us are deficient on this, coconut oil, fish, chia seeds are great options for healthy fats our brain needs. Unhealthy foods will deplete your body and brain from nutrients and will also cause damage.

If your brain is not working properly and efficiently it will have an impact on your life, if you don´t feel great, if your energy levels are not high, if you´re not able to concentrate, if your performance is not as best as it could then everything you do will be affected, you´re not making the best of every moment because your brain is not able to work properly.

Supplements play a huge role here, but before you consider taking supplements first you need to improve your diet, if your diet is not as healthy your body won´t be able to absorb and use the nutrients from supplements in an effective way. So get your diet right first and then add supplements as needed.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Diet

Supplements and health

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How many times have you done research to find out the best supplement that targets or works for your specific goal? How many times have you bought supplements just because someone told you or you heard that they make some kind of magic?

Unfortunately, supplements do not work by themselves, some research says most of them don´t work, some people do not recommend them while other research and experts do believe in them. My opinion, some of them work, very few.

As you may know by now I don´t like to take a lot of supplements, I prefer making sure that my diet is on point to get as much nutrients as possible. From my point of view and experience there´s no reason to take supplements or even worry about them if our diet is unhealthy.

Now, in other post we talked about supplements for fitness goals like weight loss and muscle growth so in this post we´re only going to talk about supplements for optimal health.

One of the most common supplements we all know is a multivitamin, we all know that our body needs certain amount of micronutrients which are vitamins and minerals, the problems with this is that most multivitamin brands the type or source of raw material, of vitamins and minerals that they use are not the best quality. There are certain sources or types that our body can not absorb and in most cases brands use this type because it´s cheaper. This is why some people say that supplements don´t work or that you´re only wasting your money because your body is not absorbing those vitamins and minerals so you lose all your money when you pee or sweat. We need to mention that supplements are expensive, most of them and if they use a good quality source the price will increase.

With multivitamins you´ll get almost the same amount of each vitamin and mineral, almost all brands are exactly the same, they are some brands that put more emphasis on some vitamins or minerals adding a little more but in general most of them are the same. If your nutrition is good, based on healthy and quality foods then you can get what your body needs through food for most micronutrients so it´s better to look for individual vitamins and minerals you may be deficient.

Many people are deficient on certain vitamins like D and K, some are deficient on certain minerals like Magnesium. Omega 3 is another supplement that can be really beneficial for people who doesn´t consume fish, and whey protein, casein, or collagen can also be beneficial for people who doesn´t get enough from food.

What you need to do is first talk with your doctor or health practitioner and find out which vitamins and mineral are you deficient and then decide if you want to add healthy foods that help you get to where you need or if you want to add supplements. In most cases creating a healthy diet is a great way to make sure you´re getting all the nutrients your body needs and it can be done by trying and adding foods you really enjoy eating and that contain certain nutrients, you combine those foods you enjoy eating and create a diet that works for you.

If you have any food allergy or sensitivity or there´s a food you just don´t like then this is when you can adjust and add supplements as needed. Nowadays there are so many options for supplements according to each type of diet. The type of diet you´re following also plays a huge role and the supplements you need, I do believe that someone who is vegan needs protein supplements since the protein they get from vegan sources is not the same quality and the body won´t be able to absorb it. Some who is carnivore don´t need protein supplements. Also we need to consider that each diet will give you more of some nutrients and low in others, people who are vegan will get different nutrition compared to someone who is carnivore. You also need to consider your drinks, if you drink just plain water or if you drink sparkling water, coffee or tea.

Even when the basics of nutrition apply to all of us we still need to be aware of how we feel and how we look and make the adjust necessary to optimize out health whether it´s through food or supplements.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Diet

Nutrition and your gut

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Most of us think about food and nutrition when we want to lose weight and we know that certain foods are healthy and others are unhealthy, but there´s a lot more going on in our body with the food we eat, every food choice we make has an impact on our gut and it directly affects our brain.

You may have heard that there are trillions of microbes living in our body, there are so many different types of microbes that live in our gut, this is what gut microbiome refers to which I´m sure you´ve heard about. This gut microbiome influences our appetite, inflammation, mood, immune system and brain. It has an impact on overall health physical and mental, it can be crucial when we talk about preventing diseases, how we can manage or control diseases, what´s the best treatment and even for longevity making sure that we have the best quality of life possible.

We know that our lifestyle plays an important role on our health but most of us haven´t think about the direct impact that food has on chronic and immune diseases, we don´t even think about what everything we eat impacts the way we feel a couple of hours later. We´re not aware of our body and what it´s telling us.

How many times have you thought about gut health? Gut health means that the stomach, intestines, esophagus are working in harmony when we eat and digest food, all the microbes that live there also play an important role on making sure that our body can digest food and absorb nutrients. When one of this is out of harmony or balance then we have an unhealthy gut. The gut communicates with the brain through hormones and nerves to send different messages and information.

A healthy gut can get out of harmony for several reasons like stress, lack of sleep and also our diet. If we eat unhealthy foods that create inflammation they will take our gut out of harmony, if you eat something and some minutes or hours later you feel heartburn, constipation, bloating this are just some of the symptoms that something you ate is causing problems in your gut so you need to find out what foods are causing problems and avoid them at least for a period of time.

If you follow an unhealthy diet for a long period of time then your gut gets out of balance and this can lead to leaky gut which is when the walls of the intestine that act like barriers and controls what gets absorbed into the bloodstream is not intact, it has cracks and this allows toxins, microbes and partially digest food to go to other tissues and this can cause inflammation and trigger the immune system to react causing other problems.

Consuming whole, fresh foods and making sure that you eliminate or avoid as much as possible flours (nut flours are the exception), sugar and unhealthy seed oils is always the best option. You also need to listen to your body , be aware of how you feel, there are healthy foods that can cause problems to you, you may feel bloated or experience any other symptom after consuming grains or foods that contain gluten, you may have problems with dairy, you may have problems with legumes or a vegetable like cauliflower.

If you want to improve your health you can starts by following an elimination diet, eliminate all foods that cause inflammation like grains, corn, gluten, dairy for some weeks or months and be aware of how you feel. Then start adding some of the options you took out one by one, add one and see how you feel for a couple of weeks, then add another one, this way you can identify which foods are causing your problems so you need to avoid for a longer period of time. Remember that there are foods that will cause inflammation, we´ve already mentioned this ones a couple paragraphs before: flours (except nut flours), sugar and vegetable oils.

Following a healthy diet is important not only for weight loss and maintenance but to make sure that you maintain optimal health.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Diet

Why is it so hard to eliminate processed foods?

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Have you tried to eliminate sugar and processed foods from your diet? Was it easy or hard?

It´s hard to stop eating junk food and sometimes it seems that those cravings for sweets, junk and fast food won´t go away. All those foods high in sugars, trans fats and chemicals have the same effect on our body as brain and alcohol does, they turn on the pleasure respond on our brain making us addicted to them and create a habit which is why sometimes we find ourselves eating them without making a conscious decision and with this foods our cravings will continue over and over.

What would you think if I tell you that our will power may not be strong enough because of the effects this foods have on our brain? This is why I said in later posts that if we´re dealing with obesity or overweight it´s not our fault but we are in control and we can make the choice right now of changing our life, this is also why it won´t be easy.

The more we eat this foods the more we´ll crave them, some years ago kids were not allowed to eat unhealthy foods unless they had finished their meal and the amount of unhealthy food we were allowed to eat per day was small. Children nowadays eat a lot of sweets, junk and processed foods, the amount of sugar and fats they´re consuming is terribly high and people is now considering ADHD, hyperactivity as diseases controlling them with drugs and most of the time this reactions are caused by foods, by high amounts of sugar.

There are so many people arguing about which diet is better, is it better high carbohydrate? high protein? high fat? it´s better vegetarian or vegan? this makes no sense to me when as far as I can see the biggest problem is in junk, highly processed and fast food. If we are not able to avoid all this foods there´s no reason to try different diets, first focus on avoiding unhealthy foods, once we do that then we can start adjusting our nutrition program to make it better for us, if we need to reduce carbohydrates we can do it, if we need more protein increase it, if we need more fat increase it but always considering our health as a priority.

Yes fat loss is simple and yes it´s simple to sustain those results if we develop the habits we need which is the difficult part. Our brain has been programmed to keep consuming those unhealthy foods, that give our brain that sense of pleasure and make us feel good and relax when we eat them. This short term positive effect on our brain which is a long term harmful habit creates a battle we need to fight when we want to lose weight.

This is the reason why developing the right mindset is key to achieving results and not giving up half the way, this is why we need to take enough time to develop the habits that are going to make almost effortless for us to sustain our results.

When we start changing our food choices to develop healthy habits we will have cravings, we will have the sensation or the “necessity” to have those foods, we need to avoid them as much as we can, I know it´s hard but don´t let your mind trick you thinking that you really need those foods and end eating them.

With time our body will adapt, when we start giving nutrients to our body it will also send us signals telling us it´s enough, we´ll feel full and satisfied. At this point where we´ve changed our nutrition program and now it´s based on fresh healthy foods it´s almost impossible to keep eating that much food so we won´t overeat.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Diet

Does portion control work?

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I see many people who are not professional athletes and who don´t compete trying to be perfect counting calories, most of them just want to lose weight and get in shape. If the goal is just to get in shape and sustain it, then it´s not necessary to be perfect counting calories or macros. The best tool to use here is portion control.

Having a clear idea of portions will make it easier for us to achieve our goals and we´ll be considering what´s important.

Focusing on the most important things is the best way to achieve our goals and finding ways to make it simple will reduce stress and obsession, portion control is one of those things, as I´ve said before it is better to count macros than to count calories but weighting our food every meal is impossible so a way to get it done is with portion control.

Knowing how a portion size really looks like and getting it accurate is hard at the beginning, most of us are really bad at portion sizes we don´t know how a cup of rice or 4 ounces of meat look like and if we take our plate and take a look thinking on portion control and we measure it we´ll find out we´re eating more than we need, this may be one of the reasons why we can´t achieve our goal.

Portion control gives us the opportunity to focus on macronutrients, as we know now each has its function and job in the body, it´s easier to adjust how much we eat of each food so if we need to lower carbohydrates we can reduce portions or add some protein according to our goals.

Portion control is the amount of food we eat, we can weight our food or use some simple rules that we can find on the internet like 3 ounces of meat is the size of a deck of cards, half cup of oatmeal is the size of a hockey puck, one cup of broccoli is the size of a baseball. With time you´ll get familiar with sizes and you´ll be able to “eye ball” all your portions and get them more accurate with time.

Portion control can also help us reduce the amount of unhealthy foods and keep those in check while increasing healthy foods, this can make it easier for us to start making the right choices by changing or substituting some unhealthy foods for healthier options.

It´s easier to keep portions under control when we´re eating at home or when we prepare our meals but it can get more complicated eating out and specially this days when packages are bigger and when we have the chance to make our meal bigger for some dollars more in fast food chains.

Buffets are a great way to eat healthy and control portions, when we eat out we can ask for one portion of carbohydrates and double protein with some healthy fats we can choose what we want to eat, and in restaurants we can tell the waitress to change fries for salad or to give us only half portion of carbohydrates.

As always don´t get obsessed with this use it as a tool and guide to keep the amount of food you eat under control but don´t try to make it perfect, perfection will stress you, make the best you can and enjoy your meals, if your meals are healthy you don´t need to get obsessed or stressed, if you don´t see results just reduce the amount of food to lose weight or increase it to gain muscle, the most important macronutrient you need to focus a little more is protein, you need to consume enough protein and even when you´re losing weight you want to keep it high.

You also need to consider the macro ratios you are following, if you go with a balanced diet between carbohydrates, protein and fats or if you prefer keto, don´t forget that fats are higher in calories compared to the other 2 macros and it will keep you full longer.

If we get obsessed and want to be perfect we are only making everything harder that it actually is, we need to know how a portion of carbohydrates, proteins and fats look like according to each food and use it as a guide. Keep things as simple as possible by avoiding all unhealthy foods like junk, sweets, processed and refined foods and stick to whole fresh foods, from there we just use portion control as a guide for each meal.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Diet

Why is it so hard to eliminate process foods?

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Have you tried to eliminate sugar and processed foods from your diet? Was it easy or hard?

It´s hard to stop eating junk food and sometimes it seems that those cravings for sweets, junk and fast food won´t go away. All those foods high in sugars, trans fats and chemicals have the same effect on our body as brain and alcohol does, they turn on the pleasure respond on our brain making us addicted to them and create a habit which is why sometimes we find ourselves eating them without making a conscious decision and with this foods our cravings will continue over and over.

What would you think if I tell you that our will power may not be strong enough because of the effects this foods have on our brain? This is why I said in later posts that if we´re dealing with obesity or overweight it´s not our fault but we are in control and we can make the choice right now of changing our life, this is also why it won´t be easy.

The more we eat this foods the more we´ll crave them, some years ago kids were not allowed to eat unhealthy foods unless they had finished their meal and the amount of unhealthy food we were allowed to eat per day was small. Children nowadays eat a lot of sweets, junk and processed foods, the amount of sugar and fats they´re consuming is terribly high and people is now considering ADHD, hyperactivity as diseases controlling them with drugs and most of the time this reactions are caused by foods, by high amounts of sugar.

There are so many people arguing about which diet is better, is it better high carbohydrate? high protein? high fat? it´s better vegetarian or vegan? this makes no sense to me when as far as I can see the biggest problem is in junk, highly processed and fast food. If we are not able to avoid all this foods there´s no reason to try different diets, first focus on avoiding unhealthy foods, once we do that then we can start adjusting our nutrition program to make it better for us, if we need to reduce carbohydrates we can do it, if we need more protein increase it, if we need more fat increase it but always considering our health as a priority.

Yes fat loss is simple and yes it´s simple to sustain those results if we develop the habits we need which is the difficult part. Our brain has been programmed to keep consuming those unhealthy foods, that give our brain that sense of pleasure and make us feel good and relax when we eat them. This short term positive effect on our brain which is a long term harmful habit creates a battle we need to fight when we want to lose weight.

This is the reason why developing the right mindset is key to achieving results and not giving up half the way, this is why we need to take enough time to develop the habits that are going to make almost effortless for us to sustain our results.

When we start changing our food choices to develop healthy habits we will have cravings, we will have the sensation or the “necessity” to have those foods, we need to avoid them as much as we can, I know it´s hard but don´t let your mind trick you thinking that you really need those foods and end eating them.

With time our body will adapt, when we start giving nutrients to our body it will also send us signals telling us it´s enough, we´ll feel full and satisfied. At this point where we´ve changed our nutrition program and now it´s based on fresh healthy foods it´s almost impossible to keep eating that much food so we won´t overeat.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam