With our 10-week diet guide we’re going to help you shed those unwanted kilos and become happier and more confident in your body. For the rest of the weekly diet guide which features until issue 45, go to your nearest store, or get digital back copies from Zinio.
Kick The Carbs
It’s time to cut down your carb intake and become the healthiest version of yourself!
Ever wonder why white carbs are so addictive? Famed celebrity food guru, Dr Oz explains it has to do with chemicals that travel from the stomach to the part of the brain where you produce dopamine, a hormone and neurotransmitter that affects the brain’s pleasure and reward centres. Once these areas of the brain are stimulated, you’ll keep on wanting more of the addictive substance, whether it’s alcohol, drugs or carbs. We all know carbohydrates have high energy content, so eating more of them than your body can use, causes your body to store them as fat, something that we definitely don’t want. But did you know that too many refined carbs can actually be highly toxic for your body? They’re often responsible for visceral or omentum fat, the dangerous fat you can carry around your middle that actually inhibits your body’s ability to make insulin, which makes you more prone to diabetes. White carbs also increase your risk for cardiovascular disease and even cancer. We look to Dr Oz for his advice:
Don’t Buy It: Start kicking the habit by booting all the carbs off your kitchen shelves. Fill your fridge and pantry with healthy fats so when hunger pangs hit, your only options are healthy ones.
Turn White Into Brown: Whole grains keep you full longer, stabilise blood sugar, and are loaded with fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Restock your pantry with fibre-rich brown carbs such as Quinoa, Oatmeal, whole wheat bread, brown rice and whole grain pasta.
Time to Cheat: Pick one day a week to enjoy your favourite white-flour food such as bread, pizza or pasta. Eating your favourite carb with fibre will also help you better metabolize sugar and keep your weight down. For instance, top your pizza or pasta with a bunch of veggies.
Trick Your Stomach and Brain: Reach for a glass of water instead of a roll when you feel hungry. The mechanism for thirst in the brain is so weak we often confuse it for hunger. Most often when we think we are hungry, we are actually dehydrated and just need more water!
Regulate your meals: Eat within 30 minutes of waking up and every three hours after. Eating every three hours helps keeps blood sugar levels stabilized, preventing a crash in blood sugar, which triggers powerful cravings.
Did you know? Pistachios: On a low carb diet, eat these in moderation and as a satisfying snack. Your snack will do the following for you and your fight against inflammation: nuts contain substantial amounts of fibre and fibre – unlike sugar and starch – doesn’t raise your blood sugar levels, so are great when you are watching your weight. In addition, nuts are jam-packed with inflammation-fighting monounsaturated fat. Not only does a low carbohydrate lifestyle lead to weight loss, eating recommended foods such as these will significantly contribute to improving inflammation in your body.
Step Into Spring
If you’d rather go straight back into hibernation than face the thought of skin-revealing summer dresses and tops, you’re not alone. But rather than rue the legacy of winter’s wreckage, take action now. Here’s how.
- Remember your daily intake of water. Drinking around two litres of water a day assists with weight loss, because water is an essential part of the fat burning process. Added to this, the pathways for thirst and hunger are very closely located inside the brain, which means that if you don’t heed thirst signals, your body will create hunger pangs so that you can get the water you need from food.
- Reduce your alcohol intake. Alcohol increases your appetite, because it affects your judgment – which means that the salty, sugary snacks you would usually say no to become impossible to resist.
- Start off slowly. Instead of committing to a dramatic exercise regime, start with a programme you can maintain, such as walking, swimming or Pilates. Even gardening can be beneficial. You’re more likely to stick to an activity if you enjoy it.
- Ensure you get enough sleep. Your body manufactures serotonin while you sleep. This is the neurotransmitter that helps you feel satisfied after a meal.
- Focus on your protein content. This is especially important at supper and lunchtime. Protein helps to reduce carbohydrate cravings.
- Add flavour to your cooking with spices. Just one teaspoon of Tabasco sauce can overcome the effects of 12 teaspoons of sugar. Other spices which work well are garlic, cayenne pepper and turmeric. These have well known antioxidant properties.
- Stick an old photo of yourself, looking your best, on the fridge. It’s the best inspiration, because you’re aspiring to the best you can be, and not someone else’s personal best.
- Envisage having more energy. Weight loss immediately translates into vigour.
- Never skip breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day. We recommend waiting until 10 o’clock to eat breakfast; an earlier breakfast spikes your morning insulin levels, leading to that urge to binge between three and five o’clock.
- Eat low fat food, rather than fat free, food. Your body needs a small amount of fat to make you feel full.
|Use this||Not that|
|Avocado||Full-fat cream cheese (contains 35g of fat/100g)|
|Low-fat or nonfat Greek yogurt topped with fresh berries and unsalted nuts||Full cream fruit yogurt|
|Hard-boiled egg and avocado on a sprouted whole-grain English muffin||Fried egg on a toasted English muffin|
|Veggie avocado omelette with one egg and three egg whites||Cheddar omelette with two eggs|
|Store-bought smoothie||Homemade smoothie (1 cup fresh fruit, a handful of veggies, 1 cup Greek yogurt|
|Pre-packaged sweetened oatmeal||Homemade oatmeal (1/4 cup rolled oats 1/4 cup unsweetened whey protein powder, 1/4 cup hot coconut milk)|
|Meat and cheese sandwich on a roll with mayo||Meat or cheese sandwich open-faced on whole grain bread with mustard, lettuce, and tomato|
|Creamy tomato soup||Black bean soup with a dollop of low-fat Greek yogurt|
Chew on this: Understanding how you behave around food and why you make the choices you make will go a long way towards creating a healthy relationship with food.