To achieve longterm weight loss results, you must develop ‘healthy habits’. Below are 5 healthy habits that you want to create (if you are serious about longterm change)…
Habit 1 – Eat Slowly And Stop At 80% Full
Many of us eat far too quickly. Too often at each meal we eat until the point of implosion. This type of eating and behaviour will create challenges towards leanness, performance and health regardless if the foods we are eating are organic, healthy or high quality whole foods.
This habit plays such a critical role in the role to helping us get the body that we want. It teaches you to slow down and to listen to your hunger cues and to finish eating at the right time, which usually means stopping before your burst a button on your pants.
It takes about 20 minutes for our satiety mechanisms to kick in which is our bodies communication from our gut to our brains and back to our gut.
Pretty slow yes. Therefore if we eat quickly, we’re likely to eat too much and consume too many calories. An excellent goal is to aim for about 15-20 minutes per meal.
If this sounds too ambitious, start by sitting down, slowing down, turning off the T.V. and eliminating distractions. Taking smaller bites, having a drink and chatting to your dinner partner, all these things will assist in controlling your calorie intake.
The next step is to stop eating at 80% full. This can be defined as eating until no longer hungry or until you feel satisfied.
Other benefits of slower eating and stopping at 80% full are:
Note: If you’re training for weight gain, we encourage you to eat faster and until 100% full to maximise your calorie intake.
Habit 2 – Eat Protein Dense Foods With Each Meal
In order to achieve the best health, composition and performance the body needs protein. The truth of the matter is that it is hard to achieve all of these three with suboptimal protein intake.
To make it easy, a portion size of protein is visually about the size of the palm of your hand. Women should get one portion of protein per meal (20-30g) and men should get two portions per meal (40-60g).
By doing this, you should be recovering better from your training sessions and also better stimulating your metabolism, improving your muscle mass and recovery whilst reducing your body fat.
Habit 3 – Eat Vegetables With Each Meal
This is something that our grandmothers have been preaching about for years!
Science has demonstrated that in addition to the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) packed into vegetables, there are also important plant based chemicals (phytochemicals) that are essential for optimal physiological functioning.
Vegetables and fruits also provide an alkaline load to the blood. In contrast, both grains and proteins increase the acid load in the blood, therefore to balance these acids with alkaline rich vegetables and fruits.
Too much acid can mean a loss of bone strength and muscle mass, so staying balanced is very important.
Aim for two serves of fruits or vegetables per meal. if you’re trying to gain weight choose more fruit versus if you’re trying to lose weight choose more vegetables as they’re lower in energy.
Although the aim is to get the overall consumption of the foods up, you may actually have to build up to these quantities as too much too soon can cause some gut discomfort.
Habit 4 – For Fat Loss, Eat A Majority Of Your Carbohydrates After Exercise
If you have a lot of body fat to lose, those carbohydrates you eat have to be earned!
Most people due to inactivity and a less than optimal body composition and health are functioning with a system that cannot tolerate carbohydrates or sugar.
You can eat them, you would just want to ensure that your body is primed to utilise them by exercising first.
When you exercise your body becomes more insulin sensitive and can therefore tolerate carbohydrates better.
In addition, choosing the least processed options available to you will help to control blood glucose response to feeding and control your hunger.
Habit 5 – Eat Healthy Fats Daily
Approximately 30% of the diet should come from fats, although the can range from 20-40% from person-to-person.
In addition to the total macronutrient percentage distribution, another important factor is the balance between saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, the recommended ration is a one-third from each.
The ratios and percentages can seem confusing at first, so focus on adding healthy monounsaturated fats through (extra virgin olive oil, some nuts and avocado) and polyunsaturated fats through (some nuts, some vegetable oils and fish oil supplements) to the diet.
By adding these to your diet that should now contain fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates when earned, and lean proteins, your dietary fats should balance right out.