Eat Your Green Vegetables to Lose Weight

IMG_2969When I first meet with my clients, we always talk about their nutrition. I first ask them what kinds of vegetables they have in their diet and most of them answer corn and potatoes. Those seem to be the 2 staple vegetables that we were all raised to eat and while they are good for you in moderation, these are rated higher on the glycemic index. The glycemic index is a ranking of foods based on their immediate effect on blood glucose or blood sugar levels, so we want to choose foods that are on the lower end of the glycemic index.

We then talk about which vegetables they should be adding to their diet- the fibrous ones. Their goal then is to get at least 2-3 servings each day of fibrous vegetables each day. Why fibrous vegetables? These are lower in calories, fat and higher in fiber than starchy carbohydrates, such as potatoes and corn. You can eat more of them to help fill you up with GOOD calories instead of calories that are less beneficial to your body. You will feel fuller and be eating healthier!

Here are some of the good GREEN vegetable choices:

*Broccoli
*Spinach
*Green Beans
*Lettuce
*Asparagus
*Brussel Sprouts
*Collard Greens
*Cucumbers
*Green Peppers
*Kale
*Peas

Some ways to add fibrous vegetables to your meals: Add either spinach or broccoli to your eggs in the morning. At lunchtime, have some broccoli and/or lettuce or green beans with chicken breast or ground turkey. Dinner time, you can add some type of stir fry veggies or lettuce with your protein of choice.

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Are You Self-Sabotaging Your Fat Loss?

healthy eating wordleWe have all been there at some point in our lives, when just one small slip turns into another and another until we just don’t know how to stop!

We miss a meal or two and then are starving and eat anything and everything in sight! We don’t eat enough at each meal, so then we overeat at the end of the day to make up for it. We don’t properly prepare our meals for the day ahead and then eat whatever we can find, usually something quick and easy or processed.

So why do we do this? Myself, I do it when I skip meals, I am stressed or bored. There are some days that I get so caught up with my computer work that I just forget to eat. What happens then?  I get over hungry, over eat and eat junk, resulting in weight gain and body fat gain…. Not exactly what I want.

So how do we get ourselves out of this rut? By PLANNING! Planning is the key! In the past, when I have sat down for 20 minutes the night before and planned out my meals for the next day, not only do I know what and when I will be eating my meals, but I also know what calorie range I am in and if I need to adjust it a bit. Prepping your meals for the week ahead, so that there are healthy options for you to grab.

Easy enough, right? It can be, once you make it a habit. Make the decision that YOU and YOUR HEALTH will come first! That pile of laundry that needs to be folded can wait until tomorrow or that email you wanted to send out can wait. Find the time to plan ahead, make it a part of your day and you will no longer get in this self sabotaging rut!

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10 Changes to Make to Your Diet Better

10 Changes To Your Diet That Will Instantly Make it 90% Better

The Small Change Diet_2Most individuals do not eat like they are supposed to. Out of those individuals 95% of them don’t realize that by making 10 simple changes to their eating lifestyle they can improve their diet by 90% along with improving their health and overall well-being.

Apply these changes to your diet today and you too will be experiencing an increased benefit to your health, probable weight loss, a leaner body, and likely improvements to your blood profile. This all equals a longer healthier life.

Now let’s get started so you can benefit from these 10 simple changes that everyone can make immediately.

1. Hydration: Is there a difference
Consume Green Tea or Water instead of calorie filled drinks such as soft drinks. Green Tea has many health benefits and is a powerful antioxidant. You should be drinking 1ml of non-caffeinated fluid for every calorie that you consume. This works out between (8-12) 8oz glasses of Green Tea or Water a day.

2. Benefits of Fiber
Recommend consuming 25-35 grams of fiber per day. Since the average diet contains only 14 grams we could all use more fiber. Fiber will help satisfy hunger pangs as well as control insulin and blood sugar levels which tend to promote fat storage when they are elevated. By simply eating at least 1 serving of fruit and vegetables at every meal should get you to the goal of 25-35 grams of fiber per day.

3. The Importance of Protein
Eat lean protein sources which include; lean beef, chicken breasts, turkey breasts, salmon, low-fat cottage cheese and other low-fat dairy products, and whey protein powders, at every meal. This will also help control insulin levels and satisfy hunger pangs which tend to promote fat storage. You will find yourself naturally eating less food throughout the day if you eat some type of lean protein at every meal.

4. Frequent Meals: Why?
Eat 4-6 small meals day a day instead of the usual 2-3 large meals. Eating frequently will help regulate and boost your metabolism to burn more calories. By also including your protein and vegetables at these meals you will tend to eat less overall thereby reducing your calorie intake.

5. What are Whole Foods?
Consume whole foods that are high in fiber and low in sugar such as lean protein (lean beef, chicken, fish, and whey protein), fruits & vegetables (oranges, apples, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, peppers, asparagus, carrots, nuts (almonds, cashews, & walnuts), and whole grains.
Try to minimize processed foods that come in a box or a bag. Instead choose whole grain choices such as whole wheat foods, oatmeals, and vegetables.

6. Healthy Fats: Yes, there are healthy fats
Consume adequate amounts of healthy fat foods such as olive oil, walnuts, almonds, or other Omega-3 products. Healthy fats are great antioxidants as well as help with brain function and many other essentials processes that take place in the body on a daily basis. Essential Fatty acids also help prevent certain diseases.

7. Superfoods
Include what I call “Superfoods” into your meal plan on a daily basis. These include but not entirely lean meat, salmon, low fat plain yogurt, tomatoes, spinach, mixed berries, whole oats, mixed nuts, olive oil, flax seeds(or flax meal), green tea, and various beans. These are just some of the “Superfoods” you should be incorporating into your daily meal plans.

8. Fat
Keep total fat intake under 30% for the day. This can be accomplished by not adding too many extra fats such as butter, sour cream, mayonnaise, etc. This doesn’t mean you have to completely eliminate these items, but do not eat them as a regular food item every day.

9. Food Log: Yes, this is the most important step
Record what you eat and drink. You will be amazed at what you consume and not even realize you did it until you right it down and reflect back on the day. Keeping a food log is critical to your success because if modifications need to be made you need something to be able to evaluate and analyze. If changes aren’t happening like you had hoped the answer can usually be found in your food and or exercise journal.

10. Food Labels
Review food labels. Avoid foods packed with excess sugar, calories, or foods that contain any trans-fats. You should be looking for more natural foods and not overly-processed foods. Ingredients to look for and avoid or minimize if they are one of the top ingredients listed in the ingredients list: Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup and Hydrogenated or Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil.

If you see these ingredients listed at the top then that means the product is made up of that ingredient as it’s largest source.

Now I don’t expect you to make every change in one day. What I do expect is that if you are serious about living a better life and a healthier life then you need to make these changes over the next 4 weeks. The best way to accomplish this task is to map out your plan. Create meal plans and have a plan of attack in place in regards to what you are eating and when.

You will start to see just how easy it is to live a healthier life and achieve the goals that you desire.

About the Author:

Jayson Hunter, RD, CSCS, is a registered dietitian and fitness professional with more than 10 years of experience. He has worked with 1000’s of individuals in achieving their ideal body and has been published in numerous magazines. He is also co-creator of Meal Plans 101 nutrition software. For more information on how you can utilize Jayson’s expertise go to www.mealplans101.com