Foods high in carbohydrates are a source of torment for many dieters, but it is important to know that without a supply of sugars from carbohydrates, our body relies on it’s own sources of protein and fat to meet its energy necessities. And yes, we want our body to burn fat, that’s the point, but we do not want it to burn the protein from our to keep us functional.
Weight Loss Tip #1: Go for the complex carbs.
Not all carbohydrates are similar. The foe of our waist line is not carbohydrates themselves, but certain types of carbohydrates and how they break down in our system. We can best understand differences in carbohydrates in terms of simple and complex carbs. Simple carbohydrates are found in sugary and processed foods, complex carbohydrates are found in whole, natural foods like fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes.
Weight Loss Tip #2: Eat low glycemic foods
When it comes to carbs and sugars, another extremely important factor to understand is the glycemic index of foods. The glycemic index is a quantitative designation that tells us how quickly the sugars in a food break down into glucose in our body. Glucose enters our bloodstream, lifts our blood sugar level and then signals the production of insulin in order to keep our blood sugar from getting too high. Insulin, as well as lowering blood sugar, tells our body to store fat. If there is an adversary to your waistline, it is not carbs themselves, but high insulin levels.
Weight Loss Tip #3: Eat healthy fats every day
We don’t want to neglect the other essential food groups, proteins and fat.
Contrary to popular opinion, fat restriction does not in itself stimulate weight loss. We need nutritious fats in our diet or we will begin to crave fatty foods. Healthy fats ensure that our bodies metabolize our food more efficiently and therefore actually enhances fat burn, ironic as it may sound. What are the good fats? They are a group of fats known as essential fatty acids, the omega-3 and omega-6 oils. They are found in nuts (walnuts are a good source), seeds (the best of which is flax), salmon, avocado, and olive oil.
Weight Loss Tip #4: Eat your protein: not too much, not too little
Finally, we turn to protein. Like fat, we need protein every day, but not too much. Protein is instrumental in weight loss because it keeps our blood glucose levels stable, thus keeping insulin levels ideal. Ideal sources of protein are legumes, chicken (not fried!), fish (not fried!), and lean beef.
The bottom line: a healthy diet of low carbs, low glycemic foods, healthy fats and lean protein will give you the best chance for permanent weight loss and keep you well nourished in the process.
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