There are so many diets out there, and so much conflicting information on how to lose weight. A LOT of healthy eating plans encourage large amounts of protein, and others say to have no carbohydrates at all. In this blog post, I’m going to try to dispel some of those myths, and show you a healthy way to lose fat without cutting out an entire food group!
Protein is important as it helps to repair cells and make new ones, basically helping to build muscle and keep hair, skin and nails healthy. As I said in the last blog, “How to ACTUALLY get a flat stomach”, muscle burns fat, and protein helps to build muscle, so pick up those heavy dumbbells and eat some form of protein within 1 hour after your workout.
Medical professionals recommend that adult women should eat about 46g of protein per day. This recommendation goes up to about 71g for pregnant or lactating women. We should be getting our protein in a natural form, and not from a liquid source, ie from healthy food, not protein shakes, unless you are doing a lot of heavy weight lifting.
GOOD VS BAD CARBOHYDRATES
Carbs are the body’s main fuel source, and should never be eliminated completely from the diet. EVER!!!
- Complex carbs are found in natural foods such as wholegrains and vegetables. These are good carbs, as they slowly bring up your blood sugar level, then slowly bring it back down. So there is no sugar rush followed by a crash.
- Complex carbs as refined starches are found in white bread, pasta, rice, pizzas, biscuits and most breakfast cereals, as all these have added sugars.
- Natural sugars are found in fruits, so you should have 3 pieces of fruit per day, no more.
- Simple carbs are found in processed food, sweets, soft drinks, cakes, sugar, snack bars, chocolate and jellies. These are bad carbs, as they quickly raise your blood sugar level, then just as quickly, drop it back down. This is why you are hungry an hour after eating processed and sugary foods.
If you are looking to lose 1lb of fat per week, you should be eating 1,400-1,700 calories per day, depending on exercise level, activity level, breastfeeding requirements. Always check with your GP before you start a healthy eating plan, especially if you are a new mum.
Let’s say you are eating 1,600 calories per day. You should aim for the following;
- Carbohydrates should make up 45-65% of your daily calorie intake. Aim for approx. 800 calories from good carbs for 50%. Good carbs include potatoes, oats, wholegrain rice, pasta, breads and vegetables.
- Protein should make up 10-25% of your daily calorie intake. Aim for approx. 400 calories for 25%. Good sources of protein include eggs, fish, cheese and meats.
- Healthy fats should make up 25-35% of your daily calorie intake. Aim for approx. 400 calories for 25%. Healthy fats include oily fish such as salmon, avocados, nuts and seeds such as almonds, and sunflower oil.
Try to maintain this rule for your healthy lifestyle – Eat natural, healthy foods 80% of the time, and allow yourself little treats 20% of the time. Make sure you exercise at least 5 days a week, and always drink plenty of water.
To compare food nutritional values, have a look at the table here