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How Do Skinny People Do It?

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Trans fat is a food additive that is blended into everything, from cookies to fast-food burgers, and when it was first introduced scientists believed it was a super-food that would help us all live longer and healthier.

Now, years later, we discover the super-food is, in fact, a monster food—an additive so toxic that, over time, it wildly increases our risk for everything from heart disease to stroke to cancer to obesity. And—guess what—it’s already inside us all!

Trans fat, a dangerous, man-made lipid found in margarine and shortening that, for a little while at least, was believed to be healthier than regular fats.  We bought the lie until the mid-’90s, when a study in the American Journal of Public Health indicted trans fats for no fewer than 30,000 annual deaths.  The worst part: They’re still in our food today!

Understanding the nuances of nutrition is hard—so hard that even the scientists are constantly making mistakes.  That’s why the best way to lose weight is to ignore trends and fly-by-night advice, and instead focus on healthy
eating strategies.  Develop healthy habits, stick to them, and no matter what nutritional blunders you might make, you’ll still keep yourself on the road to a slim and sexy physique.  Below are the best fat-fighting habits known to man.  Commit them to your daily routine and you’re guaranteed to drop excess pounds.

1.) Eat dinner early:

Experts have gone back and forth on whether eating late leads to weight gain, but a recent study published in the journal Obesity found a solid link. Northwestern University researchers looked at the eating and sleeping patterns of 52 adults and found that those who regularly ate after 8 p.m. ingested the most calories and carried the most body fat.  An easy-to-follow rule of thumb: Stop eating three hours before you hit the sack.  Then, while you sleep, your body is better primed to burn fat instead of creating more.

2.) Weigh yourself often:

Stepping on the scale can be disheartening, particularly after an indulgent weekend (“I gained five pounds since Friday?!”). But it’s best to face your fears, because as it turns out, weighing yourself regularly can actually help you stay slim. Scientists at the University of Minnesota discovered that people who got on the scale every day lost twice as much weight as those who weighed themselves less often. The assumption: Monitoring your weight keeps your mind on your health and prevents weight denial.

3.) Eat a boring diet

Researchers at the University of Buffalo discovered that people who ate macaroni and cheese every day took in significantly fewer calories than those who ate the cheese-covered noodles only once a week. The reason: The novelty of new foods drives us to consume more, so by removing the novelty, we feel fuller, faster.  I’m not suggesting you choose one meal and eat it every day for the rest of your life, but the more routines you establish, the more your belly will shrink.  I started with lunch and replaced it with Shakeology everyday, the great thing about Shakeology is I have literally hundreds of recipes to choose from.  If you find yourself scratching your head every day when the clock strikes noon, you’ll end up eating impulsively and taking in more calories. Instead, pick something healthy, like Shakeology or salad with alternating ingredients, and eat it every day. The best advice is to commit to making more dinners at home.

4.) Cheat – Once in a while

Once you’ve established a healthy routine, you need to establish a reward system.  A great way to stick to a low-calorie diet without breaking down into rebellious binge-mode is to reward yourself with a small dessert or treat on occasion.  Pick a food you love, and at the end of every day, reward yourself with a portion of about 200 calories.  But remember—you only get the reward if you deserve it.  CLICK HERE to read my post on “To Cheat or Not to Cheat?”.

5.) Read diet and exercise tips

One Canadian study found that being exposed to nutrition and exercise advice led people to make smarter diet and lifestyle choices.  Staying plugged into TeamInternallyFit.com everyday is a great way to find information to make healthy fitness and lifestyle changes.  Another way that I stay focused on maintaining a healthy weight, is to read books such as, Bring It!” by Tony Horton, “The Great Physicians Rx: For Health and Wellness” by Jordan Ruban, “Discover Wellness” by Dr. Bob Hoffman and Dr. Jason A. Deitch.   A simpler way to eat great and still lose a ton of weight: Follow me right here on facebook for the diet and fitness secrets I come across every day.

6.) Eat breakfast:

A study from the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who skipped breakfast were 4.5 times more likely to be obese.  They don’t call it the most important meal of the day for nothin’—eating a nutritious morning meal jump starts your metabolism and prevents you from overindulging throughout the day.  For optimal weight-loss results, choose a breakfast dish with a healthy balance of protein and fiber, like eggs with fruit and whole-wheat toast.  My favorite breakfast and one that I eat almost everyday is a bowl of oatmeal, 1 scoop of chocolate protein and 1 cup of mixed fruit (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries).  I recommend eating your biggest meal at breakfast and your smallest at dinner.

7.) Eat two snacks a day:

Snacking sometimes gets a bad rap, but planning nutritious snacks throughout your day can actually keep you skinny.  A recent study released by the Nutrition Journal found that consuming low-sugar, high-protein snacks promotes weight loss. The reason: Healthy snacking keeps your blood-sugar from spiking, preventing hunger pangs, cravings, and body fat storage.  An ideal snack choice? Nuts. The balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fats is sure to keep you satisfied between meals.  My first snack of the day is a protein bar with a handful of whole almonds (no salt) and my second is usually an sliced apple, with yogurt mixed with walnuts and agave necter.

8.) Drink water

Almost 60 percent of your body is water, which makes it vital to every important metabolic process.  CLICK HERE for my post “Drink Your Water People!”  In one study of 173 overweight women, those who added 1 liter of daily water to their diets lost five extra pounds over the course of a year, and if you time it right, the effects can be even greater.  When researchers from Virginia Tech had subjects drink two glasses of water before each meal, they found that those subjects lost 30 percent more body fat over 12 weeks.  That said, making beverage blunders is one of the easiest ways to gain belly fat–as the average American drinks 450 sugar-loaded calories a day.  CLICK HERE for my post “Are You Eating Too Much Sugar?”  Replace half of what you drink with water and you’ll save 23 pounds per year!  Start by avoiding everything on this list of The 20 Worst Drinks in America.

9.) Choose whole grains

Choosing nutrient-rich whole grains over processed, white flour-based products can play a major role in keeping you lean.  In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers discovered that obese participants who added whole grains to their diets lost more belly fat than those who did not.  One of the key weight-loss benefits of whole grains: Their healthy dose of fiber helps slow digestion, keeping you fuller longer.  But don’t be fooled by made with whole grain” labels. True whole grain products will list whole grains first on their ingredients list (think “whole wheat” flour instead of “enriched” or “bleached” flour).

10.) Sleep for 6 to 8 hours each night

Getting a good night’s sleep has been linked to a host of major health benefits, not the least of which is maintaining healthy body weight (Sleep: The Best Exercise).  In a study from Harvard University, participants who slept for fewer than six hours or more than eight hours each night gained significantly more weight than those who slept for six to eight hours.  Lack of sleep has been shown to increase appetite, lower willpower, and bolster cravings for high-calorie foods.  That might be why you find it so hard to resist those doughnuts in the break room.

11.) Keep healthy food on hand

A great way to ensure you make nutritious food choices: Surround yourself with healthy options.  Don’t use convenience as an excuse for a shameful diet.  Keep fresh fruit on your kitchen counter, store healthy snacks like nuts (or anything from this must-have list of the 50 Best Snack Foods in America) in your desk at work, keep pre-washed, pre-cut vegetables in your fridge—whatever you have to do to make the healthiest choice the easiest choice, do it!  You won’t feel deprived or hungry as the pounds are dropping away.)

12.) Eat protein

A study in Nutrition Metabolism found that dieting participants who increased their protein intake to 30 percent of their overall diet ate roughly 450 fewer calories throughout the day and lost about 11 pounds over the course of 12 weeks. Eating protein increases lean muscle mass, which keeps your metabolism running on high—even when you’re resting.  Protein also keeps you full, making you less likely to overeat.  For maximum health and weight-loss benefits, aim to include protein in all of your meals and snacks. The best options? Lean protein sources like fish, eggs, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and legumes.

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KEEP DOING YOUR BEST AND INSPIRING OTHERS TO DO THE SAME!!

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