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My Simple Keys to Weight Loss

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After years of eating fast food, drinking soft drinks and pretty much eating everything that was bad for me, I decided enough was enough.  For the past 4 years I’ve eaten clean, healthy foods and exercised daily and the results are incredible.  I lost 70 lbs, increased my overall strength, stopped being sick all the time and increase my energy level tremendously.

What I found out over the last 6 years is that there are certain “keys” to successful weight loss.  These weight loss tips are not extreme measures, they are not impossible to do and some are not what you might expected.

1.) Eat low fat – High carb:  The first tip is very simple, lower your intake of “unhealthy fat” to drop pounds and increase your “good” carbs to give you an energy boost.  Believe it or not there are fats and carbs that are actually healthy and can help you lose weight and get healthy.

First, lets talk about the difference between “good” fats and “bad” fat, basically which one’s should you be eating and which one should you avoid.

“Good” fats are called monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.  Monounsaturated fats include oils like canola and olive, avocados, most nuts including peanuts, cashews, macadamia, hazelnuts and pistachios.  Other monounsaturated fats are egg whites and all natural peanut butter (my favorite).  Polyunsaturated include oils such as sunflower and safflower oil, walnuts, pecans and fish.  These fats are safe for daily consumption as long as they are eating in the right amounts, approximately 15% of your daily diet.

The “bad” fats and the ones that you should avoid are the saturated and trans fats.  Saturated fats include fatty meats, chicken skins, butter, cream, cheese, ice cream, palm oil, chocolate, deep fried foods and most all fast food.  Trans fats include biscuits, cake, doughnuts and pastures.  In reality trans fats are in just about all packaged foods, so make sure you’re checking those nutrition labels.  On a side note, saturated fats can be healthy as long as they are eating in very, very small amounts.

High carb diets are not bad for you if you eat the “good” carbs and avoid “bad” carbs.  I personally eat a lot of carbs per day, approximately 50% of my foods to be exact and I have continued to keep my weight off and have incredible energy.  Good carbs are know as complex carbs because they break down slowly in the body and sustain energy levels for longer periods of time.  These types of foods are usually high in fiber as well.  So here are the “good” carbs that you should be eating daily.  They are sweet potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal, 100% whole grain pastas and breads, fruits, green vegetables and beans.

“Bad” carbs are known as simple carbs because they break down quickly in the body and you “crash” a short time later.  So, what are the “bad” carbs you should avoid?  They include white bread, white rice, potatoes, corn, soft drinks (any high sugar drinks), white pastas, cereals and refined sugars or processed foods (packaged food).

These list do not include all the “good” and “bad” versions of carbs and fats but it will give you an idea to help plan your next meal.

2.) Daily Exercise: Why is having a daily exercise program so important?  Basically there are 3 reason.  Studies have proven that daily exercise will help you feel better, have more energy and ultimately live longer.  Daily exercise can also help you lose or maintain healthy weight, fight disease, improve your mood and help you sleep better.

Some important things to remember about daily exercise is that is much more effective with the proper nutrition plan.  Exercise without a proper nutrition plan is going to yield limited and most of the time unsatisfactory results.  The reason?  Nutrition is approximately 70 to 80 % of your results.   Also remember that there are plenty of workout program to choose from to meet your health needs.

Also make sure you find a program that you will enjoy and can meet all of your physical and health needs.  Beachbody has over 20, YES OVER 20 workout programs for you to choose from.  They range from cardio programs, resistance programs, a combination of both to programs for kids to adults.  Click on the PROGRAMS tab above to check out these programs and watch a short video example of each.

3.) Don’t Skip Breakfast:  We’ve all heard it before, “What’s the most important meal of the day?” and we all know the answer, right?  Of course we do . . . it’s breakfast.  But how many of you skip breakfast?  Statistics suggest that over 50% of Americans skip there most important meal of the day.

So, why should you “not” skip breakfast?  After waking up in the morning your body is starving for nutrition.  If you skip breakfast your body will not get the proper nutrition it needs to function properly and thus put your body in starvation mode.  In starvation mode your metabolism slows down, becomes less efficient and you will burn less calories than if you ate a healthy breakfast.  The result . . . you will more likely add body weight instead of losing it.  Plus, by the time lunch rolls around your body will have been without food for over approximately 12 + hours.  Without the proper nutrition in the morning you body can’t function as it was intended, think of it in terms of driving your car without ever putting gas in it.  Eventually you’re going to run out of gas and your car will stop working.

Eating a nutritious breakfast, especially one with at least 30 grams of protein will fuel your body, help your metabolism to function properly and help you to lose or maintain a healthy weight.

A recent study was just published and the results indicated that almost 75% of Americans that are overweight or obese do not eat a daily breakfast.

4.) Track What You Eat: Tracking the foods you eat daily can actually help you lose twice as much weight per week as those who don’t write down their daily meals.  Why?  Basically when you have to write down and calculate what you eat you will be less likely to grab something that you don’t want to show in your daily journal.  Write down your daily meals helps hold you accountable and see what you’re putting into you body on a daily basis.  I was skeptical at first but it works, I was very surprised at how much “junk” I was actually putting into my body.  I love the MyFitnessPal app for my iphone.  It allows me to track what I eat, check my micro nutrients (carbs, fat, proteins, etc.) and also has a section listing foods at just about every restaurant chain in America. 

These are just a few weight loss tips that I’ve learned over the past 4 years while losing over 70 lbs and maintain a healthy weight.

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