Dieting itself is a floored paradigm due to the fact that it relies heavily on removing something from your life or restricting your eating habits in some way, with the removal of some essential food groups and much of the focus being on what you CAN’T eat, which automatically makes us want more of it.
When I first prepared for a Fitness Modelling show, as with most competitors, I allowed for a 12 week preparation period of focused training and nutrition. Now I ate healthily anyway year round and allowed myself the odd treat, but as soon as I embarked on a new show prep, the stress levels increased slightly, because suddenly I’d start setting myself dietary boundaries that were restrictive in nature and although you may not want to eat that specific thing now, the choice has been taken away and that can be where the problem lies with dieting.
Now food is the meaning of life for us all, it makes up a huge proportion of our daily behaviours and social gatherings with family and friends.
Unfortunately, some of these habits maybe having a negative effect on your health, body composition and performance, but one of the worst things you could do is just to try and drop them all and change overnight.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
This is a recipe for disaster…
and the reason diets fail, these habits of ours have become ingrained into our subconscious over time and need an equal amount of time to reverse gradually, so that the change is so minimal, we don’t even feel a disruption to our normal way of life.
The key is to focus on adding more ‘good stuff’ in rather than focusing on taking ‘bad stuff’ out
This will naturally tip the balance of your diet in a more positive way and you will start to eat less of the poorer quality and nutrient deficient foods as your body responds and your mental clarity and focus increases.
Here are some top tips to help with making small incremental changes to your habits whilst still living a normal life, enjoying the foods you love and experiencing improved results in body composition
The best diet dips for food addicts
1. Eat your Greens First
This is a great tactic to use when you’re faced with having to eat out at a restaurant and know that healthy food choices might be limited. Order a side salad and eat it first. This will ensure that the first foods you eat are nutrient dense, supplying you with good levels of vitamins, minerals and fiber which will aid your digestion for the meal to come and will start filling you up before the main event.
Sounds simple doesn’t it? Eating up your lean protein next on your plate helps you in several ways.
– Naturally fills you up before you get a chance to over indulge in the bad stuff.
– Making sure you keep your levels of protein high will also help to maintain your levels of lean muscle mass and which in turn will increase the energy/calories expended by your body in digesting the protein, thus increasing your metabolism.
– It will reduce the insulin response to the starchier and sugary foods that are likely to be consumed afterwards.
3. Eat a High Protein High Fat Breakfast
Eating a high protein, high fat breakfast will help to maintain more stable blood sugar levels throughout the day, improve your mental focus and prevent energy lulls and cravings.
4. Increase Levels of Essential Fats especially Omega 3’s
Essential fats are essential to the body because it cannot synthesise them internally, therefore it is up to us to add more of these into our diets.
Omega 3’s have a huge amount of health benefits, one of which is to indirectly have an effect on blood sugar levels by lowering blood Triglycerides up to 30%.
Triglycerides are the fats created by excess blood glucose, much of which can be stored around the abdomen. High triglycerides occur with various conditions that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels and high blood sugar.
5. High-Intensity Exercise Before Eating
High-Intensity Exercise is one of the most effective ways to enable the body to more efficiently deal with higher levels of blood sugar, due to improved insulin sensitivity and metabolic conditions.
If you know you’re going out for a meal or about to eat some treat foods, then try performing a quick 10-minute intensive bodyweight circuit with press-ups, burpees, squat jumps and sit-ups beforehand.
6. Substitute High Sugar Fruits for Berries
Fruit and fruit juices with a high glycemic value such as melon, pineapple and bananas contain high amounts of fructose or fruit sugar and although this does not affect blood sugar directly, it travels straight to the liver for processing. In excess the liver will turn the fructose to fat and store it, this process is called “lipogenisis”.
The best fruits to stick to then are obviously the low glycemic fruits such as berries.
These also have the added benefit of containing high levels of anti-oxidants, easily identified by their darker and thinner skins.
7. Drink a Shot of Citrus Fruit
Freshly squeezed grapefruit, lemon or lime juice. Studies have shown this to help lower blood sugar levels due to the acidity which helps to slow down digestion of carbohydrates and thus prevents an unhealthy spike in blood sugar.
As little as 4 teaspoons, taken along with a side salad has been shown to reduce blood sugar by upto 30%. A little red wine and apple cider vinegar can work as well.
Cinnamon is an ingredient in many anti-diabetic products as it lowers blood sugar by enabling the body to metabolize sugar more efficiently. It can be incorporated into your diet in many ways. Try sprinkling on your food, yoghurt, into a chai tea or a black coffee.
9. Take Chromium
Many diabetics are deficient in chromium – an important mineral, deficiencies can cause cravings for sugary foods and elevated blood sugar levels. Supplementation is important for those with problems controlling their blood sugar and will therefore help with cravings.
10. Enjoy a Treat Meal with these 2 rules
– Make sure you have eaten your daily requirement of good quality proteins, fats and vegetables before you have your treat meal, this will ensure that you have had adequate supplies of nutrient-dense foods throughout the day thus will reduce your ‘binging’ appetite and the negative effect of calorie dense and nutrient deficient foods.
– The ‘Treat Meal’ starts when you sit down at the table and ends when you get up. Setting this caveat will allow you the freedom to enjoy your treats but will prevent it from extending into the rest of the day or evening.
These tactics will allow you to enjoy the treats and foods that we are all confronted with each day and on social occasions, but by increasing your focus on the consumption of nutrient-dense foods you will naturally start craving those poorer food choices less, as you implement more of these tactics.