Learn How to Eat to Lose Weight
You’ve probably heard it before—you can’t out exercise a bad diet. That’s why about 75% of your weight loss program should be focused on nutrition, the remaining 25% on exercise. Today I want to teach you a little bit about how to eat to lose weight.
The 75/25 deal is a GENERAL rule that applies to MOST. But, I’ll touch on that at the end. First, I want to share a few simple general nutrition rules that are an excellent starting point to your FINAL weight loss journey.
Four Nutrition Rules to Live By
If you want to know how to eat to lose weight, follow these four nutritional rules:
1. If it came from the ground or had a mother, it’s generally fine in moderation. Single ingredient foods that grow in the ground or come from an animal are, for the most part, the best options. The term used to describe this way of eating is “whole food nutrition.” The more nutrient dense, the better. If someone tells you that avocados are bad for you, look to their motivation. Do they sell something that benefits from you NOT eating avocados? Like potato chips, Western medical care, prescription meds, a synthetic supplement, etc. Fruits, veggies, grains (with limited processing), and lean proteins (eggs, beef, pork, chicken, fish) are generally fine. A couple side notes—processed grains are “bleached” to make them white, which kills all the nutrients, and fatty cuts of meat just give you extra calories that you don’t need.
2. Examine the ingredients. If it didn’t come straight from the ground or it’s mother (meaning it’s NOT a “single ingredient” food), you have to look hard at the ingredients on the nutrition label. The more ingredients a food has, the more suspicious you should be of it. A strawberry has one ingredient—strawberry. Same with chicken. It’s just chicken, unless it’s been somehow modified (usually injected with salt water), so look for that, too. Check out the ingredients in potato chips or pretzels. Do you know what all that stuff is? You’ll usually see hydrogenated oils (these are manufactured and really common in processed foods) and other chemicals you’ve never heard of. If you don’t recognize ingredients, steer clear of it. Eat more “single ingredient” foods and you’ll find your body responds well. A little side note—olive oil is NOT a hydrogenated oil. It’s made from squishing olives (see Rule #1).
3. Limit carbohydrates. Unless you are doing a lot of cardio or you’re endurance training, you just don’t need a ton of carbs. And, by carbs I am including sugar! You can teach your body how to run on fats or carbs and it will happen. When it runs on carbs, you must burn them off or they will get stored as fat. That fat storage process is facilitated by insulin. When you stress your body’s insulin system by eating too much carbs, the result is Type 2 diabetes. It’s basically the failure of your body to continue to produce insulin. When that happens, you have to take insulin to avoid toxic blood sugar levels. Now, that’s pretty extreme, but it happens on a shocking level. Watch this video—it explains how that process works really well:
4. Burn more calories than you eat. Barring any metabolism issues, if you want to lose weight AND you are following the rules above, then things are pretty simple—you need to burn more calories than you eat. You might think you’re not eating very much, but if you aren’t burning more than you eat (no matter how little), you will NOT lose weight. On the flip side, if you burn more calories than you eat, you WILL lose weight. Now, some people have legitimate metabolism issues (typically associated with their thyroid), but that’s pretty rare. Most people that gain weight do so because they don’t follow the rules above AND they eat more calories than they burn. If you are limited with the amount of exercise you can get, then you MUST eat less food. Check out this post from Monica—The Secret to Losing Weight.
Keep it simple. Just remember that nutrition is KEY to your weight loss journey. If you follow these rules it’s pretty hard to go wrong. Move as much as you can. Movement burns calories and that helps with Rule #4.
Consider Natural Nutritional Supplements
Nutritional supplements are invaluable power tools to help you reach our health and fitness goals easier and faster. There are a ton of them out there—and even more opinions about which ones are best and/or necessary.
Supplements are not called “essentials” or “replacements” for a reason. They are not meant to override healthy eating or exercise, but to complement them. They do three main things for you:
- Make nutrition easier for you
- Fill in gaps in your nutrition
- Enhance the normal functionality of your body
I delve into this more in this post—Why Do We Need to Take Nutritional Supplements?
How Genetics Impacts Nutrition
Now, a big caveat to these four rules about how to eat to lose weight—everyone is different. Duh, right? Well, when it comes to losing weight, people seem to totally forget this simple truth.
Here’s an example:
Some people have ancestors who raised cattle. They tend digest meat easily and rarely have any sort of milk allergies. Why? Because their ancestors raised cattle, so their bloodline has been consuming beef and milk for generations. Those who have an ancestral history with the heavy presence of livestock don’t do well with meat and/or are lactose intolerant.
This is a whole area of study! If you want to learn more, here’s a great article—How to Eat for Your DNA
This means that each of us needs to experiment with healthy nutrition to find what works for US.
Knowledge is power, so keep on learning. Monica put together a SUPER post on how to lose weight—it’s a MUST read. Click below to go right to it.
I’m here as a resource—and I’m a message away.