Struggling with belly fat and flabby arms? Do you spend hours in the gym, but still have no results? If so, your diet needs a makeover!
The same goes for your training plan. When it comes to weight loss, counting calories isn’t enough. What you eat is just as important as how much you eat. Excess cardio only makes things worse. There are better ways to shed stubborn fat and keep it off.
Why Do Most Diets Fail?
Each year, Americans spend billions of dollars on weight loss pills and diet foods. In 2012, more than 108 million U.S. adults were dieting. About 22 percent of women are on a diet at any given time. Yet, obesity rates are increasing.
Nearly 95 percent of dieters regain the lost weight within one to five years. These numbers are a clear indicator that something is wrong.
Fad diets are not the key to weight loss. If they worked, you’d already be slim. The only way to shed fat and stay lean is to make healthy food choices.
Clean eating and exercise are equally important for maintaining a normal body weight.
Most diets fail because they are not sustainable on a long term. After all, you can’t give up sugar, rice or pasta for life. At some point, you’ll have a cookie or a drink a latte.
These things happen, whether you like it or not. Even the healthiest people have diet slip-ups. The best thing you can do is to eat mindfully and build healthier habits.
Follow the 80/20 Rule
Clean eating can be confusing and time-consuming, especially for those who are used to eat fast food and ready-made meals. The key is to start slowly and clean up your diet along with the way.
To make things easier, follow the 80/20 rule. Make healthy food choices 80 percent of the time, and enjoy a slice of cake or a small cheat meal for the other 20 percent. This way, you’ll lose weight and still have your cookie.
The 80/20 rule makes it easier to stick to your plan and develop healthier habits. Eating 80 percent clean for six months is better than lasting only two weeks following a diet 100 percent.
Those who follow this rule are less likely to end up binging on junk food and sugary desserts.
For example, you can eat healthy six days a week, and have a small treat every Sunday. It’s no need to count calories – just make sure you don’t go overboard.
What’s Clean Eating All About?
Clean eating means different things to different people. For instance, lean meat and eggs are considered healthy for a lot of people, but a vegan will avoid them at all costs.
Whole grains provide fiber and minerals, but they may not be suitable for those with gluten intolerance or digestive disorders. In general, a “clean” diet should include whole, natural foods, such as:
- Fresh fruit and vegetables with a low glycemic index
- Local and seasonal produce
- Raw nuts
- Sweet potatoes
- Whole pasta
- Whole grains
- Brown rice
- Unrefined vegetable oils
- Coconut oil
- Fresh seasonings
- Dairy free milk such as almond, cashew or soy
The whole idea is to keep processed foods to a minimum and avoid sugar, white flour, hydrogenated fats, additives, preservatives, and other harmful ingredients.
For instance, deli meats are high in protein and can help you slim down, but they contain nitrates, trans fats, and large amounts of sodium. Plant-based protein sources are always the best choice for overall health well-being.
Keep in mind that weight loss isn’t all about calories. A very-low-calorie diet can actually stall your progress, slow down your metabolism, and cause hormonal imbalances.
Additionally, not all calories are created equal. 400 calories worth of fruit smoothies or quinoa porridge with almond milk and salad are not the same as 400 calories worth of potato chips.
Your daily calories should come from fresh and minimally processed foods that fuel your body with vital nutrients, such as protein, heart-healthy fats, and complex carbs.
Tweak Your Workouts for Better Results
Clean eating alone can help you lose fat, but you also need regular exercise. A balanced workout plan can improve body composition and rev up your metabolism.
It will also tone your muscles, balance your hormones, and keep your bones strong.
Some workouts are better than others when it comes to fat loss. Metabolic conditioning workouts, HIIT, and full body circuits produce fantastic results in less time. The best part is that they can be done at home.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) should be a staple in your workout plan. This form of exercise increases fat burning and metabolism while preserving lean muscle.
Compared to steady state cardio, it’s less time consuming and puts less stress on your joints. On top of that, it’s the fastest way to lose weight and improve your overall fitness.
Follow these simple rules for at least a month and watch your body transform. The best part is you do not have to starve yourself to get the body of your dreams.
It’s worth a try 🙂