Minimalist Eating Guidelines that Keep You in it for the “Long-Haul”

chfitnessSuccess using any diet requires you to create an approach you can stick to for the long haul.  What good is it to lose stubborn weight only to see it seemingly magnetize back to you as soon as you return to your previous lifestyle?

It happens way too often, people jump on the latest trending diet without considering whether it’s something they can stick to as a lifestyle.

Why choose to adopt a diet that is so strict or limiting that once you’ve reached your goal, the first thing you do is revert back to your “comfort” ways?

It’s the long haul that matters and by creating some easy to follow and remember guidelines you’ll be able see long-term results just by keeping things simple. Simplicity is key to so many things in life and dieting is high on that list.

Here’s 10 guidelines of Minimalist Eating that will keep you going strong for the long-haul.

Avoid wrappers: If you have to unwrap your food before eating it, chances are it’s not going to help you with your weight loss goals nor will it enhance your health. Other than convenience, processed foods do nothing for you and should be avoided at all costs. If it didn’t come from the land, it’s not for you.

Color is your friend: But only if you are in the produce aisle. The more colorful fruits and vegetables you can consume daily the better your results. Fruits and veggies are low in calories and high in nutrients-antioxidants and fiber…everything your body needs. Just be aware that fruit does contain some natural sugar so you’ll want to go a bit easy on them while vegetables can be eaten as often as you wish…the more the better.

Power of Protein: Keeping your metabolic rate healthy and strong requires lean muscle mass and lean protein is what will help you preserve your lean muscle mass. Protein needs to be included in every meal and snack you consume. It is the best nutrient to eat for immediate hunger control and helps minimize the hunger you experience throughout your day and provided the high quality amino acids that your body requires. Just 10 grams per snack is sufficient and approximately 25-40 per meal depending on your body weight (lighter individuals don’t require as much as heavier people) is sufficient.  Protein sources can include, chicken and turkey, lean grass-fed steak, fresh fish and seafood, low fat dairy, egg whites and whey protein powder.

Replace Sauces and Condiments with Fresh Herbs: If you love condiments, then lean towards mustard and salsa but avoid other sauces and condiments when possible…especially heavy cream sauces, condiments made with mayonnaise, and sauces that contain high volumes of sugar. These are unnatural substances that cause your body to send blood glucose levels soaring, shoot your cholesterol through the roof and put you at higher risk for heart disease and diabetes. The “cleaner” you keep your food, the more health promoting benefits you receive. A good way to replace sauces to jazz your fresh foods up is to use herbs (fresh is always best for flavor) and spices instead. You’ll be getting the added benefits they provide.

Stay on schedule: It’s important that you do not allow your body to get too hungry by going long periods of time without food because that only trains it to converse energy.  You need to keep your eating schedule as regular as possible. If your body is confused and never knows when the next meal is coming it starts to work hard at preserving what little energy it currently has. This might work for you in times of famine, but for fat loss, not so much.

When you eat regularly, you actually train your body to release fat stores since it knows that it will be receiving more energy and has no need to conserve fuel. Believe it or not, when you skip a meal, you’ll just burn fewer calories over the course of the day making it harder and harder to reach your fat loss goals.

Match what you eat with what you are doing: When your body is performing intense exercise (used in minimalist exercise protocol) this requires you to have glucose present in your body as the only source of fuel that your body will be able to utilize. When you are more active and moving about your day, you’ll want to be taking in sufficient amount of carbohydrates as your body needs them at this time. Later in the day when you are resting you’re your activity level is lower, your body can start to shift to using fat as a fuel source. Basically you want to consume primarily carbohydrates and proteins early on in the day and right before and after training then shift over to protein/fiber (vegetables) and healthy fats in the evening to meet your needs during this portion of the day.

Avoid White Carbohydrates: The type of carbohydrates that you consume is important. White carbohydrates such as white rice, white bread (that is also processed) or white potatoes produce a higher level of blood glucose response possibly leading to fat gain over time. Opt for non-white carbohydrates such as oatmeal, brown rice, and sweet potatoes. These carbohydrates maintain stable blood glucose levels, keeping energy high and balanced. Staying away from “white carbohydrates” ties in with leaning towards colorful fresh fruits and vegetables.

Become Aware of Serving Sizes: Counting calories is a downer and may cause you to drift away from your plan. You need to have some sort of serving size guideline put in place to follow.

This helps you learn how to “eyeball” the meals you’ll be eating and select the appropriate serving size so that you consume the right amount and maintain your body weight. If you are larger than the average individual or considerably more active than the average person, you may need to double up on your servings…especially protein at your main meals and carbohydrates before and after activity. This helps to provide the additional fuel that your body requires.

Don’t Drink Calories: Rather than consuming food calories that are usually very filling and keep hunger levels low, drinking liquid beverage calories provide no satiety and only contribute to the daily caloric total. To compound the issue, most of the beverages are very high in sugar, added fat and calories proving to be a triple whammy thread as far as burning calories is concerned. Staying lean and promoting better healthy requires avoiding liquid calories entirely. Your morning green smoothie or whey protein shakes along with low fat mild or almond milk are beverages that are worthwhile.

Focusing your calories on food is one of the quickest and surest way to your weight-loss goal.

Enjoy Your Food: Don’t put yourself on a diet that you hate and try forcing yourself to eat foods you normally pass up regardless of how hungry you are. In other words, if you hate Brussels sprouts then don’t eat them. You can easily replace any vegetable with another you like better and that provides a wealth of nutrients to your body. You just need to study what foods you enjoy the most and incorporate them into your plan as often as possible. Don’t live in a box though, you need to be adventurous with your recipes and you’ll discover that eating healthy does not mean eating food that has little to no taste.

Those are the 10 primary principles of minimalist eating. Pair this with minimalist training and you’re on the path of wealth in health, body and mind.

If you are failing to achieve your fitness goals, not keeping things simple may be the issue. “Minimalist Fitness and Nutrition program can teach you the life-changing principles that will change your life and your body forever.

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