As the mornings get brighter and evenings longer, it’s time to take total advantage of this beautiful country we live in. It’s a time of year for travel, weddings, birthday, numerous BBQ’s and celebrations. So the question many of you are asking is, how can I manage to stay on track and get through without messing with my food plan?
First things first, let’s get rid of the word DIET. For most it becomes a chore, hassle and hard work. That is the last thing we want. You need to enjoy life a little and need to eat well, gaining benefits of weight loss, a healthy immune system and being full of energy. Food has it all, it is medicine for the soul. You all know that after eating a heavy-weighted meal full of grease, sugars, salts and simple carbs, you feel like sleeping. When you go without food, you can suffer from headaches, and get cranky and irritable. When feeling cold, having something warm to eat suddenly raises body temperature. So keeping that summer feeling and being chirpy is all about what you decide to pump into your body. Kill the word diet, just eat well. It will automatically remove that pressure.
When out and about and going for something to eat in a restaurant, order clever. Ask for sauces on the side – unfortunately here in Ireland when you ask for a Caesar salad, in true accommodating style they lavish the salad in Caesar dressing until you cannot see the lettuce any more. So instead of someone deciding for you stay in control of the extras that go on your dish. Same applies for other foods such as steak.
Try to eat slower; don’t rush your food. Enjoy the process and savor the tastes, it is much better on your digestive system. Also have something to drink after you have eaten, but try delay it as long as possible so you don’t feel bloated.
Eat every 2.5hrs and keep your meals simple and easy. This way when you do go for something to eat in restaurant or café you aren’t overcome with hunger and end up sticking your head in the bucket.
Now is the season for fruit smoothies, salads and juice, so take advantage of their low calorie highly nutritious ingredients. Remember you are what you eat, but more precisely you are what you absorb. Every time you look at food ask yourself is this building me up or breaking me down?
Smoothies are great on the go and a quick breakfast to kick off your morning. But the trouble with most smoothies is you are starving after a short while and would be happy to start chewing on your desk, to satisfy your hunger. The smoothie needs to be packed with wholesome fruits and veg, and you can even add oats and protein to your mix. Here is one I love:
1 medium banana
200g of fat-free plain Greek yogurt (FAGE)
1 240ml Almond Milk or fat-free milk
1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. Powdered peanut butter (better body foods PB fit)
Handful of ice cubes
Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
NUTRITION (per serving) 278 kcal, 29 g protein, 22g carbs, 6 g fibre, 9 g fat.
Increase the heat
Spinach, radish, hot peppers, onions, garlic, beetroot, pineapple and grapefruit all increase body thermic affect. Just be careful as the summer comes in and temperatures rise, you don’t want to feel bloated and extra hot and sweaty. But let’s call a spade a spade here, no food can directly result in fat loss. The thermic effect of food (TEF) is the amount of energy required to digest and process the food you eat. So, by just eating these foods on their own won’t reduce weight, you need to move!
• If you eat more than you burn, you’re in a state of positive energy balance, and you will gain fat.
• If you eat less energy through food than you burn, you’re in a of negative energy balance, and you will lose fat
Thirst or Hunger?
Water is the excelsior of life, without it we simply cannot function. We can often mistake thirst for hunger. The best trick is to drink and if you are still hungry then it is not thirst. When doing a training session be sure to have electrolyte in your water as you lose salts in your body while working out. Water is a key ingredient in keeping the body cool. With high humidity levels, sweat will not evaporate quickly. This prevents the body from releasing heat in an efficient manner. Therefore it is necessary to hydrate and drink water, even when you are not thirsty. Being thirsty is not a sufficient indicator that you are dehydrated, at that point you are well and truly into a state of dehydration.
Article by: Jason Kenny