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Enhancing Your Fat Loss Journey: Strategies to Improve the Quality of Your Food Intake

Welcome to part 3 of our principles of fat loss series were we explore the methods of each principle. This week we turn our focus to improving the quality of the food that you consume. Not that you need to label foods as “good” or “bad”, but rather foods that are better suited to help you reach your goals. And if your goal is to lose body fat, it could be beneficial to look at how you can incorporate higher quality foods that will leave you both satiated and provide the nutrients that your body needs to thrive!

Method 1: Prioritize eating whole foods as much as possible:

Eating whole, minimally processed foods is crucial for maintaining optimal health and well-being. These foods are typically rich in nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, which are essential for various bodily functions and disease prevention. Whole foods provide sustained energy levels, support healthy digestion, and help regulate appetite, promoting a balanced diet and overall health. Additionally, consuming whole foods can reduce the risk of chronic diseases like obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, making them a cornerstone of a nutritious diet.

Method 2: Improve the quality of each macro-nutrient:

  1. Eat 1-2 servings of LEAN PROTEIN” with each meal: it provides the building blocks that your body needs for recovery and hormone production. It also, digests much slower than other foods helping you satiated for a longer period of time!         

  • Eat MORE fresh and lean proteins (80% of your meals) that have less than 9-12g of fat per servings. For example chicken breast, shellfish, turkey, lean cuts of beef and pork, tempeh.

  • Eat SOME minimally process proteins in moderation (2-4 servings per week). For example: protein powders, tofu, meat jerky, minimally processed deli meat, edamame

  • Eat LESS (1-2 servings per week) of highly processed proteins, or proteins that have a lot of fat. For example fried foods, high fat beef and pork, process deli meats, protein bars, “High Protein” labeled snacks.

  1. Eat 1-2 servings of “SMART CARBS” with each meal: these are foods that are higher in carbohydrates, usually 20-30g per serving, higher in fiber than sugar (the one caveat for that one is fruits, which are healthy for you and provide a lot of vitamins and minerals), and provide vitamins and minerals. 

  • Eat MORE of whole food sources of carbs like beans, whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, farro), tubers (all forms of potatoes), whole grain / sprouted breads and pastas and fruit.

  • Eat SOME minimally processed carbs (2-4 servings per week). As a bonus eat these right after your workout because your muscles can use the energy for revery. These usually still have some fiber, but not as much as whole sources like white rice, granola, instant oats, whole grain crackers, pasta, bread, and tortillas…

  • Eat LESS off processed foods that are higher in sugar (10+ g of sugar per serving) and have minimal fiber like granola bars, fruit juices, crackers, chip, cookies, pastries, candy bars (these are also high in fat!)

  1. Eat 1-2 servings of “HEALTHY FATS” with each meal: contrary to populate belief we need to eat fat. It helps with hormone production, individual cell health and provides energy. 

  • Eat MORE of healthy fats that are close to their natural source like extra virgin olive oil, aged cheese (6+ months), egg yokes, plain nuts and avocados.

  • Eat SOME fats that are minimally processed like all other oils outside of extra virgin olive oils, cheese (aged less than 6 months), and all nut butters.

  • Eat LESS (1-2 servings per week) of highly process fat like margarine, processed cheese, processed oils (corn, sunflower, canola, veggie), salad dressings with the processed oils, and high fat proteins like bacon and sausages.

Method 3: Taste the Rainbow!

Try to consume a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables per day. Remember that fruits do fall in the “eat more” category of smart carbs. Also aim to consume 4-6 servings of veggies per day. You can spread your colors out over the week, but make sure you’re getting a good variety because each color type provides different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The main color groups are:

  1. Green: All of your lettuces, broccoli, peas…

  2. Red: Red cabbage, chili-peppers, tomatoes, persimmons..

  3. Orange: Carrots, ginger, citrus fruits, squash…

  4. White: garlic, onions, parsnips, apples…

  5. Purple: blueberries, eggplant, beets, grapes…

Notice that we provided a range of food options with 3 different categories, because no food is “bad”. If your feeling down and going to get a donut with a friend helps you feel happier, that donut is doing a job and is not bad… now if you need a donut to feel happy every day then we need to find different options to bring you joy that will also help you reach your goals of losing body fat. 

Aim to consume foods in the “EAT MORE” category 80-90% of the time. The other 10-20% enjoy the foods that you like; just be present, eat it slowly and stop when you satisfied. 

By implementing these strategies to enhance the quality of your diet through better food choices, you can optimize fat loss efforts while nourishing your body with essential nutrients for overall well-being!

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