No exercise can help you unless you follow a healthy diet. That’s why the synergic effect of a healthy diet and physical exercise yields the best results. Jasmina Mitrić, our well known and acclaimed nutritionist works together with Get Fit and takes care so that you feel better, healthier, and more positive.
A short dietary reminder
Do you know anyone who didn’t want to find the easiest way to lose weight, whether they struggled with it their whole life or put on some weight during a short period of time? I don’t. Losing weight often seems simple, just have a look at numerous pieces of advice and diets you can find in the newspapers or online, and choose the easiest one. This is actually a bad idea. Starving, skipping meals, and significantly reducing nutrients aren’t advice you should follow, but it’s exactly such advice you can come across most often. You can lose fat by combining a diet that helps burn fat and build muscles, prevent the loss of nutrients and helps reach the optimal hormonal response to body composition. This is of course nothing new, but I simply had to remind you.
Now that you’ve made the decision to lose weight, you need to prepare well, as this isn’t an easy and quick fight. Before you start, here are a couple of things to bear in mind:
- You should have total control over what you eat. You shouldn’t intake anything by accident. We don’t live to eat, we eat to live a quality life.
- As you are already seeking advice on weight loss, that means you’re doing something wrong and that you need help. This also means you need to make serious cuts and completely change your habits, and someone who knows their job can help you with that.
- You can achieve the results only if you combine a diet with exercise.
I’d like to remind you of some basic recommendations, based on research into ways to lose fat. For some more specific recommendations, you need to consider you genotype, lifestyle, type and frequency of exercise, and your goals. Let’s get to business:
1 Eat good fats
Most diets dictate fat intake restriction and many people believe that a diet without fats is the right solution for weight loss and body mass maintenance. Fatty acids are essential, which means the body needs them. They are used in the production of hormone that helps us build muscles – testosteron. The more muscles we pack on, the stronger our fat burning machinery will be. Studies have shown that both women and men whose diet is rich in certain fats have lean body composition and lower fat percentage, unlike a diet with few fats and more carbs. We need to take in healthy fats in optimum quantities and we need to make sure to remove trans fats and hydrogenated fats from our diet. In addition to increasing LDL cholesterol and propensity to cardiovascular disease, these fats affect insulin receptors in our cells. Omega-3 fats (EPA, DHA and ALA) are the healthiest fats. They are found in fish oil, game meat, and beef that feeds on grass. Omega-6 fats are found in plant oils. Diets that are mainly based on these fats, spread in western societies, increases the risk of cancer, cardiovascular diseases and autoimmune diseases. That’s why it’s key that we take in the equal amounts of fats.
2 Eat quality proteins
For the best results, your diet needs to include low amounts of carbs and be rich in proteins. Complex and quality protein comes from meat and carefully combine plant-based foods. Numerous studies have shown that protein rich food is more efficient in fat burning than diets with little fat. It even produces better results than Mediterranean diet. All three types of diets improve health biomarkers, but protein diet is far more efficient in maintaining and increasing muscle mass as well as in burning fat.
3 Consider glycemic index
I’d like to remind you to eat food with a low glycemic index. The food with low glycemic index releases into the blood a low amount of glucose which can be used as energy source, without putting on fat. Foods with high GI significantly increase the sugar level in blood, in turn the pancreas produces too much insulin to process the sugar you’ve taken in. The body then enters the vicious circle – more cortisol is secreted, which together with high insulin leads to insulin resistance and causes fats to be stored in fat depots. I hope it’s clear how this mechanism works. We will talk about insulin resistance more as it is the culprit for many disorders in the body, but I want you to remember something very important – the longer you eat foods with a low GI, the higher the insulin sensitivity of your cells will be, and the better will your body composition be (a lower % of fats, more muscle mass).
4 Stay hydrated
You’ve heard the importance of hydration many times, and I’m sure you already know everything. I just want to remind you of the key factors – staying hydrated means drinking water, tea, and some coffee, and not juice and energy drinks. I won’t go into great detail about juices and energy drinks, but in addition to containing additives and sweeteners, they also contain hidden sugars. The need for water depends on the time of year, weather, and how active we are, but drinking 2–4 l of water and tea is recommended. Green tea and coffee increase insulin sensitivity and speed up metabolism, so you can use them without adding sugar or artificial sweeteners. This all may sound to complicated, but trust me – it’s not. Once you change your habits and learn to follow the basic rules, you’ll be wondering how you could ever live any differently.
By Jasmina Mitrić