There are hundreds of diets, both legit and fads, that make figuring out a diet program a daunting task. However, by following these 5 simple numbers, health and weight loss is right around the corner.
These five numbers are a way to simplify the healthy eating process by allowing your feeding plan to be flexible, but easy enough to track and work with daily. You can put your food together however you want, but in order to hit these five simple numbers, you are going to have to put together healthy options. If you pack your feeding plan with junk food, it won’t work. If you pick your favorite healthy foods, your calories should be in a good range, and more than likely you are going to get most of your micronutrients as well.
Number 1: Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of WATER every day and add another 16-20 ounces for every hour of exercise you do.
The human body is about 60 percent water. Mental clarity, alertness, digestion, skin and recovery are just a few of the many functions that are increased when we are properly hydrated. However, more importantly, in terms of healthy eating, proper hydration can play a key role in how much we eat. The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that controls our cravings for food and water when we are hungry and/or thirsty; however, the signal feels the same to us. So, if we are dehydrated, we can misinterpret our body’s signal to drink as hunger and actually eat more. Staying properly hydrated can save hundreds of calories per day in over-eating.
Number 3: Kept consumption of REFINED SUGAR to less than 0 grams per day.
Refined sugars are nothing but trouble for our bodies. Not only do they cause addictive cravings for more sugar, they also break down and enter the blood stream rapidly, increasing insulin levels, blood sugar levels and in turn stored fat. Stick to natural carbs from fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains. When paired with proteins and healthy fats, carbs break down much slower giving a steady release into our blood stream normalizing insulin levels. AVOID REFINED SUGARS IN: Dessert foods, crackers, processed packaged foods, sodas and other sugary drinks.
Number 4: Eat at least 25 grams of FIBER from food every day.
Fiber is essential for proper digestion and intestinal health. Found in vegetables, beans and legumes, eating at least 25g per day from nutritious foods will help maintain a healthy digestive system, as well as necessitate the consumption of healthy foods that also provide an array of vitamins and minerals. FIND FIBER IN: Leafy green veggies, beans, legumes, ancient grains, whole grains.
Number 5: Eat HEALTHY FATS every day; 35-50 grams per day if you weigh less than 150 pounds, 50-75 grams per day if you are over 150 pounds.
Eat Healthy Fats – While fat has gotten a bad rap over the years, it is an essential macronutrient for our health. Not only does it help us feel full longer, it helps cushion vital organs in our body, it transports and stores fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K, keeps our heart healthy, and provides essential fatty acids that our bodies can’t produce. FIND HEALTHY FATS IN: Flax seeds, almonds, avocado, olive oil, salmon and eggs.
Bonus: Decrease your STARCHY CARBS throughout the day.
Carbs are the simplest form of fuel for our body. They break down easily and provide a quick form of energy. However, toward the end of the day, when we become less active and start to slow down, our bodies no longer need those quick, easy forms of energy. So what happens? They get stored as fat. Instead of letting this happen, eat all of your starchy carbs (whole grains, brown rice, oats, whole grain tortillas, fruits, etc.) during the beginning of your day and only eat healthy veggies as carbs for dinner and during late snacks.
Take a few minutes right now and figure out what your 5 numbers are. Now you have a goal for your daily consumption. Its easiest to keep track of these goals in a food tracking app like MyFitness Pal, or within the Fitbit app if you have one of those.
Make sure to keep track of your numbers throughout the day, so you know where your numbers are after meals, and what numbers you may need to work to improve at your next one.
Following these 5 simple numbers in your every day feeding plan will help you feel more energized in no time. And before you know it, the physique you have been hoping for will be in sight.
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