Ideally everyone would eat as healthy as possible all year long, but it's easy to get off track from November until February. Around March people realize that they will have to get into a swim suit someday soon, and panic sets in; south beach diets, atkins diets, weight watchers, and home delivery diets all get a huge spike in business between February and April. Don't panic. You won't need anything so costly to lose weight in a healthy way. Here are a few tips you can use TODAY to start losing those hibernation LBs.
1) Stop eating processed carbohydrates:
Processed carbohydrates like crackers, breakfast cereal, cheese-its, snack chips, etc. are all very calorie dense foods, which makes it easy to over-indulge. Switch to fruits and vegetables instead of these cheap snack foods to dramatically cut down on excess carbohydrate intake. I'm pretty picky about my carbohydrate consumption (I eat food in ratios between 4:3 and 9:7 carbohydrates to protein), but you don't have to whip out the food scale to know that you shouldn't eat Cool Ranch Doritos if you want to lose fat pounds.
2) Eat protein with every meal and snack, and eat it first.
Your body will never need ONLY carbohydrates. Eating protein with every meal will mitigate your body's insulin response, and help you lose weight. Insulin is a storage hormone which takes sugar in the blood and stores it as fat, and also prevents fat stores from being burned as energy. A good balance of protein and low glycemic carbohydrates will cause your body to release less insulin and more glucagon which will keep your body fat waning instead of waxing. If you eat your protein source first, you will be less hungry by the time you get to your carbs, and less likely to over-indulge.
3) Split your meals into smaller portions throughout the day
If you get in the habit of eating smaller portions more often, there are a number of weight loss benefits: you will eat your meals BEFORE you get hungry which will keep you from over-eating, your metabolism will constantly be in a state of spending calories instead of getting into a storage state from waiting too long to eat, and smaller meals are easier to keep in a good carbohydrate and protein balance.
I adhere to a diet that balances conveniently between Zone block theory and Paleo diet theory. For more information on these diets and how they can work for you, check out the links to the left of this post. Of course, a little exercise will always help with weight loss, but the bottom line is, you must change the composition of what you put into your body to change the composition of your body. More exercise and diet tips to come.