Whether you have achieved your fitness goals and want to hold on to them or simply wish to live a lifestyle that will naturally make you lean and healthy, there is some surprising information that you may not yet be aware of.
The best ways to keep yourself lean are actually some of the least drastic. Starvation diets are out of the question, and the manner in which you eat is actually just as important as how much you eat. Through dozens of studies covering millions of lean individuals, nutritional science has found some interesting patterns. Listed below are the best ways to keep the fat off and stay healthy.
Do Not Diet
Did you know that the number one predictor of future weight gain is whether or not the individual is currently on a diet? This is true for two reasons. Diet implies an “acute” phase that will end eventually, and when it does your metabolism will be slower and less equipped to deal with the surge of calories. During a diet, you also lose bone density and muscle mass which is your number one calorie burner.
Keeping stringent control over your diet or tracking what you eat in a journal, as most diets recommend, will actually skyrocket your stress levels and lead your body to release fat storing hormones. Instead, eat healthy on a daily basis – forever. Your daily diet need not be too drastic. Just learn what is healthy, and what isn’t and eat accordingly.
Don’t Eat “Fat-Free”
Fat free foods are often misleading. Yes, they are low in or completely devoid of fat, but they are rarely low in calories. In fact, most fat free foods are absolutely loaded with processed and simple sugars that do very little to fill you up.
The simple truth is that you need fat to process vitamins and survive. Fat doesn’t make you gain weight, but excess calories do. If you eat fat free foods, you are more likely to eat hundreds of calories in sugar and be hungry just an hour later.
Instead, eat good fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Sit Down to Eat
Eating in a hurry will make you gain weight. This should be plain and simple. This is because your body actually takes some time to signal to your brain that it is full, and if you eat too fast, chances are quite good that you will overeat long before your brain gets this signal.
Sitting down and pacing your meal will help you eat less and feel fuller. You will also avoid that sick, slow feeling that generally accompanies overeating.
Know What You’re Eating Next
Planning your next meal more than two minutes before you eat it will save you countless calories in the long run. Simply put, humans are impulsive creatures, and our nutritional impulses are rarely healthy. Put a piece of cheesecake and a handful of almonds in front of us with only moments to decide, and we will usually take the cheesecake.
Plan your next meal in advance, or at least get a good idea of what you’re going to eat before you walk off to retrieve it. You’ll thank yourself later.