Maintaining a healthy body weight through dieting

Healthy eating essentially means consuming the right quantities of each food type from all the food groups. Healthy eating requires a healthy diet regimen that helps reduce the amount of food we consume and also helps a person quit the habit of eating unhealthy foods. Adopting a good diet is a responsible lifestyle choice that not only promotes good health but also helps to keep the body fit. A vital part of healthy eating is a balanced diet which means consuming foods from all groups. A balanced diet also entails taking the right quantities. Nutritionally speaking, there are 3; carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins. This chapter of the book explores carbohydrates since they have a significant effect on the amount of fat in the body.

By learning about the different types of carbohydrates and how they affect abdominal fat accumulation. This information will help you choose wiser. Opting for the right carbohydrates helps you keep abdominal fat in check. This is because carbs are important in fat formation. You are probably wondering how! Quite simply, since the main purpose of carbohydrates in the body is to provide energy. Carbs are broken down into glucose which is used as energy to fuel normal body processes. Excess carbohydrates are however converted into fat (stored energy) for later usage.

 

Bad Carbohydrates and good carbohydrates; what is right for you?

 

Ever asked yourself what carbs are? They are simply molecules that contain oxygen, hydrogen and carbon. Dietary carbohydratesare of three major categories;

Starches; This type of carbohydrate consists of long chain glucose molecules which are broken down  into glucose after digestion.

Sugars; This type of carbohydrate tastes very sweet, has short chain molecules. Examples of sugars include sucrose, glucose, galactose and even fructose.

Fiber; this type of carbohydrate is indigestible by human beings, it is however, very useful to the bacteria present in the digestive system.

Extensive and reliable research proves that while some people do better with lower carbohydrate intake, there is a section of the population that does just fine with consuming a large amount of carbohydrate consistently.  This chapter is a detailed coverage on carbs, how they affect human health and also gives you guidance on how to make the right and healthier choices when it comes to carbohydrate consumption.

A brief but detailed look at bad and good carbohydrates

Nutritionally speaking all carbohydrates are not equal. This means they differ greatly in their health effects.  Simple carbohydrates are nicknamed bad carbs while complex carbohydrates are termed ‘good’ carbohydrates.

What are simple Carbohydrates? ’bad carbohydrates’

Simple carbohydrates which are nicknamed ‘bad’ carbs are easy to digest and have no real value for the human body. Since they have a lot of sugar the fibre content is very low. The nickname is however quit misleading because there is a section of simple carbs that have real value for the human body. The section we are talking about is fruits and vegetables. Although this section of simple sugar still consists of basic sugar, they are very different from other simple carbs such as baked goodies like cakes and cookies. Common simple sugars include; table sugar, candy, baked goodies such as cakes and cookies, jams, maple syrup, honey and molasses.

What are complex carbohydrates ‘good carbs’

Complex carbohydrates are good for the body because they are made up of a longer series which takes the human body more time to break down. Most complex carbs have a lower glycemic load which means the body gets lower amounts of sugars releases over a long period of time. Instead of valleys and peaks, the body has a consistent supply of sugar which keeps you going throughout the day.

Giving bad carbs for good carbs simply involves simple substitutions when it comes to meals. Instead of white rice go for brown rice. We are living in an age when packaged foods are a part of our diet. Most people have no idea how to figure out whether a packaged food is a simple ‘bad’ or complex ‘good’ carbohydrate.  Its actually very simple, just check the label to know exactly what you are eating. If it contains either whole-wheat flour or whole-oat flower, this is an indication that you are dealing with a complex carbohydrate. If it also contains fiber, it means it is more complex in nature.

Complex carbohydrates include legumes and whole grains

  • Green vegetables
  • Whole grains and packaged foods made from them such as pats, oatmeal and whole-grain breads
  • Vegetables with starch such as pumpkin, sweet potatoes and even corn.
  • Grains such as peas, lentils and beans

Who needs a low-carb diet

Before getting to who needs it, it is important to understand what a low carb diet is. A low carbohydrate diet limits the amount of carbohydrates consumed and emphasizes on the consumption of foods rich in fats and proteins. You need a low-carb diet if you need to lose weight especially if you have excess abdominal weight which as mentioned early is very detrimental to the health. You also need a low-carbs diet if you need to change your overall eating habits if you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle that reduces the chances of developing a vast majority of chronic ailments. Other great candidates for low-carbs diet include persons who are obese or overweight and in people with blood sugar imbalances.

Currently low-carbs diet have been taken to the extreme. This is not healthy. Essentially, when carbohydrate consumption increases beyond what you require for survival, intense physical activity, a person looses the ability to rely on fat burning mechanisms. Taking insufficient carbohydrates means lacking enough energy which in equally unhealthy. This is why most people need a guidance on how to a low-carbs diet the right way.

Here is a step by step guideline on how to do a low-carbs diet the right way

  • Timing is everything!

When trying to execute a low-carbs diet the right way, one has to keep in mind that timing is extremely important. One of the main reasons you need a low-carbs diet is to stabilize blood sugar levels. The right timing ensures that you consume carbohydrates at the right time without leading to blood sugar levels going on a roller-coaster ride. If you are on a low carbohydrate diet, it is advisable to take carbohydrate rich foods before extreme physical activity.

  • It is vital to consider your current body fat levels

If you are obese or your body weight is not healthy, it means you probably have more abdominal fat to burn depending on how your body stores fat. Here is a simple procedure that will help you accurately calculate your fat level;

  1. Start by weighing yourself on an accurate scale
  2. Determine your height using an accurate tape measure
  3. Uing your weight measurement, you can easily determine your BMI index.
  4. Using these three measurement you can easily ascertain your body fat percentage using a simple formula. Each gender has its own formula

Calculating body fat percentage for a man

  • (1.20 x BMI) + (0.23 x Age) – 16.2 = Body Fat Percentage

Formula of calculating body fat percentage for women

  • (1.20 x BMI) + (0.23 x Age) – 5.4 = Body Fat Percentage

Men:

Avoid processed foods at all costs

Most processed foods are simple carbs with a high sugar content and lower fiber content. This means that if you are on a low-carbs diet, you will need to stay clear off wrapped and packaged foods. If your diet heavily consists wrapped, boxed and packaged foodstuff which a vast majority of the population is addicted to.

Don’t be too strict; give yourself a break by designating carbohydrate loading days

Long term carbohydrate deprivation is extremely unhealthy. It can be risky to your health since it leads to depletion of glycogen that is stored in the body. This severely depresses a person’s immune system and this decreases metabolic function significantly. The simplest way to prevent  glycogen depletion is strategically injecting carbohydrate-re feeding days into your routine.

If you are a fan of supplements seek professional medical advice and use the supplements wisely

It is a guarantee that if you go on low-carbs diet, you will have intense carbohydrate cravings. With you doctors; advice you can use supplements to help curb this unwanted carbohydrate cravings.

A low-carb diet will only work effectively if you are consistent and in it for the long-haul

Expect your weight to plummet if you go on a n extreme carbohydrate diet, this will happen consistently for the first few weeks, a person typically sheds 3 to 20 pounds in the beginning. After a couple of week the rapid weight loss slows down and might temporarily stop, it is at this point that most people give up and resume eating unhealthily.

When your body finally adopt to a consistent low-carbs diet, your weight-loss will become gradual and consistent. This will only happen if you allow yourself days when you re-fill your body’s carbohydrate storage levels.

As safety precaution prepare for some degree of discomfort especially in the first few days

In the first two weeks of a low-carbs diet your energy levels might plummet, this will cause you to get lethargic, grumpy and your body will feel a bit weak or more exhausted than normal. Without mental preparation, your low-carbs diet will be very challenging and extremely uncomfortable. If you are a chronic ailment such as diabetes seek professional medical first.

Try and stay hydrated by drinking as much water as you can

Eating a large amount of water fills your stomach hence helping you handle carbohydrate cravings that you may experience when you start your low-carbs diet. Additionally water plays a huge role in beta-oxidation which is a process your body burns fat as a fuel.

Eating foods rich in carbohydrates is not detrimental to everyone

When it comes to consuming carbohydrates it is different strokes for different folks. If you have a a very fast metabolism rate then you are able to have a carbohydrate rich diet without suffering detrimental consequences. People whom have a very fast metabolic rate include person with an over-active routine such as sports-people who train almost daily. Since this book is about losing abdominal fat without going to a gym, it is important to mention that most people with a busy life are not very physically active. This depends on what is keeping you occupied and busy.

Simply understanding the essentials of a low-carbs I just the start, you need to understand what dieting right on a general level is. Apart from carbohydrates, how you consume other food groups is also critical to loosing abdominal fat. A large percentage of the current generation knows the importance of consuming the right foods. Apart from getting carbohydrates right, you will need to get all the other aspects of a diet right for you to lose abdominal fat.

To help you get your entire diet right, here is detailed information about common mistakes that people make when it comes to dieting

  • Unknown to many people fruit juice is not advisable when trying to shed those extra abdominal pounds

This includes both natural fruit juice processed fruit juice. Processed juice contains more than a fruit concentrate and water mixed with sugar. Did you know that natural fruit juices contain just as much amount of sugar as Pepsi and Coca-Cola. You are not safe because you are blending g organic fruits!Fruit juice is like stripping a fruit of fibre. This means no chewing resistance and no fibre. As discusses earlier without fibre nothing reduces

Ignoring labels

Every consumer should beware because most marketers at junk food companies are shameless liars who are only focused on making profit. They tend to advertise falsely. Since most people are not well informed on nutrition and dieting, they fall prey to false marketing. Simply adding healthy ingredients to an already unhealthy highly processed food does not make it healthy.

Don’t be deceived; adding tiny amounts of Omega-3s will not make a food that contains too much sugar healthy. Always read labels even those advertised as healthy foods.

Not eating enough protein and completely removing fat from the diet

A high protein intake is good to your general health and it also help in maintaining healthy abdominal fat levels. Reliable studies have proven that meagre intake of proteins can cause downright deficiency which will detrimentally affect body composition particularly I you are physically active. Eating more proteins cause enhance fat burning, significantly reduces appetite and also improves health in numerous other ways.

Another fact many people ignore is that you should also not avoid all fats. Research shows that natural fats are beneficial to weight loss, on the other hand man-made trans-fats are detrimental to health. Numerous reliable studies prove that saturated fats are harmless and the low-fat diet that some nutritionists peddle doesn’t actually work or benefit the body.

Falsely thinking that calories are all that matters

This is a common misconception that many dieting enthusiast have. All the energy we expend and take in is crucial; it is not the only factor that matters. The fact is that different foods go through varying metabolic pathways; this means they affect hormones and hunger differently. Loosing abdominal is more than just calories, different foods affect hormones and hunger differently.

What you eat matters immensely

Maintaining a normal abdominal weight is will require you to choose wisely and eat selectively. A good diet must balance between taking the right amounts of food from every food group.

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