Eat Your Way to a Better Body (Slideshow)
September 24, 2014
Learn how eating the right foods can help you lose weight and stay fit
Goof Food Is the Answer
You’ve been diligent about getting to the gym and have been taking the stairs instead of the elevator for months now. Still, there is room for improvement and changing your diet may be the key to a better body. Find out how here!
Bigger really isn’t better when it comes to portion size. Instead smaller, more frequent meals help your body burn fat. Experts suggests six meals a day, with complex carbs added in early in the day to keep your body fueled and working all day long. You can judge your portion by the size of your hand. Each serving size of protein, carbs, and anything else that isn’t fruit or vegetables shouldn’t be larger than your fist.
Scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, found that eating 20 more grams of protein a day than you would on an average diet may help reduce the fat around your midsection.The body burns more calories digesting protein than other food groups, so adding a healthy amount into each meal is key. Lean meats like free-range chicken and turkey, grass-fed beef, and wild-caught fish are a great low-calorie source of protein. Some farm-raised fish can actually be unhealthy.Vegans and vegetarians can opt for upping their intake of foods like peas (one cup contains 7.9 grams of protein), quinoa (8 grams per cup), and tofu (20 grams per half cup).
Yes, you read that right. Chocolate milk may be your best source of hydration after a workout. Milk is loaded with electrolytes, magnesium and potassium. Add in a bit of chocolate and you’ve got a great balance of carbs, protein, and fat to quickly refuel exhausted muscles. Choose a low-fat version and you’ll actually be saving calories when you switch from regular sports drinks.
Most people think of beans as fiber-rich food. That’s true, but they are also great for boosting your body’s energy production due to their high magnesium content. If you’re logging some long hours at the gym, load up on legumes to replenish your body’s energy-building magnesium. Eating certain legumes like lentils can actually help bust belly fat because they prevent insulin spikes that lead to fat production in the midsection.
If you want to change the way your body works, stock up on lemons. The sour little fruit contains pectin fiber which helps regulate hunger. Lemons also help to regulate your body’s alkaline balance and can help improve digestion. Squeeze one on your fish, salad, or in your water. Lemon juice helps to flush out toxins and unwanted waste in your gut for a flatter tummy.
Just because we are talking fat, doesn’t mean you can load up on French fries. Fat is a concentrated form of energy (nine calories per gram, instead of four). You want to focus on getting good fats — like Omega-3s, -6s and -9s — and avoiding trans and saturated fats.
Omega-3s and -6s found in foods like salmon, halibut, walnuts, flax seeds, and tuna help to boost hydration in your skin and protect it against UV damage. Plus, Omega-3s are rich in proteins that make you feel full.
These tofu-based noodles are a great low-calorie, low-carb pasta swap. Made by blending the root of the konnyaku (a type of yam) and tofu, a four-ounce serving has just 10 calories. Since they are made from tofu, shirataki noodles are a complete protein with all the essential amino acids we need.