Nowadays, diets are way too complicated. “Eat fifteen different vegetable groups in one setting,” “cut out all carbs from your diet,” and “drink ten avocado smoothies before bed to increase weight loss rate.” Diets don’t need to be this terrible. Nutrition is more straightforward than the media tricks you into believing. Today, we’ll go over simple tips that’ll help you much more than some random trendy diet.
When talking about weight loss and weight gain, calories are king. For example, you can eat 1500 calories of ice cream or 2500 calories of chicken, broccoli, and rice. Although you might die of diabetes if you ate ice cream, the first option would still lose more weight than the second. So, nutrition is essential, but calories are the basics. They’re what drives the entire diet; without a basic calorie loss, all diets wouldn’t work. So, why do some of them work?
- Intermittent Fasting: Less eating time, fewer calories
- Keto: Fewer carbs, less food, fewer calories
- Carnivore: Less nutrition, fewer calories
- Vegetarian: Less meat, fewer calories
The pattern is simple. The less food you consume per-calorie basis, the less weight you gain and the more you lose. So, what are some low-calorie foods that can help to keep us full?
- Fried Kale Chips: Never goes above 150 calories, excellent snack for nutrition and weight loss
- Popcorn: Not the buttery kind, specifically Orville. Around 200 calories for the entire bag!
- Fat-Free Cheese: 45 calories per cup, and it’s delicious
- Protein Bars: 100-200 calories each, keeps you full
- Smoked Salmon Pinwheels: Delicious for 60 calories each
- Chicken Breast: Usually around 350-500 calories, chicken keeps you full and healthy, which is why it’s a bodybuilding classic
- Fish: Hard to convert to calorie counts based on fish type, but most have decent calories with lots of vitamins and nutritious fats.
- French Toast and Eggs: Bodybuilding’s second most famous breakfast, for a good reason. Calories vary but usually are <500 and are delicious with some sugar-free syrup.
- Oatmeal: Bodybuilding’s most famous breakfast. Delicious, at ~300 calories per serving
Vegetables are important, duh. However, there’s more that goes into nutrition than just vegetables. We’ve all heard of carbs, fats, and protein before. Generally, you want to have a diet that looks like this:
- 20-25% fats
- 45-55% carbs
- 25-35% protein
This helps us keep our hormones healthy and our bodies sensational. In addition, vitamins, nutrients, and minerals are essential in your diet. I’m sure you remember your mother telling you to drink milk when you were a kid because it would grow your bones. Of course, we know that’s because of calcium. However, some more vitamins and nutrients are crucial for our diet. I won’t list all of them for time’s sake, but here are a few foods with a good ratio of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals.
And many more just like those. However, these foods don’t taste the best. Let’s be honest; no one here ate their Brussels sprouts willingly as a kid. If you did, then stay away from me. I’ve got enough sleep paralysis demons to worry about. There are recipes out there that can make these foods go down a lot easier. Bodybuilding.com
has plenty of delicious recipes that use these ingredients and make them a masterpiece.
Let’s get something clear right out of the gate. No, there is no special diet that can magically make all of your fat disappear without having fewer calories than what your body burns. The laws of physics can’t be broken by your yoga instructor. That being said, there are dieting techniques that can help you with the hunger and frustration we often face whilst dieting. Here is a couple:
This is probably the most overhyped dieting trend out there. It work’s great, but not for the reasons people lead you to believe. Let’s say you were doing intermittent fasting, and you decided to do a 16/8 split. This means that for any 16 hours in the day, including while you’re asleep, you can’t eat or drink anything besides water. Then, during the 8 hours of the day, you can eat again.
The reason this works isn’t that your “glycogen stores get depleted” and “it’s easier to burn fat when there’s no food covering it”. Rather, the amount of growth hormone you gain, the cardio you do fast, and the tithe you have to eat are what mainly effects this diet. Fasted cardio and growth hormone aren’t the main focuses but they do help out quite a lot. You gain a significantly higher amount of growth hormone when you’ve completely fasted. In addition, fasted cardio can burn calories like no other.
The real reason this diet works, however, is the amount of time you have to eat. Usually, the worst food we have aren’t even during our main meals; instead, they happen during our midnight snacks when we’re watching Netflix with our partner eating chocolate, leftovers, and anything we can get our hands on. When we restrict ourselves to a one-time frame, we can consume fewer snacks than we normally would. This decreases our total calorie count, lose weight, and enjoy it while we do.
Carnivore, Keto, Vegetarian Diets
Diets that require you to only eat one food group or take another out aren’t the healthiest. Vegetarians can struggle to get in the protein and vitamins they need from meat. Carnivores struggle to get vitamins and nutrients from vegetables. Finally, Keto followers have to refuse the breadsticks at the olive garden. Oh, and I guess they also don’t have an entire food group which results in disturbing your hormones, health, and more.
If you’re not following these diets, you should probably find something else if you’re doing the diet for health reasons. If you’re following them to be an activist or you just really want to, here are a couple of tips:
- Vegetarian: Tofu and fake meat sources to help with protein and vitamins
- Carnivores: Shakes and vitamin water alongside some garnishes can help to make a difference
- Keto: Try eating more protein than you normally do. This can help you feel more full and energized than just eating high amounts of fat
I know; this title doesn’t sound like a dieting tip, but rather like a preachy activist screenplay. However, hear me out. Science has shown that by using:
- Smaller Portions
- Smaller Plates
- Blue Plates
- Visually Appealing Food
…We become less hungry and enjoy our meals more.
Smaller portions and plates usually tend to signal our brain that we are finished with our food. Because of this, our sense of hunger can often go away with a smaller amount of food, reducing our calories.
Blue plates are mainly psychological things. For some reason, whenever humans see blue, we just feel less hungry, Try it out sometime.
Visually appealing food can make the food just taste better to us. The better food smells, looks, and feels, the better we perceive it to taste. That’s why fancy restaurants spend so much time plating; they want you to believe their food tastes better when, in reality, it tastes nearly the same as everyone else. But, you didn’t hear that from me, capisce?
Weight Loss Tips and Tricks
As we’ve discussed, we need to lower our calorie intake when we’re trying to lose weight. So far, we’ve gone over several dieting techniques and environments that help us lose weight. However, as a final note, here are some little tips and tricks that can help us in our weight loss journey:
- Eat More Protein: The more protein you eat, the more full you feel. If you’re full 24/7, you wouldn’t even be able to think of food, much less eat it.
- Eat Less Processed Foods: Processed foods are made so that you eat more of them. They’re delicious, greasy, and easy to eat and chew. However, once you start eating it, it’s hard to stop. Try to limit your intake of processed foods, at least to a certain degree
- Use a Calorie Counting App: MyFitnessPal and MacroFactor are some of the many apps that can help you with keeping track of your calories and, therefore, give you an idea of where you stand for calories on the day.
- Have A Friend Help You: Dieting is much easier when you have a friend who can make sure you follow your diet. If you have a friend you really trust, and you’re both trying to get in shape, try helping each other out.
Dieting is easy when you really get down to it. Calories, vitamins, nutrients, and protein are the fundamentals of any diet and produce 80-90% of the results a stricter diet could. Weight loss should be fun, which is why on the next blog, we’ll be going over alternative forms of cardio to help you with that summer bod. Thanks, and see you next time!