With beach season rapidly approaching in the Northeast, it makes most of us wonder what happened to our bodies this winter. Maybe one too many IPA’s? Regardless of the culprit it’s time for a beach body tune up.

Dieting is like a second job, and one that none really wants, but we need the money! This leads a majority of people to look for a diet pill and hope we magically wake up jacked and shredded like Brad Pitt in Fight Club or Snatch. No? Maybe J-Lo instead?

There are a million types of diets out there, which can leave you confused or even worse, in the hospital. So before you try the Dash Diet, Mediterranean Diet, Mind Diet, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Fletcherism Diet, Apple Cider Vinegar Diet, or the Cabbage Soup Diet, lets first understand some key factors of successfully dieting.

First we need to understand hunger: what it is and how to control it. Essentially this is the ultimate goal of any diet, when we let hunger get out of control we consume too many calories and as a result develop a nice thermal layer of insulating fat for our ass to stay warm in the winter. Hunger is a sense, a sense that our body confuses with others. For example, boredom and thirst are some of the biggest triggers for hunger. Yes, that’s right sometime we literally eat out of being bored or just thirsty.

The next key concept to understand is how we burn fat, it’s not as simple as just exercises. There are still people who exercise a lot and have trouble loosing those extra pounds.

Food is energy, its similar to gasoline in a car. Food allows us to breath, move, grow hair, and so on. Just like there are different types of gas, there are three main types of food “fuels.”

1. Protein

2. Fats

3. Carbohydrates

Ignore protein for now, lets focus on fats, and carbohydrates. Carbs are the enemy, but why? When carbs breakdown our blood sugar level rises. Our body then releases a hormone called insulin to lower our blood sugar and store glucose. High insulin levels result in waist growth, abdominal obesity, and unstoppable appetite.

Fats get used as fuel, but when our bodies are in a carbohydrate-depleted state, known as ketosis. This is why carbs are looked at as the enemy. Fats produce more energy than carbs in the long run, but go through a more complicated process to do so.

First, you need to be real with yourself and be consistent. Consistency wins every time over one day all out attempts. Second, understand you triggers for hunger, are you thirsty, bored, or something else?

I try to stick to a natural diet, free from processing. Processing food adds calories, think of it like this, I love peanut butter, but I can eat a lot more peanut butter than just having some shelled peanuts. I will eat even less peanuts if they are shelled.

The paleo diet is a good start, but athletes will need to cycle carbohydrates to aid recovery. So what is the paleo diet?

You will feel the results immediately.
The Paleo diet is a whole food based approach to eating: preferably locally grown quality protein from poultry, meat, fish, fruit and vegetable carbohydrates, and whole food fats, like nuts, freshly pressed oils and avocado. Sorry, no pasta, no cereal, and no candy.
Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Keep it simple.

Eating simple foods like spinach leads to eating less calorie dense foods than donuts or crackers, which in turn helps you shed pounds without effort. Try eating 400 calories in spinach versus a bagel from Starbucks.

2. Eat enough.

Many believe that less food is always better when it comes to losing weight. Calories do count, but when it comes to weight loss, under-eating is just as problematic as over-eating. Eat foods low on the glycemic index; carbohydrate-containing foods that are less likely to cause large increases in blood sugar levels.
Read more: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=faq&dbid=32
http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-eats/healthy-eating/4-reasons-to-eat-low-gi-foods/

3. Move.

Excessive sitting reduces the benefits of an exercise program and stalls weight loss. Exercise alone isn’t enough to reverse the harmful effects of a sedentary lifestyle. When it comes to weight loss, getting active throughout the entire day, and not just the 60 minutes you spend at the gym, is a crucial component of a well-rounded regimen. Try planning to get up twice and hour to just walk to the water fountain, you body will thank you in the long run.

4. Partner-Up.

One of the hardest parts about losing weight is trying to do it all on your own. Making major lifestyle changes without any social support is not only difficult, but often unsustainable. If everyone stays on board you are more likely to as well. Share recipes, plan partner workouts, and encourage each other on your journey to a better lifestyle.

5. Increase sleep, decrease stress.

Sleep deprivation destroys our fat burner ability, by increasing cortisol hormone levels. Cortisol slows metabolism and increases fat storage. Getting to bed early will stop you from eating late at night, you will wake up hungry and ready for the day.

If you’re having trouble controlling your hunger check out our hungry horrors blog post and stay tuned for more healthy eating tips!

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