For week 4 of our 7 Week Slim Down we’re going to take another look at diet. For weight loss purposes we can view our diets as basically being split between two important categories. The first category is micronutrients: vitamins and minerals- things we need in small quantities that don’t carry calories. Most of us are quite familiar with the ins and outs of micronutrients but if you want to know more, contact me.
Much more vital to our weight loss success is the second category which is macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates and fats. These three things we require in large amounts to function and how we manipulate them can mean the difference between 7 Week Slim Down success and failure! Let’s look at all three macronutrients.
* Protein. Protein is the building block of our new lean bodies, absolutely essential to help us look and feel great and to speed up our recovery from hard work out sessions. Keeping our protein levels high will also bring us lots of other benefits – even keeping us more resistant to things like the common cold. It’s worth noting you should aim for .5 a gram of protein for every pound you weigh while slimming down. Here are some common protein counts of food you may enjoy: a 4 oz chicken breast has 36 grams of protein, a whole egg 6 grams of protein, a glass of milk 16 grams and most protein shakes 25 grams of protein per serving. If your protein levels are consistently low you can expect slower strength gains, fatigue and possibly even injury!
* Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy in our diets and is a requirement for even dieters to function efficiently; however, over-indulgence in carbohydrates has been the death blow of many on a weight loss plan. Now, I have dealt with individuals who can function and lose weight while consuming mid-high carbohydrates and it’s possible, you may be one of those people.
A smart level of carbohydrates to start off with before tweaking your diet is right around 30% of your daily calories (the rest split between protein and healthy fats). This should be slowly lowered if you are having difficulties shedding body fat. Sugary carbs and things like white rice, white pasta and white potatoes should be eaten infrequently, if at all.
* Fats. Let’s clear up one of the most common diet misconceptions once and for all. All fats do NOT make you fat. In fact many are health and weight loss miracle workers. Flax seed oil, fish oil and even olive oil are all important parts of your diet. Try to take in about 3 grams of flax or fish oil a day and be prepared to both see yourself lose weight faster as your metabolism increases and your overall quality of life improve as well. Inflammation will decrease and your skin and hair will look great! There’s hardly any other addition you could make to your diet that is quite so transformative!
Do you feel like you have a better understanding of macronutrients? These easy to follow tips will quickly have them working in your Slim Down favor. Dieting can be effective without getting anywhere near being complicated. Apply these principles in Week 7 and beyond and you will quickly see what I mean!
Diva Coach Cass