Thank you to the gorgeous Monica May, a fitness and health expert, for her contribution to my blog! I'm a huge sweet tooth so this post has been super confronting for me, but I know what I need to do now! Feeling healthier already 😉
Monica May is a fitness coach, blogger and photographer, who is in love with fitness, healthy food, nature and hiking. Through her diary, she passes on her fitness story, strongly believing that every girl out there deserves to get the sneakiest fitness and weight loss secrets – for free. With the power of her expertise she inspires, motivates and supports, by giving you the best workout programs, plans, guides and tips, to finally fall in love with fitness.
Take it away Monica!
Nowadays, the internet is loaded up with so much fitness and health info, that it gets really hard to understand real nutrition. So many people claim that are fitness and nutrition experts, and so many blogs tell different kinds of stories about how to really live healthy and get fit, that it sometimes gets confusing. That’s actually one of the main reasons why so many people still struggle to lose weight. The misleading tips that the modern fitness world provides are just a fake try to make profit, and they have nothing to do with coaching and fitness knowledge. Because of that, I decided to give you a little nutrition guide, with a few simple steps, to finally help you get healthier. Let’s kick out some bad nasty habits, and welcome some fresh ones, to change our life.
#1 Give Up Sugars and Bad Carbs
Sugar is fitness and health’s worst enemy. It’s actually considered as the drug of our generation, since it raises the dopamine levels in our brain to a scale that’s higher than cocaine. That’s the main reason why we cannot help ourselves craving it, because the more you eat it – the more you crave it! Sugar messes every single thing in the body, and starting from obesity and diabetes, to liver malfunction and heart disease, it can cause a series of unfortunate events. And not only sugar, but the countless sweeteners that we can find in the everyday consuming products are a real health killers:
- Agave nectar
- Barley malt
- Rice syrup
- Cane juice crystals
- Carob syrup
- Corn syrup
- Diastatic malt
- Ethyl maltol
- Florida crystals
- Fruit juice concentrate
- Malt syrup
- Maple syrup
And these are just a few of the names that food manufacturers use to sneak in sugar and sell their products. And the fact that sugar is in almost every product nowadays is really shocking, and that’s the main reason why you should give it up for good. If you really want to improve your health and get fit for life, you should forget about it, period. Avoid products that contain sugar such as:
- drink powders and soft drinks
- dried and canned fruit
- sauces and instant gravies
- frozen yogurt
- granola bars
- sun-dried chili peppers and tomatoes
- instant oatmeal
- salad dressings and tomato sauces
Also you should avoid eating high grain foods such as:
- Breads (wholemeal, wholegrain or white, rye, pita, lavash, naan)
- Breakfast Cereals (ready to eat, high fiber, wholegrain oats, porridge, muesli, whole-wheat biscuits)
- Grains (rice, barley, corn, polenta, buckwheat, spelt, millet, sorghum, triticale, rye, quinoa, semolina)
- Pasta, noodles, crumpet, rice cakes, couscous, bulgur, popcorn, flour.
You can check out my Giving Up Sugar Technique for more details.
#2 Be Aware Of Fat Free and Low Fat Labelled Foods
Do you know what happens to the fat that it’s taken out of the fat free products? It gets replaced with sugar!
Because when you take the fat out of a product, it doesn’t taste that good anymore. That’s why, food manufacturers add sugar in these low fat products, to make sure their products tastes good even without the fatty part. And you know why? Because tasty food sells! Just remember that fats are not the enemy, it’s the sugar that we should be afraid of.
#3 Include the Right Foods in Your Diet
Starting from proteins, to fibers, greens and healthy fats, your dish should look like this:
- Seafood and fish
- Eggs and dairy products
- Pure protein whey
2. Healthy fats
- Veggies (especially avocado)
- Oils (olive oil, coconut oil…)
- Veggies (all of them)
- Nuts and seeds
#4 Don’t Count Calories
With calories, as with diamonds, it’s the quality that matters most and enhances their value. This means that it’s not always the calories that matter, and healthy food doesn’t always mean low calorie food. In fact if we take almonds, they have a lot of calories, but it’s a better choice than coca cola zero for example. Wondering why? Well, our body burns a lot more calories to process the healthy food in our body, and it burns almost zero calories when it gets in touch with these bad carbs – sugar loaded products, because they’re already processed in the making process. Almonds are healthy calories that will leave your organism with loads of nutrients, starting from fibers, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals…
…Other than zero calories from the coke, that will leave you with zero nutrients too, while making a real chaos in your system. So, no matter how many calories are involved, if one food is healthy, that means it’s good for our body and our health, and nutrient-poor foods will have the opposite effect.
#5 Improve Your Cooking
The way you cook at food is very important if you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle and stay fit. In fact, almost any food can be healthy, but people ruin it and turn it into junk by not cooking it well enough. Nutrients can be easily vanished out of the food with the cooking process, so we have to be careful to keep as much as we can, right? So, we should follow a few steps to improve our cooking to make healthier meals.
- Bake instead of frying
- Use healthier oils - olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, flax seed oil
- Make your dishes colourful
- Avoid cooking the same meal from yesterday
- Try to keep it as raw as possible
#6 Be Ware of Stress Eating and Late Night Snacking
I bet you’ll agree with me when I say that many times we eat because of stress and hungry eyes, not because we’re actually hungry. Sometimes even because we think about certain food, it’s stuck in our mind and we can’t stop thinking about it. Or we make a bowl of popcorn, and don’t stop snacking until we clean the bowl off. This happens because of stress, and it’s called emotional eating. Not to mention if we eat sugars, we won’t stop until we finish the chocolate bar, right? You can easily stop this with not having that chocolate you think about, because even if you take that one cube, you’ll end up craving it even more. If you really need to snack, choose healthier option such as seeds and nuts, or even veggies. You’re stronger than you think, so make sure to act like it – suck it up, and drink a glass of water!
I hope I helped all of you out there with this little guide of mine, to finally learn real nutrition and start living healthier.
And remember, only you can change your life!
Be sure to check out Monica's blog, Fit Girls Diary!