Maintain a healthy clean diet, and undertake regular exercise. That’s the simple truth. It’s often made to seem much more difficult than it really is, because there is a massive “weight loss” industry, intent on selling you lots of products. They need to make it seem like it is complex and difficult, except if you purchase their product, which of course will then make it all so simple.
They build the fear, and then promise relief.
And there is no end to the new products that the industry and marketers come up with, each one promising fantastic results, likely to turn your body into that of a world class fitness model. Keep chasing that dream, and you’ll be on a roller coaster of weight loss and gain for ever. That’s how they like it!
The truth is, there is no one plan that is suited to everyone. It depends where you are currently in your weight loss journey, and what your goals are. Clearly someone who needs to lose 50kg and is very unfit will need a different plan, than someone who is only 5kg over their target weight. But the principle’s used in coming up with both plans should be the same; i.e healthy clean diet and regular exercise, to suite each person’s goals.
A healthy diet will fuel your body for exercise, keep your metabolism and digestion working properly, and provide the nutrients that your body needs for a healthy lifestyle.
Selecting the Healthy Eating Plan That’s Right For You
Choosing a diet plan to follow can feel like trying to navigate your way through a maze. It seems like everyone has a different set of rules to follow, and new scientific studies pop up all the time, seeming to debunk long-held beliefs about what’s really healthy. With all of this information coming in, how can you know which diet is right for you?
Popular Modern Diets
Many diet trends have come and gone over the years, but a few continue to hold on with formulas that claim to result in weight loss and better health.
The Atkins Diet
This well-known diet allows few carbohydrates aside from low-starch vegetables, promising that a higher protein intake will cause the body to burn more fat.
Many people do initially experience weight loss, but following the program in the long term may lead to elevated cholesterol levels from eating large quantities of meat and constipation due to lack of fiber.
Both the body and the brain need carbohydrates for energy, and restricting them for too long makes it difficult to support optimal health.
The Blood Type Diet
Also known as “Eat Right For Your Type,” this diet is based on the idea that people with different blood types digest food proteins in different ways. It suggests that eating the wrong types of foods for your blood type is what leads to disease and promises that, if you stick with the right regimen, your health will improve.
With little or no research to back up these claims, it’s hard to tell if the blood type diet has any real benefits.
Restriction or elimination of entire categories of foods and the necessity of following a highly structured diet regimen leave little room for flexibility.
On this diet, the major foods consumed include vegetables, fruits and legumes along with moderate amounts of fish, poultry and red wine. The aim is to mimic the diets of Mediterranean populations whose health is better than that of much of the Western world.
Shifting toward this eating pattern cuts out many foods that are detrimental to health while still offering a great deal of flexibility when it comes to food choices.
Based on the idea that food affects hormones including those that regulate weight, this popular diet advocates a balance of 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein and 30 percent fat.
It claims that this puts the body in an efficient metabolic “zone,” but lacks research to back up this hypothesis.
Some benefits may be seen due to the emphasis on consuming “good” fats, fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grain carbohydrates, but the strict balance of macro-nutrients is difficult for most people to stick with.
What’s the Right Diet For You?
Whether you want to lose weight, maintain weight or support a fitness program, you need to know your caloric requirements before choosing a diet plan.
There are many calculators available to determine your basal metabolic rate, or BMR. Use one of these to get a baseline figure, then multiply by one of the following numbers depending on your activity level:
– Sedentary: 1.2
– Lightly active: 1.375
– Moderately active: 1.55
– Very active: 1.72
The resulting amount is how many calories you should eat per day to maintain weight.
To lose weight, you need to eat at a slight caloric deficit. Eating about 500 calories per day less will allow you to lose 0.5 kilograms per week, which is a safe goal.
However, be careful of dropping your caloric intake too low. Severe caloric restriction puts your body in “starvation mode,” where your brain literally thinks you’re starving and shifts toward fat storage so you have enough energy to get through the perceived famine.
Gradual weight loss is healthier and those who lose weight slowly have an easier time keeping it off than those who go on crash diets.
Any healthy diet program includes physical activity, and protein intake should support the amount and type of exercise that you do every day.
Though there’s a lot of talk about what the “ideal” amount of protein is and whether or not athletes need more, the general recommendation is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for the average person.
When you’re more active, whether you lift weights, do regular cardiovascular exercise or have a physically demanding job, aim for 1 to 1.4 grams per kilogram.
Once you know how much to eat, how do you choose what to eat to fulfill those requirements?
Notice that one thing most popular diet plans have in common is the reduction or elimination of highly processed foods and foods containing damaging fats.
This includes refined carbohydrates from white flour and sugar, trans fats, high amounts of saturated fat and foods with potentially harmful chemical additives.
Instead, whole, unprocessed foods, preferably from plant sources, should form the basis of any healthy diet plan.
To ensure that you get a full complement of all the nutrients your body needs to function well within your caloric range, aim for a variety of different fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains every day. Include healthy fats such as those found in nuts, seeds and avocados. Choose lean protein sources over those with high amounts of saturated fat. Replace soft drinks with pure water and green or herbal tea to cut down on added sugars.
Eating this way allows for the flexibility necessary to stick with any dietary regimen.
The foods you eat should not only support your health but also appeal to your tastes, or else you’re not going to want to keep eating them.
Think of a healthy diet plan as more of a lifestyle change than a traditional diet.
You’re aiming for something that can be sustained in the long term to provide the maximum amount of health benefits. Be wary of any plan that relies heavily on supplements and pre-packaged foods. While these might provide some benefits in the short term, they’re rarely sustainable as part of a healthy lifestyle.
The best thing you can do when making changes to the way you eat is to keep it simple.
Start by picking one meal to focus on, such as breakfast, and giving it a healthy makeover. Then progress to other main meals and begin to incorporate nutritious snacks such as fruit and nuts.
For some delicious healthy recipe’s, that use the popular super food quinoa, which provides you with a tasty nutritious protein hit, try these simple dishes;
Over time, you’ll establish habits that become second nature and you’ll find yourself making better food choices.
Establishing a healthy lifestyle is a process that takes time, but the payoffs are well worth the effort. You’ll enjoy decreased rates of illness, sustained weight loss and a better overall quality of life.
Quinoa: Some delicious meals using this little understood superfood
Quinoa is one of the more interesting of the newest crop of so-called “superfoods”. Called a super because of its high protein and dietary fiber content, this delicious grain is also great for those looking for gluten free options. This nutty tasting seed comes from a plant that’s closely related to spinach and tumbleweeds. As its popularity increases many people are asking about recipes for this delicious new high protein offering. That’s what we’re here for. Today, we’ll be looking at some delicious recipes that will make eating healthy a delicious prospect.
In our recipe’s we’ll be using different types of quinoa. A white quinoa which should be used in the smoothie, and a mixed white, red and black quinoa which we’ve used in the other two recipe’s. I like to use certified organic quinoa, as I believe that if you’re looking for maximum benefit from a healthy food, you should look for something that’s organic whenever possible.
The Incas from Peru and Bolivia in South America were among the first to realise that this plant is edible. It was called Inca Gold as in their culture it was thought to give their warriors extra strength. Good enough reason for me to try it!!
Health Benefits of Quinoa
A few of the more notable health benefits of quinoa are;
Now you’ve got a few of the many good reasons why you should be including quinoa in your diet, we’ll get on with the recipe’s.
Looking for a healthy option for dinner but still want big flavour? Well this one will satisfy all your savoury needs while still being a vegetarian option for a classic meaty dish. This delicious, and hearty, meal will make you the bell of the dinner ball.
For this main entre you’ll need:
• 2 capsicums (1 red and 1 green)
• 1 Red Onion chopped
• 1 cup cooking Quinoa (make sure to rinse first before cooking)
• 1 cup diced Carrots
• ½ pound sliced Mushrooms
• 1 tbsp coconut oil
• ½ cup chopped Parsley
• ¼ pound baby Spinach
• ¾ teaspoon ground Cumin
• ½ cup roasted, salted Cashews (ground or whole)
• 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
• Salt and pepper to taste
Sautee the onions in the coconut oil until they become clear, about 9 minutes or so. Add the mushrooms and cook until they take a softer consistency, around 4-5 minutes. Add the carrots and chopped capsicum until they soften, then add the spinach and parsley. Once the veggies begin to wilt, it’s time to add the spices and grains. Stir in the cinnamon, and cumin, and then the star of our show, the cooked grain. Once liberally tossed cook for another 2 minutes and set the whole combination aside to cool.
2. Spicy Turkey Chili with Quinoa Recipe
We’ve covered savory, now it’s time to turn up the heat! This spicy turkey chili goes perfect with a game or just as a standalone dish. It’s a hot one so be ready with a tall glass of water or milk. Of course these are all quinoa recipes, and since it uses turkey instead of beef, it’s a much healthier option for those looking for a spicy meal.
Here’s what you’ll need:
• ¾ lb. lean ground turkey
• 15 ½ ounce can of Dark Kidney Beans
• 14 ½ ounce can of Diced Tomatoes
• 2 Chillies
• 1 cup yellow onions (diced)
• ½ a lime’s juice
• 4 ounces cooking quinoa (make sure to rinse first before cooking)
• ½ cup frozen corn
• 1 tablespoon chili powder
• ½ teaspoon cumin
• 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
• ¼ teaspoon paprika
• 2 pinches kosher salt (to taste)
• Freshly ground pepper (to taste)
• 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
• 2 tablespoons coconut oil
• Shredded cheddar cheese
• Full cream sour cream
Spicy Turkey Chili Quinoa
Stir the ½ of the onions and all of the chilies in coconut oil over medium high heat for 4 minutes. Be sure to avoid the strong chillie fumes as the steam burns. Add the ground turkey, stirring periodically until the turkey has turned white, which should take around 5 minutes. Add in the aforementioned superfood and stir till the mixture is well mixed. Add in the remaining ingredients also stirring frequently for another minute. Cover the pot and reduce heat to medium-low and cook for another 20 minutes, stirring periodically. Serve with the uncooked portion of the onions and add the cheese and sour cream as toppings.
3. Quinoa Apple Smoothie Recipe
For a quick and nutritious breakfast try this delicious smoothie
Here’s what you’ll need (for 2 people);
Wash the quinoa and boil in water with the cinnamon added, until soft. Then remove the cinnamon stick and strain the quinoa. Put into the blender with the almond milk, add the honey. Slice the apple and add together with walnuts, with other ingredients into the blender. Add ice if you want a cool smoothie, and blend. You may change the apple for mango, banana or paw paw, as you wish for some more variety. Enjoy your quick and healthy breakfast, loaded with protein.
I hope you’ll enjoy these three quinoa recipes, they each have a distinct flavour and go well with a myriad of side dishes. They are each packed with protein and iron, so they leave you feeling full and satisfied, all absolutely delicious and easy to make. These recipes go to show that you don’t have to eat blandly to eat healthy, and it’s easy to incorporate a super food like quinoa with other healthy and tasty ingredients to please your palate.
I’m going to share with you, the simple recipe for a juice that I have been drinking during the last month, which I’ve found has great results for my body. It’s really easy to prepare, tastes great, and I’m sure it will give you a boost too!
What’s in it?
Carrots are rich in carbohydrates, beta-carotene, phosphorus, calcium, vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, C, E and K, Folate, Niacin and Pantothenic Acid. Carrots are considered one of the most important sources to guard against eye disease, premature aging and cardiovascular problems.
Beetroot is a source of B vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, B6 and also contains vitamin C, Potassium, Carotenoids and Folate. The beetroot’s components are said to help to decrease the development of cancer in the lungs, skin and liver and also, reduces anaemia and regulates the thyroid.
Apples are rich in vitamins A, B6, C, E, K, Folic Acid, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus and Potassium. They’re also a source of fibre that helps with the digestive system
Ginger contains over eighty nutrients, and adds great flavour to whatever you add it to, so what more reasons do you need? Well, it’s said to help with gastro relief, nausea and morning sickness during pregnancy, has anti-inflammatory effects, protects against colorectal cancer, induces cell death in ovarian cancer cells, and has immune boosting properties.
What’s in it for you?
As mentioned, the Folate contained in the beetroot and carrot helps in the formation of red and white blood cell in the body, thus helping to fortify the immune system.
As a result of these powerful foods, beetroot, carrots, apple and ginger combined you will have a delicious juice which deliver a lot of vitamins and fibre to support the immune system and the weight loss process, because the level of satisfaction that it provides will help your body to fight off cravings. A glass of this in the morning does really fill you up.
I found that since I started to make this juice, my nails have gotten stronger and my hair is growing faster, I am not craving chocolates and sweets as I sometimes did before, for the satisfaction that I have, as this is a nice tasting treat as well as a health kick.
I usually make and drink this juice every morning on an empty stomach before breakfast. I prepare this juice for two people every day, so you might want to halve the ingredients if you don’t need that much.
Sometimes I add celery, just for an extra dose of fibre, but I believe you don’t really need it, because the taste of this drink is awesome and it’s already pack full of benefits for your body.
Just chop each of the raw ingredients into chunks, put them through the juicer and drink straight away while fresh.
It’s easy and nutritious, and even your kids will like it, so you can keep them away from the sugar laden sweet drinks that are constantly pushed to them.
Great for the dedicated fitness trainer, or the whole family.
Try this simple recipe for yourself, and share your results with us!
Looking for some great ideas for tasty treats?
Try some of these 31 healthy dessert recipes.
Want Some Free Active Wear?
We're giving away $150 worth in our latest contest