Losing weight and getting up – two of the most common goals that people have when it comes to their health. And while countless online programs, sports challenges and detoxification plans for tea promise you these effects (often & # 39; at night) with their unique formulas, I am sorry to say that you really can't beat a healthy, balanced diet . So, here's how you nail the healthiest version of yourself, once and for all.
If weight loss is your goal, you will be happy to hear that it is not necessary to starve yourself or resort to the newest and best craze (take that, keto warriors). Instead, I recommend starting with small, realistic changes that you can collect over time. It is a much more sustainable approach than a crazy crash diet.
The first place to start is with the core food groups, as these should form the basis of your diet. To keep you informed, if you are a woman between 19 and 50, this is the recommended amount for each day:
1. Five servings of vegetables – usually non-starchy varieties. A serving is a cup of raw vegetables or half a cup of cooked vegetables.
2. Two types of fruit – think of an apple, two kiwi's or a cup of berries.
3. Six portions of cereals – preferably whole-grain. One portion is equal to one slice of bread, half a cup of cooked rice, pasta or noodles, or a quarter cup of muesli.
4. Two and a half portions of protein – more on that later.
5. Two and a half serves dairy or alternatives – usually less fat. One portion is one cup of milk, three-quarters of a cup of yogurt or two slices of hard cheese.
When I work with clients to lose weight, the first step I usually take is to compare their current diet with these guidelines, and recommend a few important changes to help them on their way to healthy eating. They usually see their results fairly quickly by simply adjusting their intake to focus on their core goals for the food group.
Once the core food groups are down-pat, the next step is to focus on discretionary choices (think of: chocolate or wine). These foods are a common culprit for many extra calories that can lead to weight gain over time. It therefore pays to use portions and to save as much as possible on these foods, but of course balance is important. So, for what it's worth, that means for me a small portion of chocolate or some wine on the weekend a few days a week – but certainly not every day!
If you want to build muscle mass, you probably think that you have to spend a lot on protein shakes and supplements. That is what the gym junkies do, right? But chances are that you are probably already eating much more than you actually need – and extra food will not automatically be converted into increased muscle mass.
So how much is enough? If you are a woman between the ages of 19 and 50, it is recommended that you use just two and a half portions of protein per day (yes, you read that correctly). One portion is only 65 grams of cooked red meat, 80 grams of cooked poultry or 100 grams of cooked fish. Two eggs, a can of tuna or 170 grams of tofu also count as serving. Spreading this protein content throughout the day is also recommended.
For the average Joe to build muscle, you need to combine a healthy diet with resistance training two to three times a week. That does not mean that you have to pump iron into the gym every day – body weight exercises in your lounge area or in the local park also count.
Melissa Meier is an online and Sydney-based Accredited Practicing Dietitian. You can contact her at www.honestnutrition.com.au or on Instagram @honest_nutrition.