Fueling up your body correctly
When you think of the term “love handles,” the last thing that you probably envision is anything to do with love. Those big flabby flaps of fat on the front and sides (and sometimes even back!) are pretty unsightly. So much so, that you really don’t want to have to jog across the street when the light turns yellow.
Unfortunately, love handle areas are one of the first zones where fat on your body shows up, and is usually the last place for it to go. Indeed, whittling away those last portions of “stubborn fat” can seem almost impossible. Some people go on strict, yet misguided fad diets that actually don’t do much to help, while others log hours and hours of cardio but still don’t get the results they need.
That’s because tackling the love handle problem needs to be a multi-faceted approach in order to be effective. In that regard, we’ve put together a two-part program that will enable you to finally eliminate those last vestiges of stubborn fat deposits.
While having a proper fat-burning fitness regimen as well as making some changes to your lifestyle can be highly effective factors, the single most important way to lose fat is through your food intake. Therefore, including whole foods as the main bulk of your daily food intake can really alter your body composition. It’s also important to note that you should always stay away from processed and packaged foods since they not only contain inferior ingredients, but also can’t deliver anywhere near the amounts of nutrition that whole foods can.
In this first article we’re going to focus on empowering you through incorporating proper nutrition into your diet. Here are some crucial nutrition factors to follow:
- Strategic Mealtimes
It’s best time to eat the bulk of your daily carbohydrate intake either before or after your workout sessions. This will not only boost your energy levels for your exercises, but also help you to stave off hunger for longer periods, post-workout. Carbs not utilized for energy will be stored as fat, which is what you don’t want. Also, when you’ve just had a good workout, you tend to be less resistant to eating sugary, processed foods.
- Eat Healthy Fats
It’s a widely held perception that all fats are bad. It’s simply not true, because you need fats to get rid of the unwanted fat. Such foods as avocados, olive oil, fish and fish oils, seeds, and nuts contain healthy fats that can help to whittle away those abdominal fat stores.
- Water, Water, Water
Ever see those people in the gym carrying around large containers of water? Well they’re on the right track. Because when you’re thirsty, your brain will start telling you (erroneously) that you can satiate your thirst by eating food. Therefore, staying hydrated throughout the day can help to stave off hunger. We recommend a gallon per day.
- Switch to Organic
While some people shy away from organic foods because they usually cost a little more, the extra money spent actually goes a long way to improving one’s health. Research indicates that meat and dairy products derived by animals raised on free-range farms (grass-fed) contain upwards of 70% more omega-3 fatty acids.
- Spice Things Up
Dried, and especially fresh spices such as ginger or turmeric help alleviate any bodily inflammation. Inflammation is one of the main triggers for signaling the body to retain those unwanted body fat (and torso fat) reserves.
- Cut Out Alcohol
Not drinking isn’t just good for your health, but it also is great for changing your lifestyle. A single beer or glass of wine has well over 100 calories. So that bottle or glass of beer or wine that people have after work in order to unwind, and those “go-hard” weekends, can really increase your calorie intake. Remember, calories aren’t just in foods, but also in the liquids you ingest.
- Get Those Fruits & Veggies In
Americans typically don’t eat the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables, so do everything you can to incorporate them into your diet. Such things as putting green onions or bell peppers into your morning omelet, or carrying pre-cut vegetables or whole fruits to work with you can do wonders for your health, nutritionally. Farmer’s markets are optimal places to find organic, locally-grown veggies.
- Eliminate Protein and “Health” Bars
You see them in the store all the time, but most of these bars are so loaded to the brim with sugars that they’re really candy bars masquerading as something healthier. A much better alternative is to make your own protein bars, snacks, or trail mixes. In this way you are not only eating things that you can actually pronounce, but you also know exactly what goes into them.
Building a Better You
These nutrition tips can go a long way in increasing your health and fitness levels, as well as providing your body with more energy. They can also help to boost mental clarity and keep you more focused throughout the day.
In our next article we’ll detail two other critically important factors in changing your body composition for the better—