Dr. Phil Shares: What To Eat To Shed The Pounds

 There’s no getting around it — if you want to lose weight, your nutrition game needs to be on point. As the saying goes, you can’t outrun a bad diet.

But, there’s nothing worse than suffering through a diet that makes you miserable — especially when you still don’t see the results you want. Many fad diets are based on rules that are easy to memorize — No starchy carbs! Fast for 16 hours every day! — but are impossible to sustain.

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Eating healthy isn’t supposed to be a temporary blip. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, it takes commitment.

If that sounds daunting, it’s probably because you’re used to diets that kind of suck. But they don’t have to. Eating healthy isn’t about swearing off your favorite foods and nibbling on kale leaves all day. It’s about learning to fuel your body the right way and understand how to eat so you can lose weight without feeling deprived.

One of the most important lessons you can learn from losing weight successfully is how to eat healthfully. For the rest of your life.

We favor nutritionally balanced, long-term approaches to weight loss, but the truth of the matter is that counting calories, calculating macros, monitoring portion sizes, or even cleansing may or may not help you lose weight for a variety of reasons, many of which have to do with sustainability.

So, we’re not going to provide you with a list of 25 foods to eat that are “good” for weight loss. If that’s what you’re looking for, check out the detailed recommended food and beverage lists in the Beachbody Portion Fix Eating Plan or any Beachbody program nutrition guide.

But keep in mind that these are just places to start your healthy eating education. We want to drive home the facts that it’s your weight to lose, it’s your preferences, and it’s your life that should help guide you to what you should eat — not only to lose weight, but also to live a more vivacious life.

This isn’t to say that you won’t need to retrain your palate to accept whole foods without much adornment (ie., lots of added salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats), or that you won’t need to sacrifice the richness of some of your favorite comfort foods (we’re looking at you, mac and cheese) for healthier, slimmed-down versions, or that you won’t need to trim back on portion sizes. You will likely need to do all of these things in order to lose weight.

But, the key mindset to embrace is that you do have choices. You ultimately get to determine what will and won’t go into your weekly meal plans. What you eat to lose weight shouldn’t be all that different from what you eat to maintain your health after you shed the excess pounds. So, yes, you’ll likely need to cut calories to lose weight, but you’ll also need to learn how to eat differently to maintain your results.

No matter which way you prefer to cut calories, you should focus on improving the quality of the calories you do ingest first and foremost. We’ve reduced it to three simple steps you can start today to maximize the calories you do consume when you want to lose weight.

3 STEPS TO
SHED POUNDS

 and Eat Healthy
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 1. Drink water first and most.

When you’re trying to lose weight, cleaning up your diet also means watching what you drink. If done right, juices or shakes can be healthy weight-loss tools to enhance your nutrition plan, and Shakeology is a good way to assure you’re getting plenty of nutrients when eating at a deficit (or anytime!). Just try to keep your calories from beverages to a minimum (most Shakeology varieties contain about 160 calories per scoop).

Of course, water is calorie-free and incredibly good for you. Beachbody recommends you drink your body weight, divided by two, in ounces. So if you weigh 150 pounds — that would be 150 divided by 2, which equals 75. That’s 75 ounces of water you should be drinking every day. To a die-hard soda drinker (even a diet soda drinker) or someone who doesn’t think about hydration much at all, this might seem like a lot of extra trips to the bathroom. To make all that plain water more palatable, try:

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  • Carbonated water. Try flavored varieties without added sugar, artificial sweeteners, and caloriesUnsweetened tea. Use caffeine-free tea if desired, and spruce up the flavor with lemon or lime slices, or muddled fruit
  • Adding sliced citrus, cucumbers, strawberries, pineapples, or fresh mint leaves
  • Adding citrus peels
  • Flavoring with natural combos: ginger + cucumber + mint, or pineapples + orange peel, or strawberries + kiwi + basil.

Your mom may have told you as a 5-year-old not to fill your belly with liquid so you’d eat some dinner, but feel free to defy that rule as an adult. In fact, one study published in the journal Obesity asked 84 obese adults to either drink two cups of plain water before their main meals every day for three months, or to imagine the feeling of being full. Those who drank water before their meals lost about 2.6 pounds more than those who didn’t. These findings suggest that drinking water before your meals may be an easy way to take the edge off hunger, and possibly stop you from eating too much.

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2. Replace refined, processed foods with whole ones.

It may seem obvious that in order to lose weight and eat healthier, you need to cut way back on fried foods, creamy casseroles, and sugary confections, but it may seem less obvious what to eat instead.

As much as possible, try to cut back on highly processed foods, such as frozen meals, packaged snacks, sugar-laden cereals, bottled sauces, meats with added preservatives, etc. Instead, choose whole foods, such as vegetables, fruits, raw nuts and seeds, lean proteins (ie., chicken, turkey, eggs, tempeh), healthy fats (ie., avocados, hummus, extra-virgin olive oil, nut butters), and whole grains (ie., oatmeal, barley, whole-grain bread, brown rice).

Whole foods provide nutrient-dense fuel that contribute to greater satiety (when compared to processed foods).

The naturally occurring fiber, water (in foods like fruits and vegetables), or protein in these foods can contribute to an increased feeling of satisfaction — often with less food (read: fewer calories).

Protein can help you feel satiated longer than carbohydrates or fat. This may be due to increased thermogenesis (the metabolic process of your body burning calories), which influences that physiological “I’m satisfied” feeling you have after consuming higher amounts of protein.

Fiber, a form of carbohydrate found in plants that humans lack the enzyme to digest, helps us feel fuller on fewer calories. A food diary analysis of successful MyFitnessPal (MFP) users (defined as those who came within five percent of their goal weights) revealed the faithful food trackers who came closest to their goals ate 30 percent more fiber. That may seem like a lot, but really the difference was only three grams per day more than other MFP users — the equivalent of having one small apple or swapping a traditional English muffin for a whole wheat one.

3. Add volume with vegetables.

Volumetrics is a way of eating that may help you feel satisfied by consuming foods with low calorie density, or less calories for any given amount. It’s essentially a fancy way of telling people to eat the majority of their calories from mostly vegetables and fruits.

Low calorie density foods such as apples are higher in fiber and water, so you’re able to eat more in volume for a similar amount of calories (compared to a higher calorie density food such as apple pie). There’s evidence to say that fiber helps you feel fuller faster, and keeps you satiated long after you eat. A small study did find that water incorporated into food (as in the case of soup) did help subjects eat less, but not if that same amount of water was served in a glass on the side.

One study confirms that when people eat foods low in energy density, their total daily calories are significantly less than when they eat foods high in energy density.

If you’re hoping that eating more whole foods will help you lose weight, you’ll want to eat these foods in lieu of processed foods, not in addition to them. Because, in the end, weight loss generally boils down to eating fewer calories.

Why Your Heart Rate Stays High After Working Out

Why Your Heart Rate Stays High After Working Out

Hi Judy,

First off, it’s not a dangerous situation, so you can also choose to let your body handle it over time. But since you’re finding it uncomfortable, let’s go through the various causes – likely you’ll realize one (or more) of them will is the culprit. You may also be inspired to know the strategies covered here will lead to better and quicker results from your workouts.

Your workout is hard, which is good, but…

The main reason your heart rate doesn’t drop back down quickly is your workout was hard and your body is having trouble cooling down. The simplest solution would be to try less hard, but that’s a poor choice since it will slow your results. Instead, the following tips will fix your situation. It’s a compound issue, so practicing all of them every time you workout is going to help your situation more than just incorporating one of them. It’s also important to note that it doesn’t matter what kind of workout you’re doing. If it’s hard, these are your answers.

Lengthen Your Cool Down

Your body will cool down on its own, over time, but you can help it do this quicker. Beachbody workouts tend to have short cool downs, which is because almost all of our customers are worried about how much time they have to exercise, but we always encourage more if you need it.

You will often hear our trainers tell you to do whatever you need to recover after a workout. Many of our programs have a workout made for this slot. For example, in most of The Asylum workouts, Shaun T will recommend you do Relief, if you need it.

A cool down is designed primarily to help you slow your heart rate and stretch or, to be more precise, lengthen muscle fibers that have been contracted during your workout. This action enhances your body’s ability to recover beyond what it will do naturally, and your heart rate will follow suit.

Up Your Hydration

Lack of hydration is probably the number one reason your heart rate is slow to slow. Most of us are chronically dehydrated and should drink more water daily. Even if you’re not chronically dehydrated, workouts speed up the dehydration process and one of the first symptoms of dehydration is elevated heart rate. Dehydration can also lead to your heart rate not going as high as you’d like it to during workouts but don’t get confused, it’s part of the same problem. When you’re dehydrated, your heart doesn’t work right. That means it won’t go as high or as low as it should.

The best hydration strategy is to drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up and do this every couple of hours until you go to bed. You should aim to drink at least half your weight in ounces each day.

During exercise, you deplete quicker, which is why most trainers build water breaks into their workouts. You should not ignore them! You’ve probably also heard that electrolytes, or body salts, are an important part of hydration. This is true, but we’ll look at them as a part of nutrition.

Fuel Your Body Properly Pre, During, and Post-Workout

Proper nutrition helps your body rebuild quickly after exercise, and slows how quickly you break down during exercise. A proper nutritional strategy can help you recover much, much quicker. This is a broad topic, and entire books have been written on it, but here’s a brief overview.

You should go into your workout properly hydrated, which includes not only water, but also electrolytes. Electrolytes are an array of minerals, primarily sodium and potassium. Most people get enough salt in their diets—too much in fact—but healthy people often get too little because they’re eating fewer processed foods. If you’re on a healthy, whole food diet, you probably get enough salt for daily activity but not enough for exercise.

This is where a good sports drink comes into play. Unfortunately, most people use these drinks when watching sports, which is bad for you. Many mainstream sports drinks know this, and formulate more for taste than necessity. You want to drink sports drinks when you’re exercising (or playing a sport) because then, you’ll quickly put their ingredients to use. Look for more boutique lines of sports drinks, as these tend to have less sugar and more diverse electrolyte mixtures, and are a much better choice for fueling your workout.

Workout performance and recovery are the greatest influences on how quickly your body achieves results and the key times to fuel for those are pre- and post-workout. Going into a workout properly fueled enhances your ability to train harder. Proper fueling post-workout, when your body’s blood sugar (technically called glucose and glycogen) will greatly enhance recovery (up to 400% according to some studies), and the quicker you recover, the faster your heart rate slows down.

What you should eat pre and post-workout are broad subjects but there are many products on the market designed to fill these slots with targeted calories that are used efficiently by your body.

In closing, your body’s heart rate slows after a workout based upon how quickly your body recovers from the effort. This can be influenced by cooling down properly, hydrating completely, and following a diet that includes solid pre, during, and post-workout strategies.

Thanks To Beachbody.com for content