If I exercise in the morning, I do so in a fasted state with no problem at all, mostly because I believe I have metabolically adapted to using stored fat for fuel. I enjoy being active, but my fitness regime has never been as easy and laid back as it is now. After spending years doing steady-state cardio 5 days a week to help keep my weight in check, I now go for fun, enjoyable runs once or twice a week (because I love it!), I practice yoga regularly, I play with my kids, I ride my bike when the weather is nice and squeeze in some short HIIT workouts when time and energy allows – and I walk a lot! Some days I can get out for hour, other days I only have 15 minutes to spare. I don’t panic if I “miss a workout”, I change it up frequently based on what’s going on in my life (and the weather.) I now understand that your diet and the foods you choose to eat has the biggest impact on your overall physique. Exercise and staying active are absolutely an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but what and how you eat matters more in terms of body composition.
Prioritise lean protein like beef, turkey, eggs, fish, chicken, and tofu. In a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, participants were either assigned a 12 per cent or 25 per cent protein diet. While the first group lost 11 pounds on average, the high-protein participants shedded around 20 pounds and ditched twice as much belly fat as the low-protein subjects.
Eat More Produce. Eating lots of low-calorie, high-volume fruits and vegetables crowds out other foods that are higher in fat and calories. Move the meat off the center of your plate and pile on the vegetables. Or try starting lunch or dinner with a vegetable salad or bowl of broth-based soup, suggests Barbara Rolls, PhD, author of The Volumetrics Eating Plan. The U.S. government's 2005 Dietary Guidelines suggest that adults get 7-13 cups of produce daily. Ward says that's not really so difficult: "Stock your kitchen with plenty of fruits and vegetables and at every meal and snack, include a few servings," she says. "Your diet will be enriched with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, and if you fill up on super-nutritious produce, you won't be reaching for the cookie jar."