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When the goal is to lose fat
By Becky Conti, C.P.T.
When the goal is to lose fat, sometimes people focus on the quantity of what they are eating more than on the quality and types of food they are putting in their mouths. In all reality, up to 80% of successful results in weight loss depends on diet alone. While food quantity is definitely important, fat loss results will almost certainly plateau if the wrong foods are being consumed.
Today’s society is very fast-moving and busy so it’s often hard to resist all the “quick and easy” meal options that are available. The problem with fast food or packaged meals and snacks is that they are highly processed and contain chemicals, preservatives, excess sodium and are often packed with saturated fat and sugar. Even pre-packaged “diet” meals contain added sodium and preservatives. These foods can result in blood sugar spikes, excess fat storage, low energy levels, and bloating. In order to attain the best fat loss (and health) results, it’s best to stick to foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.
Whole grain and whole wheat pasta, brown rice, rolled oats, potatoes and sweet potatoes, cream of wheat, 100% whole wheat bread, beans and legumes, fruits such as berries, apples, and melons, and veggies are all carbs that are unprocessed and retain all of their natural nutrients and fiber. They won’t spike blood sugar and will be used more efficiently for energy instead of fat for storage!
As with carbs, protein that is unprocessed is always best. Also, some protein can be high in saturated animal fats, which should be highly avoided. Lean protein that is close to its natural state includes skinless chicken breast, skinless turkey breast, pork tenderloin, white fish and salmon, shellfish, lean beef (loin or round), egg whites, and low-fat cottage cheese. Whey protein powder is also a great way to consume lean protein.
Anything natural and unsaturated is the way to go. It’s best to stick to Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats such as olive oil, flax seed oil, avocado, nuts and seeds, and natural nut butters.
Switching over to an unprocessed and natural food diet might take some getting used to and will probably require more cooking and preparation in some cases, but the results will be incomparable. Fat loss can be a difficult task, but if the diet is clean and natural fat won’t have a chance!
11 Tips to Improve Skin Elasticity During Weight Loss
Weight loss can be a long, demanding, process. For some people it can require huge motivation and hard work every day, in the kitchen and in the gym. Research shows that people who had an increased weight for years also tend to get it back easily once they manage to lose it as the body “thinks” this is the natural weight and will fight to get back to it. This process of losing and gaining weight can reduce skin elasticity and prevent people from seeing actual results due to this. Here are the best tips to improve skin elasticity during the weight lost process.
1. Quit smoking and drinking
If you are looking to improve your health and lose weight you probably know not to smoke or drink. But there is probably nothing worse than this you can do to your skin`s health and appearance.
2. Drink more water
Drinking water improves overall health. Water improves skin elasticity and tightness. Water also improves the radiant look of the skin making it look healthier. As you increase the weight loss efforts you need to drink at least 5-6 glasses of water each day. There is no simple way around this and carrying an extra water bottle in the car or at the office can make things a lot easier.
3. Build muscle
Developed muscles give a solid base for the skin. Increased muscle mass also helps with burning calories outside the gym and will also help with your weight-loss goals. Make sure to include some resistance training along with your weight-loss routine to start developing the muscles of the body.
4. Study nutrition
Proper nutrition is not learnt in a day or even a year. There is always something new to learn about healthy nutrition and constantly learning about it is a must for people looking to lose weight. Some of the best places to look for information are: online, bookstores, libraries, magazines, newspapers, apps etc.
There can be a lot of information on proper nutrition for the skin, but the basics involve:
• Eating fruits and vegetables daily for the antioxidants and vitamins (A,C, E)
• Eating fish of nuts for the benefits of Omega 3
• Including olive oil in your foods for the monounsaturated fatty acids
• Eating dark chocolate for the antioxidant properties of cocoa
• Drinking green tea to for an elastic skin and extra protection from the UV lights
• Eating orange peel to get the benefits of limonene, an essential oil which protects against UV lights
• Including rosemary and thyme into your food to reduce the risk of melanoma
• Eating 50 grams of soy per day to improve skin elasticity
• Including yellow peppers in your salads for reduced wrinkles
• Drinking moderate amounts of coffee to reduce the risk of skin cancer
• Eating kiwi every day to boost collagen synthesis
• Eating more carrots and pumpkins to improve skin look
• Eating oysters to improve the Zinc levels in the skin
• Eating grass-fed beef to get the protein needed to build elastin and collagen
• Eating Greek yogurt to make the skin firmer
5. Avoid scam products
The market is packed with products promising to give back the elasticity to your skin. Most of them don`t work or promise better results than they can actually achieve. Other dubious products include body wraps that don`t do anything on the long term and they can actually cut-off circulation if set too tight.
6. Lose weight gradually
Everybody wants to lose weight fast. Supplement companies sell the idea of losing X amount of fat in X amount of days. But fast is not best when it comes to skin health. You need to let your skin adapt to the weight loss and the best way to do it is to go for a controlled, paced, weight loss program.
7. Take proper supplements
There are many supplements that don`t do anything to improve skin health. This being said, fish oil tends to be recommended for improved elasticity. Gelatin supplements can also be beneficial. Gelatin intake can improve collagen production which is a solid base for an elastic skin.
There are plenty of natural skin moisturizers but we`ll stop at coconut oil as it has so many benefits. The oil can minimize skin wrinkles. Coconut oil comes packed with Vitamin E which is allows the skin to stay hydrated.
9. Get a massage
There are so many massage techniques available that it would be wise to start using a weekly service. Massages can improve blood circulation in the skin. You can even do it yourself as the most problematic area would be around the waist for most people.
10. Consider sun damage
Too much sun exposure can cause skin cancer but it can also reduce skin elasticity. It is best to limit the time spent sun bathing either outdoors or indoor with tanning beds.
11. Avoid chlorinated water
Swimming in pools with chlorinated water can dry out the skin and damage skin cells. Avoiding chlorinated water or take a shower immediately after the swim if you have to.
In the end the most important thing to remember is that you need to have patience with regaining your skin elasticity. The process can be different for many people and it can depend on many factors, genetics included. Another factor to keep in mind is the age. As we age our bodies start to diminish collagen production. This means that an elderly person will have to wait considerably longer than a younger person to regain elasticity after a considerable weight loss.
Additionally you need to add the right “base” for healthy skin such as proper nutrition, good daily hydration and good supplements. And finally one of the best advices is to do resistance training to increase muscle mass. This will help provide a solid base for the skin and it will also go well with increased quality protein intake which will benefit both the muscles and the skin.