In case fat loss wasn’t reason enough for you to clean up your nutrition, here are some not-so-obvious reasons to tighten up the reigns on your diet right now :)
1] Clean up your diet = clean up your skin. You can wash your face like crazy but if you diet is off, you will see it on your skin. Insulin-producing foods such as those containing high amount of sugar as well as dairy can have a negative impact on acne development, as well as soy, wheat and peanuts to those who are susceptible. Acne is a gut issue, not a clean linens issue!
2] Better Quality Sleep. When you stabilize blood sugar throughout the day by eating more frequently and eating meals that contain lean protein and satiating fiber, your slumber will be more satisfying. We all have experienced eating a big sugary dessert or having a few too many glasses of wine before bed and how it can disrupt sleep. Either we can’t get to sleep or more often, we are wide awake in the middle of the night, and for people with Restless Legs Syndrome, this can be exacerbated by sugar and alcohol. Stick with protein and veggies for optimal sleep.
3] Improved Sex Drive. Look who’s back! Sugar and alcohol are notorious culprits when it comes to low libido. Blood sugar nose-drives, which can happen upon consumption of super-sugary meals or big meals leaves most people feeling lethargic and unmotivated (not to mention stuffed!), not the best conditions for getting on it :) Stabilizing blood sugar via frequent smaller meals is key, as is consuming foods higher in fiber and protein. Often overweight individuals will experience sexual disfunction more than their normal-weight counterparts, thus weight loss and weight-training exercise (via increased testosterone release) can significantly improve sexual function and drive. Unsweetened cocoa powder may help boost levels of dopamine, which is an excitatory neurotransmitter involved in the arousal process. Hello chocolate!
4] Get rid of gas! Funny…but not so much when it’s you! This is a simple truth, yet people are not talking about it: farting all the time is NOT NORMAL. If you frequently have gas, bloating, abdominal pains, etc, you have some sort of GI issue. Something you are eating is not working for you. Take a look at your diet and check out these common culprits: protein powders, protein bars (many have artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols), splenda and anything else with artificial sweeteners: SF gum, Crystal Light, SF pudding, SF candy, etc, as well as some real foods like eggs, broccoli, beans, legumes, soy, dairy products and/or eating a lot of sugary/starchy foods. Cleaning up your diet moving towards more real food, increasing fiber, fruit and vegetables will help lower gas and bloat.
5] Better Quality Workouts. Simple truth: crappy food leads to crappy workouts. Eating whole, nutritious foods will not only optimally power your workouts but also provide adequate recovery nutrients and vitamins/minerals to optimize performance. Though I hate to admit it, I used to be someone who worked out so that I could eat whatever I wanted and guess what I chose? Starch on top of sugar on top on alcohol on top of more starch…ugh. Ask my Monday morning workout partner how I fared in those workouts!! Quality nutrition should accompany quality gym time so make the best gains and achieve the best fat loss results. The focus should be on lean, clean proteins, fruits and veggies and clean carbs like sweet potatoes, brown rice and oatmeal.
6] Bye-Bye PMS and Cramps. Anyone who has ever been on a clean diet and then came off (i.e. after a competition) knows that PMS symptoms can come back with a vengeance. Many believe that cramps and PMS symptoms are set, as in, some people just have them and others don’t. The truth is that your diet and hormonal balance between estrogen, progesterone and testosterone have a huge impact. For example, sugar, alcohol, a low vegetable diet and being overweight can negatively impact the estrogen to progesterone ratio, making you more “estrogenic” and potentially making cramping more severe during your menses. Estrogen is released by the fat cells, thus the more fat you have, the potentially more estrogenic you can be–symptoms include breast tenderness (or even fibrocystic breasts), storing fat in the hips and thighs and increased cramping during menses. Taking certain nutritional precautions can help you lower your estrogen to progesterone ratio and have a dramatic effect on your cramping and PMS symptoms. Make sure you eat vegetables from the Brassica family like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts, bok choy and cabbage. Green tea is a power food for you and you should drink it daily as this beverage will help you detox estrogen, shed water and help to clear out fat from the hips, buttocks and thighs. If you drink coffee, switch to organic coffee. Conventionally grown coffee is loaded with pesticides, which are typically pro-estrogen. Some other foods that should definitely be bought organic include include spinach, broccoli, apples, strawberries, celery and blueberries. Bison is preferred over beef because bison is not raised with added hormones.
Try to implement a healthier, fat loss nutrition plan for fat loss, but also for some great, unexpected health benefits! Let me know what you think :) ox Jill