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3 Foods You Didn’t Know You Need To Stay Away From To Lose Weight

3 Foods You Didn’t Know You Need To Stay Away From To Lose Weight

If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s easy to know the foods you’re “supposed” to stay away from. With donuts, pizza and soft drinks it’s pretty easy to understand why you shouldn’t have them, even if they might be hard to give up sometimes. But what about other foods that are sabotaging your efforts? The ones that don’t seem bad on the surface, but when you dive in, you find out how difficult they really can make weight loss.

Here are 3 foods you probably didn’t know you should stay away from if you’re looking to lose weight:

Granola and Granola Bars

Granola sounds great! The advertisements are stacked with adventurous people in the outdoors hiking and doing other athletic things — so it’s gotta be great, right?

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Well, not so fast!

Granola and granola bars tend to be stacked with sugar and usually turn out to be nothing more than very well-marketed candy bars. If your granola bar tastes “just like a candy bar,” it’s probably because it’s stacked with all the same ingredients as a candy bar and packed with calories.

If you’re outside trekking through the mountains, a granola here or there won’t kill you, but otherwise you might want to cut back a little (or a lot).

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Skim Milk

Got milk? I hope not!

Milk (especially skim milk) is massively insulinogenic. That’s a big word that means it spikes your insulin levels as soon as you consume it in order to keep your blood sugar level within a normal range.

So what do high insulin levels do? Here’s a good in-depth explanation, but put simply, they tell your body to switch from “fat-burning” mode to “carb-burning” mode and tell your body to store any extra glucose that your body doesn’t need as fat.

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Because most people’s diets consume more fuel than they need and because our foods are so high in sugar, there’s usually a lot of glucose left over that ends up being stored as fat. In the end, chronically high insulin levels promote weight gain, inhibit fat loss and are a pre-cursor to type 2 diabetes. And milk is one of the foods that causes the most dramatic spikes. Yikes!

Instead of a big tall glass of skim milk for breakfast, stick to water, tea or coffee for your breakfast drinks instead.

Potatoes

Potatoes are incredibly high on the glycemic index, which measures the effect a food will have on your blood sugar and corresponding insulin response. On the conservative side, potatoes are an 82 (for points of reference, sugar scores 100 and pizza is an 80).

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On top of that, they’re packed with calories (150+ per serving) and carbohydrates (37g and up) as well. Both of which, in excess, contribute to weight gain.

If you must eat potatoes, go for their much healthier cousin, the sweet potato, for preference (and only in moderation). However, if you want to keep things simple, the next time you make steak and potatoes, stay away from the spuds and add some greens on the side instead.

What other foods do people typically assume are healthy, but aren’t? Have your say in the comments.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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