Learn how to start eating healthy, clean and my basic tips to help you start a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy will provide more benefits than losing weight, such as better energy, a happier mood and a healthier inner you. The reason why most people don’t lose weight, build muscle, or see progress is due to their Nutrition. You can do tons of cardio, workout like crazy, but if you don’t eat healthy and change your eating habits, you won’t see results. It is true what they say, “You are what you eat.”
I will give you the most beneficial tips on a series of blog posts on to get you started today on your path to eating healthy.
But, how do you start eating healthy if you have no clue where to start?
In order to start Eating Healthy, first you need an introduction of what Macronutrients and Micronutrients are.
These are the essential nutrients that our bodies need in large amounts such as, carbohydrates, proteins, fats and water. You get these from your diet.
These are essential nutrients the body needs in small amounts, such as vitamins and minerals, which you can get from diet or supplements.
Why do we need Carbohydrates?
They are the most essential nutrient we need because our bodies obtain energy primarily from the “glucose” in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose and glucose is stored as glycogen mostly in our livers and very little in our muscles. When we eat carbohydrates, our insulin levels go up depending on the level of glycemic index of the carbohydrate. Our aim in eating healthy is to keep insulin levels balanced and avoid that huge sugar spike, which is mainly caused by simple sugars and fast digesting sugars. You want to avoid that sugar crash that makes you want to fall asleep!
What the benefits of carbohydrates?
Here is a list of the benefits of carbohydrates:
- Primary source of energy our body and brain use.
- Glucose is the only energy source the brain uses! You need Carbohydrates in your diet!
- 1 gram = 4 Calories/gram
- Help with correct functioning of our bodies.
- Provide immediate energy, especially useful around workouts or activities that require energy.
- They stimulate production of serotonin, the “happy” hormone!
- They provide fiber, which helps you lose weight, decrease Cholesterol and help you feel fuller faster.
- When you eat complex carbs, your system will digest them slower, therefore not provoking a pike in blood sugar and insulin levels. Insulin is an anabolic hormone that prevents the body from burning fat. This is why is important to avoid “white flour” made carbs (refined carbohydrates).
Carbohydrates are divided in two types, simple sugars and complex carbohydrates
- Complex carbohydrates
- absorb slow
- are starchier and have a higher amount of cellulose and fiber
- foods such as whole grains, legumes, cereals, whole grain pastas, quinoa (is a seed, not a grain), starchier vegetables (sweet potato, potatoes, corn, etc).
- Simple carbohydrates
- absorb fast
- foods such as fruits, vegetables, milk (lactose is the sugar in milk), and white rice
Will Carbohydrates make me gain weight?
Anything in excess will make you gain weight. Anything in moderation will benefit your fitness goals. The truth is that people gain weight due to excess amount of refined carbohydrates (white flour based foods) and refined sugars (cakes, cookies, chips, etc), versus eating fat sources. You need to be careful of the amounts and qualities of the carbohydrates you consume.
You want to avoid eating the “bad” sources of carbohydrates and focus on eating “good” sources of carbohydrates. I will explain more below.
Which are the carbohydrates that are bad to eat?
You want to stay away from those made from refined flours and sugars. Avoid anything made with white flour, such as pastries, cakes, and/or sugary goodies.
Carbohydrates you want to avoid are in the pictures below. These are refined, processed and some high in sugar.
Which are the carbohydrates that are good to eat?
Now, when it applies to eating healthy, we want to get most of our carbohydrates from fruits, assorted colored vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Nuts and seeds also provide carbohydrates and fats to our diet and those are healthy too.
Complex Carbohydrates you want to eat.
What time should I consume carbohydrates?
You want to consume them early on the day, especially around your workouts. You body needs carbohydrates as main source of energy to fuel your workouts, therefore I suggest to consume fast digesting carbohydrates (simple sugars like a banana or apple. You can do a Protein Shake click link for recipes). If you don’t consume fast digesting carbs before/after your workouts, your body will use proteins as the main fuel, which is a bad thing if you are trying to build muscle!
Check this article The Benefits Of Post-Workout Carbohydrates
Keep your carbohydrates on your first 3-4 meals of the day, especially breakfast and pre-workout and post-workout meals. Avoid eating carbohydrates after 7 pm if your goal is to lose weight.
I hope you loved learning about carbs! They are really your allies and friends when it comes to losing weight. They are nutritious, delicious and make you happy! I get super moody when I’m low on carbohydrates and no one wants to be moody! Enjoy this healthy journey and learn to love your food.
Check out these links to help you get started on a healthy lifestyle!