Monday, March 8, 2010

Primal Shopping For Fat Loss

Recent posts have centered around several core issues in health and fitness.  Fat loss, eating primal foods, and calories were central in all of them.  Today, I thought I'd talk about how to shop at your local grocery store in order to help you reach your fat loss and fitness goals.
In the end, calories take precedence over all.  But I believe eating, and that means shopping, primally is the healthiest way to reach your goals.  Keeping your diet devoid of processed carbohydrates and fats is essential in maintaining a heathy, anti-inflammatory body.

Limiting these processed foods also allows you to avoid huge spikes of glucose followed by massive rushes of insulin -- both leading to cardiovascular disease, obesity, & diabetes AND putting those folks at high risk for cancer.  Research has strongly sugggested that intakes of fat, saturated fat,and cholesterol are NOT the culprits in heart disease; but rather highly processed foods and beverages in the forms of carbohydrates and frankenfats.

Trying to live and eat primally can be a challenge, especially with the barrage of advertisements seen and heard on a daily basis for Coke, McDonald's, Subway, Taco Bell, KFC, Stouffer's, Kraft, get the picture.  So how do you live and eat primally in today's world?  Where and how should you shop at your local grocery merchant of choice.  Here's 5 tips to help:

1. Don't go to the store when you are hungry.  We've all heard this before, yet we often go when were are ravaged with hunger.  Eat before you go shopping.  If you don't eat, grab a big bottle of water, some hot tea, or some coffee while you are shopping.  It will keep your hands and mouth busy and keep your mind focused on what you need to buy for later, not what you want to eat now.

2. Shop on the perimeter of the store.  Think about what's usually on the perimeter of any supermarket.  Eggs, cheese, meats, fish, veggies, fruits.  That should make up most of your diet if you are living primally and fueling a healthy, active lifestyle.  You may also have bakery items on the perimeter -- stay away!  That's processed carbohydrates and fats at their best -- or worst.

3. Don't shop in the aisles.  You may need soups, broths, salsa, or frozen items but the majority of your shopping should be limited to the perimeter.  The aisles contain highly processed items, cereals, grains, pastas, and wheat products.  All contribute to an inflammatory response that your body will normally greet their presence with.  IF you choose to buy these items, consume them only around your most intense and larger muscle workouts.  Although, you are much better off consuming natural, starchy carbs like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yams.

4. Have a meal plan and make a list.  Think about anytime that you've had success at anything.  To be successful you need a plan.  It's no different with succeeding at your health, fitness, and fat loss goals.  You need a plan.  Plan out your meals for the week or, at least, for the next few days.  From that plan you should birth a list.  Plan your meals, make a list, and stick to the list.  I often cook in bulk so that I'm not constantly having to cook (although I end up cooking a lot anyway).  For example, I'll cook 2-4 lbs of chicken and I'll use that chicken in different ways for different meals.  Hard boiled eggs provide a great source of protein & fat; I always have them on hand.  Make sure you build-in contingency plans for days with little time to cook or unplanned snacks.  Protein should be the base of all meal plans.  40-50% of your calories from protein is a good benchmark.

5. Read labels.  By staying on the perimeter, you shouldn't have to do this too much.  However, if there is a label -- read it!  By reading the label, you'll avoid buying items with hidden sugar, loads of unneeded salt, and ingredients you can't pronounce.  If you are going to buy processed items, then the fewer the ingredients - the better.

If you want to lose body fat, build lean muscle, and live a healthy, symptom-free life then these 5 tips should help. 

Eat lots of protein, lots of veggies, moderate/high amounts of fat, and moderate amounts of fruits with limited amounts of processed food.  Limit your crap food to 20% of the time and either precede it or follow it with intense workouts and/or intermittent fasting.

And please trust me that the 5 tips I've put before you...they work!  I'm a living, breathing example.  If you haven't already, you can read about my life transformation here.

Until next time...

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