How to power up your diet

Glamour (South Africa) - - Glamour 2017 March -

1 Toss the fake foods Clear out the highly pro­cessed snacks (like chips and store-bought pastries), pack­aged diet foods (think frozen din­ners and fat-free cook­ies), soda (in­clud­ing diet ver­sions) and any­thing that con­tains high-fruc­tose corn syrup. Tone it up tip Stick to the nat­u­ral stuff when it comes to sweet­en­ers. Maple syrup, honey, ste­via and co­conut crys­tals are the best al­ter­na­tives. 2 Pri­ori­tise pro­tein You should have four to five serv­ings of pro­tein ev­ery day. Pro­tein sta­bilises your blood sugar lev­els and keeps hunger at bay. Veg­e­tar­ian? No prob­lem. Eggs, Greek yo­gurt, quinoa, tofu, tem­peh, legumes, chia seeds, hemp seeds, spir­ulina and al­mond, co­conut and soy milk all pack a pro­tein punch. Tone it up tip Eat a pro­tein-rich snack within 30 min­utes of your work­out to re­cover faster. 3 Choose your carbs wisely Opt for nu­tri­ent-packed whole grains – like whole oats, quinoa, ama­ranth, mil­let, brown rice and bar­ley – and stick to low GI carbs, like sweet pota­toes, fruits and non-starchy veg­eta­bles. These foods don’t spike in­sulin lev­els. Tone it up tip Con­sum­ing low GI carbs prior to your work­out can help burn 55% more fat dur­ing ex­er­cise than if you con­sumed high GI carbs, like sug­ary sports drinks.

4 Go for good fats Un­sat­u­rated fats like the kind found in av­o­ca­dos, sal­mon and olive oil can help keep your mind sharp, your skin youth­ful, your en­ergy high and your heart healthy. Limit sat­u­rated fats by eat­ing red meat once a week and stick­ing to low-fat yo­gurts. And avoid trans fats al­to­gether; they’ve been linked to heart dis­ease, obe­sity and de­pres­sion. Tone it up tip Love cheese? It’s OK to in­dulge once in a while. When pos­si­ble, choose soft cheeses, which are lower in sat­u­rated fat.

5 Drink a lot and of­ten De­hy­dra­tion can slow your me­tab­o­lism, so make sure to stay hy­drated through­out the day. The min­i­mum amount of wa­ter you need daily is 30ml per kg of your body weight. So if you weigh 68kg, you should be tak­ing in at least 2 litres of wa­ter. Tone it up tip Re­hy­drate af­ter a work­out with co­conut wa­ter. It helps re­plen­ish lost elec­trolytes.

6 Load up on fi­bre Make it a part of ev­ery meal. Fi­bre keeps your blood sugar lev­els sta­ble and en­sures your di­ges­tion runs smoothly. And it can lower your risk of heart dis­ease, can­cer and other chronic dis­eases. Tone it up tip Snack on raw fruits and veg­gies. The gor­geous raw-food glow is real!

7 Say say­onara to salt Too much salt causes your body to re­tain wa­ter (which can lead to a puffy face and bloated belly). Avoid high-sodium foods, like soy sauce, to­mato sauce, bot­tled salad dress­ings, canned soup, deli meat and frozen din­ners. Tone it up tip The rec­om­mended daily al­lowance for sodium is no more than 2 300mg per day, but we also rec­om­mend lim­it­ing your in­take to 1 500mg per day.

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