Hey, Empower Fitness Lab Readers, today we’re going to take a look at some common nutritional tips from our fitness professional, motivational speaker, and certified nutritionist Hakeem Akbar.
Today’s question: “How can I lose this belly?”
I’ve been asked this question so many times and yet my answer never changes. The first thing I ask the individual is “How’s your food?” All too common people always say I eat clean or I eat well. Once they say I eat clean or good I ask them how much they eat and that is when the real dilemma arises.
Most people don’t understand what a calorie (unit of energy) is, or how many calories are in the 3 macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat). This can be very challenging to understand but factor in children, work, and traffic and this can go unlearned.
Well, my job is to answer the questions and give you the necessary information to be successful in your healthy lifestyle.
What is Macronutrients?
Let’s deal with the macronutrients and exactly how many calories are in them per gram. 1 gram of carbs and proteins are 4 calories as 1g of fat is 9 calories. Now the first thing that people noticed is how fat is double the number of calories. Now, there are good fats and bad fats, just like there is a good sugar and bad sugar.
So, looking for the good version of our fat and sugar can have a drastic effect on the body and our energy levels. Now, something we’ve been told since we were kids was to eat your vegetables. Well, news flash people our parents knew exactly what they were talking about. Vegetables play a vital role in our body and can assist and aide in some problems we may be experiencing.
There has been numerous article about vegetables and there was one that quickly caught my eye. This article title is:
‘Which fruits & vegetables are best for weight loss‘
I found this article on Harvard Medical Publications online. Here’s a sneak peek of the article:
“Researchers tracked nearly 118,000 people in their 30s and 40s, collecting information about their eating habits every four years for 24 years. They found that over a four-year period, people who ate an extra daily serving of fruit shed about a half pound of weight, while those who ate an extra daily serving of vegetables lost a quarter-pound, on average.
But some fruits—especially berries, apples, and pears—were better than others for fostering weight loss. Among vegetables, soybeans, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and leafy greens were the winners. On the other hand, eating starchy veghealth.harvard.edu/healthy-eating/research-were-watching-which-fruits-and-vegetables-are-best-for-weight-lossetables like corn, peas, and potatoes was associated with weight gain.”(health.harvard.edu/healthy-eating/research)
This little sampler it illustrates how fruits & vegetables can help with weight loss. A simple trick I try to make sure is that I get a fruit in the morning with breakfast, a salad, with lunch and a salad with dinner. If you eat out for work and dinner many places give you a salad option.
Let’s make sure we get that salad dressing on the side and eat that fruit for the day. You’ll be amazed how much theses small steps can have a grand impact on your body.
Another component that is found in fruits & vegetables that we must not forget about is fiber. Dietary fiber or roughage is the indigestible portion of food derived from plants. It has two main components:
- Soluble fiber which dissolves in water is readily fermented in the colon into gasses and physiologically active byproducts and can be prebiotic and viscous. It delays gastric emptying which in turn can cause an extended feeling of fullness.
- Insoluble fiber, which does not dissolve in water, is metabolically inert and provides bulking, or it can be prebiotic and metabolically ferment in the large intestine. Bulking fibers absorb water as they move through the digestive system, easing defecation. (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/fiber/.
Recently, there has been many publications that state that there is a correlation with high fiber diets & weight loss. Fiber helps reduce cholesterol as well.
It’s very simple, your body uses cholesterol to break down fiber, therefore, the more fiber you consume the lower your cholesterol levels will be
Now with most things, too much of anything can harm you so don’t go overboard with the fiber. Now here’s a way to make that burger a little healthier. First get it on a wheat bun, remember wheat lowers cholesterol. Last, get that burger with no bun oil which will give you less of the bad fats that you want anyway.
This is just another way of making a better option out what you’re having to eat.
Also, let’s add a salad to that and now that burger isn’t looking so badly.
As always, I appreciate you taking the time to read this blog post, remember when in doubt just Ask Akbar. Be peaceful, be positive, and be productive.
Watch the video to learn more about Hakeem and how the Empower Fitness Lab family can help you!
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