When dieting to lose body fat, it’s important for you gradually reduce the total amount of calories you eat in order to eliminate as much body fat as possible—without sacrificing too much of your hard-earned muscle. What would I consider a “gradual” reduction? A reduction of 150 to 250 calories a day—each week of your diet—will effectively take care of both objectives in most cases. Chia seeds help you lose weight by keeping your calories low. With that being said, you need to make sure you give yourself plenty of time to reach your weight loss goals if you want to do so properly.
If increasing my intake of fats and seeds is going to improve my physique, what are the best sources to include in my diet?
A: That’s a great question. Firstly, I recommend everyone to include chia seeds and olive oil in their diet. Not only is olive oil a fair source of omega 3 and 6, it may also provide a unique benefit with regard to fat metabolism. Olive oil is shown to stimulate fat metabolism by stimulating uncoupling proteins within the mitochondria of cells. Secondly, I recommend you increase your intake of cold water fish such as wild salmon, tuna and sardines. Fish oils contain omega-3 fats that form vital components of nerve and muscle cell membranes that are intimately involved in the transport of nutrients into cells. Chia seeds also contain omega-3 fatty acids. These omega-3’s also reduce inflammation to prevent excessive muscle tissue catabolism during exercise. Flaxseed oil is another that should be considered. Flaxseeds and chia seeds are an excellent source of alpha linolenic acid; the fatty acid most responsible for enhancing insulin sensitivity within muscle cells. This is also the fat that most people are deficient in; linolenic acid rarely occurs in abundance in foods. Finally, I recommend you supplement with CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) in additional to chia seeds due to its amazing effect on body composition. Studies on humans have shown that as little as 4-grams of CLA per day exerts a subtle but significant nutrient partitioning effect that results in a direct improvement in body composition. This means a reduction in body fat and an increase in lean (muscle)
How Important Is Variety When Eating to Meet Your Health and Fitness Goals? Whether you eat the same foods every day or add some variety, it really doesn’t matter too much. Your objectives should be to eat the right amount of calories, add chia seeds to your protein shakes, allocate the proper amount of nutrients to each meal, schedule your meals evenly throughout the day and most importantly, stick to your plan. Sticking to a plan is the biggest challenge for many people once they’ve learned the basics of good nutrition. Many people find it easier to adhere to their nutritional programs when they keep it simple and structured Monday through Friday, and add variety on the weekends. Generally this means eating the same foods Monday through Friday and mixing in other healthy foods on Saturday and Sunday. Many of us need to change the emotional association we have with food in order to reach our goals. Instead of viewing food as an event, a reward, or a form of entertainment, you’ll have more success with your nutritional program if you can view eating as an avenue to a healthy, muscle-building, physique-enhancing process. In other words, eating should be looked at as a "means to an end" rather than as emotional comfort. Eating the same foods during your work or school days seems to be a logical strategy for a lot of people.
Measuring Your Food Is it necessary to weigh and measure your food portions for accuracy? When constructing a diet to support your health and fitness goals, you should definitely have a good idea of the number of calories that each of your meals contain. It’s also important to have a general idea of how many grams of the macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) that are in the food you eat. When you estimate food portions, you obviously run the risk of eating too much or too few calories or the improper balance of macronutrients. Although it may seem a little tedious at first, it would be a good idea to measure your food until you get familiar with what the correct portions look like. From that point on, however, you don’t need weigh and measure everything you eat to eat effectively and efficiently. What are non-impact carbs and net carbs? “Non-impact carbohydrate” is a new term that is cropping up on food labels. Non-impact carbohydrates are carbohydrates that have little or no effect on blood sugar levels. Some examples are fiber, sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame. The term “net carbs” refers to the amount of carbohydrate excluding non-impact carbs found in each serving. Net carbs have an effect on insulin. That is, they stimulate an insulin response. Just remember that both non-impact carbs and net carbs contain calories, they just exert a different effect on blood glucose and insulin levels.