Oftentimes, I’ll get people ask me how do I stay in shape all-year round and not give in to temptation and all the ‘unhealthy’ choices we’re surrounded by. Part of it is that I just love to eat clean and healthy foods. Not only do I look better, but I truly feel better too! More energy, better focus, clearer skin, and just healthier overall. The other part, however, is instrumental in helping me stay strong when I’m hungry (just after a meal, for instance), craving something sweet, or tired and know a banana and peanut butter smoothie would do wonders for my blood sugar!

Here are my top tricks I resort to:

 

1.) Load up on fibrous vegetables – I love brussell sprouts, broccoli, and green beans. I have at least 2-3 cups in a meal. My favourite way of eating them is by baking and then broiling them for the last 10 minutes. I like to buy the vegetables frozen (less prep time, overall) and place them in a shallow pan (first spray with calorie-free cooking spray, like Pam) and pour just a bit of water over them to help them thaw faster (if using a 1 kg bag of vegetables, I would pour 1/4 cup of water over them), and bake in the oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees Celsius. Then switch the oven to broil for 10-15 more minutes at 400 C until the edges are browned and crisp. I sprinkle some garlic powder, ground black pepper, himalayan sea salt, and cinnamon over top and Voila, some not so bland veggies.

2.) I have coffee in-between meals – If Im hungry well before my next planned meal, then I like to make a cup of espresso (or regular coffee is just fine, and if you like tea, that works too as long as its caffeinated) and have that to tide me over. Its a great appetite suppressant plus gives you a quick energy boost for the next few hours. Try to keep it pretty clean though and limit any creams or milks. Have it either black or add sweetener for taste; to limit empty calories.

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3.) Sip on bcaas in-between meals – Another trick I have is to sip on some flavoured branch chained amino acids (bcaas) which is basically just protein (three specific amino acids to be exact). A scoop has maybe 20-30 calories, which is negligible in the grand scheme of things. And you can get so many different flavours! My favourite right now is watermelon. I usually add a scoop of glutamine (also a protein; great for muscle recovery and strengthening your immune system) and vitamin c powder (a strong anti-oxidant, boosts immune system, and helps with recovery, among other things).

4.) Chew gum – I find the chewing helps keep my mind off food, especially with all the different flavours now available. But, there are still calories in even the sugar-free gums, so try to limit how many you have in a day.

5.) Split your protein – if you’re on a set eating plan and measuring everything you consume, then try splitting your protein into two meals. This is a great way to keep you satiated, especially if you’re prone to getting hungry later in the day; primarily before sleep. I think we all know how hard it is to sleep when the stomach is growling (major temptation to reach for the chips or cookies!).

6.) Change your protein sources – if you’re having protein shakes, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, or even protein bars swap them for meat or other higher quality protein. The best choices are: chicken, extra lean ground beef, eye of round, fish (any white fish, ie trout, cod, sole), turkey, bison, etc. They take much longer to digest and will keep you fuller, longer. Plus you burn calories just from the thermic effect of those proteins. It basically means that anywhere from 20-25% of the calories in say, your steak, will be used for digestion. So you’re really not eating quite as many calories as the steak is stated to have.

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I hope these tips help and if you think it may help a friend in need, please pass this article along.

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