There’s another huge reason to cut back on bovine: “One in three men over 40 will die from heart disease, and eating more of a plant-based diet is the best way to optimize endothelial nitric oxide levels for cardiovascular protection and health,” says Kominiarek. In fact, a Mediterranean diet particularly heavy in healthy fats—olive oil, eggs, nuts, fatty fish—lowers your risk of not only heart disease, but also type 2 diabetes and certain cancers, according to a new study analysis in the Annals of Internal Medicine. That’s three of the top 10 causes of death for American males that you can reduce your risk of just by eating less meat and more healthy plant-based fats.
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You need to eat less. It doesn't matter if all you eat is grilled chicken, brown rice, and broccoli. If you don't cut back on your portions, you won't lose weight. Everyone's calorie needs are different, but in general, a woman eating 2,000 calories per day should aim to cut back by 400 to 500 calories, recommends Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, nutrition expert and author of Eating in Color. (These 5 simple ways to cut 500 calories can help.)
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While meat packs a lot of protein in one shot, getting your protein only from animal sources could actually speed muscle loss, according to a 2012 review by the International Osteoporosis Foundation Nutrition Working Group. Why? Meats, as well as grains like wheat and corn, are acid-producing foods that stunt muscle-protein synthesis. The good news: Fruits and vegetables are alkalizing and can help offset some of the muscle-robbing effects of meaty, starchy meals. "Plus, there are a lot of delicious vegetarian sources of protein," says Dr. Gerbstadt. "Try experimenting with tofu, lentils, or beans. They taste great and tend to be lower in calories." When you opt for animal protein, avoid high-fat sources such as regular ground beef, bacon, whole milk, or full-fat cheese.
Simply cutting back on calories usually isn’t an effective weight loss technique. We need to not only cut back on calories, but also to make sure we are choosing the right types of calories. Lean protein sources such as fish, lean meats, eggs, and tofu feed and preserve our muscle mass, keep us feeling full longer than other foods, and keep the blood sugar steady, preventing the energy spikes and lows that can lead to overeating. Build your meals around protein sources, and include a variety of fresh produce and small amounts of whole grains so that meals are balanced and healthy. Cut back on or eliminate empty calories that do not provide your body with nourishment but do contribute to weight gain, such as white bread, white pasta, and added sugars.
The Australian trainer – who is also the man behind the bodies of Elle Macpherson and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley – recommends fresh, unprocessed foods and is essentially a low-carbohydrate diet. The diet kicks off with a 14 day kick-start comprising of a protein-heavy meat, eggs and vegetables. After two weeks, fruits and minimal amounts of dairy are incorporated back into the diet.
At the grocery store, take a turn down the organic produce aisle. Pesticides found on conventionally grown produce, called "obesogens," are blamed for slowing metabolism and predisposing some people to gain weight. "One of the biggest hidden causes of weight loss resistance is toxicity," says Virgin. "Buy organic whenever possible and choose the cleanest, highest-quality cuts of meat," says Virgin.