Do you want to change your body? Lose fat and gain lean sexy muscles? Feel healthier and fit? What and how you eat is going to be at least 75-80% of the equation.
First and foremost you’ve got to start with clean eating and balanced nutrition! All of the techniques and tips in the world won’t help you if you’re eating crap.
How do you eat clean? Eat organic as much as possible and buy local produce. This will give you the most nutritious food. One because organic has been shown to have the most antioxidants and nutrients. And two, because local reduces the time between harvest to your table so nutrients aren’t lost in transportation time.
Studies have show that if your diet is 51% or more raw veggies and fruit, you’ll tend to stay healthier and slim. Other good choices include seeds, nuts, and dried legumes. Minimize or avoid grains, especially if your trying to get rid of fat on your body.
Make sure you get healthy fats into your food plan. They’ll keep you feeling fuller and keep you healthy. Avocados, chia seeds, flax seeds, coconut, olives, anything that you find in nature is always a better choice.
If you eat animal products choose free range, farm fresh, eggs and chickens. Eat organic pasture fed meats without hormones and antibiotics. Also wild meats are a good choice. Avoid farmed fish and choose wild caught instead.
Minimally processed foods that can be included are frozen vegetables and fruits; fermented foods like sauerkraut, miso, and kimchi.
When you cook, choose quick cooking methods like steaming or baking. Stir frying is ok, but don’t deep fry your foods. Use a saturated fat to cook with like coconut oil. Liquid oils turn into trans fats at high temperatures. Save the olive oil for salads.
Eat a wide variety to insure that you get the optimal nutrition. Shop at farmers markets and healthy grocery stores like Earth Fare. If you’re in a regular supermarket a good strategy is to shop around the perimeter of the store. That’s where most of the fresh and healthy foods are located.
ALWAYS read labels and if you don’t know what an ingredient is put the item back on the shelf. Avoid processed foods, junk food, refined grains, and sugar in its many forms. Even too much natural sugar is detrimental to your health. I love the raw honey and the organic maple syrup too but limit this as treats on special occasions…sugar is sugar!!!
Don’t ever use chemical artificial sweeteners. Some good choices to satisfy your sweet tooth include stevia, luo han guo, xylitol, or erythritol.
One the best ways to release excess weight, and get rid of that extra fat on your body is though portion control. The great thing about portion control is you can do it without a major lifestyle disruption. If you’d like to learn more about this technique check out this blog post:
Also changing the number of portions of macronutrients can really improve health and help you lose fat. For example instead of eating starchy carbs like potatoes and grains, eat 9-12 servings of non starchy veggies instead. For example try:
- greens, kale, spinach, romain lettuce, etc.
- green vegetable power
If you have to have a starch, limit it to 1 serving per day, and choose a healthy starch like beans, sweet potato, or quinoa.
I am not big on having people count calories. First because they think that as long as they’re under a certain number of calories, then they can eat crapy food. Second because calorie counting often leads to deprivation, which in turn leads to a slower metabolism. Next, It’s almost impossible to account for the calories in some foods. Last, calorie counting often leads to yoyo dieting.
That being said if you are eating clean, nutritiously dense foods, healthy portions, with balanced macronutrients, (i.e. enough proteins, fats, and carbs) then knock yourself out with your calorie counters.
A lot of body builders and fitness buffs swear by zig zap dieting or calorie cycling. This is where you eat variable amounts of calories per day.
For example lets say your a woman who needs to eat approximately 1460 calories to lose fat. In a week that adds up to 10,220 calories.
So instead of eating 1,460 daily, you eat more or less calories each day that adds up to your weekly total of calories. (10,220)
So a week would look like this:
- Monday = 1,460
- Tuesday = 1,168
- Wednesday = 1,752
- Thursday = 1,460
- Friday = 1,314
- Saturday = 1,607
- Sunday = 1,460
If you’re not into math, like me, here is a calculator that can help you figure it all out: http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm
You can also cycle other aspects of your nutrition, on specific days, based on activity. For example, eat extra protein on days that you workout to rebuild your muscles is a great strategy.
I know it is tempting to cut calories and up your exercise if you’ve hit a plateau and aren’t losing fat but don’t. This is a recipe for disaster and usually leads to exhaustion in the short term and weight gain in the long term. The human body is a highly adaptive and eventually adjusts to any calorie deficit. The effect is that the longer and more consistently you diet, the harder it becomes to continue getting results, and the more likely it is you will get stuck in a plateau or worse.
The way out of this vicious cycle is to eat plenty of nutritiously dense foods, in the proper proportion, and to exercise smarter. If you have any particular questions on how to do this feel free to contact me. I’d love to help you on your journey to health and wellness.