1. Power of Protein
Turkey & Chicken Breast, Fish, Lean Cuts of Beef, Egg/Egg Whites are all sources that are considered protein foods. These foods supply the body with amino acids to build and repair muscles. In addition, protein has a thermogenic effect on the body, meaning the body’s metabolism is elevated by the digestion of high protein foods. Best of all, excess protein in the body is processed by the kidneys and excreted by the body as waste – NOT STORED!
Your diet should include plenty of protein foods, every meal if possible. Just make sure they are low/non fat sources because fat is stored by the body in excess. AS FAT.
2. The Magic of Vegetables
Everyone knows vegetables are good for them. Right? Do you know why? Vegetables primarily consist of fiber and water. Plus they are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Fiber has no caloric costs, provides bulk and appetite control. Some of the best sources are broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, brussel sprouts, celery, carrots and leafy greens.
Your diet should consist of 3 meals containing vegetables a day. Just by consuming ample quantities of vegetables daily you will regulate your digestive system more efficiently which includes balancing your body’s water. In addition, you will naturally eat fewer calories and remove excess fat waiting to be absorbed by your body’s large intestine. A WIN, WIN for Losing Weight!
3. Limited Refined/Processed Starches
Starches include potatoes (red, russet, sweet, new etc.), rices, grains and lentils/beans. Starches also known as complex carbohydrates are needed to provide energy to the body, mostly the muscles. Starches need to be included in the diet in precise quantities. You will only need enough of these carbohydrates to fuel your workout program.
One, possibly two servings a day is recommended. Ideally you should bracket your workouts with carbs, pre and post workout meals. (SPECIAL NOTE: CARBOHYDRATES NOT BURNED ARE STORED BY THE BODY = FAT)
Refined starches should be almost completely avoided. Refined starches include cereals, pastas, breads, cookies, chips and crackers. The primary reasons to avoid many of these foods are because of their ability to be digested quickly and their impact on your blood sugar levels. Easily digested carbohydrates breakdown to sugar quickly by the body and cause an abundance of glucose (another name for the sugar in the blood stream) for which the body must immediately use or store. High blood sugar levels cause the release of insulin, a fat storage hormone. A diet that is chronic in processed carbohydrates eventually will wear down the organ that produces insulin leading to a disease called DIABETES.
4. Portion Controlled Meals
Most people simply eat too many calories (energy supplied by foods). A few extra calories everyday may lead to significant weight gained every year. One pound of fat is equivalent to 3500 calories. The goal of our fat burning formula is to create a caloric deficit through increasing your body’s metabolism, activity and a reduced calorie diet. Only a small calorie reduction through the diet is necessary. Using the protein and vegetable guidelines that we previously discussed will typically produce the required caloric reduction.
Most meals include hidden calories that must be considered. Condiments and cooking preparations can add hundreds of empty calories that have little to no nutritional value. Salad dressings, buttery spreads and sandwich condiments are common culprits. Cooking oils, frying and unseen glazing are sources for additional calories that are in restaurant food.
5. Perfect Planning
“Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail.” There are few food saints in this world. I know some people look like they are, but few actually are. Never go hungry and plan ahead in case you do become hungry. Your body has a hormonal response to prevent starvation. It goes back to your carbohydrate intake and blood sugar levels. The body has a unique understanding of how to identify foods that will elevate your sugar levels quickly once they drop below exceptable levels. Those refined/processed starches and sugars that we want to eliminate are foods your food will crave because they digest quickly. Chips, crackers, cookies, candy and sweetened drinks are typical afternoon pick me up choices for low blood sugar. Cereals, breads, potatoes (French fries) and pastas are more common in the dinner hours or late evening binges.
The best way to manage binging and poor choices is a well laid diet action plan. Your goal again is to never go hungry. This plan will control appetite, stabilize blood sugar and prevent the release of fat storage hormones.
Here is the plan.
Breakfast (7am) Protein, Starch
Mid Meal (10am) Protein/Fruit
Lunch (1pm) Protein, Vegetable, Starch
Mid Meal (4pm) Protein/Vegetables or Healthy Fats (Dry nuts and seeds)
Dinner (7pm) Protein, Vegetable
The key to this action plan is the consistent meal timing, high protein and moderate starch consumption. The actual meal times are arbitrary. You will need to adjust the times based on your work, family or school schedules.
Key action steps for your diet:
- It is important to eat every 3-4 hours throughout the day. Sometimes it may be necessary to get up earlier or eat later to fit your meals into the day. Remember, your lifestyle has given you your current body. Change your lifestyle for the next 90 days and get your new body in the end!
- Stick to your schedule every day. No “free” days.
- Protein should be included in every meal. The only exception would be one mid meal that includes nuts, seeds or vegetables. It’s still best to include protein.
- Include vegetables in at least 2 meals, optimally 3-4 meals. Iceberg lettuce, shredded carrots and a couple diced tomatoes for a salad is not really the best. You will need more fiber and bulk; broccoli, cauliflower etc. Vegetables as a sandwich topping doesn’t count either.
- Eat whole foods. No microwave dinners or other boxed meals. Shop from the butcher and produce departments. Pasta, cereals and energy/protein bars are not whole foods. Some may include “whole grains” but they still aren’t whole foods like an apple.
- No skipping meals.
- Create caloric equivalent meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Mid meals will be roughly half the volume. You will need to buy a food counts book or go online to find the caloric costs of food. You will only need to weigh and measure a few times to become familiar with your portion sizes.
6. Consistency in Everything
Stop go, stop go doesn’t work. Most people never give their body a chance to change. If you’re like many, in the past you probably dieted a few days and stepped on the scale expecting to see your results. If you saw the scale stay the same or not drop as quickly as you expected you would make a drastic change. Many times those seeking weight loss will severely reduce their calorie intake, ramp up their exercise time or just plain give up. You’ve got to give your body a chance to change. Yes, sometimes you need to make big changes, but more often than not many people are making some good progress and fail to realize their successes.
Of course consistency means being a 100% dedicated every meal and every workout. Weekends aren’t any different from Monday or Tuesday. Every day is an opportunity to move closer to your goal. Don’t let Friday and Saturday nights hold you from your goals.
7. Watch the Little Things That Sabotage Your Well Laid Plans
A bite here, a missed meal there. 100 % consistency for as long as possible. No straying for a day or even a meal. Life will get in the way, just don’t let happen a little here and there because those here and there’s add up over time. You really need to give your body a chance to make a change.
It all goes back to planning every meal. Having the food prepared and ready to eat. Many times our lifestyles limit our time. The best way to save time is to cook and prepare ahead of time. Having those perfect meals ready to grab and eat is important. Many successful dieters prepare a week’s worth of food at the beginning of the week or on Sundays so there meals are ready for them to grab before work and take with them. After a long day of work or taking care of the family it is nice to have something ready for you. (See our Custom Fit Meal section online.)
Know yourself and your daily routine. You should never find yourself staring in the fridge thinking there’s nothing to eat. That leads to skipped meals or poor choices. Don’t depend on restaurants to provide the proper nutrition. Unfortunately restaurant foods typically contain hidden fat and excessive sodium. If you want a cheeseburger you can make it at home with half the calories and fat.
Don’t Let SODIUM Destroy All Your Hard Work!
Sodium has been deemed in the medical field as the “silent killer”. Sodium not only is bad for your heart, it’s bad for your waist. When we think of sodium we envision the table salt we add to foods. Soft drinks (diet or regular), canned foods, frozen dinners (even the low fat variety), soups, cereals, condiments, sauces and many other processed foods contain high amounts of sodium. The recommended daily intake of sodium is less than 1200 mg. I recommend that you purchase a food counts book and calculate your daily intake.
Excess sodium not only bloats us with water retention but throws off the chemistry of our body at a cellular level. Cells need to be properly hydrated to function efficiently. Remember, fat burning happens during cellular respiration. Basically fat is utilized to produce energy in the cells of our body tissues, including muscle tissue. Excess sodium has a major impact on the function of this system.