Are you working out regularly, but the scale isn’t budging? Are you cutting calories, skipping meals, cranky, tired, and discouraged? Well ladies, start your engines! By that I mean, get your metabolism in gear. Starving yourself and missing meals will do the opposite of what you think in terms of weight loss. You can literally bring your metabolism to a screeching halt, or even worse, train your body to store fat by not eating regularly enough to keep blood sugar level. This is where the term yo-yo dieting comes into play. You lose weight, (muscle) by starving yourself, then gain back even more weight in the form of fat, then you do it over again, thus training your body to keep fat on and burn muscle. Remember, how much muscle you carry on your body, is directly related to your resting metabolism. So, the last thing you want to do is burn your muscle. What you want to do is eat clean, eat often, and lift weights…..and in that particular order. If you do one, you’ll get decent results, if you do two, you’ll feel better, but if you do all three, you will train your body to utilize the important nutrients, while burning useless fat. You will feed it to maintain its muscle, which will give you the energy to work out hard, and by doing that you will help to keep your body’s furnace going! That is how you will get, and stay lean and energized!
To determine how much you should eat, you must first gauge how active your lifestyle is. Do you sit at a desk all day, and work out once in a while? Are you an active person that puts your all into heavy weight training sessions, and has an active job? Unless you are going to compete, or if you are trying to add bulk, the number of calories is not the” main” issue. This does not give license to eat as much as you want, portions should be under control too. Most fitness advocates preach the 1 to 1 1/2 grams of protein per pound of lean body weight as a rule, I personally try to remain within this limit. Clean eating consists of lean proteins and protein shakes, complex carbs like brown rice, ezekiel breads, and sweet potatoes. Fresh vegetables and fruits. Healthy oils, nuts, avocados, eggs, yogurt, and oats to name a few. Don’t forget what an important role fiber has in your diet. Fiber keeps you full longer, and helps eliminate what the body cannot use. Stay away from processed foods, and eliminate sugar! Keeping your blood sugar even throughout the day is the number one way to prevent bingeing and cravings. Break your sugar addiction by planning your meals ahead, and eating 4-6 meals spread out over the day.
Drinking at least 8 glasses of clean water a day is a key addition to your metabolism staying on track. Many studies are showing that drinking 2 full glasses of water before meals is a great way to prevent overeating. Did you know that the body sometimes mistakes thirst for hunger? Water is as important as food in the quest for optimal health.
Below are some samples of meals that I eat daily, pretty much most of the time. If I am working, they are packed the night before. On days that I lift heavy weights, I consume more calories before my workout and immediately after so that my muscles are fed, and my workouts not wasted. Keep a food diary in the beginning. Once you start writing down what you eat (be honest), you can see what changes have to be made. Educate yourself so that you get rid of misconceptions about starving yourself and weight loss. You might lose weight, but you will only slow down your metabolism encouraging your body to gain more weight in the form of fat! Eat to stay strong, and fit. Eat what your body craves to be energized and work properly! Make daily changes that turn into an eventual lifestyle for you and your family.
1/2 cup steel cut oats made with coconut water
1 T. ground chia seeds (purchase at health food stores, tastes nutty) yum!
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
1 Scoop vanilla whey protein powder
1 T ground flax seeds
1 can white albacore tuna in water
2 slices Ezekiel bread (or any sprouted grain bread) yeah! for “superfoods”
fage 0% fat yogurt w/ sliced berries
carrots dipped in hummus
1 Slice ezekiel bread
2 T natural crunchy peanut butter
1 Chicken breast baked w seasoning
1 med sweet potato sprinkled w/ cinnamon
1/2 cup green beans drizzled w/ olive oil
salad w/ asian ginger dressing
Fage Greek vanilla yogurt
1 T ground chia seeds
(See previous post for other superfood options)
This is just a sample day. As with any diet, check with your healthcare practitioner for guidelines.
Make these changes now and soon you will be feeling fit, not fat!