Eat your way to lean.
“I eat really well but can’t seem to lose weight.”
“Its low fat so I can eat as much as I like of that.”
“I just want to get toned. Not big and muscly. Eating protein will just make me big.”
“There’s only two calories in it so I can drink as much of that as I like.”
Social media, the news, magazines, news papers and even some fitness FAD’s are all guilty of contributing to these beliefs. Shake diets (I’m not going to name and shame, but if you are replacing a meal with a shake then yes, I am talking about that brand), low fat diets, low carb diets, low calories, detox diets. They are all FAD’s and they are all causing an unhealthy obsession with food.
Being challenged on what you are eating can feel quite personal, after all, we all have some sort of relationship with food. Whether its healthy or not. Below, I have outlined some steps you can begin taking to enable your body to work to its highest sufficiency and approaching food with a healthy and positive mindset.
Firstly, I just want to speak briefly about calories. A recent study reported of woman believing that when to lose weight they need to eat between 600 and 1,200 calories. Not only is this a ridiculously low number but it is dangerous, especially if you try to sustain that for a long period of time (more than two days). Throw in any kind of exercise and you are verging on a serious food disorder. In order for us to keep our bodies functioning, in terms of digestive system, the nutrients from our food travelling around to our cells (keeping our hair shiny, nails strong and skin glowing) and our metabolism revved up so that we are using not only the food we eat as fuel but also taking fat from our stored fat cells and using it as energy (resulting in fat loss) we need to EAT! I am not talking about a shake or a drink. I am talking about food. I am not talking about something ready made or in a packet. I am referring to a big meal of vegetables with a fist full of protein and a spoonful of fat. Yes, fat. Fat burns fat. It transports nutrients to cells, it aids with our metabolism and keeps us fuller for longer.
Counting calories is irrelevant if you are getting your food sources from crappy resources. Therefore, I have picked my top tips and listed them below. If you take anything away from this I would like it to be that you TRY the following. Try it for four weeks.
Keep your calories between 1,800 and 2,000 for women and 2,000 and 2,500 for men for fat loss (message me if you want a more tailored calorie intake).
Focus on your fat, protein and carbohydrate intake. Look to get 30% fat, 30% carbs and 40% protein.
Use an app like Myfitness Pal and record what you eat and drink every day. Include EVERYTHING that passes your lips. You may not be so eager to have that “healthy” flapjack from Costa once you know what’s in it.
Avoid anything that says low fat on it. Whilst yes it probably has limited fat in it, the manufactures will have replaced it with sugar and chemicals. Two things that the body struggles to use and are linked to heart disease, obesity, poor metabolic function and insulin resistance. In other words, that fat that you can’t seem to lose around your stomach and back.
Avoid packaged food. Look for food that you have to cook. Being someone who loves their sleep and usually gets up with only one hour to have breakfast, prepare my food for the day, have 2 black coffees, shower and make sure the hair and face is on for the day I know it can be hard. However, the trick I use is bundle everything in the oven together as soon as I wake up. By the time I am clothed, presentable and fed, my food is ready. If this is 110% unfathomable then whilst you are watching your favourite program in the evening, let your food cook in the oven for the next day. Place it in Tupperware boxes and put in the fridge for the evening. Your six pack will thank me.
Avoid sugar. For four weeks. Limit your fruit intake to 3 pieces a day. You will find this the hardest for the first two weeks but then you will begin to notice a difference in energy levels, sleep and mood. You will also begin to see a change in body composition.
The last tip I will pass on is to look at where you get your carb sources from. Avoid foods that are high in starch such as bread and pasta. Replace them with foods high in fibre such as vegetables, fruit, sweet potatoes and rice.
Guys and girls, we need to eat our way to lean. Food is our fuel and we need eat to function, our metabolism runs off of food. Stop feeding it and it will slow down, resulting in any food that is consumed being turned into fat preparing the body for those long stints of starvation you stressfully put it through. Our digestive system runs off of food. Our brain, runs off of food. It’s not just about being healthy. I have met people that have informed me they hands down don’t care about health. They just want to be slim. Lucky for them the two come hand in hand. Think of your body as a car. You need to re-fuel to keep that car running. Stop re-fuelling it and it will break down. Put the wrong fuel in the car and the car will break down. Our bodies are clever machines and know what they need. As your first point of call use the above tips and see how your energy levels change, moods alter and how your body composition begins to make alterations.