Successful weight loss and fat loss comes to those of you who have figured out the nutrition puzzle. It takes more than just working out hard to reach your goals.
Its important to eat enough but not too much or too little. What you eat matters. Eating 1000 calories of healthy food is more effective than eating 1000 calories of junk food.
Follow my 10 nutrition tips and you will have a better chance of losing the fat and weight and keeping it off.
1. Eat breakfast. A good healthy breakfast gets your metabolism kicked off for the day. Eat small meals every 3-4 hours to keep up your energy and to keep your metabolism humming along all day.
2. Plan and pack your meals for the day. This way, you are more likely to stay with your nutrition plan. Include foods such as lean meats, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat diary and nuts. Severely limit sugars of all forms, fast food and foods in a box or bag. Comply with your meal plan at least 90% of the time.
3. Eat protein with every meal. Protein helps you feel fuller for a longer period of time (thereby eating less) and repairs your muscles after a tough workout.
4. Carbohydrates are not your enemy! They are your body’s preferred source of energy (especially during exercise). Its important to have a meal plan that includes the macronutrients (carbs, protein, fats).
The primary cause of weight gain is a caloric surplus (eating more calories than you burn). There are some instances where carb cycling can be a great strategy to burn fat. But, you should master the basics of nutrition first.
5. Build muscle and burn fat to change your body to lean and toned. Don’t skip your post-workout meal. It is important to help your body recover from intense exercise (especially weight training).
You don’t have to eat immediately after your workout (if you want to eat immediately after a workout, YOU DIDN’T WORKOUT VERY HARD)! There is about a 30-45 minute “window of opportunity” where replenishing your body’s fuel (carbs, protein, fats) will optimize your tissue’s repair and growth. If you miss this “window of opportunity” it is gone forever. A carb/protein shake will work well.
6. Research has proven that you will have a better chance of succeeding with your meal plan and fat loss if you keep a food journal!
By logging your actual food choices, you are holding yourself accountable throughout the day. You will also be forced to plan your meals better. It will also help protect you from binge eating and emotional eating if you write down why you eat what you eat!
7. Find out your basal metabolic rate (amount of calories you would burn if you did nothing all day).
You will use this rate and your activity level (including exercise) to set the amount of calories you need each day to maintain a caloric deficit (burn more calories than you consume). If you have too large of a caloric deficit (like a 1000 deficit), your body will think it is starving and shift into survival mode (store fat). So, severe calorie restriction diets don’t work long-term.
8. Drink water and unsweetened drinks (like tea) most of the time. Aim to drink, in ounces, about half your weight in water every day. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, drink about 75 ounces of water every day.
9. Add volume to your diet (eating wet). Eat as many foods as you can with high water content/low calories. Foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables are examples. These types of foods help you to feel fuller (satiety) while eating fewer calories.
For instance, grapes with the same caloric amount as raisins will provide more satiety and theoretically help you eat less the rest of the day. Other good foods would be whole grain pastas, brown rice, whole grain breads, soups, salads and skinless white chicken/turkey.
10. Forget the quick weight loss gimmicks (they lead to yo-yo dieting and even more weight gain)! There are no quick solutions to permanent fat loss and weight loss. Change your eating habits permanently (step by step)!