Nutrition itself isn’t complicated and if you are dedicated to change it for the better you will get results. The real question is: where do you start?
Before I get to that let me just say that your nutrition is the most important thing you could be changing right now. If you want to lose fat and gain a fit healthy body. Ultimately this will result in increased confidence and energy and better health
It doesn’t matter how hard you work out if you change nothing about the way you eat on a daily basis you won’t get the body you want.
So what does it come down to?
You have probably heard the expressions “You can’t out train a poor diet’’ and “abs are made in the kitchen” I can’t tell you how true this is... And yes I know you think you know someone who can eat what they like and stay slim They are the exception, not the rule and I wouldn’t be surprised if they actually consume fewer calories than you think they do.
So what about the rest of us, the unfortunate mortals?
Well, I can pretty much guarantee you if you have a calorie deficit each day and limit the number of carbohydrates to suit your particular lifestyle you WILL lose weight... Let me explain further:
Calories in vs calories out
Could it really be this simple? The answer is yes and no. You definitely need a calorific deficit to lose weight – that is fact. But could you still lose weight if you ate your daily calorific allowance in doughnuts? There have been many articles in the media claiming that we can lose weight eating highly processed junk like McDonald’s or KFC. As usual, the media only gives you a small part of the truth.
SO yes, it is possible to lose a bit, BUT it’s not going to get you the results you want. It will also screw up your body on the inside! So let’s just say that’s a really bad idea and move on...
However, if you ate the same amount of calories of non-processed, food that you have prepared yourself, you’re heading in the right direction. Not only will you be fuller and drop a dress size or two but your body will love you for it. Which brings me to my next point:
You can't eat carbs… I laugh every time I hear this!
Of course, you can eat carbs! You need carbs if you are an endurance athlete, but if you are sedentary most of the time then eating lots of them will have a negative effect.
You can cut out carbs completely for a while, it is a great tool for fat-loss, and you will get great results but you can’t do it forever. Moderation is the key for long-term fat-loss.
How much protein, carbs, and fats to see a change in the mirror?
Go higher on the protein and fat, lower on the carbs with most of them coming from green leafy vegetables – simple as that!
Imagine on a plate you had 50% as protein, 30% carbs and 20% fats, that’s a great ratio for most people to get to their goals. Just make sure your portion sizes are on the smaller side for each meal, this will stop you overeating. Have a look at example plate of food below.
As for how many meals per day, go for three meals and one to two snacks. So your typical day of food might look like:
7am-Meal 1 (breakfast). Spinach and chive omelette with a cup of black coffee
10am-Snack Peanut butter on celery and a cup of green tea
1pm-Meal 2 (lunch). Diced chicken breast you cooked the night before with a chickpea salad. See this recipe here Link to the recipe- Avocado salad recipe.
3pm-Snack 2 (optional). Apple with 12 almonds and green tea.
6pm-Meal 3 (Dinner). Fajitas without the wraps (swap the tortilla bread for large lettuce leaves) and double the veg. Still have the rest of the ingredients like cheese, avocado and salsa but have it in moderation.
Also, make sure to sip water constantly through the day as well as your other drinks. This will help with digestion.
So what is the take home from this?
For those of you who want to see a change in the mirror, you must be in a calorie deficit whether it’s through training or diet. All though I don't recommend counting calories to my clients, it can be a useful tool to get to know the energy value of food. But simply eating the right foods will leave you feeling full and less likely to overeat. With this approach, you won't even need to count calories!
Eat unprocessed foods 85-90% of the time, eating carbohydrates in moderation. So if you eat 3 meals a day over one week you would eat 21 meals, and out of these 21 meals, 2-3 would be your guilty pleasure meals you have been craving (eat in moderation of course)
Other ways to achieve a negative energy balance and limit the number of carbohydrates would be to find a diet plan that already does the above. Diets plans like the paleo diet and clean eating diet, will help you achieve the above without measuring a thing! Are they the best diets out there? If it works for you then absolutely, there are no absolutes when dieting because everybody is different. Find what works for you and stick to it!
If you take anything from this post it would be that having everything in moderation, whether it’s carbs, chocolate or alcohol, you will still be able to get to your results while having a life. Restricting yourself completely from the foods you love will only make you think about them more, usually resulting in bingeing when you fall off.
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