It is leading up to summer and you want to get beach ready… or it is your wedding / special day and you want to get into the best shape of your life. While exercise is important to these your diet is going to play a huge factor in reaching your goals. Fad diets don’t work and fat loss diets are not sustainable so you need to adjust your lifestyle to keep slim and trim after you have lost the fat you wanted to lose. I have written down 5 factors that can help you change that lifestyle and sustain your fat loss goals. Keep things simple and easy to follow.
Protein, Protein, Protein!
Believe it or not but protein is essential for not only building lean muscle but for weight and fat loss as well. I try and include protein with every meal I eat and I will cycle other macros according to the time of day and whether I am eating pre or post workout.
In order to lose weight or body fat your body needs to be in a caloric deficit, our bodies will be looking for energy, through our own body as a source of fuel when its needed. When you wake up your body is already in a fat burning state after fasting during your sleep. Fasting for 16 hour+ can help speed up your metabolism by up to 2000% according to a recent study.
Eating enough protein is crucial for muscle building. Amino ‘s are the building blocks of protein, which our muscles use for repair and growth. When you increase your protein intake during your weight loss program it will help maintain your muscle mass when your body tries to burn it for fuel.
Focus on The Lifestyle – Not the Diet
Dieting is hard and it is not practical for long-term success. Majority of people that “diet” always put the weight back on and then some. It’s far too common when someone wants to lose fat that they either slash calories drastically or follow a fad diet, 2 of the worst things you can possibly do when trying to lose body fat.
If you drop calories too quick and by to much your body will eventually go catabolic and it will in fact ruin your metabolism. I’m not saying that harshly dropping calories will stop you from losing fat, but it will eventually lead you to being catabolic – leaving you with little body fat but also very little muscle tone.
How many times have you seen a person following a fad diet or following these Herbalife shake diets that end up putting all the weight back on the minute they stop that particular diet? These diets are not sustainable long-term at all and while you might see quick results initially the gain will be much worse once you stop. At the end of the day, they are just there so that you keep you buying their products
Start to enjoy healthy food and learn how to manipulate your food intake so that you can maximize your fat burning periods and boost them they need to be boosted. Find a nutrition plan you can follow a nutrition plan that will work alongside your current lifestyle that you can sustain long-term. Learn what foods are good and what foods are bad, what times it better to eat fats and carbs and how much you should be eating per day.
Carbohydrates Are Your Friend
Contrary to the belief that carbs will make you fat it cannot be further from the truth. Carbohydrates are the main fuel source for our muscles and our bodies break down carbs into glycogen, which is used for energy. However, before you get all gung-ho and go down range with a ton of carbs know that the trick to fat burning and eating carbs is the timing of eating them. This is why carbs are crucial whether you’re trying to build muscle or lose weight.
Generally, when we think of carbs we think, cookies, cakes, bread, pizza, pasta, all the good stuff, shoot I mean bad stuff. It is true that these carb sources spike blood sugar levels and/or put us into a calorie surplus as they are easily overeaten. However, there are carbohydrate sources that are ideal as they are rich in fiber, and have loads of micronutrients to keep you feeling full longer. Some examples are sweet potatoes, whole wheat products, oatmeal, fruits, and veggies. The advantage of these carb sources is they are full of fiber, slow digesting, satiating, and give you consistent energy throughout the day.
The key to consuming carbs while dieting is finding the right balance and the eating them at the right time. Carb cycling has become quite popular over recent years and something that can really boost your fat loss and muscle building goals. As it is commonly known, eating extra or excess carbs over time can lead to fat gain and adding to our excess body fat through consuming too many calories. Carb cycling is a planned alteration of carbohydrate intake in order to prevent a fat loss plateau and maintain metabolism along with workout performance. Carb cycling is considered an aggressive and high-level nutrition strategy.
Liquid Calories – Just put them down…
How nice is it to wake up and own a cold glass of fresh juice, whether its orange, pineapple, or mixed fruit, pretty good huh. What about a coffee or tea? Do you have milk and sugar with it? Or even better a can or 2 of Redbull???
What you need to realize is that whatever you put into your mouth whether it be food or drink it will contain calories and some form of macronutrient. Do yourself a favor and take a look at the nutritional information next time you pour yourself a drink, I think you will be shocked at the number of calories a glass of orange juice has in.
One of my weaknesses is coffee and especially cappuccino. Although I generally have a cup with sweetener and the rest without it is still rounds up to around 400calories a day that’s a healthy meal for the day. Starbuck and Costa coffee are killers, for starters the sizes of those coffees can get pretty tasty…I am mean they add so many syrups and cream to those coffees its a complete overcall.
Coffee is also a great pre-workout but that is taken black without sugar.
Liquid calories can be a huge, hidden, limiting factor for most people wanting to lose weight. Cutting out those liquid calories could be the missing factor to your weight loss success.
Smash that “Cheat Meal”
Who doesn’t love a delicious pizza or a jaw-dropping double cheeseburger along with an oreo cheesecake?
There are many reasons for having a cheat meal and the first thing is that it tastes damn good… Don’t Forget it. When you have been watching your food and calorie intake for a few weeks having a cheeky re-feed is a great tool to have when dieting for multiple reasons.
When you eat a cheat meal, you allow yourself to take that necessary mental break from the monotony of a fat loss diet. You will have something to work towards during the week and look forward to on the weekends. The added calories will spike and speed up your metabolism for the coming week helping your fat loss or muscle building gains along the way. For people that struggle to stick to a nutrition plan or diet, incorporating cheat meals can be the factor that switches them from “eating healthy” to a “healthy lifestyle”.
When it comes to your cheat meal there are a few factors that you need to take into consideration. Try to eat “real foods” and avoid over-processed foods. One thing you should try take into consideration is your total calorie intake for the week and keep your cheat meal within or slightly over this range. That means to plan the meals that you don’t over eat during the week because of this meal. This will ensure you’re getting a surplus of calories, but also what you’re consuming and feeding your body with is real food. Do not add too many sugary items in your cheat meal, while it is good to have something sweet just don’t over do it as too much sugar will have a detrimental effect. Lastly, use the cheat meal as exactly that and not a cheat day or cheat weekend as I have done before. Eat to enjoy but not to binge.