NO FADS, NO GIMMICKS, NO PILLS, NO DIET SHAKES; just good, old-fashioned common sense. By applying the basic elements of fitness, health and good nutrition, you’ll get maximum results sooner rather than later!
There’s a common misconception that a “diet” has to boring. Many also think a drastic, unpleasant change in your current eating regime will result in rapid weight loss, even though you struggle to “stick to it!”
Usually the person telling you what to eat will reinforce the need to eliminate entire food groups from your nutritional plan. Often they also encourage you to take some magic shake or pill to help speed up the weight loss process. More often than not you find yourself hungry, irritable and overtired from undereating and over stimulating your body; you come to a point where you just can’t continue on your “diet”.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve tried every “diet” on the planet. Heck, I’ve probably tried over 20, and not a single one of them could I stick to for life. I was never happy with the results after I went back to eating “normally”. Let’s face it, no one can eat like a rabbit or a caveman 100 per cent of the time. It’s not a matter of ‘if’ you’ll end your new found “diet,” it’s a matter of when!
Yo-yo dieting, skipping meals and deprivation-style diets are the quickest and most effective way to lower your metabolism. You’ll lose a lot of water weight initially and then balloon back up to your starting weight, plus a few more kilos. Luckily, science has proven that depriving ourselves of the things we love and starving ourselves is not the way to go to achieve permanent lifelong fat loss.
If you’ve been following my transformation series in Oxygen Australia (issues 72, 73, 74, 75 and 76), you’ll have read real life examples of how to get into shape (even after having a baby), without sacrificing your health or your sanity. I can tell you, your sanity is equally as important as your health!
I’ve listed the most important aspects from each article in this story, so you can get going right now. By changing a few simple things in your nutrition plan, you will not only be healthier, happier and more energetic, you’ll also wish you had found the 7 Rules a whole lot sooner!
1. ALWAYS EAT A LEAN SOURCE OF PROTEIN AT EVERY MEAL!
You can get your lean protein from many different sources. Some of these include chicken breast, lean beef, turkey, fish, kangaroo and egg whites. Eating enough protein is VITAL for muscle growth and repair, not to mention many other essential bodily functions!
2. ALWAYS EAT 5-6 MEALS EVERY DAY ABOUT 3-4 HOURS APART IN ORDER TO KEEP YOUR METABOLISM ON FIRE.
If you skip breakfast the chance of your metabolism becoming slow and sluggish is increased significantly. I want to make sure my metabolism stays revved up and in top gear throughout the day.
3. EAT YOUR GREENS.
Try and eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day as a means of helping boost immune function and reduce risk for chronic disease. Remember restricting any one of the major food groups can lead to a macronutrient imbalance and corresponding vitamin and mineral deficiency.
4. EVERY NINE OUT OF 10 MEALS YOU HAVE HAS TO BE IN YOUR PLAN.
In other words, if you are eating five times per day, you would eat 35 meals per week in total. Effectively 3.5 of them can be your choice – within reason of course! I call these my ‘sanity meals’, so try to find out what combination works best for you. If I eat well all week I always indulge in a few small treats on the weekends as my reward. This does two things: keeps me sane and keeps my body guessing as to what I’m doing. This approach seems to work well for me as I really look forward to the weekends. Chocolate, cheesecake and caramel slice…YUM!
5. AVOID SUGAR AND LIMIT YOUR COMPLEX CARBS WITH YOUR LAST TWO MEALS UNLESS YOU ARE ACTIVE AT NIGHT!
Hidden sugar is the number one enemy for most ‘saddle bag’ sufferers and is a major reason why many people fall short of reaching their health and fitness goals. Read your food labels carefully and try to avoid rich sauces and fatty dressings that contain large amounts of sugar as they can be disastrous when trying to control your blood sugar levels and manage your weight. Excess consumption of complex carbohydrates in the later part of the day unless you are training can also contribute to an energy surplus and if you are not careful can be easily stored by the body for later use. Portion control is paramount!
6. DRINK AT LEAST 500ML OF WATER WITH EVERY 10KG OF BODY WEIGHT*.
Water is my number one weight loss secret! It has no calories, sugar or fats and is a great way to quench your thirst without adding to your waistline. Many people often mistake thirst for hunger, so if you drink plenty of water throughout the day, you may need less food to keep you feeling satisfied. Not to mention water is the only thing that will eliminate waste from your body. If you don’t keep well hydrated your body simply cannot rid itself of those nasty toxins which inevitably end up on your thighs and hips.
* 4L Maximum
7. MOVE MORE!
Try to get yourself moving each day for a minimum of 30-45 minutes before your day begins. Whether you get outdoors for a walk or hit the gym, just remember to schedule it in before the day ends. I find it best to get it over and done with first thing in the morning. That way if I am tired from a hard day’s work, it doesn’t give me an excuse not to do it. Remember consistency is the key! This will kick-start your metabolism for the rest of the day and help you get revved up and off to a good start! Any type of regular physical activity, no matter how moderate, can help you to lose body fat. You can always increase the level of intensity to speed up your results.