Even as a personal Trainer in Victoria and health conscious, I struggled with this for years and years before I finally learned about a few key components of building a belly fat busting, craving banishing “eat for life” diet plan… One that I could live with for the rest of my life and not always be searching for the next diet.. Because that sort of mindset will leave your metabolism at a grinding halt and your waistline bulging like never before!
Yes the standard calorie restricted diet, or “eat this for two weeks and you’ll lose 30 lbs”, carb restricted diets are terrible for your metabolism, long term weight loss and sustaining lean body density.
The more you restrict, the slower your metabolism becomes, the less calories you burn, the less muscle you have, the lower your energy becomes, the worse your hormone production becomes… to the point where you drive yourself insane with deprivation and boredom you stop eating the diet and go back to what you ate before and BOOM!
You will gain it all back and more.. and not just that but you will have catabolised your muscle tissue so it will be even harder to strip the fat off…
Plus you will have beaten yourself up for being such a failure and having no self control… Sounds familiar?
So… do you want to start another diet or do you want to set yourself up with the know how to plan and create your meals for the rest of your life, without deprivation, and stay lean, clean and beautiful? Oh heck yes!
Few simple rules to keep in mind for life:
Secret #1. Portion Control Of Macro-nutrients:
This is by far your best bet!! Screw the old “calories in calories out” or even counting them.. Who wants to count calories for the rest of their life, not me! Learn portions of your macro-nutrients and you can never go wrong. I eat like this and when I’m trying to lean out for summer or a photo shoot, if I watch my portions I can pretty much eat anything I want and still look great! Portions of macros are broken down as follows:
Proteins: For one serving of most proteins, go for the the same thickness of your palm and about 3/4 of the size.
Ideal proteins include: eggs(about 2-3 eggs or 1c egg whites), fish, shellfish(1c), chicken, turkey/beef/ buffalo/ venison/ostrich, Greek yogurt( about 3/4c), whey Isolate protein powder Isolate(1scoop), egg protein powder(1scoop), and hemp protein powder(1scoop or how ever much it takes to get 15-20grams per serving).
Other acceptable sources include: seeds, nuts, nut butters, quinoa, beans, black eyed peas
Natural Starchy Carbs(complex carbs): These are considered legumes, whole grain breads and cereals, and starchy vegetables and some fruits. These you want to measure by closing your fist and going for half the size of your fist(about 1/2c).
Some ideal complex/starchy carbs include: oatmeal, brown rice, wild rice, potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, all kinds of beans, lentils, quinoa, couscous, barley, rye, squash, and beets, berries, grapefruit.
Other acceptable carbs include: sprouted grain bread, high fiber cereal, brown rice cakes, brown rice pasta, sprouted grain tortilla.
You may have noticed I don’t include milk or cottage cheese, these things arent good for the body and have been over-consumed in our society, so I didn’t include them.
Natural Simple Carbs: These are carbohydrates that break down faster and have a higher impact on blood sugar, mainly fruits and some veggies. Despite what you’ve heard, I dont think cutting these out is a good idea at all! Its actually a great way to drive yourself insane and turn into a bitch from hell.. Women on carb restricted diets are no fun, and definitely don’t enjoy it, and set their metabolisms up for destruction. With my personal training clients and boot camp clients, I recommend learning to use these foods at the proper times, like just before training and after training to replace glycogen in muscles.
I say might as well enjoy them and learn how to use them for building a leaner and tighter physique than you could without them. These are measured in the same way as Complex carbs, about 1/2c, or half the size of your closed fist. When picking fruit, go for half of a banana or large apple ect.
Ideal sources of simple carbs include: Apples, apricots, bananas, grapes, grapefruit, kiwis, mangoes, melons, nectarines, oranges, pears, pineapples, plums, cooked carrots and tomatoes.
Fibrous Carbs: These are easily known as green veggies, high in fiber and have a negative caloric value as they require more energy to break the macro down then the food itsself. These are awesome as they tend to be very filling, detoxifying, and full of minerals. You don’t have to measure these foods, so fill your plate and enjoy whenever you are hungry!
Fibrous carbs include: broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, lettuce, green beans, asparagus, bell peppers, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, cucumbers, raw carrots, alfalfa, collard greens, radishes, onion and cilantro.
Fats: These are so important for every cell and nerve function in our body, as well as maintaining a lean physique, fighting off cravings and sustaining blood sugar levels. Fats are measured in teaspoons, I generally stick to about 1-2 teaspoons per meal.
Best sources of fat include: ghee(clarified butter), MCT Oil, grass fed butter, fish oil, udos oil blend, hempseed oil, almond butters, Extra virgin olive oil, avocado, walnuts, raw coconut butter, sesame oil.
Secret #2: Meal Frequency
Meal timing is key for keeping your metabolism cranking out fat burning hormones and sustained blood sugar. The more stable your blood sugar, the more you burn fat instead of storing it, the better you feel energetically, the less likely you will reach for something out of starvation and weakness, the more you will want to keep doing what your doing.. so put it to use and you will always have consistent energy and never be hungry!
A good rule of thumb to remember is always have your meals 2-4 hours apart, never more! After about 4 hours your body starts producing hormones to slow your metabolism and store the next meal as fat as it prepares to go into starvation mode. Aim for 5 of these smaller meals a day, spaced out 2-4 hours apart, here’s the perfect structure:
Meal#1: Protein+ Starchy Carb+Simple carb+Fat
Meal#2: Protein+Starchy Carb+Simple Carb+Fat
Meal#3: Protein+Starchy Carb+Fibrous Carb+Fat
Meal#4: Protein+Fibrous Carb+Fat
Meal#5: Protein+Fibrous Carb+Fat
Secret #3: Tapering Your Simple and Starchy Carbs After 3pm:
You probably noticed this is what I did in the example above. This has a massive benefit on your body’s ability to burn fat while you sleep, increasing your human growth hormone production, and accelerating your belly fat loss!! Keep simple and starchy carbs in the first 3 meals, fill up on fibrous after 3pm and you will see your waistline shrink effortlessly without feeling deprived!
Secret #4: Eat Sour And Spicy Foods
I used to be hardcore addicted to sugar.. Like most women, as we put a lot of stress and pressure on ourselves and constantly nitpick at our bodies and self image. Negative thoughts, out of control blood sugar, not enough protein, too many bad fats and not enough good ones, stress, lack of sleep ect can all lead to massive sugar cravings.. after all it does stimulate the same receptors in the brain as cocaine and heroine.
You can cut your cravings by eating a variety of flavors, savory, salty, sour, spicy, bitter, and a bit of sweet. The sour, bitter, and a bit of spicy is very important, as it will change your pallet and reduce your cravings for sweets.
Do yourself and your gut a favor and go get a whole bunch of organic lemons, and some unpasteurized raw saurkraut, and some organic apple cider vinegar and implement this into your eating asap! It works!!
Secret #5: Eat Until Your 80% Full
This is by far so important as you want to leave room in your stomach for digestion. If you always stay body aware while you’re enjoying your meal, you will never be eating from your emotions or your head.
This can allow you to stay present with each and every bite, check in with how your feeling, how your body is responding, slow down and enjoy each mouthful. Once you feel that feeling of “my body has what it needs and I’m satisfied” then stop. You should learn to know where this feeling is.. and if you’ve ever gone past it you always regret it. This is your body’s natural calorie limit and it will never do you wrong.
Learn where this is and you will always be honoring yourself with great love and respect.. and see a slimmer waistline!
Secret#6: Take Minerals For Endless Energy, Great Skin, And Stave Off Sugar Cravings:
Our soil has less than 10% of minerals left in it then 100 years ago, supplementing with minerals is absolutely essential! If you have been struggling with energy, drive, and sugar cravings you are probably lacking in important minerals especially Chromium and Vanadium.
You want to go for a plant based, whole foods mineral mix, like the one by MegaFoods: Balanced Minerals. Take 3 caps with breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Also try adding raw cacao to your smoothies, shakes or eating the beans whole as a snack. Raw cacao beans are one of the most abundant sources of chromium and magnesium as well as a whole bunch of other important minerals. They also release serotonin in your brain to help with cravings!
Also adding Celtic sea salt to your water will aid in absorption and constant minerals to your tissues. Pick up some celtic sea salt, arctic or ant-arctic sea salt for this, add a bit of lemon and you got a lovely alkalizing electrolyte drink!
Secret #7: Drink Water!
An important nutrient for every function, your metabolism, your brain, energy and delivery of nutrients.. It’s also what your body is mostly made out of, aside from stardust. Drink clean, unprocessed, living spring water with added minerals for best absorption(the electrolyte formula above).
Much love, health, and gratitude
By Jannine Murray, Health And Fitness Specialist
“Be Inspired, Get Results”