Eating to Lose Weight

 

Not until I changed my eating habits did I start seeing the dramatic changes in my body. After a few weeks, I started to lean out and saw cuts and definition in my abs, arms and legs. That was my defining “ah ha!” moment when I realized that what I put in my body was just as important as my daily exercise. I was hooked!

Exercise gets addictive. It’s fun, your “feel good” endorphins are elevated, and you feel great. After a while and your body actually starts to crave the burn. Believe it or not, clean eating is the same way. The more healthy foods you eat, the more healthy foods you’ll start to crave. The sugar and junk food will make you feel sluggish and bloated and you start to crave it less and less.

And you’ll be amazed at how much better you start to feel physically and mentally. Think about how sluggish you feel after a big meal. Eating a healthy, portion controlled diet leaves you feeling satiated and energized without feeling full and bloated. Plus it ACELERATES your results!

 

Getting Started

The food you eat accounts for up to 70% of your results. You can’t out train a bad diet. That means, you can exercise as much as you want, but you won’t see the full benefit of all that hard work if you don’t change what your putting in your body.

The best thing you can do for your abs is to eat clean. You can do crunches all day, but you’ll never see your abs if there’s a layer of fat covering them up.

I started eating clean in Nov 2009. It was a little tough to get used to initially, but once the weight started falling off and realized how much better I felt, I became more committed to stick with it. It’s now second nature. I occasionally have food cravings, but I’ve found healthier ways to enjoy my favorite foods without derailing all my efforts.

Here’s how I did it:

  • I created a daily calorie deficit by figuring out how many calories my body needed to maintain my current weight and ate 500 calories less than that.
  • I used a food scale to measure my portions. I got an inexpensive one from Target.
  • I didn’t eat after 8pm.
  • I had 2 cheat meals a month so I didn’t feel deprived.
  • I planned my meals every day. The Team Beachbody Online Meal Planner is great for creating a customized meal plan based on your gender, height, weight, and fitness goals.
  • I replaced one meal a day with Shakeology. That was one less meal I had to plan and it satisfied my chocolate craving.

 

It’s Not a Diet.  It’s a Lifestyle

Diets don’t work. Developing long lasting, healthy eating habits does! Plus, by learning to eat healthy, you’ll learn how to control your weight for the long term.  Since you will be eating healthier foods with less fat and carbs, you need to eat every 2-3 hours. You can’t starve yourself skinny! This is very important and I can’t stress this enough.

Here’s why:

  • You’ll eat 5-6 small meals a day so you won’t feel deprived or overly hungry.
  • Fueling your body every 2-3 hours keeps your metabolism going all day, which of course burns calories and fat even when you’re resting.
  • When your body gets hungry, it believes it’s starving and starts storing fat. So don’t skip meals! You should eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day with healthy snacks in between.

 

What is “Clean Eating”?

Clean eating means eating well portioned, balanced, low fat, low sugar meals that help fuel your body and provide the proper amount of nutrition. Generally, a well balanced meal should include 4-6 oz lean protein (chicken breast, turkey breast, fish, lean red meats), whole grains, healthy fats and fruits and veggies.   Your body will use the food as fuel instead of storing it as fat.

When planning your meals, choose your snacks and meals wisely. Balance your diet with fruits, veggies, whole grain carbs, healthy fats, lean meat, and low-fat dairy. Just remember to eat moderate amounts of carbs and healthy fats. Read Clean Eating Basics for recommended serving sizes and sample healthy carbs, proteins, and fats.

 

The Eating Plan  

Speed up your metabolism by eating 5-6 small meals a day. This also keeps you from getting overly hungry, and you’ll be on your way to shedding fat and pounds.

  • Breakfast: Within an hour of waking up.
  • Snack: 2 to 3 hours after breakfast.
  • Lunch: 2 to 3 hours after snack.
  • Snack: 2 to 3 hours after lunch.
  • Dinner: Finish at least 3 hours before bed.
  • Snack: (optional). Should be protein (no carbs or sugar!)

 

Additional Resources for Getting Started:  

Team Beachbody Online Meal Planner – create a CUSTOMIZED meal plan.

Shakeology – A super nutritious all natural meal replacement shake with 70+ healthy ingredients.

MyFitnessPal – A free online tool for tracking calories and macro nutrient intake (carbs, fat, sugar, etc).