So lets get started. Here is the information that I hope will help to empower you and help you reach your goals. Nutrition
Eighty percent of weight loss is what you are putting in your mouth. Making wiser choices in the foods that you eat can change not only your weight, but also the end result of your quality of life.
I highly recommend a food journal. This can be a notebook or anything that you desire to hold yourself accountable. The reasons for this are; tracking what you eat, assists you to see what is working for you (you may find some weeks are better than others and you can go back to the foods that work the best), and it creates accountability. It is easier to write down that you are going to eat one cookie versus four. I also keep my exercise program here. I will write what exercise I did, how many calories I burned, and what percentage of fat I burned that day. Again, helping you to see what is going to give you the very best results for your body.
I also recommend that you take the time to cook all of your food for the week. This will eliminate all excuses and help you stay on the program. The more you can grab and go, the easier it will be for you to follow this. I usually barbecue my meats, or you can throw things in a crock-pot. Both are easy to do and require little to no effort. Try to eat as much of your vegetables raw as you can. They are a negative calorie food. It takes more calories to eat, chew and digest vegetables than the calories that are in them. If you have to cook them, very lightly steam them. They should still be a little crunchy. If you want to use a protein powder, the only one that I like is Only Protein because it is a clean product. If you have one that you prefer, it has to be high protein, no more than four carbs, and no artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, Acesulfame potassium or Acesulfame K.
When it comes to portions, the amount is on your food sheet. If you don’t like measuring, use the palm of your hand as a protein portion and your fist for veggies. You may find that this will be easier for you. But if you are looking to be very lean, you do need to keep it a lot tighter and will want to measure. The name of the game is to stay on the program.
How many calories should I eat?
This is the magic question. For each person it will be different. What I recommend doing is using a HRM or a bodybug and wearing it for 24 hrs. You will want to do this on a day you are not exercising. Take that number and subtract 500 calories and that is what you will want your caloric intake to be. If you are exercising, you will want to add in those calories. If you are trying to get weight off fast you can make your deficit higher, but not for a long period of time. Try not to do more than 1,000. If you have been a chronic dieter, you will want to stay closer to the 500-calorie deficit. If you are a chronic dieter and you have been eating way below your caloric burn for any length of time you will need to take your calories up 100 calories a week till you are close to the deficit you should be. Take it slow so you don’t shock your system. Be patient, your chronic dieting has hurt your metabolism and it takes time to fix this.
There are sample menus you can use. Choose the Meal Plan that is the closest to the number you should be at for your deficit. If there is something you don’t like on the menu, then exchange it out for something you do like. Use the food list that is here and Kimmerle’s shopping list that has calories, protein, carbs and fats to exchange and adjust your numbers so you stay where you need to. New menus will be added for your choosing. You also can create your own menus. Make sure that your carbs are not lower than 100 grams unless you are carb cycling. Your fats should not be lower than 35 grams and your calories no lower than 1200.
I have created some meal plans for those that would like to carb cycle and David has done some also. This should give you enough variety so that you don’t get board. If you have never carb cycled then please read the carb cycling document.
As far as weighing yourself, I only want you to weigh in once a week. Many things cause weight to fluctuate. It will play with your mind. Once a week will give you a real picture of what is going on. Take your measurements, which will give you a better picture of where you are.
You must drink half your body weight in ounces daily. So if I weighed 150 pounds, I would need to drink a minimum of 75 ounces of water. If you live where there is high humidity, you will want to drink more. If you are very active and sweating a lot, then you need to drink more. Many fitness people make the mistake of drinking gallons of water. This depletes electrolytes and affects your cell’s ability to transfer nutrients in and waste out of your cells. Fixing an electrolyte issue takes time. It isn’t as easy as adding salt to your diet.
It is really important to make sure you follow the program strictly for the first 3-4 weeks. Then, if you want to have a cheat meal this is how you will do it. Remember, it is one meal, not a bunch of stuff!! If it is a meal like pizza, then try and have for lunch or mid afternoon. If it is some kind of sweet like cake, you need to have a protein drink first. Have your cheat item and then go work out. You need to do this in the morning or by noon if it is a high sugar item. Remember that after 3:00 p.m. your metabolism is cut in half. You don’t want to eat anything but protein and veggies. You will see the greatest results if you do this.
Part of doing this program is to make sure that you are burning as much fat as possible when you exercise. For the first 20 minutes, you burn sugar. After that, you either burn fat or muscle. You never want to burn muscle because that will lower your metabolism. To ensure your success, you will want to purchase a heart rate monitor. The polar F-6 is the one that I use. This will help you stay in your fat burning zone because it beeps when you go out of your zone. I also love the body bug because it tells me how many calories I am burning. See my workouts and my recommendations for training.
I recommend starting with a basic meal plan to start. Once you have done for at least 4 weeks then you may choose carb cycling if that is what you want to do.