I can say with the utmost certainty that most everyone, at one point or another in their lives, has hit a point of feeling discontent with their appearance. Even if this does make our society sound rather vain, which actually may not be too far from the truth (c’mon, lets not lie here!), we have all been there. Whether it is following the gluttonous holiday season, an overly indulgent and under-active holiday vacation, or simply falling into a treacherously terrible health & fitness lifestyle, we most certainly have all wanted to slim down, and to slim down quick.
As a personal trainer, clients want answers, and not dissimilar to the rest of our lightning-speed, impatient generation, they want quick, shortcuts. Who could argue with such a mentality? If there is an easier, quicker way to achieve something, as species driven by survival, wouldn’t it make the most sense to choose that option, as opposed to the more arduous, time-consuming path?
Thus, while this plan will certainly not work for all, the fundamentals of this plan are built upon nutritional guidelines that will no doubt ensure a healthy lifestyle, if not a trimmer waistline.
This is the most appropriate time to eat carbs, yet in general, limiting most carbs (such as white, processed, refined grains like cookies, crackers, most cereals and granola bars, white bread, white rice and pasta, etc.) is a sure way to slimming down. If you’re going to eat carbs, eat them in the morning to supply your body with a good source of fuel (carbs = glucose = glycogen = your body’s fuel). But make sure to combine these carbs with appropriate sources of protein and fat, to keep you full.
— old-fashioned oats (no instant oatmeal)
— granola bars which lack preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, sucralose, and lots of refined sugars (try Lara bars, or pro bars, or perfect food bars, or quest bars)
— stone ground wheat bread or sprouted bread.
— Eggs with yolk – only have one yolk if limiting calories
— Protein powder made with stevia, not sucralose, and ideally from sprouted protein.
— Real milk – if you want to limit calories, full fat milk is pretty thick so dilute with water! (Skim milk and reduced fat milk are unhealthy because of the processing they undergo)
This is a good time to fuel your body with some more protein, to keep your metabolism going, without having your blood sugar levels crash from more carbs. If you do eat carbs, only make it from fruits and vegetables (with a small serving of hummus if you like!)
— Trail mix/nuts
— Almond butter/banana
— Tuna/chicken/salmon salad lettuce wraps/cucumber sandwiches
— Fruits and Veggies
— Hard Boiled Eggs
— Protein Powder
Time to load up on more protein, veggies and healthy sources of fat, the simplest options being olive oil based dressings or avocado.
Don’t be tempted to have carbs with your salad. You’re only craving carbs if your body is still going through the withdrawal of having been fed lots of high glycemic index (fast absorbing, high in refined sugar) carbs which cause a blood sugar crash, similar to people addicted to drugs! I promise, it will pass. If you don’t eat sugar anymore, your body will eventually stop craving it.
Stay away from starchy vegetables like potatoes, peas, beans, corn, whole grains, etc. until later, particularly after a workout when your body needs more carbs for replenishment of fuel.
— grilled chicken (breast or skinless thigh) or fish with mixed vegetable variations
— canned tuna, chicken or salmon salad (base made from Greek yogurt, mustard, hummus, etc.) with lettuce wraps
— protein powder smoothie made with Greek yogurt and fruit
Essentially this should be the same as lunch, but a little heartier so you feel fully satisfied (in order to avoid binges on sweets or a superfluous midnight snack). Feel free to add back in some of the healthier starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, butternut squash, beans, corn on the cob, peas, etc.
Allow yourself some fruit and/or greek yogurt and/or honey, or a nibble of dark chocolate. While at first it may be hard to believe that this will fill your indescribable desire for a huge bowl of ice cream, if you cut out those refined, empty sugars, eventually you will instead crave these real sources of sweetness (fruit, honey, yogurt, etc.)
And now you’re probably thinking…
That’s its?! That’s all I can bloody eat all day, each week?! Don’t you fret, this is the bareback, no frills, foundation of your new eating plan. I’m here to provide the creativity to show you that eating this healthy can still taste delicious and diverse! And even better news, the more strict you are with yourself, the more deserving you will be of a once-weekly indulgence 🙂
Good luck! And look out for recipe inspirations!