Heres an adapted version of Precision Nutritions 5 Lean Habits that I share with my nutrition clients. This isn't a diet plan, its a lifestyle. Many of us are too sedentary, and consume far too many processed, high sugar, high sodium, calorie dense foods. The key to weight maintenance is daily activity, and a diet consisting of whole, natural, unprocessed proteins, fruits and vegetables. If its comes in a box, package, or bottle, its probably devoid of any nutrient value and loaded with empty calories. Best selling nutrition and culture author, Michael Pollan, summed it up best "eat often, not too much, mostly plants." For more information on my diet and exercise prescriptions, feel free to contact me here.
5 Lean Habits
1. Frequent Small Meals. Eat every 2-4 hours - eating boosts your metabolism via the thermic effect of feeding (TEF), and promotes stable blood sugar levels, combating cravings and binging. It also affects several hormones, which set the body up for either fat storage or fat burning.
2. Protein First. Protein comes from the Greek word Proteios, meaning first or most important. Amino acids are the building block of every cell in your body. Choose a lean protein (poultry, fish, lean beef, pork, eggs, 2% dairy, whey protein supplements, soy) every time you put any food in your mouth - Make protein the focus of each meal. Protein boosts the metabolism, as its harder to digest than other foods. It also promotes muscle development which is more metabolically active than fat. Your body can store sugars and fats, but cannot store proteins, so its important to fuel this need regularly, or your body will tap into muscle to get the proteins it needs to function, thereby decreasing your metabolism, promoting fat storage.
3. Lots of Veggies. 1-2 servings (1 cup raw, 1/2 cup cooked or 1 piece) of veggies and or fruits (4:1 ratio) every time you eat something. Veggies and fruits are nutrient dense and low in calories. They provide good carbohydrates and displace bad calorie dense carbs (breads, pastas, sugars, grains)
4. Time Your Carbs. Starchy complex carbs (whole grains, pastas, breads, rice, cereals, snacks, sugars) only 1-2 hours following exercise. Otherwise, these carbs are converted to sugars and stored as body fat. Starchy carbs are simply long chains of sugars molecules. Feed your muscles with starches post workout when insulin sensitivity is greatest. Avoid these carbs on rest, and cardio days.
5. Eat fat to burn fat. Eat more healthy fats throughout the day (nuts, nut butters, avocados, olives, olive oil, fish oil supplements, marine foods, chia seeds, flax) Fats are calorically dense, and provide satiety, keeping you full between meals. Many of the tissues in the body are lipid(fat) based. Eating more fat, will enhance weight-loss, mood, hormone production, fat soluble vitamin absorption, and immunity.