I know that most readers think that fat loss is all about exercise, but you must know that good nutrition is just as important for fat loss results. Making the correct food choices is your secret weapon in the rush to get the best body for summer. Eating right will help you lose fat and increase your energy dramatically, so that you'll have plenty of stamina for social life, in the gym, and at work.
When I start working with clients, I have everyone enter their food intake on a nutrition tracking website to allow both of us to evaluate their nutrition. Some of the common problems that I see are:
1. Too many treats per day. As one client said, ''I still have one treat per day such as chips, a chocolate bar, a donut, or a rib sub each day, and sometimes I skip breakfast. But other than that, I think it is pretty good.''
If that’s the case, and you are trying to lose fat, then you will have a difficult time. You just can't eat that many treats (read: garbage) and expect to get lean (unless you are 16 years old).
2. Skipping breakfast.
3. Not eating enough fiber.
4. Not eating enough lean protein and low-glycemic, low-fat carbohydrate sources.
5. Not eating much during the day and then eating a huge dinner.
1. Set the tone with the first meal of the day by consuming a lean protein source and high-fiber, low-glycemic carbohydrates. Fiber at this meal will help control blood sugar over the morning and can help modify appetite at subsequent meals.
2. Consume mini-meals to prevent starvation-induced meal binges and energy slumps.
3. Choose snacks that contain protein and fiber, such as almonds.
4. Keep your dinner moderate, and avoid high-calorie feasts.
5. Consume calorie-free beverages, preferably Green Tea or water.
6. Consume at least the recommended amount of fiber through vegetables, fruits, almonds, etc. But start adding fiber to your diet slowly and drink more water.
7. Try to improve your nutrition each day. This will help get you into healthy eating habits. Be consistent with your training and nutrition, and you'll get results.
So here is your challenge. Start with one day and eliminate all of the processed foods from your nutrition plan. I want you to go one full day without foods containing added sugar, hydrogenated oils, or high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
If you do this, you'll feel amazing and energized. You will probably have your best workout of the year and you'll probably get more done at work as well.
Replace the junk with lean protein sources, fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains (such as oat-based products), water, and green tea. Make sure to log your food intake on fitday.com and compare it to your regular eating. You'll notice that it is very hard to overeat when you eat only healthy foods. And then next week, try going two days without processed foods.
Keep focusing on one improvement each day and soon you'll have better nutrition habits and fast fat loss to go along with it...not to mention a new body!
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training
About the Author
Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit www.TurbulenceTraining.com