Objective: Be honest with yourself about your current eating habits.
The best way to get a grip on your current eating patterns is to use a simple tool like the FitBit tracker and website to collect information about your current lifestyle. You can then analyze your choices and begin eliminating the most unhealthy foods and replacing them with tasty alternatives that will be both nutritious and healthy.
Once you know your starting point, the changes necessary to establish a healthy eating plan can be found by answering three basic questions, "When, What and How Much can I eat?"
"When Should I Eat?"
Objective: Eat by the clock to stabilize your blood sugar level, roughly eating every 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
This pattern of eating will help eliminate the peaks and valleys that contribute to weight gain and that negatively affect the way you feel during the day. Additionally, it makes portion control easier and prevents binge eating that occurs when you get hungry. You will develop eating habits that train your mind to see food as a fuel and not as a way to control your feelings and emotions.
"What Should I Eat?"
Objective: Simply stated, "Eat less CRAP and "Eat more FOOD"
C - CARBONATED DRINKS
R - REFINED SUGARS
A - ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS/COLOURS
P - PROCESSED FOODS
F - FRUITS & VEGGIES
O - ORGANIC LEAN PROTEIN
O - OMEGA 3 & OTHER HEALTHY FATS
D - DRINK WATER (Minimum 64oz)
Replacing soft drinks and juices with water is the first place to start. Elimination of processed foods and foods that have added sugar can make a huge difference in how your body processes and stores fat. Introduction of healthy smoothies, meal replacement shakes and healthy nutrition bars can make this transition easier without sacrificing taste.
"How Much Should I Eat?"
Objective: Calories IN vs Calories OUT Balance the Macros
Considering the balance of calories is critical to losing body fat. There are 3500 calories in one pound of fat. With seven days in a week, it would take an average calorie deficit of 500 calories/day to loose one pound of fat a week. Calorie deficits of more than 1000 calories/week are not recommended as your body can go into starvation mode and begin to breakdown muscle with too large a calorie deficit.
Foods can be classified into one of three basic categories, carbohydrates, fats and proteins. The distribution of these foods with each meal and at certain times during the day can have a significant impact on how your body processes and stores fats. Basic recommendations include: 1) Protein with each meal and 2) 1.5 to 2gm of protein per pound of skeletal muscle.
Again, logging your food intake is critical to fine-tuning your diet as you begin to look at the balance of calories and the distribution of macros in your diet.
Objective: Supplementation helps to ensure that your body has all the building blocks it needs to achieve maximum results, regardless of your schedule.
Supplements allow you to take your body to the next level but are a total waste of time unless you have successfully implemented the steps outlined above. There are nutritional elements that your body may not get enough of, even with a healthy diet. An example is Omega 3 fatty acids. Very few of us eat enough fish to get the recommended levels of Omega 3s without supplementation.