During this eight-week challenge, I want you to focus on eating clean, NOT DIETING, but eating clean. This is a habit you must build, similar to brushing you teeth, or tying your shoes. Start reaching for/cooking nutrition dense foods. Eat at a slight deficit of maintenance calories (calories needed to maintain current weight) for fat loss, or slightly above for building muscle (You calculate maintenance calories range by taking body weight x 14 low end or body weight x 17 high end depending on activity). We want to build sustainable lifestyle change. We don’t want to restrict any of your favorite foods; we just want to limit it to something you EARN once a week.
Before you say you can’t, you’re to busy, and any other excuse; I have a question for you. Do you have social networking app (Facebook, instagram, snapchat, twitter) on your phone? Do you send text messages? Do you do banking on your phone? If the answer was yes to any of those three questions, then you have more than enough time to use this app. Once you record something, by the second time it is saved in your favorites.
The goal is not to use this forever, but to get a better understanding of calorie dense foods, and how much space they take up in your overall caloric intake. My suggestion is a plan I use to maintain my weight. I usually have a few of my favorite proteins, fats, and carbohydrates I like to mix and match. For example five of your favorites of each food group (protein, carbs, and fats) mixed and matched is 125 meal options, I only usally simplify it with 8-10 go to meal options. Record the meal the first time you eat it, and aim for the same serving size every time. You will already know the calories (potential energy) you are taking in. This will be one less thing you have to worry about next time.
Don’t leave the house hungry
When you do this, you are leaving yourself open to making choices that can be detrimental to your progress. If you know you are going to be gone for an extended period of time, eat before you leave or pack a healthy snack (rice cakes with a spoon of natural peanut butter are my go to snack during my 8 weeks).
I know you guys are tired of hearing me say this, so I will say it again anyway. Be prepared for the day ahead, have your food ready. Once again, this is one less thing to think about which will make success that much easier. When it comes to your health, you are always paying for it, either by investing time or money. You go shopping in the organic section or health food store (money), you come to class and exercise (investing time and money), you are sick or in the hospital (time & money). If you are worried that you don’t have the time, then get someone to cook for you. You might pay a little more, but once again, it is one less thing to think about. There are so many catering options where people will cook for you and your fitness goals, and you won’t need to lift a finger.
6g of sugar or less (per serving)
Sugar is the devil, but it is put in everything…EVERYTHING. A few years ago, I was in my Clif bar phase. I thought it was a healthy snack, so I was eating them often. One day I decided to look at the label more closely, and to my surprise it was packed with sugar (I believe it was 20g, it was a while back so I forgot exact number). After reading a Jackie Warner book a few years ago “This is why your fat”, she made the suggestion of eating at most 6 grams of sugar per serving, and to just have that one serving. I did that and noticed a difference in my physique not too long after. Set a goal to eat less than 6g per serving for this eight weeks, unless it’s your cheat meal.
Food choices at Restaurants
If by chance you happen to go out to a restaurant during these eight weeks, make it your cheat meal. If you already had your cheat meal, then always choose the lesser of two evils. There is no way to track calories on myfitnesspal from restaurant food, so aim for grilled or baked with no carb filled, sugary sauce (ask for a lemon or hot sauce to sprinkle on the food), and steamed or raw veggies.
I am not a registered dietitian, this list is an accumulation of personal experience, research, and success from former clients success. Aim for lean protein; slow digesting carbs (most listed below), and some healthy fat at every meal. Fist size portions are key, and make sure to eat for energy, not to be stuffed. Under the list is an example of one-day food intake for me.
|Chicken||Beans & Legumes||Avocados|
|Lean Turkey Meat||Unsweetened Oatmeal (steel cut)||Olive oil (olives)|
|Lean Ground beef||Sweet Potatoes (Starch)||Canola oil|
|Salmon and other fish||All Vegetables (high in fiber)||Sunflower oil (sunflower seeds)|
|Turkey Breast||Most Fruits (Stay away from tropical fruit ex Pineapples, mangos peaches etc)||Omega 3 (Found in Fish)|
|Eggs/ Egg whites (less calories)||Brown rice (starch)||Nuts (Walnuts, Almonds)|
|Lean ham||Whole Eggs|
|Sirloin Steak||Peanut butter|
|Greek Yogurt (check sugar)|
|Protein Powder (vegetarian and vegan options available)|
|Beans and Legumes|
Wake up (5-6 am)
1.5 liter of water within first two hours of waking up
6 egg whites with one whole egg
1 cup of Irish Steel Cut oats with sliced apple
fruit and veggie smoothie with added protein powder
5oz grilled salmon
Cup of Spinach
In between Snack 3-4p
Protein powder with 6-8oz Almond milk
Rice cake (maybe 2)
Cup of Brown rice
1.5 liters of water
Time to get to work team. I am going through this 8 weeks with you, I am taking my before pictures tomorrow evening after a carb filled weekend of my favorite foods. Two months from now what will you look back and say? That can only be determined by your discipline and effort.
And the winner of the Eight week body transformation challenge is…..
To be continued