Today however, I'm going to walk away from giving any new weight loss fads even the slightest nod of attention. Even if it's by way of rebuttal.
Instead let me show you how easy it is for you to create your own, customized "Nutrition Map/ Guide" for successful and lasting Weight loss. Using the internet, a food journal and a scale.
If by chance you are getting prepared to join my "FINALLY FIT IN FEBRUARY" Facebook Challenge - this is how you are to create your customized Eating plan for the totality of that Challenge and may I suggest after as well. Or until you reach your goals and then....simply modify your numbers and maintain.
Everyone can do this. It's simple to create and it WILL WORK!
Actually, with the use of the internet now days, by showing you how to do this...... I might just be working myself out of a job ( nutritionally speaking anyway)!
- HERE ARE YOUR DIRECTIONS... ENJOY -
1)Go to either the MyPlate APP (by Live Strong ...yes I know, I know, but the Live Strong programs are amazing - enough said) or try the 'Lose it' APP - THEY ARE BOTH GREAT- (If you have already found one you like, YOU MAY USE IT... if it does what I describe below).
2) Follow the APP'S instructions and enter all your info. Make sure that for now, or at least through the month of February (if not thereafter as well), to enter that you desire to lose 2 pounds a week.
3) Their system's will calculate and print out the number of calories that you'll need to eat to achieve the goal you entered at the rate of 2 pounds down per week. This is your "Daily Caloric Allotment" or the amount of calories you are to eat each day for now anyway - in order to achieve your goals. Each day when you reach this number of calories, well You're DONE and "THAT's ALL FOLKS" (as Porky Pig would say)!
4) Journal your food. Other wise, how are you going to know what you're eating!
5) Last - WEIGH! Yep. If you are taking the February Challenge, you will weigh Friday, February First and from there, every Monday and Friday throughout the month. If you're not doing the challenge, I suggest you do the same. It's easy to fool yourself that you're staying on track an towing the line, if you don't have to face the scale! So get used to getting on it and record your results. If it's not going down...well, you KNOW WHY!
Now, there are many ways to divide up and consume these calories throughout the day. Below is a Template so to speak. A Map To Follow if you'd like. It's safe, sound an will help to keep you full longer than just taking a blind stab at what, where and when to consume those calories.
SO, my Suggestion is that you divide it up like this....
Daily Caloric Intake Template;
Breakfast = 1 protein - 1 fruit - 1 starch
Lunch = 1 protein - 1 fruit - 1 vegetable
Dinner = 1 protein - 1 fruit - 1 starch - 2 vegetables
Snacks: I do suggest trying to snack a bit.
Try one or two between meals. They are a Great idea - just as long as they don't exceed your daily caloric intake as determined by the "My Plate" or "Lose It" APPS! My suggested snack pattern or map is below. choose one of the three listed for your mid morning snack and another combination for your mid afternoon snack. Try snacking by combining food groups as follows:
1 protein w/1 vegetable
1 protein w/1 starch
- or -
1 protein w/1 fruit
When it comes to fruits, starches and vegetables, these are ALL forms of CARBOHYDRATES! Yes, even a leaf of lettuce is! You need a greater percentage of complex carbohydrates then you need protein in your diet each day. The more active you are, the higher the percentage of complex carbohydrates you will need. But protein is important too. We just need less of it. Contrary to any fad diet out there that may have told you otherwise!!
However, as you will notice above. I always eat (as my clients do also), at least one or more complex carbohydrates at each FULL MEAL...accompanied by a single protein source. This way you will have lots of energy and with protein taking longer to digest, you will stay full longer.
Remember though - to lose body fat you will have to find yourself at times, being comfortable with being a bit hungry. It's just the way it works. Not starving, just hungry. This may be quite contrary to what many of those "Pie in the Sky" Programs are touting, but that's why they don't work and yes, I'll take that statement with me to the grave. It's the scientific truth. We don't have to like it, but we'll have to obey it if we want to succeed! You Choose!
In case you aren't familiar with what constitutes a protein source, a starch, a fruit or a vegetable, check it out;
Proteins - Protein sources are made up of dairy products, eggs (I suggest 4 egg whites as 1 protein - but a couple of yolks a week are OK, just remember one egg is 75 calories with fat involved and yes, great nutrients. One egg white has only 18 calories, nutrients and NO FAT...you decide) , and all animal products such as chicken, fish, ham and meats- period. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOW TO NO FAT VERSIONS OF THESE PRODUCTS . That's easy enough to find now days, especially in the dairy department for sure.
Starches- Starches (Which literally means starchy carbohydrates as explained above), includes all products made from wheat and other grains - meaning all breads, dry cereals, cooked cereals, pastas, rice, potatoes and other starch based vegetables such as corn. etc.
Vegetables - Vegetables are just that...vegetables! They are made up of mainly carbohydrates sources, but remember for the purposes of this weight loss map, while potatoes and corn are vegetables, they will best fit into the starch category as they contain a large portion of such. - and last -
Fruits - Fruits are again, just that. FRUITS. You know what they are - apples, oranges, grapes, melons, grapefruit, all berries etc.
The last piece of the puzzle -
What does (1) mean of each of the food groups listed on the Food Map and how many calories does that contain? Well, (1) literally means one single serving size and the calories are the calories contained in that amount of the food group you are choosing.
On packages, read the back and read carefully. You may be surprised that that the favorite cereal you load in your bowl each morning, actually has a suggested serving size of only 1/3rd of a cup...OOPS! EXACTLY!
It's been said that if we all at the intended serving sizes of all of our foods and moved a good bit, we'd all be in great shape! But heaven knows, in this country especially, we don't!!!
SO, you will have to familiarize yourself with the serving size intended for each food you choose to use and the calories contained in it.
But what if it doesn't come in a package or bag with no label to read?
Again I say, exactly...and hopefully MOST of your food won't!
Well there are several easy ways.
First - You can either do it the old fashioned way and buy a "food/ calorie" book. This will give you ALL the info you could or ever would want on each food group you eat, OR, you can literally Google what you want to know.....
"what is considered a serving size of wild rice and how many calories does it contain"? Believe it or not, Google will answer you or direct you to a calorie counting site!
My best suggestion though, is to use your APPS! They both have a calorie guide.
So you want Chicken for your protein. Go to your APPS calorie counter and enter "Chicken Breast"-
it will spit out the calories contained in a serving size! Both questions answered!!!
Get yourself an inexpensive food scale and have your measuring cups ready. IF something shows up with too many calories for what you want to "Spend" on it....do the math and cut it in half....AH HA!
OR, choose something else from the same category maybe, that has a larger serving size but LESS CALORIES! This how I eat.
I focus on choosing HIGH VOLUME - LOW CALORIE FOODS! That means, I pick foods that have the largest serving sizes but the fewest calories.
When it comes to condiments, choose wisely and look at the serving size and calories on the back.
Some have TONS and there are alternative products that actually have none!
Notice I didn't include fat as a food source? I didn't because you'll most likely get plenty by way of foods that contain it naturally, such as dairy and other animal proteins (though still pick unsaturated and low fat products)...as well as nuts, avacados and oils etc.
Just remember...most every thing out there contains calories. Count every calorie because every calorie COUNTS!!
Finally be CONSISTENT. Healthy weight loss takes time. Don't waiver and you'll win.
Until Next Time....
Candace is a six time Certified Trainer, Nutrition Specialist and Group Exercise Instructor.
She's an NBC TV Exercise Personality, as well as a Continuing Education Provider, Pro Athlete and member of PowerBar's Prestigious Team Elite.