As a gym owner, I work with people all the time wanting to lose weight.
And with this responsibility, it’s always important to remember that as people, we are slaves to our habits and ultimately the results of what we repeatedly do.
That being said, If I didn’t know anything about you and wanted to give you simple and effective advice on nutrition that very few nutritionists would debate, this is what I’d say:
I call it the REAL FOOD APPROACH.
#1 – Meat and nuts for breakfast.
Limiting carbohydrates is most important for fat loss. This meal does not have carbs and sets up your day for success by optimizing your hormonal balance and alertness and giving you the valuable protein and fats your body needs.
Did you know?
Most people who struggle to lose weight are undereating protein and overeating carbs.
#2 – Eat real food.
Real food lives around the perimeter of most grocery stores, is not processed or packaged. Real food had eyes or comes from the ground.
#3 – Don’t eat too much
Most women will do well on eating 3 meals/day with no snacks
Most men will do well on eating 3-4 meals/day with no snacks
This includes not exceeding the size of your “dinner plate” and no second helpings.
Weight loss is ultimately a calories in calories out game, so this will help control your portion size and how much you eat in a day.
Lunch and Dinner look like this…
P.s. This is not a diet, this is the Real Food Approach. Most people will get faster results by limiting carbohydrates, so if you feel like you don’t need or want carbs at lunch and/or dinner then don’t have them! It’s a great idea to limit or eliminate carbs on non exercise or cardio days and to have the above portion on the days when you are strength training… and now your rotating your carbs!
P.p.s. You can have more than 1 palm of protein at these meals if you want or need it. Make sure you adjust the amount of carbs or vegetables you have so that it does not exceed the size of your plate. I would suggest more protein, no carbs to optimize your results!
#4 – No snacking.
Yes, because what have you eaten in the past when you have snacked? Has it been high quality, 1 ingredient, real food? Was it a protein or was it popcorn? Snacking is just extra, unplanned calories. If you are hungry, eat more protein at breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
#5 – Eat mostly protein and plants.
Because this is the fuel your body needs. You need to make sure you get all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs and you do that by the real food approach.
What about supplements?
If you have visible abs, you can utilize supplements to maximize the last 10% of your results. This last 10% of results does not matter and will not happen unless you have a foundation of real food which comprises the first 90% of your results.
(A protein shake after a workout is good practice, but remember THIS IS A SUPPLEMENT to SUPPLEMENT the REAL FOOD that you eat and is now counting as your 4th meal of the day. Anytime you eat counts as a meal. You can add this protein shake in at your discretion).
With the Real Food Approach, supplements are not stressed, as you can’t out drink a bad diet with protein shakes. It would be awesome if that was true because we’d save a lot of time, but I have seen little evidence of that working throughout the years while working with clients.
***This does not include supplements that have been suggested at the discretion of your physician or supplements that improve your digestion of real food.***
To summarize, don’t worry about supplements if your goal is fat loss. You will lose bodyfat by limiting/lowering your carb intake and should continue to do this until you get really lean. When you get really lean (meaning you have visible abs), your insulin sensitivity improves greatly and you can take advantage and maximize the effect of carbs and supplements.
Let that sink in for a moment… how many times have your efforts been focused on drinking protein shakes and eating carbs? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. Eat real food consistently and you will stop this cycle of insanity!
Summarizing The Real Food Approach:
- Eat real food as it will help you lose weight, bodyfat, improve how you move, and how you feel.
- Eat meat and nuts for breakfast
- Don’t eat too much – limit it to 3-4 meals per day (anytime you eat counts as a meal)
- Limit carbohydrates
- No snacking
- Eat mostly protein and plants
Now that you are aware of what to do for weight loss, it’s up to you to have the discipline to create this change in your real food approach!
Committed to your results,
Josh Saunders, BS, CSCS, PN-1