Okay, so we’ve all heard the “secrets” to weight loss and diet, like:
- Eat healthy fats – ya, that doesn’t mean the whole jar of peanut butter. Try Omega 3 supplements.
- Get more sleep – ya, duh!
- Eat chocolate – ha, ha, a snickers bar a day? Ya RIGHT!
- Avoid GMOs (genetically modified foods) – YES! YES! YES! Like the plague!
- Never skip breakfast – Never, ever, ever skip breakfast!
The list goes on and on… but, here the 5 REAL secrets to diet and weight loss. I can say they are real because they are tried, tested and true. They work, and they have enough structure that you can add them into your current lifestyle and not wonder “how much chocolate can I have?” “How much fat?”
- Drink more water! Ya, ya, so you saw that coming. Okay Sparky, your 8 cups (2.2L) a day, that’s not enough. You should be drinking at least 3-5L of water a day, especially if you’re working out. If you’re not running to the bathroom every 20 min then you’re not drinking enough water. Does coffee count? NO!! But herbal tea does, as does the water you add to your protein shakes. However as soon as you add a dietetic or booze to it, it no longer counts. Sorry.
- Eat more and eat more often. You aren’t eating enough! You may think you are but you AREN’T! You should be eating every 3 hours upon waking, so if you get up at 7am, your first meal should be at 7:30am, followed by 10:30am, 1:30pm, 4:30pm, 7:30pm and then to bed at 10pm. If you get up at 5am, you need to eat earlier, which means you’ll probably be eating more than 5 meals / day.You also need to be conscious of your servings. 1 serving of fruit/veg = 1c of berries, 1 fruit, 1c of veggies or 1/2c of broccoli or cauliflower. 1 serving of meat is about the size and thickness of your palm. 1 serving of nuts is about 10 and 1 serving of nut butter is 1tbs of the tip of your thumb. How many servings should you have per meal? More than you think, but that really depends on your size and weight and what your goals are.
- Eat a pre & post workout meal. This is where timing comes into effect. Quite often I get up at 7am, eat breakfast at 7:30am and then train at 9am. BUT my next meal isn’t until 10:30am, right? Wrong! By the time 9am rolls around I’ve already burned through most of my breakfast and it certainly wont be substantial enough to fuel me through my workout. So I usually have a smaller breakfast at 7:30am; say some yogurt and fruit or an egg with some veg, then at 8:45am I’ll have my pre-workout snack. Then, when I’m done my workout at 10am I’ll try and have a snack ASAP – you’ll want to eat something within 30min of finishing. Usually I’ll make a shake with protein, berries and some kale, but any post workout snack will do. My following meals will then fall 3hrs apart after this meal. This same theory should come into play if your training in the afternoon or evening AND is the only exception to the no carbs at night rule (for pre-workout).
- Cut out carbs at night… in fact, try to cut out snacking all together! This is the biggest sabotage you can do to yourself – eat perfectly all day and then kill it by snacking late at night. Nooooo! But, if you must, stick to protein. Yes, I know, boring, however your body is able to use protein to become thermionic (heats up to go through the necessary metabolic stimulation when you sleep). So have a protein shake, or yogurt or mix your protein in with your yogurt and toss it in the freezer for 20min and you have ice-cream! AMAZING!
- Don’t eat the same damn thing every day!!! I know it sounds like the easy, brainless thing to do, but lets look at the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Our bodies are inherently lazy, and will find the easiest way to function if possible. If we eat the same thing day in day out we’re never challenging our bodies to work hard, and eventually they will stop using the food we’re giving it as fuel and just start storing it as fat… because that’s the easy thing to do. We always have to keep our bodies guessing, working hard and at optimum levels. So switch your days up. Even if you eat the same thing on Mon / Wed and something different on Tues / Thurs, as least you’re challenging it a little.