Gateway Health News

Principles to getting AND staying lean

2015-06-04
Principles to getting AND staying lean

Eating clean is the name of this get-lean game. Follow these guidelines and eating plan and see results FAST.

Eat at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, daily. If your protein intake is too low on a restricted-calorie diet, you'll lose a lot of muscle in addition to any fat you'’re lucky enough to shed. A high protein intake will help you preserve lean mass during your dieting phase. Choose lean high-quality proteins like egg whites, poultry, lean red meat and protein supplements. The diet provided here contains about 220-–250 grams of protein daily, fine for a male weighing 200-250 pounds. Up your protein only if you'’re heavier than 250 pounds, or you're very hungry and need to add food during the day. Use an additional protein shake for an easy quick fix.
 
Keep your carbohydrates low to moderate when trying to lose weight. “On a low day you'’ll have closer to 100 grams of carbs. “A moderate day is about 150 grams of carbs. Rotate low and moderate days in order to keep energy high and provide a change of pace. Good, clean, fiber-rich carbs include oats, potatoes, rice and whole-grain bread.

Drink at least 3-4 litres of water per day. It'’ll keep you hydrated and healthy. Water should be your primary beverage during dieting. Though many rely on diet sodas, Crystal Light and other low-calorie sweetened drinks, plain old water is really your best bet.

How to Stay on Track

Habits and cravings are the devil when it comes to dieting. Let's deal with habits first. It takes a good week or two to ease into dieting. Fast food is so easy and there'’s a McDonald'’s on every corner. The hardest thing is to develop the new habit of preparing your meals and taking them with you. The first week is the most difficult, so prepare yourself for some challenges as you abandon your usual routine. For example, you might usually go out for a sub sandwich or burger at lunch. You"’ll now have to bring your food with you and resist the temptation of spicing up your meal with the Doritos in the vending machine or your usual can of Coke. It can be a real mental battle to stick to your food plan.

To stay motivated and deal with cravings…

First, schedule a cheat meal on every seventh day. If you feel deprived during the week, concentrate on the cheat meal to come, knowing you can eat absolutely anything you want to -- pizza, lasagna, doughnuts, beer, chips, you name it! Remember, though, it's just one cheat meal, not an entire day of cheating. Afterward, get right back on the wagon with your next scheduled meal.

Second, take a few photos of yourself to keep your motivation up. Keep looking at that picture and think of what you'’re going to look like in a few weeks."

When it comes to cravings, protein drinks and bars may also help cure your need for sugar. Mix a flavoured protein powder in a blender with as much ice as possible, so it'’ll taste more like a milkshake. Day Five'’s protein shake includes a cup of berries, which will also help with sugar cravings. Once or twice per week you can have a low-sugar high-protein bar. The newest varieties taste more like candy bars, with state-of-the-art sweetening techniques.

Your habits and cravings may both rear their heads at restaurants, where it'’s easy to blow your diet in seconds. Be diligent in ordering. “Ask them to grill your meat without oil or grease. Ask for steamed vegetables with no butter. Get a salad (no cheese) with either fat-free dressing or a vinaigrette. Many restaurants are accommodating, so there'’s no reason to avoid them as long as they'’ll cook to your preferences.

What weight loss to expect?

Some men can lose up to 2kg’s per week if they follow the diet strictly. Strive for a weekly 1kg loss for more lasting effects. That way it'’s not such a drastic change and you'’ll be less likely to put all the weight back on when the diet'’s done. Weigh yourself naked just once per week, at the same time, preferably on the same scale. That way it'’ll be as accurate as possible. To lose 1kg per week you will need a 7000 calorie weekly deficit. That means every day your body will need to expend 1000 more calories than it takes in. Knowing your weekly calorie expenditure [what goes OUT] is useful as it takes the guess work out of moderating your eating plan [what goes IN]. There are loads of calorie counters out in the market. Get one. After a while you'll know what you burn on your training days and on your rest days and you can moderate your eating accordingly.

If you haven'’t lost any weight after the first week, it may be time to troubleshoot. In addition to following an exercise program, the first line of defence is upping your cardio. Instead of one cardio session per day, do 45 minutes of cardio in the morning, on an empty stomach. Then add a second 30-minute session in the late afternoon or evening. TIP: Take a fat burner [http://www.gatewayhealth.co.za/category/fat_burners] with 2000mg of fish oil [http://www.gatewayhealth.co.za/category/fish_oil_and_omegas] to accelerate fat loss during this session. Also sip on an BCAA drink [http://www.gatewayhealth.co.za/category/bcaas] to preserve muscle. Although training on an empty stomach is the best way to accelerate fat loss it also puts you in danger of going catabolic where your body uses your muscles as an energy source. The last thing you want to do is lose muscles. Muscles drive your metabolism. LESS muscle = LOWER metabolism.

If that doesn't stimulate weight loss, the second line of defence is to cut carbs slightly. On lower days, drop to 60-–80 grams a day rather than 100. Eat this low-carb diet for two days, then insert one higher-carb day (150 grams).

Think of your nutritional plan as the anchor to stabilize all of your other efforts. Eating right will help you shed fat, increase your energy and definitely look the way you want to. Follow this get-lean plan faithfully, and you'’ll be showing off your new, leaner body in no time.

3 Favorite Diet Foods

Egg Whites - "“There'’s no fat or cholesterol and they're pure protein. They'’re very easy to prepare. TIP: A convenience item is our pure egg whites at our Westville, Watercrest and Umhlanga branches.

Oatmeal - It'’s low in sugar, high in fibre and provides sustained energy. Choose the old-fashioned variety if you have a few minutes to spare, and the one-minute oats if you'’re in a rush. In a pinch, you can even rip open a packet of instant oatmeal (plain flavour only) -- just add hot water and stir.

Green Veggies - They'’re healthy and deliver many benefits, like fibre for improved digestion. They contain many valuable vitamins, phytochemicals and antioxidants for better health. Plus, they'’re bulky and fill you up for just a few grams of carbs per cup of veggies. (Quick tip: To quickly steam veggies, put an inch or two of water in a bowl, add veggies, cover bowl and microwave for 2-–3 minutes.)

Maintain Your Gains

Eat a good, clean breakfast. If you'’re at home, it'’s much easier to do -— just scramble a few egg whites and have a whole-grain item (whole-wheat bread or a bagel, for instance) and/or some fruit. Eat dinner at home, again a healthy clean meal consisting of a lean protein source, green vegetable and whole grains. Then, bring a protein shake or bar with you to work for a midday meal. You'’ve now got three clean meals taken care of. So if you're eating at a restaurant at lunch and you want to have something different, you can have it. Just keep the rest of your meals pretty strict, without added sugars and fats.

Day One

Meal 1

    1/2 cup oatmeal (dry amount) made with water
    1/2 cup strawberries
    6 egg whites cooked with 1 yolk

Meal 2

    1 cup green vegetables
    8 oz. chicken breast

Meal 3

    Tuna sandwich made with 170g tuna (in spring water), 2 slices whole-wheat bread, 1 Tbsp. fat-free mayo, 2 leaves romaine lettuce

Meal 4

    Protein shake made w/ 40 g whey protein

Meal 5

    Chicken salad made with 230g chicken breast, 2 Tbsp. Italian dressing, 1/2 medium tomato, 2 leaves romaine lettuce, 1/2 cup broccoli


1,817 calories, 255 g protein, 98 g carbohydrate, 37 g fat, 20 g fiber [Girls will need to trim down the portion sizes]

Day Two

Meal 1

    1 medium bagel with 2 tbsp. reduced-fat peanut butter
    6 egg whites cooked with 1 yolk

Meal 2

    1 cup brown long-grain rice (cooked amount)
    1 cup green veggies
    170g chicken breast

Meal 3

    1 cup green veggies
    170g lean steak

Meal 4

    Protein shake made w/ 30-–40 g whey protein

Meal 5

    230g red snapper or halibut or hake
    1 cup broccoli


1,959 calories, 254 g protein, 132 g carbohydrate, 39 g fat, 17 g fiber [Girls will need to trim down the portion sizes]

Day Three

Meal 1

    1/2 cup oatmeal made with water
    6 egg whites cooked with 1 yolk
    1 piece fruit

Meal 2

    1 cup green veggies
    230g chicken breast

Meal 3

    1 cup green veggies
    170g lean steak
    Large baked potato with skin (3-–4" in diameter)

Meal 4

    Low-carb, low-sugar protein bar

Meal 5

    Omelet made with 8 egg whites and 1 yolk, cooked with 1/2 cup broccoli, 2 mushrooms, fresh salsa


1,862 calories, 226 g protein, 149 g carbohydrate, 35 g fat, 23 g fiber [Girls will need to trim down the portion sizes]

Day Four

Meal 1

    1 cup whole-grain cereal
    1 cup 1% milk
    1 piece fruit
    1 Tbsp. peanut butter

Meal 2

    Large baked potato with skin (3-4" in diameter)
    1 cup green veggies
    170g chicken breast

Meal 3

    Large baked potato with skin (3-4" in diameter)
    1 cup green veggies
    170g lean steak

Meal 4

    Protein shake made w/ 30-40 g whey protein

Meal 5

    400g tuna (in spring water) made with 1 Tbsp. fat-free mayo
    6-8 stalks asparagus


1,984 calories, 226 g protein, 200 g carbohydrate, 29 g fat, 28 g fiber [Girls will need to trim down the portion sizes]

Day Five

Meal 1

    1/2 cup oatmeal made with water
    7 egg whites cooked with 1 yolk
    1/2 cup strawberries

Meal 2

    1 cup green veggies
    230g chicken breast

Meal 3

    Large baked potato with skin (3-4" in diameter)
    1 cup green veggies
    230g sliced turkey

Meal 4

    Protein shake made w/ 30-40 g whey protein and 1 cup berries

Meal 5

    200g lean steak
    6-8 stalks asparagus


1,846 calories, 258 g protein, 122 g carbohydrate, 32 g fat, 23 g fiber [Girls will need to trim down the portion sizes]