The most common question I get. This is the hardest part of the journey. I can’t really tell you exactly what you should be eating to lose weight.
I’ve tried the whole “giving meal plans to clients” thing and it doesn’t work. Mainly because it just puts more work on the clients. It adds more to their already chaotic days and having a meal plan is just like being on a diet, which is not something I encourage.
What kind of weight are we talking about?
I wrote an article explaining how a lot of people struggle to reach a weight loss goal, and never will, because they should be focused on building muscle. You can read that HERE. Once you read that you’ll have a better understanding of why you may feel like you need to lose weight.
So, what should you be eating to lose weight?
Eating, period, is something a lot of my clients struggle with. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner they fail to make the time to eat a balanced meal throughout the day. Skipping meals and slower metabolism are the common reasons for muscle loss. Notice I said “muscle loss” and not “weight gain”.
Lack of strength training will lead to muscle loss, which will also contribute to slower metabolism and what is perceived to be weight gain.
How late should you eat?
If you’re strength training and eating balanced meals it really doesn’t matter what time of the day you eat. 350 calories is 350 calories no matter what time it is. What matters more is what type of calories it is that you’re consuming.
What is a balanced meal?
For a diet I recommend it be 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat, assuming you are incorporating some strength training to your daily regimen.
A salad is not a well balanced meal. Even when you add chicken to it, it’s still not a balanced meal. A balanced meal should start with protein. Protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle. More muscle equals higher metabolism. Higher metabolism equals more calories being burned throughout the day.
Protein sources that I recommend are chicken and fish. There are obviously others, such as pork and beef. Tofu, if you’re a vegan. Chicken and fish are considered lean protein sources and therefore contain less fat. Eggs are good too.
I tell all of my clients to start here when it comes to planning your meals. Proteins will satisfy and hold off hunger longer as well.
Carbs that I recommend are brown rice, pasta and potatoes. Carbs are everywhere around us. Carbs are delicious. While you shouldn’t have a diet that consists of mostly carbs, you also shouldn’t have a diet that consists of no carbs. Your body needs carbs. Salads don’t contain carbs which is why I don’t recommend them.
A small serving of brown rice, pasta or potatoes with your protein will fill you up, hold you for a while and give you the energy you need for your next workout.
Fats that I recommend are nuts, avocado and fish. We’re talking about good fats here. When reading the food label, good fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. You’ll also want to cook your food in olive oil as opposed to vegetable oil.
Fats are good for keep cholesterol low. They also help with hormone production, brain functioning, and cell health.
There’s an app for that
One of the first recommendations I make to my clients is to start logging their meals. When you know where your mistakes are it’s easier to fix them and learn from them. I recommend the free app, MyFitnessPal. You can read my article about the app HERE.
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