How To Eat Your Way To Weight Loss

Posted by Andrea Lawson in Nutrition Tips

When it comes to weight loss, first thing’s first – you need to make sure that you are eating quality food before you start worrying about specific percentages of macronutrients.

Not all food is created equal, and a big part of successful long-term weight loss is learning what foods you should be eating to support your body, and your training. Just because your body is “functioning” does not mean that it’s functioning optimally. If you haven’t had a chance to read Nicole’s blog post about the importance of eating whole foods, and exactly what that means, I highly recommend that you check it out. In it she outlines the foods that you should be eating, in addition to the foods that you shouldn’t.

Improving your nutrition, and ultimately, losing weight is all about creating good habits and being open to changing your old ones. To put it in black and white, you need to get use to eating more of what you should be eating, and avoid the things that you shouldn’t—which may mean eating less of the foods that you like. I want to stress that I’m not saying that in order to eat well you have to only eat foods that you don’t like. That would just be crazy. But you will however have to start eating less of the things that you know are bad for you, despite the fact that you may enjoy them. I know this may seem obvious, but this is the very reason that most people don’t adhere to their nutrition plan—especially during times of temptation and stress. So if you’re serious about wanting to lose weight, you need to be diligent with your eating habits.

 

End the Cycle of Frustration

Myth – Eating less and exercising more is the best-known formula for weight loss.

When trying to lose weight people tend to put themselves on restricted, unbalanced, low calorie diets with the high hope that their sacrifices will pay off. There are several flaws to this plan – one major one being that it’s not practical, nor is it likely that you will be able to adhere to a diet like this long-term.

High expectations paired with implementing large doses of change too quickly is a recipe for disappointment and frustration. The solution? To be completely honest with you, the very best nutrition plan is the one that you know you can stick with, and commit to dominating at least 90% of the time. This means that your diet will be unique to you, and based on where you’re currently at (weight wise) and how much you believe you can change.

The concept is simple, not easy.

The Best Approach for Fat Loss

When it comes to fat loss, there are three tactics that you can deploy to help set yourself up for both short and long-term success.

  • Set realistic goals
  • Address behaviour
  • Apply small changes that you can commit to dominating

 

The first step in your weight loss journey is to set realistic goals and, WRITE THEM DOWN. If it’s not written down it’s just a wish or a dream with little or no intent to become an action plan. Your goals must be measureable, and they have to have a specific timeline. They also have to be important to you, or else you will break them. Makes sense, right?

Once you have put pen to paper and documented your goals, you then have to ask yourself two questions—

  • How motivated am I to reach my goal?
  • What will help motivate me to stick to it?

 

As with pretty well everything in life, there are a number of factors that will complicate your weight loss journey.

Losing weight is hard work, in general. But events like summer BBQs, birthdays, weddings, etc. will make sticking to your weight loss action plan even harder. If you are to succeed and reach your weight loss goal, you need to recognize that you will get tempted and you will get busy, there is no question of that. It’s how you deal with those two factors that will be your game changer. Remember and embrace that.

Addressing behaviour can be tricky. We all have different emotional triggers, and certain foods that tend to cause us to over indulge. My food nemesis is chocolate covered almonds.

When it comes to triggers and food obsessions, the conversation will always come back to how badly to you want to lose weight, and how ready are you make a change. If you’re not willing to put in the work, you won’t see results. Period.

However if you are ready and willing to chart your weight loss course, it’s time for you to put your plan in action and get down to work.

So ask yourself, are you ready?

 

Implement The 90/10 Rule

As mentioned above, the best diet for you is the one that you can stick with. Due to this, I typically recommend the 90/10 rule diet. This is more of an eating style than a diet, because you are still allowed to eat the foods that you love. The only catch is that you have to eat less of them.

Here’s how it works.

  • 80% of your diet should be made up of whole, minimally processed foods that you like
  • 10% of your diet falls into the “it depends” category—because it depends on what you need
  • 10% of your diet can be made up of what ever you want **This is when you get to eat foods like chocolate covered almonds 😉

 

Here’s a video that explains the 90/10 concept in a little more detail.

 

Things to Think About

Before you get started with the 90/10 diet, you first need to identify where you’re at, and think about what you feel comfortable changing. If you pick changes that you can commit to 90% of the time, you will succeed. If not, you will hit road blocks.

Here are a few great examples of things that you can commit to that will help you reach your weight loss goal:

  • Commit to missing no more than 10% of your scheduled exercise sessions for the next 8 weeks
  • Commit to eating breakfast for the next 8 weeks
  • Commit to reducing your calories by 500 calories
  • Commit to only eating “junk food” or drinking alcohol during one scheduled “free meal” each week

 

Approaching your weight loss plan this way will result in a lasting change that you can build on as you move forward. I’m not saying that there won’t be some resistance during this process, there is always resistance with change. But once you start to see results that resistance will lessen.

Bottom line: Taking small successful steps forward will lead to big long-term results.

 

Additional Component of Fat Loss

As important as goal setting and behaviour change is, another huge component of fat loss is how much you eat. Everyone is different and fine-tuning a nutrition plan sometimes takes a little trial and error. This is why tracking your food is essential. Keeping a meal diary will not only give you insight into how many calories—and percentage of each macronutrient—you are eating, but also allow you to go back and assess what needs to be changed if you’re not setting results. << This is key.

I typically recommend MyFitnessPal to my clients. It’s a fantastic online app that allows you to painlessly track your food intake. It will take you some time to get use to the app—about a week or so I reckon—but weight loss is all about changing behaviour and forming new, good habits that will ultimately help you reach your ideal body weight. So stick with it.

Eating Right for your Body Type

 

Body Types

The first step to preparing the right nutrition plan for you is to assess your body type. There are three:

1. Ectomorphic

  • Characterized by long, thin muscles and limbs with lower fat storage, generally slim
  • Typical goals are to gain muscle strength and size, especially in limbs
  • Higher carbohydrate tolerance

2. Mesomorphic

  • Characterized by larger bones, a solid torso, wide shoulders, trim waist, controlled fat levels
  • Typical goals are to continue to build muscle while maintaining a low body fat percentage
  • Moderate carbohydrate tolerance

3. Endomorphic

  • Characterized by increased fat storage, wider waist, large bone structure
  • Typical goals are to lose body fat, especially in the central region

 

For the purpose of this post, I am going to base all of my recommendations on the endomorphic body type.

 

Individualizing Your Nutrition Plan

 

1. Determine your calorie intake.

Once you have you have figured out your body type, you can then determine the number of calories you need to consume by your level of activity. The chart below is an example of the formula I use to map out my client’s personal nutrition plans.

Activity Level Weight Loss (X pounds of body weight)
Sedentary (minimal exercise) 10-12 cals
Moderately Active (3-4x per week) 12-14 cals
Very Active (5-7x per week) 14-16 cals

 

2. Breakdown your macronutrients.

The next step to individualizing your nutrition plan is to figure out your macronutrient breakdown. Below is where we typically start people with an endomorphic body type at BIM.

Protein Carbohydrates Fat
35% 25% 40%

 

Putting it all Together

Now that you have a basic understanding of some of the factors that need to be considered when putting together a nutrition plan, it’s time to get down to the good stuff – what your plate should look like.

Below is an illustration of what you should fill your plate pre and post workout.

Perfect Food Portions

Note: Make sure that you log your food (using an app like MyFitnessPal) to ensure that you are eating the appropriate amount of each food group.

 

Key Food Groups

1. Proteins

It can be hard to consume enough protein in a day, but if you eat protein during each meal you should have no difficulty hitting your daily target.

To give you a better idea of portion sizes, 20-30 grams is typically the size of 1 palm. Women should aim to have 1 palm size portion per meal, while men should have a 2-palm size portion per meal.

Protein examples include—

  • Lean meats such as beef, chicken, turkey, bison, venison
  • Fish such as wild salmon, tune, cod, halibut
  • Eggs
  • Organic dairy such as cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, etc.
  • Beans, peas, legumes, tofu, tempeh, etc.

 

If you’re not getting enough protein in a day, consider supplementing with protein powders. There are two types:

  • Milk based: whey, casein, milk protein blends
  • Plant based: pea, hemp, rice, soy, etc.

 

2. Carbohydrates

It’s relatively easy to consume enough carbohydrates in a day. What really matters is when you are consuming them. It’s common knowledge that carbohydrate tolerance is improved after exercise. Due to this it is recommended that people with an endomorphic body type stick to eating starchy carbs post exercise only (within three hours).

Carbs you can eat anytime:

  • Fruits and vegetables like, spinach, kale, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, beet, bok choy, lettuce, chard, radish, tomato, collards, etc.
  • Peas
  • Beans
  • Legumes
  • Fruit, but stick to a 1:4 ratio (fruit to veggies)

 

Post workout carbs:

  • Whole minimally processed starch carbs like, sprouted grain breads, pasta, oats and rice
  • Sweet potato, yam, pumpkin
  • Quinoa
  • Corn
  • Amaranth

 

5 Things that will Sabotage your Success

There are a number of factors that will keep you from reaching your goals. Self-sabotage is something that many of us do both consciously, and unconsciously. Whether you’re afraid of success, afraid to work hard, don’t believe in yourself, or full of excuses, the root of all self-sabotage is you. But the good news there is that you can work to stop it. All it takes is recognizing, then addressing the behaviour.

Avoid these 5 things, you will be well on your way to reaching your weight loss goal:

1. Drinking Alcohol

  • Alcohol is high in sugar and calories and really easy to over consume.
  • Bottom line: If you are trying to loose weight you need to cut out the booze.

 

2. Processed sugar

  • There are the obvious sources, such as desserts, fruit juice, dried fruit, processed foods, soda, sports drinks, most commercial nutrition bars, cereal, etc.
  • And the not-so-obvious ones; which is why you have to read labels.
  • Bottom line: Anything that ends in “ose” is sugar and should be avoided.

 

3. Not tracking or monitoring your progress

  • If you don’t track your process you will have no way of knowing what is or isn’t working for you.
  • Bottom line: We recommend that you do circumference measurements monthly or bi-weekly to track your progress.

 

4. Lack of sleep and stress management

  • Getting enough sleep is a really important component in the weight loss process—it’s also the only time when our bodies truly recover. Check out this post for more on the importance of sleep.
  • Bottom line: Being tired and stressed out leads to poor diet choice, decreased motivation and ability to exercise. So get some rest!

 

5. Chronic dieting

  • If you have gone through a period where you’ve lost some weight it’s really important that you learn how to maintain that weight, without trying to lose more (for now).
  • This “plateau” period is when I tell people to embrace where they’re at for a few weeks before they start focusing on losing more weight; which ultimately helps with the whole weight loss process.
  • Bottom line: It’s important that you’re not in a state of chronic dieting so that you can learn how to maintain the progress that you’ve accomplished.

 

The whole notion of eating to facilitate weight loss can be a lot to digest, but it’s the fundamental principles that make up the concept that will inevitably help you reach your weight loss goal. Especially when paired with a personalized exercise plan.

If you have any questions about this concept, or would like more clarification about any of the principles outlined within this post, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at andrea@balancemotion.com.

Weight loss is hard, but with dedication, determination and support you will achieve your goal and successfully transform your body. Of that, I can assure you.

Here’s to reaching your weight loss goal!

Andrea

 

Fill out my online form.

Add a comment

Your email address will not be shared or published. Required fields are marked *