In my last post I discussed an exercise plan to help you reach your goals. However, if you just focus on exercise and do not have the correct nutrition plan you will not see the results that you want. Exercise will get you the lean sculpted figure that you desire, but you have to eat right to shed off the fat so all your hard work at the gym can show. When I first embarked on my fitness and nutrition journey I knew that my eating had to change. I started to do some reading and came across "The Eat Clean Diet" by Tosca Reno, this was before talk of clean eating was everywhere and people were still doing fad diets that were messing with their metabolisms. Trust me, I have tried fad diets and they don't work. The only thing that works, and I know because I have lived it, is hard work in the gym, eating the right foods at the right times and consistency! Last week I covered exercise, so today lets talk about eating right for results and what clean eating really means.
Here is my take on what Clean Eating is: eating real whole foods and staying away from processed foods to help you rev up your metabolism. When you put real whole food into your body it knows exactly what to do with it, it uses it to repair muscles (from those killer workouts) and it uses the rest for energy. It burns "clean" in your body so there is nothing extra to be stored as fat. When you eat highly processed food your body does not recognize it and will most likely store most of it as unsightly belly fat. This is the opposite of what you want, especially since you are working your butt off at the gym!
While eating clean you should also be eating 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism fired up. I explain it to my clients like this- Your metabolism is like a fire, and you have to keep it fueled properly to keep that fire burning all day long, the best way to do this is to add the right fuel at the right time throughout the day. If you go to long without the proper fuel your fire is going to burn out!
So exactly what should you be eating and when? The right mix of Complex Carbs (slow burning), lean protein, healthy fats, and fruits and vegetables every 3-4 hours during the day. Your last meal or snack should be 2-3 hours before your bed time.
Here is a sample of a clean eating day:
Breakfast (within 1 hour of rising):
Steel cut oats, cooked with water, top with blueberries and walnuts
mozzarella cheese stick
Mixed green salad topped with your favorite veggies
Grilled chicken breast
Afternoon snack (pre-workout):
Ezekiel cinnamon raisin toast
organic no sugar added peanut butter
Mixed veggie stir-fry
*Depending on what time you workout make sure to add a protein shake in also. If you workout at night, it is okay to have a serving of complex carbohydrates otherwise no carbs after lunch if your goal is weight loss.
This is a general guideline for clean eating, serving sizes will be different based on your specific needs and goals. You can contact me if you are interested in a specific meal plan for your specific goals. I am an NASM fitness nutrition specialist and can help you with your nutrition plan.
Thanks for stopping by!