Everybody loses weight in different ways. Generally speaking, when it comes to fat loss, the rule of thumb is “first on the bus, last off.” In other words, if you gained weight in your stomach 15 years ago, then suddenly started gaining weight in your arms, the weight will probably come off in the arm region first, followed by the stomach. All that said, hormones play a very big role in how and where we gain weight.
Outside of eating too many calories, something most of us do, eating right for our body type is the best way to ensure weight will come off in a healthy, effective way.
The million dollar question: What is the shape of your body? Are you an apple, pear, athlete or babyface? In a nutshell, apples gain weight through the abdominal region, but not in the legs; pears put weight on through the hips and thighs, but not usually in the abdominal region; athletes are usually broader through the shoulders and leaner through the hips with a tendency to gain weight in the upper arms or back/bra line; babyfaces can gain weight in a few places, but have a particularly soft look about their body, and even gain weight around the knees, wrists and ankles.
Based on that, here are a few tips and a snapshot look at ways to eat clean and lose weight:
- Eat a good amount of protein with every meal and reduce the amount of starchy carbs you eat. Cereal and fat free milk is not a good breakfast for you. Start the day off with eggs and one piece (not two) of sprouted grain toast. Avoid coffee as it will just elevate your cortisol (stress hormone), which will store belly fat faster! Want more tips?
- A low fat diet works well for your body type. Complex carbs, lean protein and non-dairy fat turns your body’s metabolism on. A light breakfast of oatmeal with a tablespoon of almond nut butter, a little cinnamon, a few berries and water should do the trick. A heavy breakfast of cheese-slathered eggs will weigh you down. What about lunch and dinner?
- If you’re the type of body that is top heavy or barrel-chested, then you’d do yourself a favor by watching the sodium. Stay away from salty snacks like pretzels, and chips, but also savory meals like cheeseburgers and steaks. Indulge in fresh water fish, eggs, leafy greens and a little fruit. Hold the salt shaker and turn to potassium-rich foods like sunflower seeds, artichokes, squash, sweet potatoes, yogurt, chicken breasts and pork tenderloins. How much should you eat?
- Go low fat (not fat free), and easy on the dairy. Almost as important, eat a good-size breakfast – it’s your meal of the day. Lunch and dinner should be incrementally smaller. You might crave dairy, but when this happens, have go-to snacks ready, like hummus and veggies, an apple and nut butter, or a low sugar protein shake. I like Isagenix or Jay Robb. How big should dinner be?
ALL Body Types
- It’s important to eat regularly, regardless of what your schedule is. While some people might be able to easily make it from 7am to noon in between breakfast and lunch, other bodies should not. Until you have your diet under wraps, try to eat every 3 to 4 hours. This means meals will generally be smaller to compensate for the frequency of meals. Try to remember that snacks are just mini-meals. Aim for 150 – 300 calories max. Meals, depending on your weight height and activity level, will fall somewhere between 300 – 600. The more you snack, the fewer the calories in both groups.
- Absolutely, positively stay away from refined sugar in the morning. Muffins, specialty coffees, pure carb cereals, fat free milk…all of it’s high in sugar. Keeping sugar low all day long is important, but getting too early of a dose will set the stage for the rest of the day, likely leading to uncontrollable cravings and fatigue.
If you want more information about how to eat right for your body type, then try my 40 Day Shape Up. At less than $2 a day, it’s a steal. Combined with 20 high energy workouts, your body will look and feel great in six weeks!
Want more tips like this? Traci D Mitchell is a healthy living and fitness expert. Follow Traci on Facebook. She’d love to see you there! Interested in working with Traci? She works privately with clients specializes in nutrition coaching and weight loss as well as functional fitness and personal training. All sessions are done via Skype or telephone if outside of Chicago. For more information, contact Traci here.