Got this question yesterday:
GOOD question. Here’s the deal…I will only give healthy advice, and will never advise anyone to lose more weight than what their body can sustain long term. That said, I can tell you what I would do. I know it works for me, and I’ve seen it work in my clients. Here are my tips:
- Drink room temp water all day long. Before you eat (about 15 min) or well after the meal is done (60 + minutes). You don’t want water disrupting digestion. It’s especially important to drink water before your breakfast.
- Do a shot of apple cider vinegar before you eat in the AM (can be before or after your water). ACV has plenty of health benefits, but it also helps slow the release of insulin into the blood (something I talk about on Dr. Oz. airing in Feb). For the time being, think of insulin as a fat storage hormone.
- Limit fruit to 1 serving a day, and if you do eat fruit, pair it with a healthy protein/fat like almonds, string cheese or olives.
- Get at least 5 servings of veggies a day. Veggies are loaded with fiber and help to pull out the junk from your body. They’re also highly nutritious and contain minerals and nutrients that regulate metabolism and give you energy to workout (see below). Include spinach, peppers, carrots, celery, jicama, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Eat them raw or cooked.
- Allow starchy carbs in one meal a day only. Oatmeal, quinoa, potatoes, rice, bread, sweet potatoes…they’re all healthy, but on the starchy side. Limit them to 1 meal a day. Oh, and avoid corn. It’s pretty starchy, mostly genetically modified and you really don’t get much out of it anyway.
- DO DO DO eat a reasonable amount of protein and fat with every meal. Different body types need different amounts, but everyone needs some. If you eat low fat or fat free (i.e. fat free yogurt + fruit), good luck! You’ll throw your insulin off for sure. Take my advice, search my blog for tips and please eat protein and fat with your meals and snacks. If you want to follow a meal plan for your body type along with some killer workouts, sign up for my program. It’s less than $2 a day.
- Try not to eat after dinner. If you do need to eat, try a handful of almonds, string cheese, 1/2 c. cottage cheese with cinnamon. Here is a great app that can help with figuring out snacks: Snack Smart Solutions (Apple) (Droid).
- Do intervals when you do cardiovascular activity. Stop the slow and steady work. An interval is simply a short period of time where you push your heart rate up high, then let it come down. This can be done doing anything. I recommend intervals between 1 – 10 minutes in length. Recover down 1 to 2 minutes, then push your heart rate up high again. Need workouts? Let me know.
- Strength train! Strength training helps build muscle which improves your metabolism, but it also releases human growth hormone, which helps keep you looking like your young-feeling and gorgeous self! Squats, lunges, pull ups, push ups, etc., are all good. Here is a good post for body weight leg exercises, and here is a good post for full body exercises.
- Plank. Plank a day, friends. Plank a day. Each and every day, do one plank for as long as you can. It can be done on your knees, or in full plank form. You will naturally engage your abs after you’ve activated them doing this exercise. After one week, your “core” will feel stronger and you will probably start seeing a difference, too!
- Sleep. If you have the attitude, “I’m fine on 5 hours of sleep,” your body disagrees. You NEED to get through 3 full sleep cycles to optimize your body’s ability to reduce body fat and build muscle. That’s a fact.
- Watch your liquids. We’ve covered water, but other than that, curb your alcohol to about 2 drinks a week. If you want to see a difference in your body, you may need to make some short term changes for long term solutions. Additionally, cut out sugary coffee drinks, juices and sodas. They will only add inches to your waistline. Pay attention to how your body feels after you have caffeine. If you’re more nervous, agitated or can’t sleep, ease off of it. No one should consume caffeine later in the day, which includes the afternoon, as this can disturb sleep patterns.
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.