Today I’ll give you a very simple eating plan for getting leaner and being healthier. Personally, I don’t believe in diets for long term weight loss because people eventually get off them and regain the weight. What I do is follow this 5 step plan year-round. The leaner I want to get, the more steps I follow – it’s as simple as that. Here they are:
- Avoid overeating. I don’t mean counting calories which many of us don’t have time for. The main thing here is simply to stop stuffing yourself. If you’re going to eat pizza, at least eat a normal portion, not the entire thing. If you go to an all-you-can-eat buffet, eat a plate or two, not seven. You get the idea. The second thing is to avoid over snacking, particularly mindless snacking such as eating chips in front of the TV or PC. Controlling meal size and snack volume may be obvious, but it’s the first step to controlling your weight.
- Avoid refined sugar. This one is a little harder for most of us but will go a long way to improving your health and appearance. Excessive sugar causes a host of problems, from weight gain to energy issues, digestive issues, and craving of more sugar leading to more problems! First, avoid drinking sugar. There’s more sugar in one large coke or McDonald’s sweet tea than five McDonald’s apple pies. Some people drink 3 or 4 of these in a day – that’s like eating over 15 to 20 pies! Replace with diet drinks or better yet water. Secondly with respect to sugar, limit deserts to rare occasions. Your body will thank you for it!
- Avoid deep fried food. There’s nothing good about fried food besides the taste. Anything fried has a ton of calories in it, most of it fat. One large fries at McDonalds has more calories than 2 hamburgers and as much fat as 3 hamburgers. If you must eat fast food, skip the fries and just eat a burger or better yet a grilled chicken sandwich or salad. Say no to fried chicken, fried fish, fried okra, fried anything.
- Limit total carbohydrate intake. Normally the first 3 steps are enough to keep me feeling good and in reasonable shape, but if I want to get leaner I start to limit my carbs. Since most sugar was eliminated in step 2, this means less bread, pasta, potatoes, etc. Keep the veggies.
- Limit total fat intake. To get really lean, make the final step of cutting out high fat foods like pork, fatty red meat, nuts, egg yolks, butter & oils, etc. By this point you would mainly be eating lean meats and veggies, which certainly works for getting lean, but I personally would not continue for an extended period of time because I like food.
In my opinion, this is a more realistic long term approach to eating than many of the diets out there. Give it a try and see if it works for you. In a future blog post I’ll call on a nutrition expert to provide more specific tips on healthy eating. We also have personal trainers at Spring Hill Fitness with degrees and certifications in nutrition who could help you with a personalized nutrition plan. Just let us know if you’d like help!