How to Plan a Lean Body Diet
Here is what you need to do...
The first step in planning a lean body diet starts in the mind- this is the most important step in designing and staying consistent with a lean body diet plan. If you skip over this step or don't fully take it serious, I can assure you won't be as consistent as you should. Consistency in the lean body diet gives results- eating properly only when you feel like it or only a few days a week isn't good enough. The question is, why do most individuals in the gym look nearly the same, even after working out hard with intensity and variety, year after year? Lack of nutritional consistency is the answer. I'm going to outline a few important questions you need to ask yourself before you commit to beginning a lean body diet. 1. What will I gain if I fully commit to implementing a lean body diet? - This question can be expanded and personalized to your life- for example What will I gain in my performance at work If i commit to a lean body diet? The answer for me is a large increase in focus and mental clarity, more energy, more confidence with my co-workouts and overall much better productivity. Another question: What sort of things will I be able to enjoy more of with the abundant energy, endurance, and strength if I following a lean body diet? This can be as simple as being able to take your shirt off at the beach with confidence, or being able to hike down into the grand canyon in Arizona without being out of breath and struggling. Like wise, another question you must ask yourself is- 2. What will I loose in my life if I don't follow a lean body diet? What sort of experiences will I not be able to have? For me, a lean body diet goes hand in hand with excelling in every other portion of my life. For this reason I have a very clear picture if I don't follow a lean body diet, then I know my experiences in life will be sacrificed and I will be not be living life to the fullest. Not only has eating a lean body diet allowed me to achieve the body I wanted- it has helped me at school, work, and allowed me become a better, more productive person as a whole. Be honest with yourself and list as many details about each question as possible. These will act as powerful action signals in your mind that anchor your habits and actions. Pretty soon you will crave healthy food because of the anticipation and reality that getting the most out of your life depends on it.
The first step in a lean body diet is recognizing the 5 key points in which the plan is based upon: 1) Eat every 2-3 hours- this equates to around 6 meals per day - with an approximate calorie breakdown of 40% carbs, 40% protein and 20% fats 2) Drink plenty of water 3) consume unprocessed whole natural foods -focusing on lean proteins, healthy fats, fruits vegetables and complex carbohydrates 4) Never feel stuffed or "full" at any one meal 5) avoid added sugar or enriched simple carbohydrates- except post-workout
Lean Body Diet key point 1- Eat every 2-3 hours. Eating every 2-3 hours is not only important to keep your metabolism firing and muscles fed- but is also important for proper absorption of nutrients. If you consume only 2 meals per day with each meal being equal calories- I guarantee the same person eating the same amount of calories split between 6 meals will look much better. To find the total calories you need to eat to encourage a lean body while having enough energy to workout intensely, multiply your body weight by 14. At this amount, the body will be able to tap into bodyfat without burning muscle mass. For me, I weigh 185 lbs. 185 x 14 = about 2500-2600 calories. This gives me enough energy to workout intensely daily, while burning fat without loosing any muscle mass. The ratio of carbs, protein, and fats should be approximately 40% carbs, 40% protein and 20% fat. Research shows a 1:1 ratio of carbs to protein is optimal for fat burning. Fats at 20% is essential for 1)healthy hormone levels, 2) joint and brain health 3)encouraged fat burning and 4)satiety and a healthy insulin response to meals. It's important not to drop carbs too low when on this lean body diet for any large amount of time. The body uses carbohydrates in exercises individuals as a direct source of energy, glycogen replenishment, and a healthy metabolism. Many people don't realize when the body rebuilds glycogen from workouts it burns a great deal of fat. The body needs some carbohydrates to rebuild glycogen which is whey i recommend a diet where carbohydrates are neither excessively low, nor too high to inhibit a lean body.
Lean Body Diet key point 2- Drink plenty of water. The body needs water to assimilate and digest the nutrients you eat, encourage satiety so your appetite isn't out of control,cleanse the body, directly fuel optimal cell hydration and health throughout the body. Cell hydration is an important subject. If a cell doesn't have the water it needs- functions in that cell are compromised and fat loss/ muscle gain are going to be sacrificed. A dehydrated cell is catabolic but a well hydrated cell has anabolic properties- that is it is encouraging to muscle gain and fat loss. All the food you eat and supplements you take are more effective when adequate water is ingested. When i don't drink enough water, I feel much more tired and lethargic and my vasularity and strength is lower while working out. Shoot for about 1 gallon of water per day. If you need help drinking that much water- try some Mio water enhancer or,if you want to stay away from artificial sweeteners. Walmart cells a stick pack water enhancer sweetened with stevia leaf extract.
Lean Body Diet key point 3- Consume whole natural foods. Focusing on lean proteins, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables and complex carbohydrates. This is the core of the program of the actual food you should be eating through the day. This list are foods that have been proven to create a lean body. You can use this as an everyday reference of the foods you should eat, you should feel confident that if you eat these foods, you will achieve optimal health and a lean body. 1. Lean proteins. Lean proteins are egg whites, chicken breast, turkey breast (at least 95% lean), fish such as cod, halibut, tuna, salmon (healthy fatty fish, more of this below), lean beef such as top sirloin steak or flank steak, protein powder such as whey and casein, 1-2% cottage cheese, and 0% fat Greek yogurt ( i prefer Fage and Chobani brands). I get the majority of my snacks of lean proteins in powder form through whey or casein powder. I find this essential as I normally don't have time to make a meal at work and find it very convenient to get in the protein i need in a highly absorbable form. 2. Healthy fats. Healthy fats are fat that contains primarily monounsaturated fat, saturated fats, and omega 3 essential fatty acids. These include nuts (almonds are my favorite) peanut butter, olive oil, coconut oil, cocoa fat (a natural saturated fat) avacado, egg yolks, and fish oil. Tuna and salmon especially are high in Omega 3's DHA and EPA- essential for health and a great aid in fat loss. Stay away from soy or vegetable oil as that has been correlated with increased heart disease and impaired fatty acid oxidation. I always good with coconut oil or olive oil. a favority healthy fat of mine is 85% organic cocoa bar- it has a creamy flavor and is full of heart healthy antioxidants. 3. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Fruits are vegetables provide 3 main benefits. 1) provides an array of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals in an aborbable form to the body. 2)contains adequate fiber for optimal digestive health, satiety, and overall health and 3) provide a healthy source of natural carbohydrates to the body. Fruits and vegetables directly contribute to a lean body. For this reason, I include some of these choices in my diet daily: Banana, blueberries,strawberries, apples, grapefruit, oranges, and mangoes. As for vegetables- i focus on dark green vegetables as it has the most nutrients out of nearly all vegetables- Spinach, romaine lettuce, asparagus, green pepper, onions, broccoli, cauliflower. I like to pick a couple vegetables each week to make with my meals, such as spinach, green peppers and onion. 4. Complex Carbohydrates- Complex carbs are ones found in nature and are "whole" Sources should include whole oats, sprouted whole grain wheat bread (Ezekiel bread), Whole grain brown rice, sweet potatoes or yams, and beans (i prefer black beans). Beans supply slow burning carbs with a ton of fiber to help satiety with any meal. Also remember the carbohydrates found in fruit as mentioned above. You can use the foods listed above as a reference point as to what you should be eating on a daily basis to achieve a lean body.
Lean Body Diet key point 4- Never Feel stuffed at any one meal. Eating roughly 300-600 calories each meal (depending on your bodyweight and total calories discussed in step 3) is important for a few reasons: 1) Encourages a steady blood glucose and energy level. Maintaining a steady insulin level is mandatory for sustainable fat loss! Making sure you don't eat too much at any one meal will keep insulin steady- which keeps you in fat burning mode throughout the day. 2) Optimizes the absorption and utilization of nutrients 3) Less likely to feel hungry throughout the day since the body will be getting a continual supply of nutrients I like to have a higher calorie meal (500-600 calories) with a lower calorie snacks throughout the day (300 calories) to keep my metabolism firing. Make sure to keep a bottle of protein powder and/or fruit in your school bag/ at yoru desk (banana,apple etc)so you never miss a meal. This will keep insulin level and energy levels high. An optimal protein powder product is a meal replacment powder with a balance of fats, fiber, carbs, and lots of protein.
Lean Body Diet key point 5- Avoid added sugars or enriched simple carbohydrates except post-workout. I've saved this as a last important point in the diet to emphasis the importance of eliminating extra sugars and simple carbs in the diet. Simple carbohydrates are processed very fast in the body and encourage fat storage if in excess. The problem is, since they are so quickly digested, it leaves a chronically high amount of sugar in the blood stream. The body needs to release the storage hormone insulin from the pancrease in large amounts to clear it from the blood stream. Where does it clear it to? If muscle glycogen is already full, the easiest and most efficient area to store it is directly in the fat cell. An exception to this is post workout- when you've taxed your muscles with weight training and cardio sessions, blood glucose is already on the lower end and muscle glycogen is low. Therefore, when you eat simple carbohydrates post workout, it is absorbed directly into the muscle to help encourage recovery and fat loss! I would recommend a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio of protein to carbs post-workout after cardio sessions when following this lean body diet.
Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.
Study the lean body diet's key points and make sure to know the benefits it will bring you as outlined in step 1. Eating this way doesn't have to be boring at all. I use garlic, pepper, oregano, chili peppers, mustard, and other spices to make food taste great. I like to saute some onion and green pepper in some coconut oil with spices to top my chicken breast with, with a side of whole grain brown rice.
Stuff You'll Need
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When performing a new healthful eating plan- make sure to ease into the diet by making continual small changes in the direction of a lean body diet. If a person has food addictions, simply take the attitude: "What if I try out this new eating plan for 1 day and see how it goes?" Anyone can follow a diet for one day- and if you think about it, if you can follow it for 1 day, you can follow the diet all week- it just requires a new habit to be formed. I found if I live in the day and not tell myself I can never eat pizza or ice cream again- I follow a diet much closer. Everyday if you follow a lean body diet you are closer and closer to your goal- to live an abundant healthful life of energy, prosperity and a lean tight body. A recent friend of mine told me "I'm going to give up soda next week Monday." When Monday came around, I noticed the friend popped open a can during her break and I asked "I thought you were giving it up"? The reply was a complacent "yeah yeah" and quickly changed the subject. The point of the matter is this: the hardest part is to take the first step. Each and every meal you choose to make a healthy food option- the easier it is to make it a habit of eating for a Lean Body Diet consistently. And pretty soon, you'll be craving nourishing food for your body instead of junk on a daily basis. This is the goal of the Lean Body Diet.
When did you first do this & how did you get started?
I have been involved in meal planning to achieve a lean body for me personally, as well as a number of individuals in which I design custom meal plans for to achieve specific results. I understood the utmost importance of nutrition in my mid-teens. I have been actively pursing the latest research to support a lean body through my collage years and professional career as a Food technologist specializing in sports nutrition. I really enjoy helping others see and feel the powerful results achieved by following a lean body diet.