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How To Lose Weight And Stay Lean In 12 Simple Steps

How To Lose Weight And Stay Lean In 12 Simple Steps

#swolefit | Jun 14, 2018 | 0 comments
  • Post author
    Walter Hinchman

When it comes to staying lean and losing weight, I get asked tons of questions like How can I lose weight fast? How can I lose body fat? How can I lose weight naturally? And, How do I stay lean?

Whether it’s a few added pounds of baby weight you were never able to shed, or you’ve struggled with nutrition and diet your entire life, there are a few simple rules that you can follow and incorporate into the everyday eating habits that will help you reach your fitness goals and stay ultimately stay there. A common misconception is that going on a diet will help you lose weight, and you’ll finally reach your body goals or image that you’ve been trying so desperately to attain. Granted, you may lose a few pounds before beach season, but for the majority of us, it’s just not sustainable.

Before we get started, we need to get one thing straight and set the right expectations. This article is NOT about obtaining the healthiest diet possible, it’s about how you can shed your unwanted pounds and keep it that way. Great! Let’s get started.

Rule #1 – Intermittent Fasting

To make this is as simple as possible, you’re going to eat for an eight-hour window throughout the day. Whether you have your first meal at 11 a.m. or at 1 p.m. it doesn’t really matter, as long as you’re eating between the eight hours you’ve chosen, and fasting for the remaining 16.

What is Intermittent Fasting and why is intermittent fasting good for you?

Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating; it doesn’t change what you eat, it changes when you eat. For starters, it’s hard for our bodies to burn fat while we’re digesting and absorbing nutrients since insulin levels are so high. It takes around 3-5 hours to fully digest your food. After that time frame, we enter the post-absorptive state or the fasted state, for the next 8-12 hours. It’s easier for our bodies to burn fat when we’re in a fasted state.

Secondly, this makes food prep and planning extremely easy, especially for those of us that are busy! Instead of worrying about eating at the right times, you can eat 2-3 meals between that 8-hour window, and that’s all you have to worry about. It takes simplicity to a whole new level. Intermittent fasting is a great way way to help you lose weight and stay lean. 

(READ the Quick Guide On Intermittent Fasting for more information)

Rule #2 – Pair proteins with functional carbs 

You may be thinking, what the hell is a functional carb? Good question! Instead of thinking of carbohydrates as Simple vs. Complex, I like to think of them as Energy vs. Functional. What does that mean? Energy carbs are the carbohydrates that contain starch such as white bread, potatoes, and pasta. Functional carbs, are carbohydrates that will keep you satiated or fuller for a longer period of time, such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, apples, or foods made from whole wheat sources. Below is a table of proteins and functional carbs. Pair a protein with any functional carb for your meals - a seriously simple and fast way to lose weight and body fat.

 

PROTEIN

FUNCTIONAL CARBS

Chicken

Sweet Potatoes

Turkey

Brown Rice

Beef

Whole wheat pasta

Pork

Whole wheat bread

Tuna

Quinoa

Salmon

Apples

Halibut

Peaches

Steel Head

Broccoli

Scallops

Asparagus

Eggs

Yams

Egg Whites

Zucchini

Shrimp

Sqash

Bacon

Bok Choi

Edamame

Chic Pea Pasta

 

Rule #3 – Make a grocery list

Visiting the grocery store when you’re hungry is never a good choice. When you find grocery bags full of pop tarts, frozen pizzas and the Danishes that were on sale, it’s because you didn’t make a list. Making a grocery list is simple, and it helps you to only buy what you intended to buy.

Rule #4 – Pay attention to nutrition labels

This step requires a few key nutrition facts to pay close attention to when making your purchases.

  1. Pay attention to the macros (protein, carbohydrates and fat)
  2. Read the ‘Other Ingredients’ list
  3. Pay attention to sodium, calories, and sugar

Compare items that you're going to buy and choose the product that has the least amount of calories, sugar, and sodium, with low levels of fat and carbohydrates, while boasting a high protein content. (Did you get all that) For example, when you’re making a decision on what ground beef to buy, always go with the 97/3 (97% lean protein to 3% fat). This will give you the lowest calories, and the best protein content to fat ratio. Apply this rule to anything you buy, and you’ll be cutting out extra calories and burning body fat at a much faster rate. 

Rule #5 – Watch Your Sodium level

Sodium can lead to water retention and bloat, not to mention high blood pressure and stroke. Make sure you’re paying attention to how much salt is in the products you're buying. When you’re making a choice between mango chicken sausage, and a package of chicken breast, look at the sodium levels you're about to fill your body with. You’ll be surprised at how much salt you’re really ingesting. My advice, minimize your sodium levels as much as you can. No matter what, you’ll get the amount of sodium you need through your daily diet without pouring it on top of everything you eat - a simple, yet effective way to stay lean. 

Rule #6 – Protein ratio

No matter what protein you decide to eat with your functional carb for dinner, make sure you’re buying organic, grass-fed and lean protein (Unless it’s seafood, because fish don’t eat grass). If you have a choice between 99/1lean ground turkey or the neatly stacked pre-made turkey burgers that come in a plastic bag DO NOT BUY the pre-made burgers. Make sure you’re buying organic meat to avoid preservatives, additives, and GMO’s. The price tag may be a bit higher, but since you only live once, don’t you think it might be worth the extra two dollars, so you can lose weight and feel better?

Rule #7 – The Type of Carbohydrates You Eat Matter

Carbohydrates are essential for our bodies to efficiently function, as they provide fuel for our cells, energy, and a good source of dietary fiber. But if your goal is to live a healthier and eminently happier life, the carbohydrates you incorporate into your diet, are extremely important to help you lose weight and stay lean.

Complex carbohydrates or functional carbs are composed of long polysaccharide chains (polymeric carbohydrate molecules composed of long chains of monosaccharide units) such as whole grains and starches, which are slowly absorbed by the body as compared to simple carbohydrates (energy carbs) or refined sugars 

What does this mean for you? Well first off, it means that by eating functional carbohydrates you’ll be satiated, or fuller for a longer period of time as opposed to eating simple carbohydrates.

(READ How the quality of your carbs matter for more information)

Rule #8 – Drink more water

Drinking more water will help you flush out waste and bacteria. Not to mention feed your body by providing the proper circulation of nutrients. Especially since muscle tissue is composed of 80% water. Whenever you drink something, drink water. 

(READ The Quick Guide To Hydration for more information)

Rule #9 – Balance your diet with supplementation 

It’s imperative that you provide your body with the micronutrients that it craves, and that it requires to properly function. Micronutrients such as Vitamin D3, CoQ10, Omega 3, Probiotics, Zinc, Magnesium, and Multivitamins are what you need to bridge the gaps in your diet, so you can function at an optimal level. No matter how healthy you are, we all have deficiencies in our daily diet.

(READ MORE on why it’s impossible to get all of your nutrients from food)

Rule #10 – Make the small changes

Changing the small things is perhaps one of the most important steps in actively changing your lifestyle, losing weight and burning body fat. For example, if you drink 6 sodas per day, which translates into roughly 720 calories, that accounts for over a third of the calories recommended for a conventional diet. If you have to have soda, replace it with a diet beverage, carbonated water, or cut it out for good!

Another example would be getting a sandwich for lunch. Instead of getting a turkey, ham and provolone sandwich on white bread, you can make a few small changes to make it a much healthier choice, by just switching to whole wheat, and getting rid of the cheese and mayo.

This rule can literally be applied to every aspect of what you eat. Be conscious of what you eat, and cut out the extra-unwanted calories you don’t need. By making this small simple change, you'll lose weight faster.

Rule #11 – Be conscious of what you eat

It’s easy to lose track of what you eat throughout the day. Co-workers bring in doughnuts and you just had to have the bacon maple bar. Or maybe, you went out for lunch and you ate the last part of your friends southwest chicken salad. Then you went to a baseball game threw back a couple of beers, ate a hot dog, and finished with some funnel cake. By the end of the day, without even counting your meals, you’ve already eaten and ingested twice the amount of calories you should have. Find what your recommended daily calorie intake should be for your height and weight, and be conscious of what you eat throughout the day. My recommendation would be to eat only 2-3 times per day and keep snacking to a minimum. That way, you can think back to exactly what you ate throughout the day. Or even better, you can create a food journal. A food journal is an easy way to keep track of what you’re eating, so you can identify patterns or behaviors you want to change.

(READ The 8 Tips On How To Food Journal for more information)

Rule #12 – Keep eating out to a minimum

If it’s fast food, don’t even think about it. It’s not even an option. However, if you’re going out with friends or date night for a nice meal, just make smart choices based on calorie intake, carbohydrates, and protein. Sodium at this point goes out the window, but pay attention to the few variables you can control. 

If you can apply these 12 simple rules to your everyday eating habits, it will change your life, not for just a couple weeks, but forever. More importantly, it will help you lose weight and stay lean.

 

  • Post author
    Walter Hinchman

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