10 Step Weight Loss Nutrition Plan
Every year millions of people try and fail to lose weight. The latest statistics suggest that just 35% of people who attempt to lose weight are successful in the long term.
The reason for this is that many people try to lose weight without a plan. They decide they want to lose weight and make it their goal but then they don’t put any serious thought into how to achieve their goal. Their lack of knowledge then quickly leads to discouragement and causes them to give up on their weight loss dreams.
The good news is that this doesn’t have to be the case. Even if you’ve tried and failed to lose weight in the past, all you need to do is learn the specific steps for achieving your ideal weight and you will be successful. Once you have these steps and you believe in them wholeheartedly, you’ll be able to lose weight and keep it off permanently.
In this report I’m going to be providing you with a solid weight loss success plan that contains 10 simple but effective nutrition tips that will help you burn body fat, lose weight and be successful with your weight loss goals. All you need to do is follow the steps until they become habit and the weight will drop off and stay off for good.
Step 1 – Reduce Your Intake Of Processed Foods
Why You Need To Reduce Your Processed Food Intake
One of the most common weight loss mistakes people make is eating large volumes of processed foods. Food companies often label these processed foods with appealing messages such as ‘low calorie’, ‘zero fat’ and ‘reduced sugar’ which creates the image that these foods are what you should be eating to burn body fat. However, while the messages on these labels are true, processed foods won’t help you achieve your ideal bodyweight.
The first reason for this is that a food which contains ‘reduced sugar’ or ‘zero fat’ can still be high in calories. For example, processed foods that bear the ‘reduced sugar’ label often compensate for this by replacing the sugar with other types of carbohydrates or additional fats. These ingredients add excess calories to the food which ultimately gets stored as additional body fat when you eat them.
The second reason processed foods aren’t an effective weight loss tool is that the quality of the calories you eat is just as important as the quantity. Even if a processed food is low in calories, it often contains very few vitamins or minerals. These vitamins and minerals help your body function optimally and ensure that it burns fat at the highest possible rate. Failing to get enough vitamins and minerals has the opposite effect and slows down your body’s fat burning processes. As a result, even if you stick to low calorie processed foods, you’ll still struggle to lose weight as the lack of nutrients in them will lead to your body burning fewer calories.
Processed Foods To Avoid
1. Condiments & Sauces
Condiments and sauces may add plenty of flavor to your meals but this flavor comes at a cost of around 50 calories per tablespoon. This means adding just a few tablespoons of condiments or sauces to your meals will also add hundreds of low quality calories. These poor quality calories aren’t helpful to your weight loss efforts and will make burning body fat difficult.
2. Fast Foods
Fast foods are another type of food that are loaded with calories and contain very few nutrients. Regular burgers and fries both contain over 350 calories each in a standard serving and when you consider that most fast food meals come in large and super sizes, you often end up consuming over 1,000 calories in a single meal.
3. Foods With Refined Flour
Foods made with refined flour (such as white bread, white pasta and white rice) are rich in calories and lacking in nutrients. They often contain high levels of sugar and the way your body processes the calories in foods made with refined flour makes them very likely to get stored as body fat.
4. Sugary Foods
Sugary foods (such as candy, chocolate and desserts) contain a high volume of calories but provide your body with very little in terms of nutritional value. In addition to this, they’re generally not very filling, so by eating sugary foods you’ll consume excess calories without satisfying your appetite.
5. TV Dinners
With their quick preparation, no dishes and even special weight loss focused variations available, TV dinners are a popular choice with many people. However, if you’re trying to lose weight, they’re something you definitely shouldn’t be eating. Many TV dinners contain high volumes of calories and even the low calorie versions contain ingredients that inhibit your body’s fat burning processes.
How To Reduce Your Processed Food Intake
To reduce your intake of processed foods, start by identifying the specific processed foods you eat on a regular basis. This could include candy from the vending machine at work, weekly trips to a fast food outlet or pre-packaged frozen meals from the store. As you think of all the processed foods you eat regularly, write them down and make a list of your average processed food intake per week.
Once you’ve made this list, calculate roughly what proportion of all the foods you eat are processed. To lose weight, you want to ensure that no more than 20% of the foods you eat are processed. If your current processed food intake is higher than this, then make some changes and swap out some of the processed foods on your list for healthy, natural alternatives (I’ll be highlighting plenty of healthy, natural foods later on in the report).
The best way to be successful with this method is to swap out one processed food at a time. For example, if there are 10 processed foods on your list that you want to stop eating, focus on just one to begin with. Replace this one processed food with a healthy alternative and practice eating this way until it becomes a habit. Once eating the healthy food instead of the processed food feels fully natural and you no longer crave the processed food, move onto the next processed food on your list and practice replacing that processed food with a healthy alternative until it becomes a habit. Continue this process until you have successfully lowered your processed food intake to 20% of your total food intake.
Gradually reducing your processed food intake in this way is much more effective and manageable than attempting to eliminate a large amount of processed foods from your diet all at once. By taking the time to let a habit form with each processed food replacement, you’ll be able to stick with this new way of eating and create permanent changes in the way you eat which will lead to long term weight loss success.
Step 2 – Limit Your Liquid Calories
Why You Need To Limit Your Liquid Calories
Liquid calories are another huge stumbling block for people trying to lose weight. Many people pay lots of attention to the foods they are eating and make a huge effort to change their eating habits but don’t focus on what they’re drinking. However, many beverages contain over 1,000 calories a glass and if you’re drinking these beverages without realizing how many calories they contain, you could be unwittingly sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
In addition to this, the calories in beverages are often ‘empty calories’ which contain no vitamins or minerals. This means they don’t do anything to stimulate your body’s natural fat burning processes and are very likely to get stored as body fat.
High Calorie Beverages To Avoid
Alcohol itself is a relatively concentrated source of calories and contains 7 calories per gram. However, most alcoholic beverages are also loaded with sugar which adds plenty of extra calories to themix.
Many standard alcoholic drinks contain between 250 calories and 300 calories per glass. Cocktails contain even more calories due to their high sugar content, with the average cocktail containing over 500 calories per glass.
This means drinking just one standard alcoholic beverage per night can add between 1,750 and 2,100 calories to your weekly intake – the equivalent of 0.5lbs – 0.6lbs of body fat. Drinking a cocktail per night is even worse for weight loss and adds over 3,500 calories to your weekly consumption – the equivalent of 1lb of body fat.
2. Energy Drinks
Many people who drink energy drinks don’t even realize how unhealthy they are. In fact, a lot of people drink them for a pre-workout energy boost. However, at between 250 calories and 300 calories per serving, energy drinks are something you need to avoid if you want to lose weight.Consuming a single energy drink each day adds between 1,750 and 2,100 extra calories to your week. This converts to between 0.5lbs and 0.6lbs of extra body fat.
In addition to this, energy drinks contain extremely high levels of caffeine. Studies have shown that when consumed in moderation caffeine can boost your metabolism and support your weight loss efforts. However, when you consume the amount of caffeine found in energy drinks, it can cause dehydration and affect your sleep quality. This then has a negative effect on your body’s natural fat burning processes and inhibits your weight loss efforts.
3. Flavored Waters
Flavored waters taste light and refreshing and are believed by many people to be a healthy, low calorie alternative to water. However, many flavored waters contain over 30g of sugar in a 20 oz. bottle. While this is less sugar than most other drinks on this list, a 20 oz. bottle of flavored water still packs 150 calories. If you drink a bottle of flavored water daily, this adds up to 1,050 calories or 0.3lbs of excess body fat per week.
4. Fruit Juice
Like flavored waters, many people wrongly believe that fruit juice is a low calorie beverage. While there are certainly higher calorie drinks on this list, at over 100 calories per cup, fruit juice is something you should be drinking in moderation if you want to lose weight.
5. Hot Drinks
Hot drinks are a double edged sword. In their natural state, coffee and tea contain zero calories and multiple nutrients that help increase the rate at which your body burns fat. However, most people add generous amounts of cream, sugar and other high calorie ingredients to their hot drinks. As a result, these potentially slimming hot beveragesoften transforms intothe exact opposite. For example, some of the items on the Starbucks menu containing over 600 calories per cup which will put a huge dent in your fat loss efforts.
6. Milk Shakes
Milk shakes are thick, creamy and tasty. Unfortunately, they’re also filled with low quality calories which are likely to increase your body fat levels. A standard milk shake contains 350 calories per 10 oz. serving. However, many milk shakes are topped with chocolate sauce, fruit syrup or other high calorie ingredients which often take the total calorie count to 500 calories or more.
When trying to lose weight, many people struggle to kick their daily soda habit. However, with a 20 oz. glass of soda packing 222 calories, it’s a habit that can potentially derail your weight loss efforts.
How To Reduce Your Liquid Calorie Consumption
The best way to reduce your liquid calorie consumption is to implement the same process that you used to cut back on processed foods. To begin, start by identifying and writing down all the liquid calories you consume in an average week.
After you’ve written down all your liquid calorie sources, you then need to calculate roughly what percentage of the beverages you drink contain liquid calories. Since liquid calories aren’t very filling and don’t act as a replacement for meals, you want to ensure that 90% of the fluids you drink are very low in calories or contain zero calories and then have a 10% allowance for liquid calories. If your current liquid calorie intake is greater than this, start substituting some of your current calorie packed beverages for healthy, zero or low calorie alternatives (I’ll be listing lots of low calorie and zero calorie beverages later in this report).
Once you’ve determined which beverages you need to substitute out of your diet, start tackling them one at a time. For example, if you drink lots of soda and smoothies and need to reduce your intake, start by focusing on just the soda. Keep gradually reducing your soda intake until you no longer crave it and it’s no longer part of your diet. Then move onto smoothies and apply the same process until you’ve created a permanent change in your diet.
Doing this will allow long term habits to form and ensure that once you’ve eliminated a high calorie beverage from your diet, you won’t go back to it. This makes achieving your weight loss goals much easier as your mindset changes in line with your positive nutritional choices.
Step 3 – Base Each Meal Around Protein
Why You Need To Base Each Meal Around Protein
Studies have shown that when you consume protein, up to 25% of the calories get burned off during digestion. This means that by making protein the base of every meal you eat, you can maximize the amount of calories your body burns during digestion and give your fat loss efforts a boost.
In addition to its calorie burning properties, protein is also very satiating and satisfies hunger cravings quickly and easily. Therefore, by making protein part of all the meals you eat, you can feel full and nourished without consuming large amounts of calories.
Finally, studies have shown that protein actually suppresses your appetite. By eating protein throughout the day, you can naturally lower your cravings for food. As a result, you’ll eat less in the long term and lose more weight.
How To Increase Your Protein Intake
Increasing your protein intake is simple and easy. There are so many different protein sources to choose from and they’re all so versatile, that you can make countless protein packed meals. The section below highlights some top protein sources to try. Simply make sure your meals contain one or more of these sources every time you eat and you’ll consume all the protein you need to lose weight successfully.
Dairy products (such as cheese, milk and eggs) are rich, tasty and contain between 5g and 15g of protein per serving. The section below provides you with some sample dairy based meal ideas:
- Cheese Salads: Combine your favorite cheese with a range of salad vegetables for a tasty lunch or dinner.
- Dairy Smoothies: Combine Greek yogurt and/or milk with a selection of your favorite fruits, nuts, seeds or vegetables for a healthy breakfast, lunch or snack.
- Greek Yogurt Mixes: Combine Greek yogurt with a selection of your favorite fruits or seeds for a protein packed breakfast or snack.
- Omelets: Combine cheese, eggs and milk with your favorite ingredients for a tasty breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Fish is an excellent source of protein and depending on the type you choose, it will provide you with between 25g and 35g of protein per serving. It’s also packed full of healthy fats and other nutritious vitamins and minerals. Fish is extremely versatile and the list below highlights some of the many ways you can make it part of your diet:
- Fish Casserole & Stew: Combine fish with a selection of vegetables and a healthy sauce to create a warm, filling dinner.
- Fish Salads: Combine grilled, fried or baked fish with a range of tasty salad vegetables for a protein packed lunch or dinner.
- Fish & Vegetables:Grill, fry or bake your favorite fish with a selection of vegetables for a tasty dinner.
Meat is full flavored and a perfect choice if you’re not vegan or vegetarian. The average serving of meat contains between 25g and 35g of protein and can be prepared in numerous ways. The list below contains a number of meat based meal suggestions:
- Meat Casserole & Stew: Combine meat with a selection of vegetables and a healthy sauce to create a warm, filling dinner.
- Meat Salads: Combine grilled, fried or baked meat with a range of tasty salad vegetables for a protein packed lunch or dinner.
- Meat & Vegetables: Grill, fry or bake your favorite meat with a selection of vegetables for a tasty dinner.
4. Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a perfect protein packed snack with an average serving providing you with between 5g and 10g of protein. They also provide you with lots of healthy fats plus various vitamins and minerals. The section below highlights some top serving suggestions for nuts and seeds:
- Greek Yogurt & Seeds: Sprinkle your favorite seeds over a cup of Greek yogurt for a thick, creamy breakfast or snack.
- Nuts & Dried Fruits Mix: Combine your favorite nuts and dried fruits in a plastic food bag and carry them with you for a portable, easy to access snack.
- Nuts & Seeds Mix: Combine your favorite nuts and seeds in a plastic food bag and carry them with you for a portable, easy to access snack.
If you pick the right varieties, vegetables can be an excellent source of protein. Some of the best sources of vegetable protein include beans (which contain between 20g and 30g of protein per cup depending on the variety), peas (which contains between 10g and 20g of protein per cup depending on the type of pea), spinach (which contains 5.4g of protein per cooked cup) andsundried tomatoes (7.6g of protein per cup). The list below outlines how you can use vegetables as a protein source in your meals:
- Dry Roasted Beans: Dry roasted beans are a fantastic alternative to nuts that can be seasoned to create to create a full flavored, portable snack.
- Green Smoothie: Combine spinach, water and a selection of your other favorite green fruits and vegetables for a refreshing breakfast, lunch or snack.
- Vegetable Casserole & Stew: Combine some of the protein packed vegetables above with a selection of other vegetables and a healthy sauce for a protein packed dinner.
- Vegetable Soup: Combine some of the protein rich vegetables above with some of your other favorite vegetables and vegetable stock to create a warm, tasty lunch or snack.
Step 4 – Add Some Healthy Carbs To Your Diet
Why You Need To Eat Healthy Carbs
Carbohydrates often get a bad reputation in weight loss circles. Many people perceive carbs to be the enemy when it comes to fat loss and believe that eating carbohydrates will cause them to store extra body fat and never achieve their weight loss goals.
However, carbohydrates themselves are not what lead to weight gain. The problem is that many people consume high quantities of low quality carbohydrates (usually in the form of processed foods). In doing this, they deprive their body of the essential nutrients it needs to burn body fat efficiently. Additionally, low quality carbs are generally not very filling, so people consume more calories than they need when poor quality carbohydrates are prevalent in their diet. The combination of excess calories and inefficient fat burning causes them to gain weight and fail with their weight loss goals.
The good news is that high quality carbohydrates have the exact opposite effect and support healthy weight loss. They’re packed full of fiber which is very filling and contains zero calories. This allows high quality carbohydrates to satisfy your appetite without adding any unnecessary calories. High quality carbohydrates are also rich in vitamins and minerals, many of which increase the rate at which your body burns fat. Finally, high quality carbohydrates are full of water and keep your body hydrated. Staying hydrated allows your body to burn body fat efficiently and this ensures that you burn through the maximum amount of calories each day.
How To Eat More Healthy Carbohydrates
Plant based foods are an abundant source of healthy carbohydrates. By eating fruits and vegetables on a regular basis, you can fill up on healthy carbs and enhance you fat loss efforts. The section below highlights how you can easily increase your intake of fruits and vegetables.
Fruits are sweet, tasty and make a great snack. They can easily be enjoyed on their own and require no preparation. However, if you’re looking for some more innovative ways to make fruit part of your day, check out the suggestions below:
- Fruit Cups:Chop up a selection of your favorite fruits and place them in a sealable plastic cup for a portable, healthy snack.
- Fruit & Greek Yogurt:Top a cup of Greek yogurt with your favorite fruit for a thick, creamy breakfast or snack.
- Fruit Salad: Combine chunks of your favorite fruit with some fruit juice for a refreshing breakfast or snack.
- Fruit Smoothies: Combine a selection of your favorite fruits with fruit juice, Greek yogurt, ice, milk or water to create a nutrient packed breakfast, lunch or snack.
Vegetables are loaded with health boosting fiber, vitamins and minerals. In addition to this, they’re low in calories and extremely versatile. The list below contains some fantastic ideas for increasing your vegetable intake:
- Casseroles & Stews: Combine your favorite meat or fish with a selection of your favorite vegetables and a healthy sauce for a tasty, filling dinner.
- Fish & Vegetables: Grill, fry or bake your favorite fish with a selection of vegetables for a tasty dinner.
- Meat & Vegetables: Grill, fry or bake your favorite meat with a selection of vegetables for a nutrient packed dinner.
- Salads: Combine a range of colored salad vegetables with some meat, fish or dairy for a tasty lunch or dinner.
Step 5 – Don’t Forget Natural Fats
Why You Need To Eat Natural Fats
Fats are another food that people who are trying to lose weight tend to avoid. The reason for this is that they wrongly associate eating fats with becoming fat. In addition to this, many of the foods people associate with fats (burgers, chips, friesetc.)are poor quality processed foods which sabotage their weight loss efforts.
While it is true that eating the wrong kinds of fats can cause you to gain weight, eating the right kinds of fats will optimize your weight loss efforts and help you reach your ideal weight. Studies have shown that eating a good mx of healthy fats increases the rate at which your body burns fat and reduces the amount of body fat you store. In addition to this, healthy fats support all the cells and vital organs which are involved with fat burning and ensure that your body burns fat smoothly and efficiently at all times.
How To Increase Your Intake Of Natural Fats
Natural fats can be sourced from all types of food. They’re extremely versatile and can be incorporated into your diet in countless ways. The section below lists some of the best natural food sources of fats and provides you with a number of innovative serving suggestions which will allow you to make natural fats a regular fixture in your diet.
Dairy products are filling, full flavored and a rich source of natural fats. An average serving of dairy provides you with between 5g and 10g of healthy fats along with lots of other health boosting nutrients. The list below highlights a number of dairy inspired meals you can use to increase your dairy intake:
- Cheese Salads: Combine your favorite cheese with a selection of your favorite salad vegetables for a creamy, healthy lunch or dinner.
- Dairy Smoothies: Combine Greek yogurt and/or milk with a selection of your favorite fruits, nuts, seeds or vegetables for an easy fat filled lunch or snack.
- Greek Yogurt Mixes: Combine Greek yogurt with some fruit or seeds for a quick and easy breakfast or snack.
- Omelets: Combine cheese, eggs and milk with your favorite meat, fish or vegetables to create a hot, filling breakfast, lunch or dinner.
2. Fruits & Vegetables
Certain fruits and vegetables are brilliant sources of natural fats. These include avocados (which contain 29g of fats per fruit), coconuts (which contain 27g of fats per cup) and olives (which contain 14g of fats per cup). They can all be enjoyed individually as a tasty snack or combined with other ingredients to create a fat rich meal.
3. Meat & Fish
Meat and fish are both packed full of animal fats. They contain between 5g and 15g of natural fats per serving and are also an excellent source of protein. They can also be eaten in countless ways and the section below outlines some top suggestions for making meat and fish part of your diet:
- Fish Or Meat Casserole & Stew: Combine your favorite meat and/or fish with a selection of vegetables and a healthy sauce to create a tasty, nutritional dinner.
- Fish Or Meat Salads: Combine grilled, fried or baked meat and/or fish with a selection of your favorite salad vegetables for a fat filled lunch or dinner.
- Fish Or Meat & Vegetables: Grill, fry or bake your favorite meat and/or fish with a selection of vegetables for a quick and easy dinner.
4. Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a highly concentrated source of natural fats with an average serving packing between 10g and 20g of fats. They’re also a top source of protein, numerous vitamins and numerous minerals. The list below highlights some of the best ways to incorporate nuts and seeds into your diet:
- Greek Yogurt & Seeds: Sprinkle your favorite seeds over a cup of Greek yogurt for a rich, filling breakfast or snack.
- Nuts & Dried Fruits Mix: Combine your favorite nuts and dried fruits in a plastic food bag and keep them with you during the day for a quick and easy snack.
- Nuts & Seeds Mix: Combine your favorite nuts and seeds in a plastic food bag for a nutritious, fat filled snack.
Oils are a pure source of fats and a great way to quickly add a dose of healthy fats to any meal. A single table spoon serving of oil provides you with 14g of fats and also adds a unique flavor to the food you’re eating. The list below highlights some of the best methods for adding oils to your meals:
- Marinade: Combine a tablespoon of oil with a selection of your favorite herbs and/or spices and then use this marinade to bake, grill or fry your favorite hot foods.
- Salad Dressing: Combine a tablespoon of oil with a selection of your favorite herbs and/or spices and then drizzle this dressing on top of your salads.
Step 6 – Pay Attention To Your Portion Sizes
Why You Need To Pay Attention To Your Portion Sizes
All the steps in this report so far have mainly focused on techniques for improving the quality of the foods and therefore the calories you eat. Improving the quality of the calories you eat will give your weight loss efforts a huge boost and put your body in the best possible state for burning fat. However, to ensure that you are successful with your weight loss goals, you also need to reduce the total amount of calories you are eating. One of the best ways to do this is by reducing your portion sizes.
Reducing your portion sizes is quick and easy. It doesn’t require you to meticulously count every calorie you’re eating but it still allows you to lower your overall calorie intake. As a result, you won’t get frustrated with the process of controlling your calorie consumption and you’ll find it easy to stick with.
How To Reduce Your Portion Sizes
1. Use Smaller Plates
When serving out food, we tend to naturally fill our plates. Therefore, if you use larger plates, you’re likely to add more food to them and consume more calories. By downgrading your plates to a smaller size, you’ll eat less food, consume fewer calories and store less body fat.
2. Eat Slowly
Using smaller plates is a fantastic starter technique for reducing your portion sizes. However, eating slowly is the key to optimizing your portion sizes for maximum fat loss.
The reason for this is that there’s a small delay between the action of eating food and the feedback signal from the brain that tells you when you’re full. Most people eat too fast and by the time these signals kick in, they’ve already overindulged and eaten more calories than they need to. These excess calories then get stored as body fat and the effect cumulates with every meal they eat which makes long term weight loss extremely difficult.
By eating slowly, you’ll be able to recognize when you’ve satisfied your appetite and stop eating at this point. Not only will this mean that you consume fewer calories but it will also allow you to naturally calculate your ideal portion size based on the feedback your body gives you. In addition to this, you’ll enjoy your food much more by eating slowly and be able to fully experience the rich full flavors everything you eat has to offer.
Step 7 – Eat When It Suits You Best
Most people are far too rigid when trying to lose weight and attempt to force themselves to stick to a specific meal plan, even when it doesn’t suit their lifestyle. For example, one of the most common weight loss myths is that you need to eat six meals per day to maximize your metabolism and lose weight. Despite its impracticality, millions ofpeople try to implement this way of eating into their lifestyle every single year.
The problem with eating in this way is that it’s almost impossible to maintain in the long term. Forcing yourself to eat in a way that’s not natural to you will cause you to become frustrated with the process and give up on your weight loss dreams altogether.
In addition to this, the latest studies have shown that meal timing or frequency has almost no impact on your overall weight loss. As long as the total number of calories you eat each day is consistent, eating one large meal, three regular meals or six small meals will all have the same effect on your overall bodyweight.
Therefore, if you want to be successful with your fat loss goals, don’t get hung up on the number of meals you eat or how often you eat and simply eat when it suits you best. Doing this will make your weight loss journey a lot more manageable as you’re eating in a way that fits the way you live instead of trying to force yourself to follow a plan that feels unnatural to you. This in turn will make the process more enjoyable and instead of your weight loss efforts feeling like a plan that you resent, they’ll become welcome habits that slot seamlessly into your lifestyle.
Step 8 – Rehydrate Regularly
Why You Need To Rehydrate Regularly
Many people who are trying to lose weight don’t take staying hydrated as seriously as they should. They focus purely on the foods they eat and don’t give hydration a second thought. However, being hydrated supports weight loss in a number of ways.
First, water is filling and by staying hydrated, you’ll naturally feel fuller and more satisfied than when you’re dehydrated. Therefore, you’ll eat less food, consume fewer calories and store less body fat simply by supplying your body with water at regular intervals.
Second, water supports all the cells and vital organs in your body and ensures that they operate efficiently. Many of these cells and vital organs are used to process the foods you eat and burn body fat. If you become dehydrated, these cells and vital organs will become inefficient and the rate at which you burn body fat and process calories will reduce. However, if you stay fully hydrated at all times, you’ll always be processing calories and burning body fat at the highest possible rate.
Finally, certain hydration options can give your metabolism a boost and further increase the number of calories you burn on a daily basis. For example, research has shown that the nutrients in coffee and tea (particularly green tea) increase the rate at which your body burns calories.
Healthy Hydration Options
Water contains zero calories and is a quick and easy way to stay hydrated. It’s also readily available and can be easily carried with you at all times with the use of a water bottle.
2. Fruit Infused Water
Fruit infused water is a light, zesty alternative to water which contains minimal calories. To prepare it, all you need is a mason jar with an airtight lid, a muddler, a selection of your favorite fruits, some herbs, some ice cubes and some water. Once you have your ingredients, simply follow the steps below to make a jar of fruit infused water:
- Add the fruit and herbs to the mason jar and then muddle them for about 30 seconds.
- Add the ice cubes to the mason jar and then fill the remaining space with water.
- Screw the lid tightly onto the mason jar, then place it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and enjoy it whenever you please.
3. Fruit Juice Soda
If fruit infused water doesn’t quite satisfy your sweet tooth and you want something that has a stronger flavor but won’t sabotage your weight loss efforts, give fruit juice soda a try. To make fruit juice soda, simply combine half a glass of your favorite fruit juice with half a glass of soda water and enjoy. At just 50 calories per glass, enjoying fruit juice soda a few times per week will allow you to stay hydrated without causing you to consume excess liquid calories.
Coffee contains zero calories when taken black and just a few calories when taken white. In addition to helping you stay hydrated, coffee is also rich in hydroxycinnamic acids which boost your health in countless ways. Studies have shown that these hydroxycinnamic acids in coffee can also further enhance your weight loss efforts by stimulating the use of fat for energy within the body.
Tea is a refreshing hot drink which like coffee contains zero calories when taken black and minimal calories when taken white. It also contains high levels of flavan-3-ols which studies have shown boost your metabolism and increase the amount of calories you burn on a daily basis.
Smoothies are a filling hydration option which can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or a snack. In addition to hydrating you, smoothies also provide you with lots of healthy carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins and minerals, all of which enhance your weight loss efforts.
7. Water Rich Fruits & Vegetables
Staying hydrated isn’t just about beverages. Water rich fruits (such as apricots, oranges and watermelons) and water rich vegetables (such as cucumber, lettuce and tomatoes) all contain at least 90% water and are a great way to satisfy your appetite, fill up on water and supply your body with a number of essential nutrients.
How To Rehydrate Regularly
To stay properly hydrated and optimize your weight loss efforts, you need to be drinking the equivalent of at least eight glasses of water per day. This can be in the form of water or any of the other healthy hydration options listed above. While drinking eight glasses of water per day may seem difficult if you’re not used to drinking this volume of fluids, it really doesn’t have to be. Simply follow the advice below and you’ll easily supply your body with all the water it needs.
1. Mix Up Your Water Intake
One of the main reasons people fail to drink enough water is that they get bored with water and don’t want to chug down eight glasses of it per day. However, as you can see from the list above, water is just one of the many ways to stay hydrated.
So instead of just sticking to water, experiment with all the options from the list above and find a mixture that you enjoy and that works for you. Once you find a mixture that you enjoy, you’ll look forward to staying hydrated and be much more successful with it.
2. Use A Water Timer
Another common reason for people becoming dehydrated is that they simply forget to rehydrate at regular intervals during the day. So if you’re the forgetful kind, try using a water timer. Most smartphones have specific water timer apps that can be set to remind you to drink water at various intervals during the day. Alternatively, if you don’t own a smartphone, a regular timer on a watch or computer can be used to remind you to rehydrate.
3. Keep A Bottle Or Flask With You At All Times
Keeping a bottle or flask with you at all times, helps you stay hydrated in two main ways. First, by simply having your preferred beverage in plain sight, you’ll naturally drink it throughout the day. Second, by having a bottle or flask full of your favorite beverage, you can ensure that you have stay hydrated at times when you don’t have easy access to other hydration options.
4. Drink With Every Meal
If you develop a habit of drinking a glass of water, coffee or tea with every meal you eat, then you’ll automatically give your hydration efforts a boost. Doing this then makes staying hydrated between meals much easier as you’ll automatically consume three of the eight glasses of water you require each day.
Step 9 – Review Your Diet Every Two Weeks
Why You Need To Review Your Diet Every Two Weeks
Once you’ve followed the eight steps above, your diet should be healthy, clean and fully optimized for weight loss. You’ll be eating in a way that matches your body’s hunger signals and your lifestyle, plus you’ll be providing your body with the quality calories and hydration that put it in a perfect state for maximum fat loss.
However, in order to make sure that this diet is fully in line with your weight loss goals, you need to review it regularly and ensure that it’s helping you burn body fat at a desirable rate. If after two weeks you are burning body fat at a rate that’s in line with your weight loss goals, you can carry on eating in the same way for another two weeks and then review it again. If you want to accelerate the rate at which you’re burning body fat, simply review your diet, make some adjustments and review their effects in two weeks’ time.
How To Review Your Diet Every Two Weeks
1. Measure Your Body Fat Percentage Every Two Weeks
Your body fat percentage is the most important measurement you can take when trying to lose weight. While your overall bodyweight will give you a general indicator of your progress, it doesn’t tell you what kind of weight you’re losing. For example, you could drop bodyweight but lose muscle or water weight instead of body fat. Tracking your body fat percentage allows you to see if you’re losing the right kind of weight and if your current diet is helping you burn body fat.
To measure your body fat percentage, buy a pair of calipers and then use them to measure your body fat in one or more of these areas (the more areas you measure, the more accurate your overall body fat percentage measurement will be). To take the actual measurement, pull the fat away from the measurement site using your thumb and your finger, pinch the section of fat with the calipers, read the measurement within a few seconds of pinching the fat and write it down. Once you have all your measurements, use this body fat chart to calculate your average body fat percentage.
After you’ve taken your first body fat percentage reading, set yourself a realistic body fat reduction target. A good initial target is to reduce your body fat percentage by 1% per month (or 0.5% every two weeks) and have an ideal body fat percentage in mind. For example, if you currently have a 25% body fat percentage, you may feel that an ideal body fat percentage is 20%, so you can work towards this based on a 5 month goal.
2. Adjust Your Diet Accordingly
Once you’ve set yourself a body fat reduction target and measured your progress against this target, the next stage is to adjust your diet accordingly. As stated above, a good initial target is to reduce your body fat percentage by 0.5% every two weeks. If you’re losing body fat at this rate, then you can carry on eating the same way for the next two weeks. However, if you’re losing body fat at a slower rate than this, you need to make some changes to your diet.
The first change you can make is to your processed food intake. The initial processed food recommendation was that up to 20% of the foods you eat can be processed. However, if you’re not losing body fat at a rate of 0.5% every two weeks, you’ll need to reduce this allowance by 5% and then measure the impact this reduction has on your body fat percentage in two weeks’ time.
If after reducing your processed food intake, you’re still not losing body fat at the desired rate, the next change you can make is to your liquid calories. The initial liquid calorie recommendation was to have a 10% allowance for liquid calories, so try lowering your liquid calorie allowance by 5% and then look at the impact this has on your body fat levels in two weeks’ time.
If after these two changes, you’re still not lowering your body fat percentage at a rate of 0.5% every two weeks, try reducing your portion sizes. By paying attention to the feedback your body gives you while eating, you’ll already have a good idea of your current portion sizes. So simply choose one of your meals and reduce the amount you eat during that meal. Then review the impact this reduced portion size has made after two weeks.
After making these three changes, your body fat levels should now be reducing at a rate of at least 0.5% every two weeks. However, if you’re still not hitting your target, repeat the three steps above until your body fat reduces at your desired rate. Once you achieve the desired body fat reductions, carry on eating in this way and you’ll enjoy permanent weight loss success.
Step 10 – Create A Weight Loss Nutrition Checklist
If you follow steps 1-9, you’ll be well on your way to achieving weight loss success. However, to ensure that your weight loss nutrition plan is manageable and easy to follow, you should fill in and print off the weight loss nutrition checklist below.
This will provide you with an actionable plan that brings together all the information and one that you can carry with you at all times. Here’s to your permanent weight loss success.
|Step 1 – Reduce Your Intake Of Processed Foods||Complete?|
|Write down a list of all the processed foods you currently eat in an average week|
|Calculate the proportion of processed foods you eat as a percentage of your total food intake|
|If your processed food intake represents more than 20% of your total food intake, substitute processed foods for healthy, natural alternatives until you have successfully lowered your processed food intake to 20% or below|
|Step 2 – Limit Your Liquid Calories|
|Write down a list of all the liquid calories you currently consume during an average week|
|Calculate the proportion of liquid calories you consume as a percentage of your total fluid consumption|
|If your liquid calorie intake is above 10% of your total fluid consumption, substitute high calorie beverages for healthy, zero or low calorie alternatives until you have successfully lowered your liquid calorie intake to 10% or below|
|Step 3 – Base Each Meal Around Protein|
|Make sure each meal you eat contains protein rich dairy, fish, meat, nuts, seeds and vegetables|
|Step 4 – Add Some Healthy Carbs To Your Diet|
|Make sure you’re eating multiple servings of fruits and vegetables each day|
|Step 5 – Don’t Forget To Eat Natural Fats|
|Make sure each meal you eat contains a healthy fat source such as dairy, fat rich fruits and vegetables, fish, meat, nuts, oils and seeds|
|Step 6 – Pay Attention To Your Portion Sizes|
|Use smaller plates|
|Eat slowly to get in tune with your body’s feedback signals and then adjust your portion sizes accordingly|
|Step 7 – Eat When It Suits You Best|
|Choose to eat a number of meals that best suits your lifestyle|
|Eat at times that suit you best|
|Step 8 – Rehydrate Regularly|
|Mix up your water intake so you don’t get bored|
|Use a water timer to remind yourself to rehydrate regularly|
|Keep a bottle or flask with you at all times for a constant source of hydration|
|Drink water or another healthy beverage with every meal to develop a healthy habit that boosts your hydration levels|
|Step 9 – Review Your Diet Every Two Weeks|
|Measure your body fat percentage every two weeks|
|Aim to reduce your body fat percentage by 1% every month (0.5% every two weeks) and set yourself an ideal body fat percentage target|
|If your body fat percentage has not reduced by 0.5% or more in two weeks, lower your processed food intake by 5%|
|If your body fat percentage has not reduced by 0.5% or more in the following two weeks, lower your liquid calorie intake by 5%|
|If your body fat percentage has not reduced by 0.5% or more in the following two weeks, reduce the portion size of one of your meals|
|If your body fat percentage has not reduced by 0.5% or more in the following two weeks, repeat steps C-E until you achieve a body fat reduction rate of at least 0.5% within two weeks|