Optimum Nutrition – What You Really Need To Know!
The key is down to Planning!
Too much focus is applied to exercise and training, and yes that plays one small part in the process, HOWEVER……the important factor and the biggest changes come in the KITCHEN and with your overall eating habits!
The Fat Loss Foundation is your 24-7 Fat Loss Coach that will give you a no-nonsense approach to burning fat.
I will provide you with free nutrition insider secrets to maximise your metabolism, promote natural anabolic hormone stimulation, muscle growth and fat loss
So let’s get you started and planning with:
The Optimum Fat Loss Blueprint
Consuming the Right Foodstuffs to Kick Start Your Fat Loss
OK, It All Starts Here!
As promised here are some guidelines to help you get started getting results immediately. Remember that support is on hand at all times and the Fat Loss Foundation is here to help YOU, it is your 24-7 personal fat loss coach so feel free to ask any questions.
The most important thing we will be doing first, is creating your clear personal plans and setting your specific objectives and outcome goals.
Think and Be Positive
Positive thinking is the most important thing. When trying to get the best results for making gains you will need an incredible strength of mind and a firm belief that you will succeed.
“Absolutely no amount of training will overcome a bad diet”
Eating poorly will undo all the good work you have put in, so number one is “be strong minded and keep your eye on you overall aim and goals”.
So let’s get started by looking at some simple lifestyle adjustments, and here are seven things you need to start doing in order to melt body fat off you.
1. Always start the day with a glass of water (200m-400ml basic glass or approximately 8-10 mouthfuls) this automatically triggers the body’s immediate thermogenic reaction and by drinking cool water throughout the day burns an extra 70 calories. That equals and extra 490 calories burned per week and 1960 calories per month. That is over ½ a pound of fat lost just by drinking water alone. Think of water as your fat loss supplement. Also try splashing your face with cold water for 1 minute within 5 minutes of waking as this also helps kickstart your metabolism!
2. Try to work out on an empty stomach at least 3 times per week. Try to use resistance workouts e.g. weights/swimming to gain maximum results, but it is not essential, so if you enjoy cardio workouts feel free to go biking, running or rowing. This is not a hard fast rule, but some see great fat loss results from short, sharp intense all over body fasted exercise.
3. Always have breakfast within an hour of waking to get another metabolism kick following sleeping (or after your morning workout), try to always include a protein source and later in the week some fibrous carbohydrates e.g. a mix of eggs and chopped vegetables. Keep breads and cereals to a minimum if at all, and if you do have some make sure that it is whole wheat/grain bread. Better still have some oatmeal porridge with some natural honey which is ideal.
4. Continuously sip water all day long (Did I mention how good this is for you!!)
5. Try to eat 4 – 5 smaller meals each day an try to include some protein in each one e.g. try a mid morning snack of a protein shake, chopped raw vegetables or some nuts. Again this is not set in stone as some still see great results by eating clean with 3 meals, whereas some enjoy 5-6 smaller meals each day!
6. Allow yourself a ‘cheat meal’ once per week as this will still help you burn fat through a shift in a hormone in your fat cells. However, be strong and resist temptation to go beyond that, it can soon derail any gains you have already made
7. Get a good 7-8 hours of solid sleep (no more or less than that though), but sleep is essential to achieving your goals, so never underestimate it.
8. Lose the booze! Keep alcohol consumption to moderate ‘medicinal’ levels and avoid binge drinking at all costs, otherwise you will constantly be chasing fat loss and never achieving it.
I’ll stop there as I don’t want to bombard you with too many ‘directives’ at this point.
Just stay positive and driven and let’s get on with the plan!
The Optimum Fat Loss Blueprint
“So what foods do I need to consume in order to improve my eating habits?”
And more importantly
“Just how can I start burning fat fast and straight away?”
As the legendary Chef Gordon Ramsay would say:
“Eat fresh, clean produce” .
Fresh and natural produce is much better for you as it contains little or no additives. Additives in today’s foods are sabotaging our health. For example if you look at foods such as the cheap and highly processed sausages or hams, many contain less than 30% actual meat and more water, chemicals to extend shelf life and scraps from the prime cuts.
Think about that a bit more and put it into perspective! – That means 70% of the product is made up of ‘other’ ingredients such as: E numbers, flavourings, water, salt, pepper, starch, other parts of the animal, gum, gelatine, trans fatty acids etc, the list can go on, but be assured 65%+ of that will be harmful to you and your family.
Do you really want to be consuming that, and if you have kids do really want them eating these things too?
Cheap, highly processed and sugary foods and drinks are what are killing us today, they contribute more to the obesity pandemic than anything else and its here that you can start to make a stand.
This is where you cut through the BS and finally, really start to understand what to safely eat and trigger fat loss!
Eat more lean protein sources! Simple because most people don’t – The body has to produce more heat to break it down therefore it burns more calories just by consuming it. Also excess protein, as long as it’s not consumed in really excessive quantities, will purely be excreted from the body rather than stored as fat.
How to trigger your body to make the most from protein
A famous if rather dated saying possibly still rings true for many who are involved in high intensity training. That saying is “go to work on an egg!‟
Studies have shown that including high biological value protein at breakfast helps promote muscle growth and recovery. By high biological value (BV) I mean protein sources that have the highest rate of absorption and synthesis into the muscle.
Remember that when you wake up in the morning your muscles need replenishing after a 7-8 hour fast, so include some carbohydrates in the form of whole wheat, but protein such as eggs are excellent as they contain the high biological value previously mentioned.
The reason that you include whole wheat/complex carbohydrates is because protein needs energy in order to be synthesised. It is broken down into what is called ‘amino acids’ which are essential for muscle tissue repair and growth.
The quicker you supply your muscles with protein the quicker your metabolism will be boosted in order to burn more body fat.
It is recommended that you buy some whey protein powder. Any form of whey protein will do as long as it’s natural and uncontaminated with other nutrients. Many companies include different compounds or multi-vitamins, acid buffers and/or amino acids such as creatine monohydrate, phosphate salts and glutamine with their protein powders which makes it impossible to regulate the regimen intake.
You will also pay more for the additives many of which don’t actually work at all when combined with protein or each other!
Also large amino acids such as glutamine are vital for boosting brain function, the immune system and protecting muscle protein breakdown, but it is easily depleted. If taken as a supplement the glutamine amino acid chain can be easily broken and very little or even none is absorbed at all if combined with certain other foodstuffs or supplements (if you decide to take glutamine 5g needs to be taken with the minimum amount of water on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning pre-breakfast, following training 15 minutes before your post-workout shake and finally last thing at night).
The bottom line is stick to pure whey protein (any type will do really) and mix 25-30g with either low fat milk or water (or half and half – also food technology has moved on now, and they taste much better even with just water, than they used to) as they will be your mainstay protein snacks.
Many of the proteins listed contain ‘casein’ which is derived from the Latin word for cheese. It is a slow-digesting amino acid which means it can be eaten prior to going to bed and it will assist in muscle reparation and maintenance. This prevents muscle breakdown (as its anti-catabolic) and in effect protects the muscles from leaching protein whilst training or sleeping.
Cut down your intake of dairy products such as creams, cream cheeses, soft cheeses and high fat milks. Concentrate on consuming low fat milks, colostrums, cottage cheese, low carbohydrate natural yoghurts and possibly try a protein hydrolysate powder (which is a slow release protein in comparison to whey protein which releases protein quicker).
In short, take whey protein isolate immediately after (within 15 minutes) your workout to maximise muscle replenishment and kick start the anabolic process, and whey protein hydrolysate (which contains higher amounts of casein) before bed as a way of nourishing the muscles with long chain proteins whilst you sleep.
This form of protein delivery will make sure that the muscles absorb the maximum protein with minimum fat storage.
Note: You might see a small weight gain to start with, but this will come hand in hand with greater muscle size and tone. With this type of workout and nutrition plan the aim is to build some muscle in order to raise your body’s metabolic rate. This increase will, long-term burn more body fat without any extra physical effort.
RECOMMENDED PROTEIN SOURCES INCLUDE:
– Eggs (whole/free range are much higher quality)
– Poultry – chicken/turkey breasts etc (organic if possible)
– Game meats – venison, pheasant, partridge etc
– Steak, extra lean beef/minced beef/turkey (grass fed/organic if possible)
– Exotic meats: e.g. bison (grass fed/organic if possible)
– Oily fish e.g. mackerel, sardines, salmon, trout (limit sea fish to 2-3 servings per week)
– Sea and shellfish e.g. mussels, prawns, crab, lobster, squid, snapper, tuna, sea bass, monkfish, sole, snapper etc
– Protein powder (whey isolate for quicker release or hydrolysate for a longer chain release of casein)
– Milk (low fat milk contains greater amounts of calcium)
– Nuts and seeds (ideal protein and monounsaturated snacks)
– Low fat cheeses and low fat cottage cheese (an excellent source of casein)
Understanding the Glycaemic Index and its Role in Fat Loss
Eat Low GI Foods and especially High Quality Lean Protein.
Below is a list of the best quality proteins you can eat alongside a list of foods that show their Glycaemic Index.
By including more lean protein and fibrous carbohydrates into your eating plan you will be able to control your blood sugar levels. This does not mean that you can eat simple sugars alongside lean proteins, but concentrating on eating a balanced and healthy diet (This should include lean protein at every meal and fresh vegetables/salad at least 3 times per day), but allowing yourself the odd treat occasionally (e.g. once/twice per month).
The list below show which foods provide the most biological value benefit protein. In other words which foods contain protein sources that are most effectively absorbed by the body and synthesised into the muscles – *(All approximate figures)
Whey Protein – In any form e.g. Isolate – Hydrolysate 105 – 160 / Whole Eggs 88 – 100 / Milk 84 / Fish 76 / Beef (Lean) 80 / Poultry (Lean Chicken/Turkey) 79 / Casein (Found in milk, cheese and whey) 77 / Rice (Brown) 59 / Green (Fibrous) Vegetables 55 / Whole Wheat 49 / Beans/Pulses /Nuts 49
Optimum Nutrition – Step By Step
What You Need To Know to Kick-Start Your Fat Loss
Question – Is a calorie a calorie? Be aware of just where your calories come from!
Without a doubt, we eat way too much refined sugar and cheaply produced fats. Moderation was the key word in the past, but now the key is, yes ‘in moderation’ but with the exclusion of junk foods. One or two binges per year are generally OK if you are a normal healthy individual, but more than that is absolutely not beneficial to your health and well-being.
Avoid these fast food outlets, selling poor quality processed foods cooked in cheap, harmful hydrogenated trans fats. Also avoid high fructose corn syrup fizzy drinks and sodas such as Colas etc.
Increase your number of meals you eat per day.
On average, you should be eating some form of protein and fibrous vegetable combination that’s moderate in the correct (monounsaturated) fat and high in fibre every 2 -3 hours of the day. Doing so will give you an almost unfair advantage over those who only eat the normal 3 meals (or less) each day.
Most People simply fail to consider the consequences of their actions!
- ‘If I eat or drink this, will this help me toward achieving my goal or not?
- Am I taking a positive step forward towards my goal or not?’
If you can actually see that every action that you take is either helping you lose fat or stopping you from losing fat, then you will start to make better choices.
So remember that everything you put in your mouth is either for or against fat loss and that you are accountable for it, and that every exercise choice you make is either for or against fat loss (We’ll look at this more closely in the ‘workouts’ section). Understand that and you are on your way!
We tend to overlook control of our blood sugar levels and insulin release, so let’s look at some key factors in determining whether we will lose body fat or not.
If you eat processed foods you are guaranteed to elevate your blood sugar levels and the release of insulin sends a message to your body to, “store fat!”, and you won’t make any progress at all.
So immediate changed can include, avoiding white-flour based bakery products, sugary drinks, and almost any carbohydrate snack that comes in a bag or a box. You must adapt your lifestyle to scientific fact in order to progress and stay ahead of the game!
People don’t take 30 minutes to plan their next day’s food intake.
If you fail to do this, you will set your fat loss efforts back by a minimum of 72 hours. Without a good meal plan, you are left to hunt and gather food in the modern world and that’s a recipe for fat loss disaster. You, more often than not are at the mercy of food outlets and are bound to eat something processed if you aren’t pre-prepared.
You will lose the fat burning benefits from yesterday’s workout and it will take until the end of the following day to get back on track. An entire 72-hour period wasted! So planning is key.
Eat more fresh vegetables!
You should eat fibre-rich vegetables at every possible meal to assist your fat loss efforts. By doing so, you’ll better control your blood sugar levels and insulin release – thus supporting the optimal hormonal situation for fat loss.
People very often, totally mess up their hormonal system through making poor lifestyle choices. If you are out boozing and staying up late on the weekend, you are shutting down your fat loss systems and messing up the optimal hormonal environment for fat burning.
There are optimal hormone levels for fat loss and this is overlooked and an underrated key to good health.
Eat more protein – This is because the body has to produce more heat to break it down, so therefore it burns more calories just through consuming it. Excess protein is more often excreted rather than stored as fat (although some can be stored as fat if eating to total excess).
So focus on eating unprocessed foods, 90% of what you eat should be a combination of these:
Raw or steamed vegetables, whole grains, oatmeal, lean protein, and fruits.
Try to eat protein at breakfast, but feel free to include carbohydrates in the form of whole wheat. Protein from eggs are excellent as they contain a high biological value (which you now already know!).
Look to buy some protein powder as this will be your mainstay snack, and look to eat more fresher produce – Fresher, natural produce is much better for you than those foods with chemicals in to extend shelf life, and look to eat fresh fruits and vegetables (raw if possible) as snacks.
You should eat fibre-rich vegetables and where possible cruciferous vegetables (Cruciferous = pretty much all vegetables that grow on stalks) at every other meal to assist your fat loss efforts. By doing this you will be more in control of your blood sugar levels, controlling your insulin rise – thus supporting the optimal hormonal situation for fat loss.
And when you were told to eat your greens and you’ll grow big and strong, never a truer set of words were spoken! Cruciferous vegetables also contain a compound that increases the muscle building process and aids recovery.
Drink more water – Increased water intake expands your blood volume and transports more fatty acids and waste products away from the body. It also hydrates you for improved performance. Drink at least 4-500ml every hour sipping little and often. Always keep a bottle close by at all times.
Cut down intake of dairy products, only have low fat milk with whole wheat cereals and protein shakes and low carbohydrate natural yoghurts.
Avoid Cola’s, fizzy drinks and fruit juices at all costs – They spike your blood sugar/glucose levels, and as you now know, insulin then sends a signal to store more body fat. So Avoid fast foods outlets as much as possible that sell burgers, fried chicken, kebabs and other cheap nasty takeaways.
These foods are very often cooked in and contain trans-fats which are LETHAL to your health even in small quantities. (Maybe enjoy some Fish and Chips, Indian or Chinese food as a (very) occasional treat for your hard efforts) and the good news is that not all fats are bad for you, but you will need to cut out vegetable oils e.g. sunflower and margarines.
Many of these cheap oils during production are pressurised (hydrogenised), thinned through super-heating and chemical processes so that it oxidises when heated and rancid when cooled, contributing to atherosclerosis (arterial furring and inflammation).
Try to use more monounsaturates like cold pressed olive or rapeseed oils instead, but again avoid heating it if possible and add it to your food after cooking. Also one of the best fats is called Omega-3, found mainly in oily fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel and shellfish.
Many cheap margarines and spreads are grey before colouring is added and many boast that they are ‘virtually trans fat free’, that doesn’t hack it. Trans fat should not be present in ANY foods. The mere introduction of these cheaper (vegetable/ hydrogenated) oils to our mouth activate enzymes on the tongue and send messages to the brain to automatically start producing cholesterol. The problem is, it’s not the amount of fat, it’s the type of fat we eat. As mentioned before it is the fast (deep fried) foods and margarines that do most of the damage through internal inflammation of our arteries, bloodstream and organs
Reduce pasta, rice, potato and bread intake – Again they spike blood sugar levels.
Look to limit or avoid pasta, rice, bread or any other starchy carbohydrates after 6 pm – They provide unwanted energy levels later at night, they are hard to digest easily and again force the body to burn them, which in turn leaves other foodstuffs to be stored as fat. Reduce eating starchy foods and limit it to one small serving a day, remember don’t eat it as part of your evening meal. Also avoid eating sweet foodstuffs especially after a meal – Our blood sugar – insulin spike again!
Avoid coffee straight after a meal – Caffeine inhibits iron absorption If you enjoy coffee limit it to 2-3 cups per day, with the last one taken before 6pm. Also be aware that the decaffeinating process of coffee uses chemicals that are more harmful than caffeine itself, so stick with normal coffees.
Keep alcohol intake to moderate ‘medicinal’ levels and avoid binge drinking.
Alcohol is converted in the liver to a chemical called ‘Acetone’ (often found in fuels and things like nail polish remover!!) this quite obviously has a detrimental effect on your overall health. It also has a big effect on Human Growth Hormone (hGH) production levels, suppresses Testosterone (male hormone) levels and elevates estrogen (female hormone) levels. So in short guys boozing is trying to change your sex!!!!
Alcohol is very high in energy and is also a biological bully that fights its way to the front of the queue to be burned, leaving most of the food you’ve eaten to be converted to fat.
So lets look at consuming the right foods (Macronutrients)
Poultry – Chicken/Turkey Breast etc
Game meats – Venison etc
Extra lean minced beef/turkey
Oily Fish e.g. Mackerel, Sardines, Salmon, Trout,
Sea and Shellfish e.g. mussels, prawns, crab, lobster, squid, snapper, tuna, sea bass, monkfish
Protein powder (whey isolate)
Milk (low fat has greater calcium)
Nuts (ideal snacks)
Low fat cottage cheese (an excellent source of casein)
Whole grain cereals (look for low GI cereals)
Yams and sweet potatoes
Brown/long grain rice
Beans (not baked)/lentils/black eyed peas
Whole grain breads (Keep intake low and don’t consume after lunch time)
Whole-wheat pasta (Keep intake low and don’t consume after 5pm)
Cruciferous Vegetables (Broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts etc)
Cabbage, watercress, turnips, mustard salad greens, Chinese cabbage, radishes, turnips and kale) Lettuce, Courgettes, Tomatoes, Asparagus, Green beans / Spinach, Squash, Cucumber. If you eat white or red potatoes keep the skins on for extra fibre.
All fresh fruit (with skins on, perhaps not banana’s though!!)
Low fat Cheeses
Skimmed or ½ fat milk
Fish oil (and fish oil supplements)
Nuts and Seeds
Olive / Rapeseed oil (Cold Pressed)
Peanut butter (natural/unsalted)
The Timing of Your Protein Intake
On Waking – High quality Protein e.g. eggs on whole grain toast or 400ml whey protein shake and fresh fruit smoothie (mixed with water)
Pre-Workout (1-2 hrs) 400ml Protein Shake (can be consumed during workout too)
Post Workout: 400ml Whey Protein Shake with 1/2 banana
30 Minutes Before Bed: (Milk / Cottage Cheese with chopped peppers)
Cruciferous vegetables, including Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, Watercress, Turnip Greens, Green Beans, Cabbages, Radishes, Turnips, Kale, Peppers (Studies show that it can decrease estrogen production so go for 2 – 4 servings per day).
30% of your diet should consist of mainly monounsaturated fat e.g. nuts, cold-pressed olive oils, natural and peanut butters, also avocado’s can naturally increase your anabolic hormone (testosterone) production when taken in conjunction with good quality protein and correct (fibrous) carbohydrates.
How to Boost Your Metabolism AND Keep it in Control
Studies have shown that a high proportion of the population want to live longer and with an improved quality of life. They want to live an energy enriched, stress free, healthy lifestyle. They want to enjoy their children (and grandchildren) to the full and nowadays many also now want to look good whilst doing it too.
Many people think about the statement above and never do anything about it. They remain overweight, with poor muscular function leading to an ever lowering metabolic rate (body metabolism). It’s important to understand that you need to break free of this low metabolism and there are a number of ways to do this!
Better Understanding your Metabolic Rate
The body’s metabolism is a regulation system that goes via a number of filters e.g. the thyroid glands, liver, kidneys, stomach, large and small/lower intestines and blood stream. We burn food for fuel by converting a specific substance that is metabolised to produce energy for our muscles and body systems. Nutritionally it can be a vicious circle.
I bet you have seen those thin people who can just eat and eat and eat, because their metabolism is naturally high. But people with normal/low metabolic rates can only consume a certain amount of food, the problem is that you will still gain weight in comparison to the person with the higher metabolism.
OK, so we know that obesity is caused by eating too much of the wrong foods at the wrong time and taking little to no exercise or the wrong types of exercise. There are more and more people in society today that are overweight and it might be more than just a low metabolic rate causing it!
In today’s busy (too busy?) lifestyle many people unwind by ‘grazing’ on comfort foods and drinking more alcohol, basically eating when not hungry and drinking as part of a habit. Also people these days demand larger portion sizes to match or go beyond their stomach size and ever growing capacity.
Also there is a high propensity of people that ‘clean the plate’ even if they are full. This leads to comfort eating (often the wrong foods) to combat stresses and this leads to larger appetites (and even more stress through self loathing!).
Many combine this with large alcohol intakes that way exceed healthy limits (more often now, on a daily basis!) and the follow on is that they tend to eat too late at night, again often the wrong type of foods to go to bed on!!
These issues need to be addressed.
Increase your water intake.
We are made up of 60-70% water and it is a key component to life. No living creature can survive without a fresh supply of pure water each and every day. If you do not consume enough fresh water every day, your body will age faster, appear fatter, be more susceptible to germs and colds, lose joint mobility, impair organ function and reduce exercise capacity alongside much, much more.
Generally speaking, most people who weigh under 68 kg require no less than 1-1.5 litres per day, those who weigh between 68 –110 kg require about between 2 – 3 litres per day.
Let’s get that fat burning furnace started!