"Hello Stew, thanks for your service and your continued support of the military, police and their families in fitness and health. I am trying to lose weight and thought I'd try something that would eliminate carbohydrates from my diet for a while? What do you think of that as a weight loss idea?"
Just as a rule - never eliminate the macro-nutrients your body needs such as protein, carbs, or fat from your diet. There are many diets out there that play around with these critical components of our nutrition. HOWEVER, you can definitely LIMIT them in order to see outstanding results. Of course you would want to accompany your eating plan with an exercise routine that had cardio-vascular and resistance training.
BUT - For a challenging test, try to ELIMINATE sugar. This is anything with cane sugar in it. For a short list it means soda, sweet tea / coffee, cake, cookies, and even white bread. Only eat multi-grain bread. You can consume your carbs from fruits and vegetables either before or after a workout. If you are having trouble losing that final 5-10 lbs, once you have eliminated sugar, you will see that final extra 5-10 lbs of fat / water retention around off your belly button area if you are a man and off your hips if you are a women. (Typical results!!!)
For instance, I like to workout first thing in the morning when I wake up. I eat a banana and go do a variety of exercises that include running, swimming, weights, and calisthenics. Some days if I do just cardio workout, I will skip the banana and wait to eat after the workout. After workout, I eat a high protein breakfast with fruits to replace lost carbs and drink water as well. For the rest of the morning, I snack on peanuts, almonds, a fiber rich nutrition bar (no sugar) but only a few carbs and more water.
For lunch I eat a big salad with a large protein source again like tuna or chicken. The salad is filled with high fiber carbs like broccoli, green leafy lettuce like romaine, onions, almonds, maybe even some strawberries to top it off. Squirt some lemon juice or a balsamic vinegar type dressing for some added flavor and good fats.
After lunch, I do not eat any more carbs during the day except those that come in peanuts, almonds, and other nuts for snacks. At this point, my body will still have enough carbs to function properly for the rest of the day. However, if you workout in the evening, you may want to add a few pieces of fruit or vegetables prior to exercise longer than 30 minutes.
During dinner, I have a small salad with large source of protein again. And, if I get hungry during the after dinner hours, I drink more water and have some peanuts, almonds or left over chicken to fill any late evening hunger needs.
This has worked for me to get rid of that last few extra pounds being carried around the mid-section, however dropping sugar is difficult for 2-3 days. After that it is really easy to skip the sweets and white breads. So good luck with the last few pounds and remember to mix in any weight loss plan with a solid fitness routine as many people find that by just adding fitness into their world on a daily basis, they do not have to alter much of their diet. By dropping sugar you will save money, lose extra weight, and make your dentist happy.
Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the Military.com Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at Military.com. To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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