I have been researching methods to lose weight in a healthy manner, and decided to call in the "big guns" - no, actually, I called the BIG GUNS. The nutritionist who helped me with this diet is also a body builder who really knows how to trim the fat off every area of your body - especially the torso. If you want six-pack abs, combine this diet plan with cardio activity and abdominal exercises as listed in the "Achieving Washboard Abs" and "Lose the Love Handles" articles.
For this diet, the goal will be 5-6 meals a day, spaced out every three hours. The stomach takes about three hours to empty, so try to keep it full but never stuffed. The small meals are just enough to keep you satisfied until your next meal. Remember, when you skip meals your metabolism slows down and you will not burn calories as well. Eating and exercise actually boost your metabolism. The base of the diet will be high protein, enough complex carbohydrates for the workouts, and low fat. If you have your exercise routine all figured out - great. If not, with one of the eBooks from the Military.com Fitness Store, you will have the tools to really get lean this summer.
Here are the diet recommendations:
6:00 AM - Meal 1
This meal can have more fat because you have all day to burn it off.
5 egg-white omelet - You can throw one whole egg in for flavor (Use a little cheese and pepper for taste) if you want add some ground turkey breast, or vegetables).
2 slices of wheat toast or small multi grain bagel (I put low fat peanut butter and sugar free jelly). The more grains in your bread the better - Nine Grain bread is a great toast in this case. Avoid all white breads, pasta, flour etc.
Work out! - DO cardio in the AM.
9:00 AM - Meal 2: Post-Workout
Eat carbs now after the workout - it helps with insulin transport and recovery.
Skim milk with banana or oatmeal with raisins in it (you could even go with small portions of both if you want)
NO Fat Yogurt (you can also have a piece of fruit if you have oatmeal.)
12:00 Noon - Meal 3
Ground Turkey Breast with a little cheese (NO mayo - you can have mustard, A1 sauce, low fast salad dressing) in a whole-wheat wrap. I often have 2 of these! (If you like peppers or similar vegetables, you can throw them in since they add no fat)
- Baked Lays chips (regular) - Broccoli (light butter you can use the spray if you truly want to avoid all fat) - Piece of fruit
3:00 PM - Meal 4
1 can of Tuna fish or egg whites here again with a multi-grain, whole-wheat bagel / bread. However, since most people are at work and have to have food that is easy, you can also settle for another wrap, yogurt, and cold carrots.
5:00 workout - Lift or calisthenics in the early evening
Post-Workout Meal 5
I recommend a protein shake right after workout like a myoplex just be sure the one you get is low in fat. If you don\'t want to drink supplement drinks, have a can of tuna with little to no mayo, or a piece of chicken on top of a salad and a few wheat crackers and pickles mixed in.
Dinner! Again you can have GOOD carbs here to give you energy back, but avoid fat since you will go to bed in the next few hours. The last thing you want is fat before you go to bed because then it is simply going to be stored.
Try the Barilla Multigrain pasta. It is THE pasta to eat since it has 10 grams of protein in a serving and almost no fat. I would have this with turkey breast in it, or lean steak, fish, or chicken breast with a sauce of your choice, just avoid fat sauces. This way, you are getting good post-workout carbs and protein. Use wheat bread and just use garlic on it so you have healthy garlic bread.
Now your day is done - good eating mixed with 1-2 workouts. The workouts can be as simple as walking 20-30 minutes or as tough as triathlon training. It is up to you and your fitness level and goals. The diet is great for any person trying to lose body fat.
Do not forget to drink WATER! See the "Weight Loss Myths" article to read about the importance of water with workouts. Water is the key. Drink it before you eat -- it fills you up. Remember it takes the human body about 15-20 minutes to realize it is full, so give yourself time with small portions, and you will be full. Know that you just will not feel that way right away. I always tell myself to eat when the clock says to eat, not when my body says to eat. This way I am never full, and I am never hungry. This is a rough idea of how I eat.
Here are some other meals I would try:
- Salad-chicken - no fat dressing
- Chicken broccoli
- Multi-grain Pasta, turkey sausage-peppers (red yellow & orange), fat free Italian dressing (a cold dish)
- Turkey breast burger on wheat bread
- Egg whites are always a good meal! (Egg whites are just so healthy)
- Subway roasted chicken breast avoid mayo use the honey mustard or nothing
- No-fat yogurt
Check food labels and keep the fat down - I would say below 50 grams or so. The goal is eat fruits and vegetables, multi-grain pasta and breads with chicken, lean meats, fish and avoid processed foods as much as you can.
Like most people, I eat the same things a lot over and over and over! It is boring but you get used to it like anything. Just get out of the bad habits of junk food, fast food, and sugary sweets and you will like the results.
If you are diabetic or have other medical issues, contact a doctor or registered dietician before changing your eating habits.
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.