Get the picture? I'm referring to them as meals, but they're actually feedings. Each of the meals is comprised of protein, a little carbohydrate and a little fat. In some cases, the fat is built into the protein. In other cases, it's added to the meal. For eDiets members, this is already accomplished in your meal plan.
2. RATIOS: It's unlikely that you'll get tight abs and a flat stomach by consuming 80 percent of your calories from carbohydrates. Ratios can vary quite a bit, but consuming more than 55 percent of your calories from carbohydrates is not optimal for fat loss. Many people do quite well on extremely low-carb plans, while others succeed on more moderate plans. As long as you eat no more than 55 percent of your calories from carbohydrates, you'll be at a good starting point.
3. TIMING: I realize four to six meals sounds like a lot, but you must keep in mind that the body always seeks to store body fat. The body doesn't care if you want to lose fat. In fact, your body would prefer to keep fat in order to accomplish its No. 1 goal of keeping you alive in case of future famine or drought.
Always consider the body from the inside out and not the other way around. In order to control blood sugar, eat every two to three hours throughout the day; eating every few hours and using the most effective nutrient ratios will help control blood sugar and assist in body fat loss.
4. CALORIES: I've received emails from people telling me that they‚??re perfect with their nutrition, ratios and timing, but they still can't lose body fat. In every case, they're still consuming too many calories. It doesn't matter how healthful your nutrition program is if you're eating too much.
It's important that you determine maintenance calories first. Maintenance represents the amount of food you consume without any change in your weight. This will take some experimentation and some effort. You'll also need to document your foods -- total calories as well as grams of protein, carbohydrates and fats.
5. SLIGHT CALORIC DEFICIT: After you've determined maintenance, simply reduce your calories by 200. Our goal is to have you eating as much as possible while still losing fat and retaining muscle. I don't want you eating as little as possible (thereby slowing the metabolism and losing valuable muscle tissue). The first week, you may lose 4 to 6 pounds of water. After the first week, you should only lose about 1.5 pounds per week. The goal is to preserve muscle and make your body a metabolic inferno. If you're not losing up to 1.5 pounds per week (it will fluctuate week to week), you should reduce calories by another 100. Then, monitor your progress after one week -- you'll probably be right on track.
6. CONSISTENCY: You'll need to be on this nutrition program six days a week with one day being somewhat of a time to cheat. Unlike many, I'm not a big fan of the "cheat" day. I find that people tend to use it as an excuse to gorge themselves.
So on Sunday, for example, you're allowed to have some pizza and a bit of ice cream -- but nothing extreme! When you pig out, blood sugar levels can be elevated for seven hours or more. This will absolutely halt your fat loss.