Ahhh! Nutrition can be so confusing! There are millions of experts, companies, blogs, websites and resources all out there putting their $0.02 into the fat loss nutrition game (and JillFit is one of them! lol). It’s hard to know who to trust, what’s real, what’s hype and how to wade through all the seemingly contradicting info.
So, I thought I’d break it down for you, the way JillFit does it with our clients here, with our 7 simple fat loss nutrition guidelines.
But first…how do you know if you should even trust us?? Well, that’s your decision of course. But I can give you this small piece of advice: follow those you feel like “get you” the most and stick with as few sources as possible, whether it’s us or another company’s “voice.” Besides, everyone has their opinion/advice when it comes to fat loss, and information overload can lead to paralysis. Ultimately, on your fat loss journey, you need to feel connected. You need to feel supported and related to. The important thing is to find a single person/coach/brand that you trust and see it through with them. If it’s not for you, you can always move on after.
At JillFit, we have a specific way we talk about this stuff–very similar to that of Metabolic Effect (all the JillFit Coaches are Metabolic Effect-certified). And based on our clients’ experiences, these fairly general guidelines work for most people. Some of you will need more “tough love” or black-and-white meal plans and food lists. We employ this stuff too sometimes, but ultimately, hard & fast plans are unsustainable. So we encourage you to take what is useful, implement as possible and do your best. [tweetherder]The bottom line when it comes to fat loss nutrition is that do-ability and implementation is everything.[/tweetherder]
So, we’ve come up with these 7 guidelines to give you an idea of where we start our clients with their nutrition and perhaps you can begin to implement them into your nutrition plan as well. Let us know what you think in the Comments section below! :)
1) Prioritize protein.
We advise our girls to eat a serving of lean protein at each meal (whether that 3 meals or 7 per day). Choose 1 of the following: chicken breast, lean ground turkey, turkey breasts, eggs/egg whites, bison, grass-fed beef, Canadian bacon, whey protein powder, pea/rice blend protein powder (like VegaSport or VegaOne), egg white protein powder or low-fat cottage cheese.
2) Next, add veggies.
The second priority is vegetables. We opt for the fibrous variety, and we recommend a minimum of 4 servings a day (which you can get from a huge salad at lunch if you get stuck). Examples include spinach, mixed greens, kale, collards, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, onions, peppers, mushrooms, etc. Starchy veggies like zucchini, squash, eggplant, potatoes, etc go into the fruit and starch category (see #3).
3) Eat 1-3 servings of starch per day.
This includes starchy veggies (above), potatoes, all fruit like berries, grapefruits, pears, apples, etc, rice, quinoa and oats/oat bran. For those who have a lot to lose, start with 1 serving. For those with a faster metabolism and are fairly lean can get away with 3 servings per day. Adjust as needed based on energy balance and result.
4) Have one of your starch servings (#3) after your weight workout (along with protein).
We actually don’t recommend any high-sugar/high-sweet starches, even after workouts. We do advocate 1 treat meal per week (#6), but we don’t tell people to eat pop tarts and Cinnamon Toast Crunch after workouts :) Sigh. So pick one serving from the following: oatmeal, oat bran, fruit, brown rice, sweet potato or starchy veggies. For starchy veggies and fruit, you can double the serving size.
5) Incorporate 1-3 servings of healthy fats into your day.
If you are on the low end of starch, do 2-3 servings of fat. If you are on the higher end of starch, do 1 serving per day. Examples: 2 TB natural peanut or almond butter, handful of nuts, 1/2 an avocado, 1-2 TB coconut oil, serving of olives, couple egg yolks or salmon filet. Have them any time except post-workout. One of my favorite mid-morning snacks is 3/4 cup cottage cheese with a handful of walnuts thrown in, stevia + cinnamon sprinkled on top. We also recommend an additional 3-4g of fish oil per day via supplement on top of dietary fat servings.
6) Give yourself 1 treat meal per week.
Note that’s a single meal, not a day or afternoon or a weekend or a 6pm-to-midnight binge. Instead, go out to dinner (or bunch), have what you want for that single meal and go home to your clean eats. I usually advise keeping alcohol to a minimum in general if possible, but definitely maintain a 2-drink max at treat meals. A treat meal can help reset cortisol for those who are doing a strict plan the rest of the week and offer an effective psychological break. But remember, get back on the program the next day–don’t let the cheat seep into the next day.
7) Water, water, coffee, water, tea, water, water, cocoa drink.
We recommend our girls drink 3-4L of plain water per day. This seems like a lot at first, but in time with some consistent effort, this becomes normal, and anything less makes you feel thirsty. We allow other beverages like coffee, unsweetened tea, and an occasional naturally-flavored water. We also encourage our gals to use ME’s Cocoa Drink to help with cravings & hunger (mix 1-2 TB unsweetened cocoa powder with hot water, add stevia to sweeten), drinking liberally as needed. But non-water beverages are only in addition to the plain water. No Crystal Light, no soda, no juice, no milk, no alcohol (for the most part, see #6), no sweet tea, etc.
That’s it! We try to keep it as simple as possible. If you can follow these guidelines 90% of the time, you will experience fat loss success. This can be hard to do at times, with prepping food and being more aware of food, but it’s worth it if really want to do what it takes to tighten up your physique.