Delicious Waffles from Live Well with Lynn
Drop your Body Fat by 8% in 8 Months? Is that Possible?
Last month when I posted Women & Weight Lifting – what are we so afraid of? I mentioned that I dropped my body fat by 8 percent. I went from 22% down to 14%. I received a lot of questions as to what I ate during that time. Yes, I worked out hard but what about the food? What you eat is the most important part of the equation. Like I always say, no amount of exercise will undo a bad diet. Nutrition is 80% of the transformation.
I can’t tell you what will work for you specifically, because we are all different, but I will tell you what worked for me. It wasn’t a nightmare or even hard. I needed to give my muscles the nutrients required to rebuild themselves. I found the healthiest foods available and incorporated them into my diet every day.
How do you Clean up your Diet?
Very simple. You Eat Clean. These are the Clean-Eating principles to live by:
My Specific Meal Plan
I found that planning ahead helped tremendously. Sticking to the same foods every day also meant I didn’t have to think too much. This is basically what I ate every day for 8 months:
1 Whole Egg with 1 slice of Turkey & peppers, onions, tomatoes in an Omelet – 150 calories
6oz Kashi Go-Lean Cereal with Blueberries and 8oz Skim Milk – 250 calories
Large salad with either Chicken or Fish, 3oz, and spinach leaves, mandarin oranges, red & green peppers, cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, tsp walnuts, tsp almonds, tsp dried cranberries, berries (no salad dressing – the fruit makes it moist & sweet) -350 calories
Greek yogurt fat-free with raspberries – 150
3oz of chicken or fish, 1 cup vegetable, 40z milk – 200 calories
Fresh Chick Pea & Veggie Salad from Live Well with Lynn
Now granted, I am 5’1″ and 104lbs, so you may need to eat a little more, but this does not mean add in three Dunkin Donuts. It means add a morning snack of fruit, or another glass of milk or increase your meat portions to 4-5oz.
Looking at this meal plan you can see a few things:
- It provides 7-8 servings of fruits and veggies a day, supplying you with all those great vitamins, minerals & fiber
- It provides a significant 102gms of protein a day
- There is very little starch but the majority of carbs that you need come from fruits, vegetables, nuts, milk
- It is only 1,100 calories a day but it is nutrient dense, meaning a small amount of calories with a ton of nutrients.
That’s what you want to shoot for. This meal plan will help you keep full by giving you high satiety fiber and protein which fill you up because they take longer to digest, therefore food stays in your stomach longer. Also it’s not weird, fake food that you will hate two weeks from now.
I also believe that since my body needed calories to rebuild my muscles, and I ate so little, it took any extra calories it needed from my fat stores. 1,100 calories is kinda low, and sometimes I even dipped down below 900 calories. Normally you’re body would break down your muscle to get the calories it needs, but since I was weight lifting 5-6 days a week and ripping my muscles, I think that it couldn’t take from there, so it took from my fat stores instead. Not sure, just my theory, but it made sense.
So with 8 months of solid weight lifting and low calories, I dropped my body fat by 1% a month, while building a tremendous amount of muscle.
What Did I Do After the 8 months? Do I Still Eat the Same?
No. People think that when you ‘diet’ you have to eat this way forever. Not true. The great thing about reaching your goals is that once you do, you can enjoy yourself to some degree. This does NOT mean go back to your old habits. Hopefully once you’ve come this far you will want to continue and that is exactly what I did.
I subscribed to Clean Eating Magazine and went on a shopping and cooking spree. Suddenly I was buying Steel Cut Oats, Avocados, Quinoa and Flaxseed. I was creating new recipes and alternative meal options. Every thing I made, I tried to make even healthier.
- Instead of boring oatmeal, I made Steel Cut Oats and plopped in walnuts, blueberries, and Flaxseed.
- Protein shakes with Whey and mangoes, coconut milk and pineapple, Greek yogurt too.
- Avocado was spread on toasted whole grain nutty breads or smeared on sandwiches instead of mayo.
- Flaxseed was added to everything, even used as a breading for chicken, mixed inside baked treats and stirred in protein shakes.
- Meats were topped with homemade salsas consisting of mangoes, tomatoes, avocados and peppers.
There are endless possibilities. And the great thing is, you can take foods you’ve come to love, mix in new foods you’ve found, and create recipes that you enjoy. The important thing is to keep your calories low.
Sure an occasional or daily small treat is fine. But watch your portion sizes. 1 or 2 cookies is a treat. A half gallon of ice cream is just being gluttonous. Are you really that hungry? Do you NEED all of that? Think of your poor muscles, trying desperately to repair themselves. Your real treat should come in the end, when you can slap on that bathing suit with confidence. Those desserts are not going anywhere. They will always be there in the future.
P.S. I stopped drinking alcohol too. I ‘grew up’ one day and realized I really didn’t need it. I only drink water or milk. Drinks are a major waste of calories.
How about you? What are your biggest challenges? Have you transformed your diet? What new foods have you come to love?
I love hearing from you.
The greatest compliment you can give me is when you share this with others. I sincerely appreciate it: