We have addressed the elephant in the room that when it comes to women’s health something is wrong and now after reading Part 1 (if you haven’t read part 1 yet >> Click Here <<) it is time to map out a blue print that is going to provide you the solution that you have worked so hard for.
It Begins With a Plan
Joining a gym and getting comfortable in the weights area is a great start but it is only that, a start. You need a plan to follow both inside and outside the gym if you want to make noticeable change. The bigger the change you want, or need to make then the more thorough your planning needs to become.
By no means are we promoting an obsessive and overly restrictive lifestyle rather guidelines that help to keep you on track with your nutrition and your training.
First up we are going to take a look into the basics of nutrition for fat loss and body composition changes that last.
Food Will Fuel Success, or Failure
Over the last forty or fifty years with the rise in commercial farming and mass produced foods, pre-packaged meals and products that just don't perish- our daily food intake has changed immensely compared to what our grandparents ate at our age.
We have seen changes in quality, but most notably with the rise in popularity of "diets" we have also seen a great decline in quantity of quality.
No doubt this will come as a surprise to many, but the majority of female clients that I have seen who are looking to lose weight are under-eating. The scary thing is it is often poor quality nutrients taking up the majority of calories in a diet that is already low calorie.
Clean It Up
The first and absolute most important step is simple in theory, much harder in practice.
Cleaning up your diet should be your highest priority on day one. Don't worry too much about carbohydrates, protein and fat intake. Just clean it up.
Cut back on the processed foods and drastically increase the uptake of vegetables- particularly the green ones as they are going to help the bodies natural detoxification processes clear toxins released from fat stores.
Up the water intake to at least 1L per 25kg of bodyweight per day plus an additional liter per hour spent exercising or physical activity.
Apply the same methods to your protein sources- you don't need to be eating red meat like it is bordering extinction but most women can afford to up the animal protein sources.
The secret to protein is rotation, don't fall into the outrageously bad dieting habits of female bodybuilders and only consume chicken and broccoli or rice and white fish every meal of the day.
The best way to go is red meats at breakfast time (beef, kangaroo, lamb, venison etc) [check out this article for more info on The Best Breakfast for Fat Loss] and at dinner time opt for white meats (chicken, turkey, various fish etc).
Red meats take a little longer to break down and digest hence why you can be better served having them in the morning.
What Should I Measure?
First things first- you need to be aware of where you are at now. Today. Download an app like MyFitnessPal and track what you have eaten today- this will give you a good idea of your daily food consumption (I usually recommend 2 weekdays, 1 weekend day to get an idea of the average day).
Look for patterns in your diet and ask yourself "why?". Find that at around 3pm every day you are reaching for the cookie jar for a mid afternoon pick me up?
Take a look at your lunch, MyFitnessPal will give you an idea of the proportions per macro nutrient. If you are having a high carbohydrate lunch, particularly processed carbohydrates you will find blood sugar levels will drop and so will your energy.
With this in mind you will want to up your quality protein and fats to ensure better balanced blood sugars and longer lasting energy.
Carbohydrates? Gods Gift or Satan's Curse?
We all knew this was coming. The great carbohydrate debate has raged for years and it does not look like stopping any time soon. By no means will my opinion end it but rest assured I have found this works for most, if not all female clients.
The simple answer is we all need carbohydrates. The more complex answer some people need more and some need less.
Again the quality of your carbohydrate will have great influence over your results. We always recommend you opt for the carbohydrate source that offers more than just carbs. Sweet potato offers a tonne of nutrients in addition to carbohydrates, white potato when cooked then cooled increases the resistance starch content that healthy gut bacteria feed on making it another great option.
The crucial part is timing.
We are pretty firm believers in having quite a low carbohydrate start to the day and saving the majority for post workout in particular and dinner time (Outrageous huh? Carbohydrates cause a spike in seratonin release and that helps you chillll- assisting in a better nights sleep).
The Final Say
This is a very, very basic introduction to instilling sustainable nutrition practices. Unfortunately we have become so out of touch with foods that simply adding more water and upping our vegetable intake alone will result in big improvements.
When it comes to nutrition unless you are planning to step on stage in a fitness competition or have a very particular dietary consideration why over complicate something that can be kept simple?
Practice your cooking skill, buy the best quality ingredients you can (think Saturday morning Farmers Markets), load up with a variety of vegetables with plenty of greens, rotate your protein sources for both taste and health, up your water intake and only eat as many carbohydrates as you need.
Stay tuned for part three where we cover our most simple, yet most effective exercise tips for changing a females body shape in part 3 of our Before, After and After That series.
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Have any other questions? Want more information on the topic's mentioned or have an idea for our next blog post? Let us know in the comments section.