Frugal Fitness- What (and what NOT) to Eat
First, let me say Thank you to our many members and guests that have been following my “Frugal Fitness” series. Even if you haven’t been following my personal workout routines that I shared with you a couple of weeks ago, I hope you’ve been able to make a few changes to your daily routine to squeeze in a little more exercise.
Did you notice that I never really mentioned anything about food or diet in the first couple of weeks? It has been said that it takes 21 days to develop (or break!) a habit. If you can stick with something for 21 days, chances are, it will become part of your daily routine permanently.
It is my personal belief that if you try to change too many things in your life at once, you have less of a chance of succeeding because it’s easier to become discouraged, overwhelmed and let’s face it, change is never easy.
I hope if you’ve been using my workouts (or your own!) that you’re seeing physical and emotional changes within yourself. Perhaps your pants buckle a little easier, perhaps you’re less stressed during the day, perhaps you sleep through the night instead of waking up every few hours. Now… It’s time to throw something else into the mix- Nutrition!
Let me preface this with a statement… I DON’T DIET. I don’t believe in diets. I don’t believe in following a diet system for anything but support from others in the same boat as you.
What I DO believe is the following:
- (Fake) Fat makes you fat.
- Sugar Makes you fat.
- Grains make you fat. First, it’s obvious that consuming large amounts of fatty foods will inevitably make you fat; No one goes on a Double Whopper with Supersize fries Diet, clearly, that’s going to result in BULGE.That’s not the only “fat” you have to be concerned with. I’m specifically referring to so-called “vegetable” oils such as Canola oil, Cottonseed, Rapeseed, Corn oil, Safflower oil, Sunflower oil, Soybean oil, and solid fats such as Crisco and margarine.First of all, their name in itself is a lie, they are not Vegetable oils (but that’s really good marketing right there!). They are technically seed and bean oils that have been heavily processed. These fake fats are hydrogenated, unsaturated fats. These are pure and utter garbage that cause immediate oxidative damage to the cell membranes in your body.
Our bodies need REAL Saturated fats and good cholesterol in order to work properly. If the oil in your pantry is unsaturated oil, get rid of it, you’ve been duped by marketing.
What may be considerably less obvious to you is that Sugar also makes you fat. When your body needs energy, it converts the easiest source of energy first.
If you consume sugar (sugary products) that becomes your “energy” source. In addition, there’s another reason that sugar causes weight gain; when the pancreas is producing insulin (the hormone that is responsible for processing the sugar in your body), it cannot produce another hormone called glucagon, which is the hormone that tells your body to release and burn fat stores for energy.
Unfortunately, this means that not only is your body not burning the energy that is consumed but it is also storing it for later use, aka love handles, rolls, double chins, etc.
Last but certainly not least – I believe eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner makes you fat.
Allow me to explain, it’s not just about the calories, it’s about the fact that your body is constantly being inundated with new fuel and never having the opportunity to burn the excess fuel (fat) that you’ve likely stored.
By fasting a few hours, your body goes into a fat burning state and utilizes the stored fat for energy.
Intermittent fasting has worked wonders for me in losing weight and getting my blood sugar levels normalized. I used to experience severe hypoglycemia symptoms that started with frightening heart palpitations, progressed to severe shaking, lightheadedness, nausea, tingling lips and mental confusion. What I realized very early on (within a few days) of intermittent fasting was that my blood sugar issues dissipated very quickly, resolving those symptoms permanently.
When I first lost the majority of my weight, my eating window was from 9 am-7pm. At the time, I really had no idea that I was intermittent fasting, I just knew that eating just prior to bedtime led to weight gain for me. In the mornings, I wasn’t remotely interested in eating anything before 9 or 10 am, because it would trigger my hypoglycemia symptoms.
If you’re new to intermittent fasting, it may take a few days to find a timing schedule that’s right for you. Most newbies fast 16/8, which means that they fast for 16 hours with an 8-hour eating window. For example, fasting from 6 pm to 10 am, with an eating window of 10am-6pm.
My eating window is from 1pm-9pm, with bedtime being about 11-11:30 or so. Play around with it to see what works for you and your body.
Finally, over-processed grain makes you fat. Sure, you’ve likely heard that grains offer bulk and fiber, but what they fail to mention is that most grains are so overprocessed they lack any nutritional value at all.
According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, here’s a rundown of what’s lost by modern industrial processing:
Thiamine (B1) 77%
Riboflavin (B2) 80%
Pyridoxine (B6) 72%
Pantothenic acid 50%
Vitamin E 86%
I should note, many “experts” in fitness and weight loss recommended eating oats because they’re slower to break down and supposedly a healthy “carb”. They’re not, like most grains, they’re garbage too.
They wreak havoc with your blood sugar, cause insulin spikes and increase your weight. If you don’t believe it, I urge you to test your blood sugar, then eat a big fat bowl of oatmeal, wait 30 minutes and test it again. The results will scare the shit out you, no lie.
When I want to lose weight quickly I remove the following items from my diet completely:
- Flour & All Flour Products (yes, that means bread/cakes/pies/pastries/etc)
- Grains with a high Glycemic Index– ground corn, wheat, barley, rice, millet, oats, etc
- Sugar – White/Brown/Corn Syrup/Sucralose/
To be clear, I’ve made it a point to NEVER ingest any form of fake sugar – Aspartame (Nutrasweet = POISON), Splenda, Saccharin, etc Artificial sweeteners are worse for you than sugar.
Now, keep in mind in order to remove those 3 items from your diet, you cease eating ANYTHING that contains them. That means, no pasta, no soda (diet or otherwise), no Gatorade/kool-aid/etc)
Side note, this is not to say that once you reach the fitness goals you can’t enjoy the occasional treat, I certainly do, but I’m very aware of how my body responds to that dietary nuance- and let me tell you, I can feel it immediately.
What to Eat:
- Fruits (any Kind), but no more than 2 servings per day (remember, they’re mostly sugar)
- Vegetables of any kind- stir-fried/grilled/raw/baked/steamed/etc
- Meats- Pork, Beef, Chicken, Turkey, Wild Game, etc. (Mostly grilled, never Fried).
- Legumes – if you like
- Coffee, Herbal Teas, Black Tea, Green Tea
I also have a tendency to cut out starches when I want to lose weight rapidly. I look at this way, when you raise a pig, what do you use to fatten it quickly? Corn and Potatoes- Two relatively high starch foods that convert to sugars rapidly in the body.
It’s important to consume healthy fats to properly regulate hunger.
Liss Favorite Fat Loss Rules:
# 1. Stop eating at least 2 hours prior to your Bedtime, Always. Otherwise, your body will still be digesting when you go to bed and you’ll end up storing more fat rather than burning it off.
#2. Consume Fewer Calories than your body burns daily. If you consume approximately 500 calories per day LESS than what your body normally Burns, you will lose fat.
#3. Throw out your Scale. Seriously! Instead, use a fabric tape measure and measure your inch loss progress rather than your weight loss. For example, in my first week of working out, I lost 13 inches off my body, but my scale said I GAINED 2 pounds.
I literally went down dress sizes, yet the scale said I gained weight. I was furious, frustrated and then it occurred to me that the stupid scale is unable to distinguish between the amount of fat and muscle that I have. While I clearly lost fat, I also gained muscle and a serious trimmer body.
Here’s something that I’ve found to be helpful… put on a bathing suit, (shut the curtains first if you have too!), take a fabric measuring tape and measure the following areas of your body:
- Chest (Under the bustline!)
- Shoulders – (you might need an extra hand for this one)
Add the Total Inches:
Next week, instead of getting on the scale, measure the total inches again and you’ll see major progress, As I said, My First full week of workouts changed my entire body by 13 inches.
If you really want to chart your progress and SEE the difference, you can take photo shots each week to show your progress.
Fat Loss #4 – Weight Training is NECESSARY to Lose Fat Permanently
While it’s true that you will lose weight doing Cardio, you lose equal amounts of fat and muscle, which in turns lowers your metabolism. The more muscle you have in your body, the more calories you burn (even while sitting!).
Fat Loss Secret – If you’re trying to get a Bikini ready body in 2 weeks or less -Exercise FIRST thing every morning for 20 minutes on an empty stomach.
This works wonderfully, let me explain how…throughout the night while you’re sleeping your body is depleting its Glycogen reserves, so when you jump up in the morning and immediately start exercising, your body is forced to burn Fats for the fuel.
It also jumpstarts your fat burning abilities through the rest of the day. I prefer to do my weight-training workout first thing in the morning.
Seriously, 20 minutes is all it takes to see considerable results in less than 2 weeks.
In closing, I’m not saying that this is the only way to lose weight or get fit, I’m saying, I’m in my mid-forties, I don’t eat perfectly, I only exercise 3 days a week now to maintain, but I make it a point to fuel my body with decent food and as little crap as I can . . . and that’s how I personally do it.