A situation that we often come across coaching clients, is people trying to lose body fat but are only consuming one or even zero portions of protein per day. This is very common with people who are fixated in losing only overall weight on the scale. As specialists in fat loss and body composition, it is very important to us that our clients improve their health and also develop a leaner body shape that they can be proud of. For us to achieve this, protein plays a key part in their diets.

Protein is a very controversial topic, but if you study the research you will see that consuming a higher protein diet is actually safe to your health. If you’re looking to improve your body composition, health or gym performance, you’ll find it very hard to achieve these without maintaining optimal levels of protein in your nutrition.

When we coach someone how to change their body shape, we give them an actual target amount of protein to aim for each day. It is important that new habits are fixed in place before we deliver a new one. Working on protein targets is one of the many habits that we teach in when working with our Body Transformation Clients

So What Do We Recommend When Discussing Protein Targets With Them?

We suggest that you should be including a lean protein portion in every meal. This doesn’t mean eating only three or five meals a day, this means splitting your meal times into regular feedings based on what you can realistically sustain given your current lifestyle. We always usually recommend a minimum of three times.

Eating protein regularly helps keep you feeling fuller for longer, it stimulates your metabolism and it also helps you build vital muscle mass. Muscle mass is key if you want to lower your body fat levels and look leaner.

What we recommend to our personal training clients, is to initially work on portion sizes and adding a lean source of protein to every meal. As a guide, a portion of protein is equal to the size of the palm of your hand.

For a medium build male, we suggest one portion per meal.

For a larger build male, we suggest one and a half portions of protein with each meal.

There are divided opinions as to the healthiest forms of protein you should be eating. As mentioned you should try to include lean protein sources with each of your meals. Where possible you should also choose organic and grass fed protein sources.

What Type of Protein Am I Talking About?

Here are a few examples:

  • Grass fed lean beef, buffalo, chicken, turkey, venison
  • Wild Salmon, Tuna, Cod, Mackerel, sardines
  • Omega 3 rich eggs
  • Vegetarian/vegan choices including tofu, tempeh, soy, beans
  • Supplements such as whey/casein or vegan protein powders count as a portion of your daily protein serving.

Hope this helps. If you’d like to know more about how you can lose fat and get leaner through correct exercise and nutrition download our popular Lean Body Transformation Ebook Here or Contact Us and we’ll see what we can do to help.

 

Good work! You worked hard to reduce your weight and made it.

However, maintaining weight loss might be harder than you think. Research presented at The Endocrine Society’s annual conference found just 14% of those who lost moderate amounts of weight (defined as 10–15% of their original body mass index) maintained their weight loss; among those who lost less than 10% of their original weight, only 23% maintained their weight loss.

Instead of letting months (or years) of hard work disappear in a haze of missed workouts and a summer holiday, beware of these common pitfalls that could cause you to regain weight:

1. Following a Fad Diet Plan

The promise of big, fast weight loss might make it seem worthwhile to consume nothing but low-calorie shakes or cabbage soup. Chelsea Cross, RD, a dietitian with Dietetic Directions warns you might lose a lot of weight on a fad diet quickly but dramatic calorie restriction is impossible to maintain long-term. You will also be deprived of food nutrients which can lead to a whole other list of side effects.

Any plan that restricts a large food group simply because it’s off limits is not something that can be stuck to, you’ll eventually eat those forbidden foods, resent the plan you’re on and overeat sooner or later because of it’s deprivation.

Instead of adopting a fad diet or prioritizing quick weight loss, start setting realistic, healthy, sustainable weight-loss goals; eating a balanced diet that includes all of the food groups including lean protein; and focusing on changing your parts of your lifestyle, not just your diet. These strategies, help you achieve long-term, sustainable weight loss.

2. Missing Workouts

Whether you were jumping burpees at a boot camp at the crack of dawn, squeezed in a run on your lunch hour or invested in a personal trainer, the hard work paid off.

Once you hit your weight-loss goal, you might think you deserve a break and stop. But consistently skipping workouts is a bad idea. Taking a two-week break from your exercise routine significantly reduces cardiovascular fitness and lean muscle mass.

This will also make it harder to regain momentum and keep the excess weight off.

3. Sticking To The Same Gym Workouts

Running the same 3-mile route or choosing the same settings on the elliptical trainer might have helped you shed unwanted pounds initially, but continuing with the same workout is going to make it difficult to maintain your weight loss. After you’re losing weight you need to progress your workouts and keep adding variation to them.

When you follow the same weights or cardio program, your body adapts, comfort zones kick-in. You have to take the intensity up a notch if you want to maintain your weight loss.”

Changing the load, or number of repetitions in your strength-training program, adding some high-intensity interval training to your cardio workouts ensures you don’t see the weight you lost start creeping back on.

4. Bad Sleep

If you struggle with good quality sleep, it might be harder to maintain weight loss. Sleeping less than six hours per night was associated with higher rates of obesity; and additional research found shorter amounts of sleep were linked to larger waistlines.

Insufficient sleep can increase cortisol levels which can be responsible for feelings of hunger, fullness and lack of muscle recovery.

The more time you spend awake, the more opportunities you have to eat — and you’re more likely to reach for high-calorie snack foods and graze, rather than eating fruits and vegetables when you’re exhausted.

To maintain weight loss, aim for 7-8 hours sleep per night. You can increase the odds of getting a good night’s rest by sticking to regular sleep/wake times and going to bed in a cool, dark environment.

Keeping the number on the scale from creeping up takes some work, but the effort will be worth it when your favorite clothes continue to fit like a glove.

 

Are you working out endlessly only to see the weight scale staying the same? This frustrating effect is actually quite common with gym – goers. Before you give up on working out, see if any of these reasons might be to blame.

1. Doing The Wrong Type of Training

Make sure your exercise plan fits with your physique goals. Take a look at bodybuilders, swimmers, distance runners and cycling sprinters, and you’ll notice their body shapes and performance levels are very different. What you’re doing in the gym can dictate whether you’re breaking down tissue or building muscles, or not really helping your muscles much at all.

2. Under Eating

Lean, strong bodies need fuel to burn. Having too lower calorie of a diet while engaged in a heavy fitness routine can leave your body in conservation mode. To keep your engine burning, make sure your diet is loaded with high-quality, nutritious foods, protein and balanced meals throughout the day. Try tracking your intake to make sure your daily calorie deficit is not too large or too high.

3. Ignoring Recovery

Even top athletes struggle with this one, but taking time off is crucial. Chronic training can increase levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body, which is known to prevent healthy weight loss, especially around the midsection. Taking a day off or getting enough quality sleep can keep hormone levels in check.

4. Poor Sleep

Sleep is essential for keeping pounds off. However, struggling to fit workouts in might be detrimental to your sleep schedule. Waking up earlier than your natural wake time to fit in that morning workout can encourage better rest later. Having your cortisol increased and lack of sleep can also lead to craving sugar, constant fatigue, a cranky disposition and weight gain can all be signs that you’re not sleeping enough.

5. Overcompensating

The “but I earned it, I went to the gym today” mindset can get even the most fit athlete in trouble. Sure, sweating it out at the gym gives you a little diet leniency, but it isn’t a free for all. If, after each workout, you give yourself permission to have an extra latte, cocktail, cake, you might be consuming more than is needed by your body and negating all your fitness gains.

Bottom line, there are many factors that can contribute to not seeing the weight loss you desire when starting a new fitness training routine. The best approach is to assess your eating, training and goals with a professional to make sure everything is working together for a successful outcome. If you’re not assessing then you’re just guessing [if changing any areas of your physique is something you’re aiming for].

Another approach is to step away from the scales. Focusing only on total body weight doesn’t tell the full story of what is happening to your body composition. Periodically test your body fat composition, which is more important than total weight, and focus on how your clothes fit and how healthy and energized you feel.

 

Have a great week,

Lean Body Team