10 Insanely Helpful Fat-Loss Diet Tips During Quarantine
Nothing will have a bigger impact on your health and fat-loss than your diet.
I want to reiterate that: The thing that is going to cause the most change and help you to see results the quickest is your diet. Your diet consists of the foods you eat and the amount of those foods you eat on a consistent basis.
It controls how many calories we take in, whether we gain, lose, or maintain our weight, and has a huge impact on our disease prevention, immune system, and overall health. Study after study has shown that we get better results for fat loss with nutrition + exercise vs. exercise alone. The ultimate key to success is a combination of putting these together.
Now one thing we get is that our routine has changed quite a bit recently. Instead of looking at that as a negative, look at it as a positive. We now have more time than ever to get in the kitchen and cook real, whole foods. We get to try new foods and recipes and think creatively about how to use our resources. We have the time to sit down over a meal and spread quality time with our families. And finally, we have the opportunity to change and improve our diet and nutritional habits.
Let's get into our 10 tips to improve your diet and health during quarantine.
1| Cook and Balance Your Meals
Now that the busyness of our lives have calmed down and we aren't in such as rush, we have more time to devote to our kitchens. This means more time to cook and create our own meals.
Here is how you balance your meals and create your plate:
1st. Pick a protein source
We want your protein source to be the size of one of your palms of your hand if you're a female and 2 palms if you're a male. Protein is important for preserving and increasing muscle!
Here are some great choices: (Turkey, eggs, salmon, tuna, shrimp, steak, black beans, chicken, greek yogurt)
2nd. Pick a vegetable source
We want your vegetable source to be the size of one of your fists if you're a female and 2 fists if you're a male. Vegetables are important for your immune system and give you energy.
Here are some great choices: (Broccoli, spinach, carrots, kale, asparagus, green beans, spinach, bell peppers, mushrooms)
3rd. Pick a healthy carbohydrate source
We want your healthy carbohydrate source to be the size of one small cupped hand if you're a female and 2 small cupped hands if you're a male. Carbohydrates give you energy for your workout and day.
Here are some great choices: (Sweet potato, red potato, chickpeas, fruit, brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat bread)
4th. Pick a healthy fat source
We want your fat source to be the size of your thumb if you're a female and 2 thumb sizes if you're a male. Healthy fats are great for your skin, heart, and brain health.
Here are some great choices: (Peanut butter, almond butter, olive oil, avocado, avocado oil, butter, canola oil, unsweetened coconut, chopped nuts)
2| Drink Mainly Calorie Free Beverages
As we talked about earlier, to lose weight you need to be eating the right amount of calories. One way to drastically increase your calorie intake, and slow down weight loss, is by drinking your calories. Additives like cream and sugar in your coffee, soda, fruit juices, and alcohol are loaded with extra calories. The average American consumes an extra 400 calories per day just in beverages. Now multiply that by seven days a week.... YIKES! That is not good for weight-loss and something you can easily avoid.
Instead, stick to mostly water and other calorie free beverages.
I want you to have water with you at ALL TIMES! Driving. Working. Watching TV. Eating. Working out... Make sure you have a glass or bottle of water with you to continuously sip on. I recommend purchasing a reusable water bottle like a Nalgene bottle.
BONUS TIP: Drink 2 cups of water before each meal!
Research shows simply drinking 2 cups of water before each meal will help you feel fuller and eat less during your meals.
3| Limit Mindless and Emotional Snacking
This has been one incredibly challenging time, that is no doubt. Emotions have been everywhere for most of us including frustration, nervousness, confusion, and worry.
This is a recipe for eating to calm our emotions as well as eating because of boredom at home. Unfortunately, the combination of all of this is also a recipe for overeating and weight gain!
Instead of using our feelings to dictate our behaviors, think about using your behaviors to dictate our feelings.
Next time you go to the kitchen for another snack or go to grab those dessert you know you don't need ask yourself if you really are hungry or just eating out of emotion. If it's out of emotion or boredom, shift to a different and more healthy action like going for a walk, doing a DSC online workout, Zooming with some friends or reading a book.
4| Include Protein at Every Meal and Snack
Protein is made up of molecules called amino acids, also known as the building blocks of life. They are responsible for the building of our muscles. Proteins also help with various functions like the formation of new bone and muscle tissue and the production of enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters and antibodies plus many others! Think growth and repair!
Consuming enough protein has been shown to help with:
Helping you feel more full after meals and for longer during the day
Growth and repair of muscles
The speed of your metabolism
Stick to non-processed, protein sources like eggs, chicken, turkey, fish, protein powder, black beans, and greek yogurt.
5| Include a Vegetable in Every Meal
We start all of our Nutrition Coaching members with a very simple habit. That habit is to eat more vegetables. In fact, eat them at every meal or snack. No matter what your nutrition goal is -- weight loss, performance, muscle gain or a combination, simply eating more vegetables will have a profound impact on your health.
To start, they are low in calories but packed with nutrients. This is huge for helping you eat a higher volume of foods through vegetables, which keeps you feeling more full but without the high calories content of other carbohydrate sources.
Eating more vegetables has also been shown to:
Help you lose fat
Boost your immune system
Protect against numerous diseases
Improve hydration levels
Aim to eat a vegetable source with each meal.
6| Fuel for Your Workouts
Want to get the very most out of your workouts? Start by fueling your body for exercise success! Supporting your exercise with proper nutrition is crucial for a leaner, stronger you.
Fueling your body with junk or not enough food is a recipe for a bad workout and bad results.
Eating the right foods will give you the energy to support your workouts and allow you to push harder and longer, leading to incredible results!
Start with hydrating. As soon as you wake up, start drinking water. This will give you a huge boost in energy and performance. You want your urine to be clear throughout the day.
When it comes to pre-workout food aim to eat a pre-workout snack 30 minutes to 1 hour before your workout. This should consist of a 50/50 blend of protein and carbohydrates. Some of our favorite options as fruit and peanut butter, a small protein shake, yogurt and berries, or toast and peanut butter.
7| Buy Both Fresh and Frozen Produce
One issue that many of us are running into is the supply of fresh produce at the grocery store. Not only that, but if you are having your groceries delivered to your house, delivery times and dates are hard to come by.
First, understand that it's not going to be perfect. There are going to be time when you go to grocery store and they don't have exactly what you're looking for. That is ok.
Get as much of the fresh meats and produce as you can but also think about buying frozen produce as well. This will allow you to eat the fresh produce first and then lean on things like frozen fruits (great for smoothies) and frozen vegetables that you can cook before your next grocery order.
8| If You Buy It, You or Someone You Love Will Eat It
Snacking right now can really make or break our health and weight gain.
If we allow overeating to occur because of boredom or stress, we aren't going to be happy with our results once this is over.
Understand that if it's in your house, you or someone you love will end up eating it. It will most likely be you as willpower only lasts so long.
Focus on real-food, healthy snack options like fruit, vegetables, hummus, cheese sticks, yogurt, protein bars, beef jerky, hard boiled eggs, avocado, and protein smoothies.
9| Make Protein Smoothies
If you haven't made smoothies a part of your diet yet, you're in for a real treat! They are quick, easy, and packed full of immune system boosting vitamins and minerals. They also provide great fuel for your day and home workouts as they have the right amounts of healthy carbohydrates and protein.
And they taste GREAT. Drink one for breakfast or during the day. You can "size it up" accordingly to make it work as a snack or a meal.
Here's how to make your protein smoothie:
Pick 1 Protein: 1 scoop protein powder (whey, plant based, or collagen)
Pick 1 Fruit: 1 small cupped hand sized amount of frozen strawberries, cherries, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, pineapple, mango, etc.
Pick 1 Veggie: 1 handful spinach or kale
Pick 1 Fat: 1 thumb sized amount of peanut butter, almond butter, unsweetened shredded coconut
Pick 1 Liquid: Unsweetened almond, cashew, or oat milk
Blend and enjoy
10| Enjoy Time With Your Family
Hard times and difficult situations are an opportunity to come together and support each other now more than ever.
In our normal day-to-day lives we are constantly on the go, overbooked and wishing there were more hours in a day. Right now we have a great chance to slow down and spend quality time with our loved ones that maybe the speed of life prior to this time made it hard to do.
Enjoy your time with your loved ones as the busyness of our lives, jobs, school, etc. will be back soon.