Are you a bride-to-be? Say yes to your dress size with these five tips.
[dropcap]After[/dropcap] working with hundreds of clients, I have found that typically the most effective component in getting the best results possible is placing some sort of deadline to meet. There is no better example of this than with ones I have trained who were brides-to-be. It’s amazing what happens to women as soon as they set a wedding date — they are ready and willing to do whatever it takes to get into their dream dresses and inspire awe in all those who attend the most important day of their lives.
But the brides-to-be still needs a dietary blueprint in order to get the job done. Building a leaner, sculpted physique is 80 to 90% nutrition. Here are my personal guidelines that have produced both body- and life-changing results for many of our clients nationwide. Typical results are losses of 2 to 3 lbs of ugly, unwatned body fat per week and at least 1 clothing size reduction per month. Although weight loss may be part of the equation it’s crucial to note that the focus MUST be on improving overall health, body composition, and performance!
The Fit Bride Mentality: EAT to Elevate Metabolism and Lose Fat (NOT Weight)
Tip #1: Stay Hydrated
- Drink at least 2 to 4 cups of water immediately upon waking and then drink at least 1 to 2 cups of water every 2 hours you are awake. A dehydrated organism cannot effectively lose body fat!
- Drink 1 to 2 cups of water for every 15 minutes of vigorous activity to maintain optimal performance and to prevent dehydration during your workouts.
- Consume at least 3 servings of antioxidant-rich green tea each day to boost your immune system and accelerate recovery from exercise.
Tip #2: Eat Early and Eat Often
- Eat immediately upon waking and then again every 2 to 4 hours for a total of 6 to 8 feedings per day. This is a staple for any solid fat loss nutrition plan because it allows your body to starve the fat and feed the muscle, optimizes performance, and prevents your body’s starvation signals from going off — signals that will slow fat loss to a snail’s pace.
- The dietary breakdown is 3 total meals per day consumed at breakfast, lunch, and dinner time, 3 total snacks per day consumed between meals and before bed, and workout nutrition in the form of a protein or amino acid supplement consumed around your training sessions. Snacks are typically half the caloric value of meals.
Tip #3: Focus on the Essentials
- Consume a wide range of organic lean proteins of animal origin at each feeding. A great rule of thumbs is to consume at least a fist-sized worth of anything that had a face or a mother and ran, fly, or swam at some point (sorry, doesn’t sound as appetizing this way). Protein is not only the only macronutrient responsible for building and repairing that lean, sexy muscle tone, it also allows your body to best starve its ugly, unwanted fat stores. In addition, the sheer consumption of protein elevates metabolism and burns calories through the thermic effect of feeding since protein is more than twice as energy costly for your body to digest than fat or carbs.
- Consume a wide range natural fats at each feeding (olive oil, coconut oil, beef, salmon, whole eggs, avocado, mixed nuts, flax, full-fat cheese, etc.). Sufficient dietary fat intake is critical to beneficial hormone production, which allows for optimal fat loss. Furthermore, your body cannot optimally burn stored body fat without a sufficient amount of healthy dietary fat.
- Consume a wide range of fruits and veggies at each feeding (with a special emphasis on green veggies). A great rule of thumb when it comes to produce is to consume at least one green item AND as many other colors as possible at each and every meal to get the most health benefits.
Tip #4: You NEED These 2 Supplements
- Take a daily whole food based multi-vitamin for your gender. Ensuring adequate intake of vitamins and minerals is essential for your body to function optimally, especially for people who struggle to get at least 8 to 12 servings of fruits and veggies each day.
- Take a high quality essential fatty acid (EFA) or fish oil supplement. Omega-3 fats found in fish oil are scientifically proven to increase metabolism and generate increased fat burning, besides having a host of other benefits like preventing cancer, reducing inflammation and joint pain, enhancing skin and hair quality, etc.
Tip #5: Think Fiber First When It Comes To Carbs
- It is critical to focus on carbohydrate quality first AND then quantity second. In terms of quality, all carbohydrates (outside of dairy) that you eat should contain AT LEAST 3g of fiber per serving and offer LESS THAN 10g of sugar per serving. In terms of quantity, we have found most females achieve the best fat-burning effects by limiting their total daily carb intake to 50g or less. That amount does NOT include their unlimited daily fibrous carb intake from green veggies or the trace carbs from protein and fat foods. Fruits can be low and high in carbohydrates, depending on the variety, and should be consumed in moderation.
- Use The Carb Reduction Blueprint: Use the following step-by-step process in the exact order listed to breakthrough any plateaus in your quest to get into that dress:
- Step #1: Replace all white carbs with 100% whole grain carbs and all refined sugars with natural sugars found in food choices with ONE ingredient (e.g. fruit, honey, etc.). This will result in much more stable blood sugar levels, which is the key to maintaining high energy levels and burning fat.
- Step #2: Limit all 100% whole grain starch and natural sugar consumption to within 1 to 2 hours post-workout or immediately upon waking for breakfast. Your body best handles these types of carbs at these times without excessive risk of this energy being stored as fat.
- Step #3: Replace all starches and sugars with fruits and veggies. Fruits and veggies are the most nutrient-dense carbs, and are loaded with tons of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants and stomach-filling fiber, making them the staple of any good fat loss meal plan.
- Step #4: Replace all fruits with green veggies (or any other veggies BESIDES corn, peas, carrots and potatoes) to weed out any remaining dietary sugar (fructose: fruit sugar) that will prevent your body from maximally using stored body fat for fuel. Green veggies like broccoli, spinach, dark leafy lettuce, green beans, asparagus, etc. have the most figure-friendly benefits of any carbohydrates out there and can be consumed in an unlimited amount throughout the day to keep you full and satisfied.
- Step #5: Use strategic carb and calorie cycling to take your body to next level (my clients and I have had great success with this, but it is beyond the scope of this article).
Well, those are my top 5 diet tips to help you look your best on the biggest day of your life. When it comes to nutrition, keep it simple and stay the course. And remember, it’s not about weight loss — it’s about being as visually stunning as possible by losing inches in all the right places. 😉