I have a confession to make! I love to eat food, and I mean all types of food. And for some reason I love to eat more in the Winter time, I'm sure I am not the only one here that has this issue. Actually, I know exactly why I (among many others) put on weight in the Winter vs the Summer; It's because in the Winter its cold and we stay in the house a lot more and when you're in your house more you watch more TV and of course, you eat more. And don't forget about the god awful "Winter Blues" most of us feel when we're trapped in our homes for months on end. The Winter Blues are really just a lack of Sun Light (which gives us important vitamins) and without being outdoors and getting these rays of energy we slowly can become depressed, and guess what happens when most of us get a little down? We Eat!
Our WInter eating habits (depending what area of the world you're from) are also due to the lack of motivation knowing you wont be at the beach or outside half naked for the next couple of months. The body is designed to store body fat to ensure our survival. It stores body fat so that if we cant get food for a couple of days you can start to use what the body has stored for survival. Its a beautiful system when its used properly, unfortunately, in America we just simply move too little and eat too much. On its simplest scale: If you consume more calories than you burn throughout the day you will slowly start to gain weight. The same holds true if you reverse this: If you burn more calories than you consume throughout the day you will lose weight. Yes, I know theres a lot more to it when it comes to the "calories In vs calories Out theory" but I want to keep this blog simple and easy to understand.
Foods that we ingest control the way our hormones react. If you eat lots of sugary bull shit foods you will always have sugar and insulin spikes, over time this leads to diabetes! If you eat healthier, cleaner foods your body creates a better hormone balance which makes us healthier humans. There is a constant battle with your bodies hormone levels to maintain homeostasis, depending what you consume on a daily basis will dictate the outcome of your overall health.
Over the years I have realized that EVERY DIET WORKS! Seriously, if you try any "diet" that you are paying attention to what you're eating, how much you're eating, how often you're eating and most importantly IF YOU GIVE IT TIME, it will work! That last part is where 95% of people fail, a week into their new found lifestyle they quit because they didn't get instant results. Give any diet 4-8 weeks and you will see great changes (assuming the diet of choice is a healthy one). Now if you add in some weight training and cardio vascular training your results will be that much better. Combinations of clean eating, weight training, walking daily, lots of water, quality sleep and TIME is the "secret" to leaning out. Sorry guys, no magic pill....
Sure, you can crash diet and lose WEIGHT but are you healthier? Will the changes last? Are you losing bone density and muscle mass? Are you losing FAT? Losing weight should never be the goal, you want to lose fat! I am speaking from my personal weight loss journey and from my journey as a guy that trains 150+ people a week. I used to walk around tipping the scales at 335 pounds and probably close to 35% body fat! I tried everything and they all worked FOR A LITTLE WHILE! Now I walk around at 245 pounds (summer) and 265 (winter) and I maintain a decent body fat because I made it a lifestyle and not a crash diet. Of course I still eat Pizza and Wings once in a while but I eat clean most days of the week, weight train 4+ days a week and always hit the park even if its for a 20 minute walk.
The Key is "Moderation not Deprivation"
Now onto the Summer Cut eating plan: Here it is in a nut shell whether you want to lose a ton of weight or if you're looking to just see your abs, treat grains like they're poison! One of my mentors Mike Boyle said this years ago and he is right on the money...Now this causes a lot of flack in the training and nutrition community, some people disagree with this theory but all I can tell you is TRY IT YOURSELF! When I do/did it to lean out it worked, when my clients do it they all lean out. Trial and error is key, don't knock it until you try it.
Avoid All: Rice, Pasta, Bagels, Waffles, Bread, Rolls, Etc!
With Summer coming up fast I challenge you all to try it and let me know how it goes. I love real life trail and error, this eliminates all the BS and shows us what really works. I will tell you now that its going to be hard! Grains taste good, they're cheap, they have long shelf lives so they don't go bad and they are everywhere. Keep a strict food journal on your journey so again, this will eliminate all the BS.
So now that you're eliminating Grains what should you eat!? The answer is simple, your food should grow mold and die at some point. Sounds crazy right? But think about what kind of foods will grow mold if you leave them around, fruits, vegetables and anything thats real from the earth. Think about what dies, chicken, fish, cows, etc, the list is endless. Its a reality that the earth provides us everything we need to survive from food, to rain, to sunlight and the ability to build shelter and weapons to protect ourselves. When you're choosing your fuel at the supermarket make sure you shop the perimeter. Think about what foods are found on the perimeter: Fruits, Veggies, Eggs, Meats, Chicken, Fish, rarely anything in a box with a shelf life of 7 years.
Before you start your Grain Free journey (if you dare) make sure you take before and after pics of your self, get a book to log your fuel consumption (yes, a book), weight yourself, find out your body fat so that you can assess and re-assess your progress. Results don't lie....Good Luck