Everyone claims to have this magic pill, or that magic shake, or this miracle elixir to help people lose weight. When you whittle it all down weight loss truly comes down to one principle, and one principle only; being in a caloric deficiency.
There are ways in which to put yourself into a caloric deficiency without it being torture. Yes you heard that right, weight loss doesn’t have to be torture. Granted, at times it isn’t fun, but it does not have to be awful.
My rule? Fill your plate to lose the weight.
Ew. I hate things that rhythm, but maybe this way you’ll remember it!
For me personally, I can’t have a tiny plate that’s the size of my hand, with a small portion of protein (I’m a vegetarian so this doesn’t work on a couple of levels). The small meals over the course of the day doesn’t work for me either. And with all of the studies coming back to disprove this method for weight loss, I wouldn’t recommend this route either. If you want to delve deeper into this subject specifically I would highly recommend the book, “Eat Stop Eat” by Brad Pilon. Seriously, download it and read it, make your own notes, and really breathe it in. It will change the way you view nutrition. BUT that’s for another post.
Anyways, back to what I’m NOT good at. I am not good at keeping my meals small. I am very good at having bigger meals one to three times a day, and that’s how I do my nutrition. That’s what works best for me.
In figuring out what works best for me, and in conducting upwards of 425 consults in that last 7 years as a trainer, I have found a common thread to weight loss. Fill your plate to lose the weight.
Now there are a few disclaimers to this adage. The first is that you must fill your plate with the RIGHT foods to lose the weight. I am NOT talking about potatoes, rice, excess carbs, sweets, piles of fruits, etc. These are not the items I am including in this discussion.
The second disclaimer is that you must actually try to fill the plate. That means you’re not just taking a spoonful, you are actually filling 75% of your plate with what I outline below.
Now, I’m sure you’re asking yourself what you should be filling your plate with…Leafy green veggies. Seriously, do me a big favor, next time you go to your grocery store go into your produce section where they have the bagged veggies. Pick up a bag of spinach, a bag of cauliflower and broccoli, or a bag of kale and calculate what the calorie content would be for one whole bag. That’s right, the whole thing. Because who looks at the serving size and goes, “Oh awesome, so if I eat 4.5 cookies I’ll have only had 120 calories.” Heck no, I want to know what I’ve just eaten if I devour the entire thing. It will happen, so I might as well just plan for the inevitable, am I right?! Veggies are such a great choice to fill up on because they have high fiber content, will keep you satiated longer, and they have minimal calories.
Chances are the calories that you’ve just totaled from the bags above don’t go beyond 200 calories. You read that right, most of the time an entire bag of spinach, an entire bag of brussell sprouts, or an entire bag of leafy greens, although giant, is minimal in calories. Although, when you actually go to buy produce I highly recommend buying it directly from the shelves instead of the pre-packaged bags. The bags were just to prove a point, and show you what calories in leafy green veggies look like. But here is how you outsmart your hunger…..you don’t deal with it at all.
On my diet plans I have my clients eat copious amounts of leafy greens and cruciferous veggies. That’s right, I rarely have them tracking how many veggies they are eating throughout the day. Carrots, squash, potatoes, and the starchier veggies are left off of those list because of their calorie contents, but the others are fair game.
So if we are looking at your dinner plate, 75% of that plate should be a heaping pile of veggies. You can absolutely cook these veggies, my favorite oils to cook in are coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil. You can even add some pink Himalayan salt, or sea salt for added taste. Or my uncle’s favorite seasoning, “Slap Yo Mama”. Sorry mom, but it is delicious. My other favorite cooking additive is coconut amino’s, these taste like soy sauce, but don’t have the MSG or soy of soy sauce. Think of it as a healthier version of soy sauce, and it’s really tasty too.
The next big portion of your plate should be either your protein portion or your good fat portion. Since I am a vegetarian, I like to add avocado or almonds to my veggie mixture, it adds a little crunch to everything.
No matter how you create your meals if you stick to the 75% ratio for your veggies, guaranteed you are going to fill up on the good stuff, and you won’t even want that dessert, or to snack later on in the evening.
As I said, I am not proud of the rhyming, in fact it makes me feel really cheesy, but hey if you remember the saying then I’m happy!
Let the veggies do their job, and you’re well on your way!
As always, keep working hard.
Megan Williams Training