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CALORIE RESTRICTED DIETS – HEAVEN OR HAVOC?

Flick through any female glossy magazine and it won’t take you long to stumble across terms like “low calories” or “fat-free”.

Calorie counting with little heed for food quality and macronutrients is pointless.

Don’t get me wrong …

To lose body fat you do need to be in a calorie deficit to an extent BUT you also need to nurture your body with nutrient rich foods.

And if you think about it these foods are often single ingredient foods which can rot or go off – think fresh real food NOT jars and tins.

Low-calorie diets are massively counter-productive which is why many of you will have experienced the “yo-yo” effect i.e. you lose weight fast, gain it back even quicker, and to add insult you gain more than you had before!

Sound familiar?

When you follow a severe calorie restricted diet where you’re existing on just a few hundred calories a day a lot of things change in your body and go belly up such as …

• Thyroid output is drastically impaired which means a lower metabolic rate

• Leptin levels dive so you go into starvation mode making it near impossible to shed body fat

• You lose muscle mass which in turn reduces your metabolic rate further

• You become nutrient deficient making the body unhealthy and more resistant to fat loss

• Cortisol levels increase which is linked to stubborn fat around the abdominal area

In a nutshell – it’s an utter recipe for disaster.

But …

All is not lost if you follow my 4 point plan to improve your diet and weight. Take it from me, it works.

Here goes …

1. Protein

Many women seem to run a mile when the word “protein” is mentioned because they think they’re going to get bulky. This is nonsense. We need protein and we need it badly. It will allow you to sustain your current level of lean muscle mass which in turn helps maintain a higher basal metabolic rate meaning you’re capable of burning more calories around the clock. Protein also helps you stabilise blood sugar levels which in turn helps reduce the onset of cravings. Think organic meat, fresh fish, eggs, and a quality protein powder such as Pea Protein. I want you to aim for 4-5 servings of protein a day.

2. Fat

Fats help the body in so many ways and one of those is fat loss. It sounds counter intuitive but you need fat to burn fat, and so improve overall body composition. Thinks about introducing some nuts, salmon, avocados and eggs into your diet.

3. Fibre

Fibre helps us digest, and keep our digestive tract healthy otherwise you’ll suffer from inflammation, bloating and stomach cramps. Fibre also helps with fat loss by improving insulin sensitivity so make sure you eat plenty of greens and a little fruit. Carbohydrate sources like sweet potato are also fibre rich. Don’t worry about how many fibrous veg you eat, just enjoy as it’s hard to eat too much. For extra support consider using a fibre supplement such as Fibre Plus.

4. Eat Regularly

I instruct all of my clients to eat 3 main meals per day and possibly 1-2 snacks if needed. This will stabilise blood sugar levels, reduce cravings and also give your day structure and routine which means your less likely to dip into the cookie jar. Start your day with a solid breakfast, enjoy a nutrient dense lunch, a nutritiously packed evening meal and throw in a couple of healthy snacks in between if you feel you need it. The key is do NOT allow yourself to get hungry.

Some of this might be hard to swallow because it goes against what many magazines say but I really want you to try it for just 4 weeks.

You’ll see the difference. I promise.

Love Gaynor x

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