Friday, March 25, 2011

Meal Plans for Fat Loss - What's Right for You

Of the three mandatory components for a successful fat loss and fitness program, the proper meal plan is probably the most difficult and most misunderstood. Most people do not understand that when it comes to eating the right foods in the right amounts at the right time, it is not a case of "one size fits all". Let me give you an example:

I recently saw an interview conducted by a certified nutritionist. He was at a hotel that was completely filled with bodybuilders. They were there for the annual Arnold Classic bodybuilder competition. Every year the hotel restaurant and most of the other eating establishments in that area change their menus to accommodate these athletes. They add all the foods that bodybuilders are known to eat. Now, here is what caught my attention: the interviewer pointed out that in spite of what these restaurants had done, every single athlete had brought his own food. They understand that their meal plan must be specific for their own needs.
This is a perfect example of why most diet plans don't really work, and why the few that do work aren't as effective as you would like. So what are your options? Let's face it, most of us are not adequately educated to determine a proper plan. That being said, we should all know by now that processed foods are not friendly to our bodies. Here are some ideas for you to start a healthy eating plan:

1. The Starter Plan - When you go shopping for groceries, stay out of the inner aisles. If it comes in a box or a can don't buy it. Do your shopping in the produce, meat, and dairy sections. You need whole foods, not junk that is loaded with chemicals and preservatives. When it comes to things like chips and cookies, don't keep them in the house! Any good meal plan will allow for a cheat day. Save the garbage empty calorie food for then, and go out to eat it. Watch your sugar intake. Food manufacturing companies are sneaky with their labels. High fructose corn syrup and honey are also sugar. Drink lots of water and green tea.

2. The Better Plan - There are many fitness programs available online. Most of the trainers that create these programs are certified trainers. Some of them are also certified nutritionists, who have done a lot of research on what foods are best for the different body types. A few of the more well known are Isabel de los Rios, Tom Venuto, Mike Geary, and Joel Marion. There are many others that are just as qualified, but I wanted to give you a place to start looking. These trainers offer meal guides and plans to people who sign up for their training. They will give you a plan based on your body type and your fitness goals. Most of these plans are affordable and come with support from the trainer and his or her inner circle.

3. The Best Plan - Set an appointment to meet with a certified nutritionist in the area in which you live, and have them design a custom plan just for you. Your nutritionist will ask you a gazillion questions to get the information they need to create the most ideal plan for you. They need to know your body type (ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph or somewhere in between), what type of work you do, your activities, allergies, stress level, etc. Be honest with them, so they can help you to eat exactly what you need, when you need, and in what portions you need. The only real drawback to this plan is the expense. The services of a really good nutritionist can run into thousands of dollars. The man being interviewed at the bodybuilder contest paid $5000 to his nutritionist.

I have given you three possible choices for improving your chances of having a successful fat loss and fitness program. I cannot make the decision for you. Each of these plans is far better than what most people are doing now. My personal recommendation is the second plan for the majority of people, however, if you can afford it, by all means go with option three. At the very least, please begin using the starter plan. You will be amazed with how well it will make you feel.

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