Following a specific diet when trying to lose weight and get lean is very important. Working out alone will not provide you with the desired result.
You have to dedicate yourself to you program every day, in every way possible when starting a regimen to get lean. There are multiple areas of your diet that you need to consider.
Although not the most important part of getting lean, calorie intake is important to watch. Calories are units of energy. They help provide you with the fuel you need to get up and move or to think every day.
If you consume less calories than you are burning in one day, overtime you will lose weight. But when taking calories into consideration, you need to understand what types of calories you are eating.
High Calorie Foods
These types of foods have high levels of calories in relation to their serving size. They typically are foods like oils, butters, fried, or sugary foods.
But not all high calorie foods are junk food. Some good nutrient filled foods that are high in calories include nuts, avocados, or quinoa.
Low Calorie Foods
These foods have a low level of calories in relation to their serving size. These typically consist of fruits and vegetables, such as lettuce, spinach, celery, corn, or oranges.
Empty Calorie Foods
These foods have little to no nutrients in them at all, but have high calories. For examples added sugars or solid fats. Typically, these foods are like the “dorm room diet,” and consist of pizza, hot dogs, sodas, and ice cream.
Counting your calories is a valid way to help gain lean muscle, it is not the most important part of a lean muscle diet.
This is probably the most important nutrient to be consuming when you are trying to get lean. Because muscle is made up of mostly protein and water, having a high protein diet will help you achieve your goal quicker.
Some lean programs tell you to eat at least one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, daily.
There are different types of proteins. The best proteins to help you get lean is by eating lean and high quality proteins. These include foods such as egg whites, poultry, protein powder, or lean red meant.
Most people who are working out to get lean have at least one protein shake a day to help increase their protein intake without having to eat a heavier meal. Plus, it can feel like an indulgence!
When trying to lose weight, and gain lean muscle it is important to keep your carbs at a low. Your body tries to burn away carbs first when working out, but if there are no carbohydrates in your body for them to burn, your body will target fats.
Of course, you can’t avoid eating carbs all together, so instead switch to clean and fiber rich carbs, such as; potatoes, oats, rice, and whole-grains. These carbs will give you added nutrients.
It may seem like a silly part of a diet, but drinking water and staying well hydrated is the most important thing when following any diet and workout regimen. Have you ever seen people walking around with a gallon of water and thought to yourself “they look silly?”
Well, newsflash, this will be you one day, because you need to drink at least a gallon of water a day to help stay healthy. Water should be your primary beverage while dieting. This doesn’t mean you have to skip out on the occasional soda or beer, just limit yourself.
The hardest part of starting a new diet is being able to kick the old habits and cravings out. At first a diet can seem fun and enjoyable, it is something new and you may even feel like you could be the next foodie Instagrammer.
But, eventually you will retreat to craving your favorites or wanting to go back to old habits.
It is okay to crave food and indulge every once in a while. Eating a cookie is not going to kill you, nor ruing your goal. But limit yourself, or like many people do, dedicate one day a week to a cheat day.
This doesn’t mean eat all junk food all day long. Instead allow yourself to have an extra soda that day, or make that box of brownies that are hiding in the back of your pantry.
On the other hand of cravings, old habits might be the hardest thing to kick. It is so easy to stop at a fast food place because there is one on every corner. Now that you are on a diet you need to get in the habit of packing a healthy lunch that follows your new diet.
The more you pack your own food, the less need you’ll have to order a double cheeseburger with a large fry. Plus, you’ll be saving money!
It is important to make sure you are still getting all the nutrients that your body needs. Drinking plenty of water and fluids is also a major component of getting lean.
Protein supplements are good for an extra dose of protein a day, for example a protein shake. But do not rely on them alone to give you all the protein you need in your diet.
And, don’t beat yourself up if you are one too many cookies on your cheat day. Just add an extra 15 minutes to your next work out.