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The Master Cleanse, The Cabbage Soup Diet, The Grapefruit Diet…we know them, we’ve probably tried them and we know they just don’t work.
But some old school methods actually do work. Meal prepping, measuring our food and tracking our food are actually still fantastic ways to accelerate your fat loss, bust through a plateau or to simply give you confidence that you’re on the right track.
If you’ve been following me for any period of time you know meal prepping isn’t my jam. However, meal prepping is a fantastic way to set yourself up for nutritional success, especially when you’re just starting out on your fat loss journey. I used to meal prep like it was my JOB and I actually attribute that dedication to now being able to make really good nutrition choices on the fly. Meal prepping helps us have a plan so we’re not left to just wing it in the beginning, which can feel totally overwhelming. After some time you will get to the point you’ll be able to simply know what the best option is and what makes you feel best, but in the beginning, meal prepping will be your biggest ally.
Measuring Your Food
Do you know what a tablespoon of peanut butter actually looks like? How about a tablespoon of olive oil? A 1/3 cup of rice? A 1/2c of oatmeal? Do you think you can confidently eye ball your portion sizes? It’s a great idea to measure your food and portions at the beginning of a fat loss journey so you can get a solid idea of exactly how much peanut butter you’re putting into that morning oatmeal. As much as I focus on hunger and fullness cues for my fat loss clients, calories do matter. In the beginning I recommend measuring out your fats (nuts, oils, cheese, full-fat dressings) and starches (oatmeal, rice, quinoa) to make sure you’re not overdoing it because that’s really easy to do with these foods. Once you feel like you’re getting a good feel for what those portions look like, you can put away the measuring spoons and cups, just don’t be afraid to take them out from time to time to check yourself!
Tracking Your Food
This one almost pains me to write because I know so many of my peeps have scars from religiously tracking their food for other programs, but if we want to get a handle on our nutrition, we have to know what we’re really eating. We think we know, but when actually write it down we find that we forgot about those cookies we had after lunch this week or the second glass of wine we had, or the extra scoop of pumpkin cookie butter for dessert (guilty!). Writing down what we eat helps us get a really clear perspective on what’s happening and can be one of the easiest ways bust through a plateau. I recommend my clients track their food for 5 days with at least one day being over the weekend and giving it an honest look if they’re feeling like their nutrition or results are lacking.
We don’t have to take the extreme measures of the past (low-carb, low-fat, cleanses, etc) and bring them into our present in order to get results, but going back to basics can serve us in a huge way especially in the beginning of a fat loss journey.