You’re training consistently with sufficient intensity and your workout is well aligned with your goals, but yet you still struggle to drop those last lingering kilos! The only place left to look now is your nutrition –
1) You’re eating too many carbs
Most people, especially those with a history of being overweight, are likely insulin resistant to some degree. This means they have a poor tolerance to carbs and are simply not physically active enough to be able to eat that many carbs. If you want to get lean then cutting carbs is usually one of the first and most important steps you need to take. That doesn’t mean you can’t have any, but you need to make smart choices. Any carbs you do eat need to be consumed at the right times as well. The fruit juice, fruit, bread, pasta and spaghetti you are eating should all be moderated in favour of more fibrous carbs (vegetables and salads) and lean proteins (chicken breast, ostrich, fish, egg whites, whey protein).
2) You’re probably eating too much fruit
Make no mistake, fruit is healthy and can be eaten by lean individuals in limited amounts. However, any excessive fruit sugar (fructose) consumption quickly leads to fat gain. Fructose is metabolised in the liver and once liver glycogen stores are full, any additional fructose consumption is readily converted to triglycerides and stored as body fat. If you really want to get lean then we suggest you cut fruit completely for a while or limit it to one small serving per day at most. Just be sure to up your vegetable consumption to meet your daily micronutrient requirements.
3) You’re possibly eating carbs at the wrong time
If you’re above 20% body-fat, then pretty much any time of the day is the wrong time for too many carbs. In this case we recommend sticking predominantly to vegetables and possibly some potatoes, oats or sweet potatoes after training. When you get down to 15% body fat you should be able to increase the amount of carbs in your diet slightly.
4) You may be eating too much fat
Don’t assume that if you cut carbs then you’re good to go and that there’s nothing else to worry about. You can’t neglect paying attention to your dietary fat intake and expect to magically end up lean and toned – that’s just not going to happen. Fat contains nine calories per gram and, at the end of the day, your total calorie intake still matters. If you’re eating more calories than you burn each day you’re never going to achieve your goal. Aim to derive up to 15-20% of your calories from healthy fats like fish, game, omega-rich eggs, olive and flax seed oils, among others. Just be careful about consuming too
5) You’re not eating enough protein
Let’s assume you have a lean bodyweight of 65kg. Most ‘experts’ would agree that you should look to consume at least 100–130g of protein per day. Each 100g of lean protein from sources such as chicken or fish generally provide around 20g of protein. This puts into perspective the amount of protein rich foods you need to consume each day to achieve a daily derived protein intake of 100–130g.
Many ladies freak out when you tell them to eat larger protein portions at each sitting. However, when you break down the numbers and reveal just how many calories you’re eating, bearing in mind protein supplies only four calories per gram, it should allay your concerns. If you had 200g of fish or chicken three times per day, that would only supply around 120g of protein. That’s only 480
total calories. You will find that when you eat a sufficient amount of lean protein you’ll end up having an easier time getting lean than those who don’t.
Originally publishedin Fitness Magazine, authored by Mario van Bilon
Author: Tanja Schmitz
Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.