Happy Thanksgiving week!
When it comes to losing weight and shedding unnecessary fat, making changes in your nutrition is the number one recommended approach to successfully trimming down. It can be difficult to start but we’ve put together a guideline which includes simple meals, a grocery list and a weekly approach to using nutrition to your advantage. STICK TO THE BASICS The basics of fat loss revolve around simple guidelines. We’ve made a list of some of these guidelines to keep in mind no matter what method you choose. 1. Complete meals are always better than snacks. Even if it is a small meal or leftovers it is better than snacking. Snacking commonly means only getting one macronutrient group - such as carbs and that is not ideal for the body when it comes to training your blood sugar levels and metabolism, which ultimately plays a big part in fat loss.
2. Every meal should include protein, carbs and healthy fats. It’s easy to get into the habit of eating mostly protein dense meals or even high carb meals. Quality fats are commonly overlooked and are a major part of fat loss and overall health. Make sure your meals incorporate protein, carbs and fat. Of course for competitive athletes the strategy can change to be more sport-specific.
3. Stay hydrated. Drink water over the course of the day and skip the soda, cocktails and high sugar juices with your meals. A properly hydrated body functions better and this is one of the most overlooked aspects of nutrition and health.
4. Cook with healthy oils and fats. Healthy oils and fats have a higher ratio of Omega 3 versus Omega 6. They can withstand higher temperatures before they break down and lower their nutritional advantage or become unhealthy. Quality Olive Oil, Avocado Oil or even Coconut Oil is a guaranteed way to make sure you’re using healthy oils and fats. If you opt for butter - look for dairy products from pasture raised (grass fed) cows or even try your hand at Ghee or other dairy alternatives such as sheep’s milk or goat milk products.
5. Read the ingredients list. The fewer the ingredients in the food products you buy - the better. Chances are if you don’t know what you’re reading and there is a laundry list of ingredients in the food you are buying - it is filled with cheap substitutes and unhealthy alternatives to real food. Stay away from preservatives and added sugar.
6. Eat real foods. The less processed a food, generally the healthier it is for you. Know where your meat comes from even if it means asking the butcher or person behind the counter. Know how the animals are processed, what they are fed (grass fed or grain fed, grain finished?) and when it comes to fish, find out if the fish is farmed or wild. Are the vegetables sprayed with chemicals or grown organically? We as humans have found ways to speed every process up, to make things cheaper and to cut every corner imaginable in the name of profits. Ultimately what you choose to eat, passes on to you everything before it. When it comes to your health, make sure you buy from those who don’t cut corners and care about the finished product.
A HEALTHY WEEKLY GROCERY LIST Meat / Protein • Chicken Breast (Pasture Raised, Free Range, Organic) • Chicken Drums / Wings (Pasture Raised, Free Range, Organic) • Chicken Eggs (Pasture Raised, Free Range, Organic) • Beef Steaks (Grass Fed) • Ground Beef (Grass Fed) • Lamb Chops / Roast (Pasture Raised) • Ground Turkey (Wild Caught, Organic, Pasture Raised) • Fish (Wild Caught, Local) • Pork Bacon (Nitrate Free, Organic, Uncured) Vegetables / Carbohydrates (Organic, Local) • Broccoli • Sweet Potatoes / Yams • Butternut / Acorn / Spaghetti Squash • Asparagus • Brussel Sprouts • Beets • Peppers • Mushrooms • Salad / Lettuce Mixes • Onions Fats • Cow / Sheep / Goat Butter (Grass Fed, Pasture Raised, Organic) • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Organic) • Avocado Oil (Organic) • Avocado (Organic) • Coconut Oil (Cold Pressed, Organic) • Macadamia Oil (Organic) • Ghee (Grass Fed, Organic, Pasture Raised) • Nuts - Macadamia, Hazelnut, Almonds (Organic, Raw) Seasoning / Condiments • Sea Salt (Himilayan, No additives) • Pepper (Organic, No additives) • Ginger (Organic, No additives) • Cayenne Pepper (Organic, No additives) HEALTHY MEAL PLAN FOR TWO We’ve put together some simple meals from this grocery list and included a favorite recipe that is easy and quick to make for two people. Baked Salmon & Broccoli with Macadamia Nuts Two 8oz Salmon Filets 1 Cup of Broccoli Quarter Cup of Macadamia Nuts 1 Lemon Sea Salt Cayenne Pepper Olive Oil 1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. 2. Season salmon with sea salt and cayenne pepper and squeeze lemon over the salmon. 3. Place the salmon, skin side down, on a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Bake until salmon is cooked through, about
10 to 15 minutes. 4. While the Salmon is cooking, season the broccoli in a stovetop pan with olive oil, sea salt and pepper. 5. Mix the broccoli and cook until the tips are blackened. 6. After plating the salmon and broccoli, place macadamia nuts in a bowl and salt with sea salt. Divide the macadamia
nuts between the two plates and.. 7. Enjoy! Meals from the Grocery List: • Scrambled eggs with Bacon and Avocado. • Ground Turkey on Salad with Hazelnuts. • Salmon and Broccoli with Macadamia Nuts. (See Above) • Chicken Wings with Sweet Potato Fries and Avocado • Spaghetti squash with Meat Sauce (Ground Beef) • Chicken Breast with Asparagus • Steak with Peppers and Mushrooms • Lamb Chops with Beets • Ground Beef with Broccoli • Meatloaf with Bacon and Avocado • Chicken, Avocado, Bacon Salad • Egg Salad • Fish Fajitas • Shrimp and Spaghetti Squash • Steak with Brussel Sprouts • Chicken Breast with Butternut Squash HOW MUCH FOOD TO BUY AND EAT? If you are shopping for two, it goes without saying - you’re going to need to buy more food. Buying more food is not necessarily a bad thing either. It means leftovers and leftovers can be one of the easiest ways to meal plan. As long as you can keep your food refrigerated, it should be fairly simple to re-heat or enjoy cold leftovers and not have to cook as often. How much (and when) you eat is directly correlated to effective weight loss. It’s not just as simple as eating less either. You have to eat enough to support your lifestyle, activity and body weight. If you eat too much your body will store it for later and create the fat you’re trying to lose now. Generally, you want 30-40% of your plate for protein, 45-55% for carbs/vegetables and 10-15% for fat. So you’ll want the majority of the plate to be covered by complex carbs and veggies, about a palm size of protein, with the remainder including some healthy fats. This is a generic approach but it has been proven that a tailored approach to macronutrients is more beneficial long term, especially when based on measurements like lean body mass and with consideration for activity and other variables. Andre Adams Official and Evolution Nutrition Team