You’ve probably heard this a million times before, but when it comes to losing weight, and keeping it off, it boils down to diet more than anything.
Exercise is still extremely important for staying in shape, toning up and overall health, but if it’s a change in the scales you’re aiming for, it’s time to reconsider what you’re putting in your body.
We asked William Dawson, a strength, conditioning and nutrition coach, for his ideal food plan. Dawson doesn’t believe there’s a one-size-fits-all approach to dieting, as all bodies and metabolic rates are different — but he does have some good tips we can all apply to our lives.
“Your body has a huge capacity to store carbohydrates,” says Dawson. “When you eat more carbohydrates than your body immediately needs, you store the remainder as glycogen. For every gram of glycogen you store, you also hold on to approximately four grams of water.”
“While this weight isn’t body fat, it can make you feel bloated or puffy — the best option is to cut out refined, dense carbs like white breads, pasta, and baked goods, and include more nutrient dense carbs like fresh fruits, veggies and whole grains like quinoa and whole wheat couscous,” advises Dawson.
Unfortunately, it sounds like you need to eliminate some of the best foods in life. But it’s a sacrifice you’ll need to make to reach your weight loss goal.
If you’ve been fuelling your body with the same thing for a while, your body might be getting used to it. “If you’ve been eating chicken breast and egg whites for the last couple of weeks, it’s time to switch it up,” says Dawson. “Get some red meat a couple times per week, or add some lentils and beans—they are high in protein as well as iron! The body is very efficient as adapting; change creates change. Switch it up by rotating your protein sources and ditch the current choices for a week. Try scallops, turkey and Greek yoghurt.”