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Cutting Edge Personal TrainingMarch 19, 2018

How to eat for best results

The foods that you eat make a huge impact on your fat loss results. But it’s not just about what you are eating, it’s also about how much and how frequently you eat.

All of these factors make the topic of how to eat for best results a hot one with my clients! So let’s dive into the most popular eating strategies…

A quick online search produces two popular eat-for-fat-loss strategies: Intermittent Fasting versus Six Small Meals (eating every 3 hours).

Which strategy works best? And, more importantly, which strategy would work best for YOU? Let’s find out…

Intermittent-Fasting.jpgIntermittent Fasting

This eating strategy cycles between periods of eating and periods of fasting. Some cycle between eating and fasting each day, creating a small window for eating (8 hours) and fasting for about 16 hours. Others cycle eating and fasting across several days, taking 24-48 hours at a time to fast.

Pros: Humans have been fasting for thousands of years. Our bodies are well equipped to handle periods of fasting. Research shows that fasting produces benefits for disease prevention, metabolic health, weight loss and even life extension. Some find it less work to fast rather than to plan for several small meals. During eating periods, many will eat whatever they want (although there is a better way to do this).

Cons: Abstaining from nourishment for long periods of time can be challenging, especially when food is all around you. Socially it can be awkward to skip meals while your friends and family break bread together. Some find themselves overeating during eating cycles, and some find the ongoing absence of food to aggravate food obsession and to produce an unbalanced focus on food.

6-Meal-a-Day.jpgSix Small Meals

This eating strategy, of breaking the traditional 3 square meals into 6 smaller meals that are spaced 2-3 hours apart, has been used by body builders and fitness competitors for years. The content and size of each meal is an important factor of this eating plan. Usually, meals early in the day contain lean protein, fiber-filled veggies and a small portion of complex carbs, while meals later in the day are smaller and do not contain any complex carbs. All meals tend to be lower in fat (although the inclusion of SOME healthy fats is beneficial).

Pros: If you stay on schedule, you should never feel hungry. By fueling up every 2-3 hours you never get the feeling of deprivation that comes with fasting. Energy levels are steady and high due to the constant supply of wholesome calories. Fat loss results are steady, and, when done with an exercise plan, muscle is maintained or even increased.

Cons: You have to plan ahead. Every. Single. Day. Get used to carrying around a small cooler filled with containers of chicken, tuna, broccoli, brown rice and sweet potatoes. Each meal is small and measured, so restraint is required. Unless you are including the occasional cheat meal, or cheat day, there is no room in this diet for empty calories or comfort foods.

Conclusion

The facts are out there to prove that both of these eat-for-fat-loss strategies work. There are photos of real, actual people who have subscribed to each of these methods and have gone from flabby to lean. Both methods irrefutably work.

But why? How can two methods that utilize opposing strategies both produce fat loss results? And which one is better? Let’s dive deeper into what makes these eating strategies work…

1. Meal Timing

When you eat is a factor with both of these eating plans. This means that subscribers to both plans are required to wait until the appointed time to eat. So mindless snacking, or grabbing a muffin just because it’s there, is out of the question. This reduces overall calories, which is key to weight loss, and explains why both plans produce results.

2. Meal Content

The Six-Small-Meals plan focuses on the content of each of your small meals in great detail. Your meals contain lean proteins, fiber-filled veggies, and limited complex carbs. This detailed control of calorie content is largely why this plan is a sure bet for fat loss, not just weight loss.

A lot of Intermittent Fasters don't consider the content of their meals during eating periods. Although they would be better off if they at least filled up on the same ingredients of lean proteins, fiber-filled veggies, and a moderate amount of complex carbs.

3. Meal Size

The Six-Small-Meals plan also focuses on the exact size of your meals, which makes sense since you are eating six times each day, and excess calories could quickly add up. Typically this is done by weight, so as you pack your meals for the day you’ll be using a food scale to ensure that you have exactly the right amount of lean protein and complex carbs. Veggies are often measured rather than weighed.

Intermittent Fasting does not consider the size of your meals during eating periods.

So What’s the BEST Eating Strategy for FAST Results?

As we’ve discussed, both of the eating strategies above are capable of producing results. This is due to the fact that both plans result in a lowered caloric intake.

When it’s all said and done, weight loss comes from caloric balance.

Remember the junk food diet where the professor lost weight eating restricted calories of only vending machine food? As long as you are taking in fewer calories that you are burning, you will end up losing weight. But we also know that not all calories are created equal and there are better ways to go about creating a caloric balance.

While both of the strategies above end up curbing your calories, the Six-Small-Meals plan leans more towards taking advantage of the thermic effect of food, positive nitrogen balances, and increased opportunity for protein synthesis, which is why this is the plan most used by body builders and fitness competitors.

When it comes down to you choosing your own eating strategy it’s important to determine what will work best with your lifestyle. If prepping and packing your food so you can stop every 3 hours to eat a meal or have a shake is simply not something you can see yourself doing, then Intermittent Fasting may produce better results for you. The key is to figure out a plan for restricting calories that you would realistically be motivated to stick with. And the more wholesome the content of those restricted calories, the better and quicker your results will come!

Want more guidance as you take your body from flab to fab? I’d love to help you! Give me a call or shoot me an email to see if I have a time slot for YOU! Together we can get you on track to shed some major fat before summer.


Stressed Out?

Regular exercise is a simple solution to get you feeling good fast.

This is because every time you exercise your body increases its production of endorphins, which are responsible for that feel-good euphoria you get after a great workout or while chomping down on a piece of chocolate.

However, before you turn to chocolate and skip the gym, remember the end result of each and choose which one will help you reduce stress in the long run. (Hint: It’s not the chocolate!)


Comfort Soup with Sausage and Cabbage

​Homemade soup is a wonderful way to enjoy healthy, quick meals at home. This recipe for Sausage and Cabbage Comfort Soup is packed with wholesome fiber from fresh vegetables and protein from sausage.

Make a big pot on the weekend and then reheat bowls throughout the week for fast, nutritious meals that will keep you on track with your fitness goals.  

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 20

1 ½ pounds mild Italian sausage, loose
1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons garlic, chopped
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into ¼” rounds
1 head green cabbage, core removed and shredded
3 large tomatoes, diced
2 teaspoons sea salt (plus more as needed)
fresh ground black pepper (about 5 cracks)
1 teaspoon ground sweet paprika

Instructions

1. Brown the sausage at the bottom of a large soup pot over medium high heat, breaking it into small pieces as it browns. Remove the cooked sausage from the pot and set aside in a bowl, leaving the oil from the sausage in the pot.

2. Add the onions, garlic and carrots to the pot with the hot oil. Continue to cook over medium high heat, stirring often as the veggies become tender, about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage and tomatoes, and continue to cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Mix in the remaining ingredients and bring the soup to a low simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Add more salt and pepper to taste and serve hot. Enjoy!

Nutrition
One serving equals 116 calories, 7g fat, 7g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 6g protein.

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Nashville Personal Trainer, Jim Cipriani
James Cipriani - CPT
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  • Countless Success Stories, and
  • YOUR Fitness and Nutrition Coach in Nashville, TN!

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Jim's Cutting Edge Exercise Success Guidelines...Are YOU Meeting Them?
If you're not meeting your weight loss goals, of course how you eat is one of the first fixes you should be looking at. BUT...one of the EASIEST things to change is your exercise variable.

Specifically...Frequency AND Consistency.


In a week, at a MINIMUM, EVERYONE should be getting in 4 Days combined of Resistance Training and/or Interval Cardio Work

That means, if you work with me...

1 x Week, you should be adding:
- 1 more Resistance Training day on your own plus 2 Interval Cardio Sessions. OR...
- 2 more Resistance Days on your own plus 1 Interval Cardio Sessions.

2 x Week, you should be adding:
- 2 Interval Cardio Sessions. OR...
- 1 More Resistance Training Day done on your own PLUS 1 Interval Cardio Day.

3 x Week, you should be adding:
- 1 Interval Cardio Day.

On top of this, as an added BONUS, EVERYONE would benefit from adding 1-2 Steady-State Cardio Sessions in a week. Go for a walk. A jog. Hop on a bike. Whatever you choose, just get moving at a steady pace and do it for 40-60 minutes. Of course, this will be depending on the time availability in your personal schedule AND your desire to get results.

Are you meeting the Cutting Edge Exercise Guidelines?