What nutritional tricks or unwritten rules do you have to use to stay lean even if you do not follow a strict diet?
Mark Dugdale – IFBB Pro Bodybuilder
Here are three dietary habits I've helped to stay slim:
- Prepare meals for the working week on Sunday. If you plan ahead, you can eat healthier and healthier food. And knowing that I'm eating properly during the day gives me the license to relax a little at the weekend.
- Sprout and roast my own almonds. Germinate them by soaking raw almonds in water overnight. Roast them by gently brushing a baking sheet with coconut oil, evenly distribute the almonds and add sea salt. Bake for a few hours at 275 degrees.
Some studies indicate that people who consume nuts have a more favorable body composition, regardless of the extra calories. I think it has something to do with fiber, healthy fat, and the ability to curb hunger and control blood sugar.
- One tablespoon of apple cider vinegar at night before bedtime contributes to better glycemic control. The daily use of Indigo-3G® helps a lot and remains one of my staple foods. Control your carbohydrates, and if you go a little overboard, use apple cider vinegar and indigo-3G to mitigate the effects. ̵
Dani Shugart – T Nation Editor
The unwritten rules I have developed do not require any conscious effort, so I no longer regard them as rules but as habits, strategies and preferences. Here are three:
1 – Choose your battles.
You have heard this sentence before. It means saving the fight for things that are really important. I feel the same about indulgences. Save your calories and carbohydrates on things that mean more to you instead of eating garbage on a regular basis.
My husband and I put this into practice even more while eating. We avoid things that have been fried and fried, we do not order desserts and we never brought bread to our table. Why? Because we do not care about these things. For us calories are not worth the pleasure.
But we enjoy fatty spices like sour cream or guacamole and occasionally alcoholic beverages. And that brings me to another cause …
2 – If I get sugar at all, then let me do better.
I do not recommend this strategy to most people, especially those who drink a lot or are prone to alcoholism. But I rarely consume mixed drinks, so this is not a problem for me. I do not need much to feel good. Sure, wine will always be a "healthier" choice than the sugary stuff, so that's usually what I choose and recommend. But an authentic margarita made by a good friend is unbeatable.
3 – I regularly use "if" statements.
It helps me to anticipate and anticipate how everything I am doing now will influence my results later. They would use this strategy to account for the unintended consequences that can be caused by certain behaviors.
Here's how it works: Before you do anything, you think, "If I do that, it will cause it."
For example, snacking after dinner disturbs my sleep because I have a very slow digestion. Whenever I'm tempted to eat at night, I think, "If I eat the stuff, I'll throw to and fro and lie in bed."
Try to imagine the consequences. I imagine myself rolling and turning, and then compare that vision to the effects I would get if I did not have a snack after dinner – deeper sleep and a much smaller waist. I remember how good it feels to lie in bed and NOT feel like a cow.
This strategy can work for habits that you also want to adopt. Let's use the same example. A good way to prevent you from eating after dinner is by precharging your calorie intake. You could say, "If I eat a bigger breakfast and lunch, it will be less enticing after dinner."
You can use this with every habit you want to change, but you have to be honest with yourself. "If I eat cake every day, then I will be forever flawless," is a statement full of lies, and if you can In this way self-discipline will not improve. So draw on your previous experiences and use them to predict what's going to happen. – Dani Shugart
Chris Shugart – T Nation CCO
I was fat in college. Apart from the usual evildoers – eat dung and do not move much – I was spiky by skipping breakfast and overcompensating at night.
Breakfast was coffee, which was lunch, which I could get for three bucks in Taco Bell, and dinner was all I could shovel in it would not fight back.
Nothing disturbs your metabolism and nutritional habits more efficiently than this eating behavior. My personal rules today are: have breakfast and do not eat about three hours before going to bed. And these two things go together.
Study after study supports breakfast for fat loss and maintaining leanness. The breakfast has an autoregulatory effect. It helps you to regulate your appetite hormones throughout the day. Eat a healthy breakfast or just try to recharge your daily calories, and you're also less likely to overeat at night.
I train in the morning so a typical day could start like this:
That's past 1300 calories at 9am. That's frontloading.
I have lunch (meat and vegetables) and some snacks (raw almonds) and then have a healthy dinner. Because I start the day with a good number of calories, I have normalized my appetite so it's easier to skip the nocturnal snacks and not eat three hours before falling asleep.
"Lighter," but not always easy, because our bad habits can override what our physiology tells us. So you have to learn the difference between cravings and real hunger.
When I first adopted the rule "No eating at bedtime", I had to sit there and think about how full I was from dinner. I would eat the urge to snack before sleeping, though my stomach was still digesting dinner. That was a habit, not hunger. But the more successful the nights, the easier it became. Again autoregulation.
And before you say, "But I do not even want breakfast!" Remember, this is a sign that your hormones – mainly ghrelin and leptin and their effects on the brain chemicals NPY, AGRP and POMC – are not functioning properly. They can, however, be repaired.
Start with the "no food three hours before bedtime" policy, and the rest will come by itself. You will wake up as it should.
And you can experiment with things like intermittent fasting, keto or whatever. There is a time and a place for stricter diets, but loading calories and not eating at bedtime should be your standard to prevent the fool from taking long.
That's just the way your body and its elegant hormones and chemicals were designed to work. – Chris Shugart
Michael Warren – strength trainer and performance expert
Here are two protocols I use:
Breakfast with meat and nuts
Breakfast is the most important meal, and what you eat determines yours entire neurotransmitter production for the day. At the meat and nut breakfast, both dopamine and acetylcholine, the two main focus and shoot neurotransmitters, are bred.
The meat allows a slow and steady increase in blood sugar. The nuts are a great source of smart fats that keep blood sugar stable over a long period of time.
If you are allergic to nuts, an alternative would be a serving of low glycemic / low fructose fruits, preferably organic fruits:
The Pre-Dinner Protocol
This helps in body composition by increasing insulin sensitivity is improved. Being insulin-sensitive helps to build more muscle and lose body fat. Thirty minutes before the main meal of the day I take Indigo-3G®, fish oil and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. – Michael Warren
Christian Thibaudeau – Strength Trainer and Performance Expert
To reduce food intake without really thinking about it and to facilitate fat loss, here are three strategies that I've talked about before:  1 – Make something physical for 7-15 minutes before eating.
This reduces hunger and lets you think twice about adding an unscheduled meal.
2 – Drink a protein shake before meals.  Ideally, use a protein powder that produces a strong shake like Metabolic Drive® Protein 10-15 minutes before the main meals. This reduces hunger and makes you lighter and more tired. You also get extra muscle building protein. Protein is extremely difficult to convert to fat, so do not worry.
3 – Do not eat carbohydrates on days when you are not exercising.
This pretty much makes sure you have a calorie intake deficit these days … unless you are stupid enough to compensate for a whole brick of butter! By skipping carbohydrates on non-workout days, you can lose fat without thinking too much, even if you eat more on workout days.
Do I have other tricks? Of course! I am the best binge-eater in the world! It's funny because people look at me and assume that I'm always perfect, that I'm like a robot that eats only out of function and not for pleasure. On the contrary, my friends.
I'm the guy who once gained 27 pounds in six hours (measured by posterity), an event that got me learning the pain of birth the next morning. I also woke up regularly in the middle of the night and eat all the good things in the house. Heck, often my wife woke up without eating anything for breakfast, because I ate everything at night!
So I have a few tricks. Not all of them will be practical for all, but let me tell you what works for me:
4 – The most obvious: Do not buy crap.
If there is no junk food in the house? & # 39; I'm much less likely to eat it. Simple, but few people do it. You could buy a packet of biscuits and think, "I'll only have one." Newsflash: If the biscuits are in your house, they will be eaten!
5 – Buy your food only one day at a time.
Every day at 9 o'clock I go to the supermarket and only buy my food the next day. In this way, I make sure that I can not eat more than planned.
Well, going to the grocery store at 9am may not be workable for you, but you can go after work (or even better after dinner). , The most important principle is to go to the store often to avoid having much food in your home. When I was preparing for a bodybuilding competition, I even went to the store twice a day, buying half a day of food each time. That's a bit extreme and you do not have to do that, but you have the idea.
6 – Do not do anything else when you eat.
This is my biggest nemesis, so when I'm dieting make sure you never do it. You see, reading food, watching TV, or watching social media while eating gives your brain two enjoyment signals. You get the dopamine release twice as much as just through the meal.
Your brain does not separate the two sources of enjoyment, and you begin to combine food with a greater joy that enhances your desire for more. If you do something while eating, do not pay attention to saturation signals and eat more.
7 – It's better to eat with someone.
First, you are less likely to overeat when another person is present, especially when you have to agree with someone or hate looking bad in front of other people. I'm always more conservative with my food when I'm with people. This of course does not apply if you are with a competent friend and challenge each other to a food contest.
Another benefit of eating with someone is what I call the "French phenomenon". Despite a richer diet, the French are on average much slimmer than North Americans. Why? Because the French talk a lot during the meal!
Every meal is a social event. This slows down the speed and thus the food intake considerably. Yes, you get an increased luster reaction, but you reduce food intake and waste time, which can cause your satiety mechanisms to occur. If you eat slowly, you will become full without eating so much.
8 – Eat cheat meals in front of your partner.
When I was a binge eater, I always cheated when I was alone. No one around, no shame. And I would just go crazy. I once asked my wife to wait in front of the house while I was binging. Sometimes I asked her to go to her parents. I was so bad! If I have a cheating meal, I always do it when it's there. I do not want her to think I'm a pig.
9 – If you're someone who wakes up in the middle of the night to eat, get dogs!
One thing that really helped me to eat at night got three boobs. When I go to the kitchen, they follow me because they know they are getting something to eat. So when I wake up and go to the kitchen, they jump out of bed, step on my wife, wake her up and make her mad. So I did not go to the kitchen at night anymore. Okay, that may not be practical for everyone …
10 – Spend a week at an all-inclusive resort.
Seriously. These resorts have great buffets, but in the middle of the night you can not find anything to eat. There are no supermarkets in the resort so you can not store any food in your room. You will spend seven days without food at night. This is how you program this habit. But the buffet? Yes, that can be a problem. However, if you're in good shape, you probably do not want to look like a bloated whale on the beach, so you probably will not be overly indulged.
Some of these tricks may seem funny to you. And no, I did not get around to being funny. I actually did all these things. And what I considered today as eating disorder (binging) is fixed. I rarely eat too much, I do not eat crap and do not feel disadvantaged. You have to find a strategy that works for you.
There are many cool tricks here, but maybe only one works for you. But it could be the difference of being lean or fat and feeling disadvantaged or happy. – Christian Thibaudeau
Akash Vaghela – Strength and Bodybuilding Coach
Every meal requires protein first. It sounds so easy, but it is still overlooked by most people. Whether you eat three, four, five or six times a day, you should add a protein source to each meal. There are two main reasons:
What do you fill more, a sandwich or a steak? Research seems to indicate a strong protein effect on the hormone peptide YY, released in response to feeding in the ileum and colon, and involved in satiety. That's partly why it's so easy to eat endless cereal bowls, but after 200 grams of chicken you probably have enough.
Thermal Effects of Food (TEF)
The caloric costs of digesting and processing protein are much higher in comparison to fats and carbohydrates. Consuming protein consumes 20-30% of the calories consumed during processing. The development of proteins and their digestion are associated with high costs, and carbohydrates (5-6%) and fats (2-3%) are eclipsed.
If you want to stay lean and in shape, you start to feel year-round with you feeling fuller, burning more calories, and eating less overall. – Akash Vaghela
Kurt Weber – Strength and Conditioning Trainer
Although recent research has disproved many "broscience" regarding fast cardio and other topics, the "why" is something that works. it is limited only to the direct effects; Sometimes, the indirect effects or the placebo effects may be as effective, if not more, in promoting positive habits.
Almost cardiovascular behavior, for example, tends to improve adherence. If you can only eat when you exercise, your workouts will become more frequent and consistent. No, it may not work by scientific standards … but it works through practical application.
In this sense, here are a few of my personal "rules" that stay on track:
- I increase the size of each meal during the day. Big meals make you sleepy and that's not great for cognitive performance at work. If you are tired and have a blood sugar crash, it is extremely unlikely to choose positive foods.
- I find ways to sneak protein / vegetables / healthy fats into as many meals as possible. I add protein powder to Greek yogurt, vegetables to eggs and avocado or coconut oil to carbohydrates like rice, black beans or potatoes. They are mostly tasteless and make a big cumulative difference.
- I drink sparkling water all day long. It not only keeps you hydrated, it also reduces hunger and sugar cravings.
- I brush my teeth and use a mouthwash after every meal, especially right after dinner. Many diets fail at intermissions or in the last two hours before bedtime. It's just less likely to happen with a fresh mouth! – Kurt Weber
Mike T. Nelson, PhD – Expert on Metabolism and Fitness
Let's look at the other side of the coin: Exercise.
If you look at the research, exercise is NOT the main source of calories burned for most people. After resting metabolic rate (which is about 50%), it is in fact a NEAT or non-motor activity thermogenesis. This is just how much you move, which is not movement: walking, fumbling, etc.
One big rule that has helped me and my clients is simple: Go up the stairs whenever possible. You see this big time at airports. Although most people sit in their car and sit there for 2-8 hours on the plane, a large majority of the large mammals that roam the airport take the escalator, although the stairs are right next to it. Take the stairs if possible. – Mike T. Nelson, PhD
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- Kahn EB, Ramsey LT, Brownson RC, Heath GW, Howze EH, Powell KE , Stone EJ, Rajab MW, Corso P. The effectiveness of interventions to increase physical activity. A systematic review. Am J Prev Med. May 2002, 22 (4 Suppl): 73-107.