Nutrition Tips to Lose Weight and Tone Up

Whether you goal is to lose 20 plus pounds or to tone up, your diet will pretty much consist of the same food items. When toning up though, you’re going to need to eat more calories and protein than you were when you were losing weight. The best way to determine your exact number of calories is to know what your BMR is. Click the link to find out your basal metabolic rate. To get the quickest results, you’ll need the right balance of macro-nutrients to ensure you’ll make it through your workouts and day. Drinking plenty of water, reducing stress and getting enough sleep are also going to play a big part in your success.

Protein Intake

Protein for someone trying to lose weight should be 0.7 grams multiplied by the amount you currently weigh. Example: 150 pound women needs around 105 grams of protein a day. Divide this into each meal, which is 21 grams X five meals.

Protein for someone toning up and/or building muscle should be 1 – 1.2 grams per pound you weigh. Example: 150 pound women needs around 150 – 180 grams of protein a day. Divide this into each meal, which is 30 – 36 grams X five meals.

Good sources of protein include:

Egg whites – 7oz. chicken breast – 7oz. turkey breast – 3oz. tilapia – 3oz. salmon – 3oz. tuna – 3oz. lean ground beef – 3oz. buffalo – whey and casein protein – 3oz. soy – 3oz. tofu – 1/2c. plain non-fat greek yogurt – 1/2c. low fat-fat free cottage cheese – 1oz. low fat cheese

Carbohydrate Intake

All carbohydrates are converted to sugar when digested, but some are much healthier than others. Complex carbs like whole wheat products, brown rice and oatmeal won’t raise your blood sugar as high and they absorb much slower. Simple sugars such as white bread, cereal and fruit like watermelon give your insulin a much quicker spike and leave you crashing.  You should get about 35% of your calories from carbohydrates each day.

Good sources of Complex carbs include:

1/2c. oat meal, brown rice, pasta and cereal – 1 slice of whole wheat bread  – 1/2c. beans (except baked beans) – 1 slice of ezekiel bread

Fat Intake

Not all fats are bad for you. Our hair, skin, nails, heart and brain depends on fat. Saturated and trans fats are the ones that you should watch out for and do your best to avoid. Less than 10% of your daily calories should come from saturated fat.

  • If you eat 1,200 calories a day less than 13 grams is acceptable.
  • If you eat 1,400 calories a day less than 16 grams is acceptable.
  • If you eat 1,600 calories a day less than 18 grams is acceptable.
  • If you eat 2,000 calories a day less than 22 grams is acceptable.

Increase your mono unsaturated and poly unsaturated fats. Here is a fat intake calculator to see exactly how much fat you need in your diet. Everyone is different, so I left the skepticism out and provided you with this calculator.

I need 57 grams a day, which seems high to me, but most websites say anywhere from 53 – 73 grams per day so I guess this is a normal amount.

Good sources of healthy fats include:

1/5 medium avocado – 3oz. salmon – 3oz. tuna – 1oz. nuts – 2 tbsp. of peanut and almond butter – 1tsp. oil – 1tbsp. of flax seed

Fiber Intake

Fruits and vegetables are a big part in weight loss and weight maintenance. You’ll want to aim for 25 grams of fiber a day, primarily from whole fruits and vegetables, and less from juice. Try eating fruit earlier in the day because it’s easier to burn off the sugar in them. With vegetables you can have unlimited amounts (except corn and white potatoes), just be cautious with salads and all the fix-ins you add in them. Things like cheese, bacon and salad dressing add fat and a ton of unwanted calories. Fiber in my opinion is so important in the diet because it’s what’s going to keep you feeling full, longer. Most fruits and vegetables are low in fats, calories and carbs which makes them a great snack and side dish. Check out your local stands for the freshest, cheapest choices and don’t forget about the dirty dozen – always wash off thoroughly.

The most important thing when trying to reach your goals of eating healthier is to keep all bad foods out of your house. Having a cheat meal once a week is something I suggest, especially at first to reduce the feeling of being deprived and prevent binging. To find the freshest foods, shop on the outer perimeter of the grocery store. Never go to the grocery store hungry (I’m sure we have all done this and know the outcome). Does your diet look similar to this or are you eating more or less?