Six secrets to eating yourself thin

18 Feb 2013 @ 10.17 pm
| News

jason-diprose-bylineMore tea, less wheat and a handy meal planner – York personal trainer Jason Diprose shows you how to eat your way to weight loss


1. Keep wheat, gluten and dairy to a minimum

weetabixI know we’ve all been raised to believe that our morning bowl of Weetabix is the “best” way to start the day – but science may have something to say about that.

Wheat and gluten are frequently linked with water retention in an alarming number of people. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are bad for you (unless you suffer from celiac disease) but it does mean that they could seriously harm your efforts when striving for a flat stomach due to excess bloating, water retention and lethargy, which may kill your spirit before you even make it to the gym!

Keep your intake to a minimum to ensure you stay on track for that six pack. Sticking with lentils, quinoa, chick peas, long grain brown rice and any of the dry bean varieties (mung beans, kidney beans, pinto beans for example) will allow you to have your “stodge” with your main meals without any nasty side effects; these grains also digest at a slower rate than most wheat and gluten based products meaning you’re very unlikely to gain any excess body fat provided you eat them in moderation combined with vegetables and healthy fruit options.

Dairy has also been linked closely to the same symptoms; and get this – the calcium in dairy products is wrapped inside a protein type known as casein, which cannot be broken into without rennet. Humans are not cows, and therefore are ill-equipped to access the nutrients in dairy products. No other mammal species goes in for “cross species milking”. This is a behaviour we have unnaturally adopted over time.

Human glands do not produce rennet after the age of one month old – a head of broccoli or a large serving of greens would actually better serve your daily calcium needs without the risk of any nasty bloating.


2. Tea

cup-of-teaIf you’re British, you (probably) love it! But did you know it’s also an incredibly powerful weight loss tool to add to your arsenal?Tea contain powerful antioxidants that help to eradicate disease inducing free radicals. And it contains a slow-releasing type of caffeine that not only leads to sustained energy release (meaning no horrible crash), it also causes your metabolic rate to raise to higher than normal levels over a longer period of time.

Added fat burning and added energy? It’s the perfect combination!

Try green tea and white tea to further boost your antioxidant intake – have it black wherever possible too just to make sure you don’t take in any unnecessary calories.


3. Forbidden fruit

orangesThere’s an awful lot to be said for fruit. It’s tasty, juicy, and full of vitamins and minerals – what’s not to like?

Well, depending on who you talk to, quite a lot! But it’s important to consider which fruit you’re talking about when debating the subject. Some fruit is higher on the GI (glycemic index) scale than others – meaning it’ll provide “too much” energy for your body to sensibly use if eaten during a sedentary period.

Good examples of “high load” fruit options are bananas and pineapple, but where does that put the rest of the fruit culture? Should we dismiss them completely as being sugar-loaded rubbish?

Not if you’re serious about wanting to lose weight…

Fructose (the kind of sugar contained in fruit) is typically a slower digesting form of sugar that sits at around the 40-50 mark on the GI scale (depending on which fruit you’re eating)> It is generally quite a safe option – combine that with the vitamin and mineral content and you’ve got a powerful nutrient package to quell your hunger with.

But get this: some fruit contains compounds that have been proven to not only raise your metabolism, but also enhance your ability to burn fat due to the special compounds they contain!

Examples are raspberries, grapefruit, lemons, limes, oranges, strawberries and pretty much any citrus fruit varieties. And the higher the vitamin C content the better, as this is a vital component in the fat-burning process.


4. Eat your greens!

cabbagesYes I know, you’re probably sick of hearing this – but are you doing it? If you really want to achieve that target weight then you’ve got to give the greens more love, more often. They not only contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals that are vital for a healthy body and the weight loss process, they also keep everything moving through your system due to their high fibre content.

A lack of dietary fibre can often make people feel bloated and sluggish due to the fact that the food they eat stays in their system for longer and makes them feel “heavy”. This often leads to laziness and when combined with the added water retention as a result of diminished gastrointestinal function (or slightly broken bowels to you and me!) then you’re seriously blowing your chances of living the flat stomach dream.

The greener and leafier the better – these varieties provide more antioxidants, fibre and essential minerals than any of the other types, and when you combine them with healthy grains and fruits, you’re onto a winning formula!


5. Protein and more protein

FishmongersProtein makes your muscles grow!

Actually, it doesn’t – branched chain amino acids do though, and they are contained within the protein nutrient group. Protein sources are also vital for muscular repair and immune function – they are essential for anyone who lives an active lifestyle.

Lean protein sources should be included as a part of everyone’s daily food intake – especially if your goal is to lose weight. A little known secret is that protein actually increases your internal body temperature via a process known as thermogenesis (which basically translates to “heat production”): this raises your metabolic rate and leads to even faster weight loss.

Which protein sources are best? Stick with skinless chicken or turkey breast, tuna steak or tuna chunks in brine, haddock or cod fillets (smoked is fine too), salmon steaks and lean beef.

Look out for any meat with a high fat content like sausages and burgers and steer clear wherever you can!

Adding spices like ginger and turmeric to your food also increases your metabolic rate. So home-made curries should be part of your regular menu.


6. Create the pattern – stick with it.

cakeSix days on, one day off.

Having what some people term as a “cheat” day, a day in which you relax and eat the food types you should be avoiding (think cake, pie, McDonald’s etc) has been proven to have a beneficial effect on your metabolism.

Restrict your calorie intake throughout the week, then “overload” for one day over the weekend, and your body will burn at an accelerated rate when you limit yourself again the following day. This is becauseyour body avoids going into starvation mode and storing fat – indulgence does have benefits!

The huge mistake many people make when following a healthy eating plan is actually their desire for constant variation. The key to success is actually about sticking with a system that already works rather than trying to constantly alter the routine.

If you’re doing things sensibly, you should have performed the little exercise in section one of my previous article ( By using the numbers you gain from this exercise, you should create a daily meal structure that contains all of the healthy options mentioned in this article, whilst making sure you stay within your calorie or nutrient range.

Create two or three meal choices for each meal throughout the day then cycle them and stick with them! Constantly trying to change your meals around is likely to lead to frustration due to over-complication. Don’t stress yourself out.

Create three separate daily structures and change them throughout the week for six days. Follow this structure for two to three months before creating a new one. Not only will this ensure you become extremely efficient at preparing your food, it’ll also guarantee that you stay within your safe nutrient ranges meaning you’re guaranteed to lose weight.

Remember to re calculate your total intake numbers at the end of each month to ensure that you stay within your safe ranges as you lose weight.