When looking at the science of nutrition for fat loss and what it takes to actually see results time and again, we have nailed it down to these 4 nutritional principles making the biggest impact for our clients and their goals of losing fat and feeling great! All of these principles are pretty simple, but not easy to put into action without setting up some rules for yourself (which I go over in detail below). But before I share these important principles, first a little research on the topic of how large our plate size has grown.
In 2012, a report by Koert Van Ittersum and Brian Wansink in the Journal of Consumer Research concluded that the average plate size for Americans had grown 23% between the years of 1900 and 2012, from 9.6 inches to 11.8 inches! When doing the math, this increase in plate size encourages an individual to consume just 50 more calories per day. Therefore, that person would put on an extra five pounds of weight each year. Multiply that over just 10 years, and that is 50 pounds of weight gain!
But using smaller plates is just one of the 4 core principles. A Twinkie on a small plate is still just a Twinkie, and this is not the only answer! Here are all 4 principles to consider when starting a new nutrition plan:
1. Use Smaller Plates
Using smaller plates will start a chain reaction. When you use a smaller plate, you end up with smaller portions, which in turn means you take in fewer calories (maybe even up to 50 calories less per meal!) which will start to lead to fat loss. So we just recommend to put your large “dinner” plates in storage, and use your smaller salad plates when eating your meals, especially dinner.
2. Serve Sequentially
When you eat all the nutrient dense foods on your plate FIRST that are rich in vitamins and minerals- like those yummy vegetables and lean proteins it will start to satisfy your hunger and you will become fuller faster. When you move on to your next part of your plate – maybe those simple carbohydrates like the mac and cheese or pasta – you will automatically eat less. By just changing the sequencing your meals and eating your vegetables and lean proteins first, you will bring more nutritional balance to your diet automatically, and eat less of the not-so-healthy-stuff!
How about some yummy vegetables to start off my first course!
3. Remove The Temptations!
Remove all those temptations from your home. We are all driven by things being super convenient. If you’re like most people, when there is a bag of chips or candy on the kitchen counter, it will call your name out and you will eat it! If you don’t have any junk food in your house, chances are you probably won’t make a special trip out to the grocery store just to buy it. You will just eat all the healthy stuff you stocked up on instead.
If these were on my kitchen counter, they would be gone in 60 seconds!
When it comes to the workplace, where we spend most of our time this can get a little tricky. Co-workers always want to share sweet treats, and you can’t say no because that would be rude, right? This is where we recommend scheduling out your “splurges”. When you schedule this out ahead of time, you won’t feel as guilty and you won’t slip up nearly as often either. So, when you know you have a party to go to, or maybe dinner out with dessert, place this on your calendar and know you will be ok to go a little “off” your regular nutritional plan.
4. Enforce a Rhythm
This is probably one of the most important principles! If you wait until you are hungry to eat, you have waited too long and you WILL binge eat and stuff yourself! Then what will undeniably happen is you will eat too much and you will go from starving to stuffed over and over again! This is obviously a bad cycle, and something we can do very easily by just not planning ahead a little bit. Think of your fuel in your body like your gas tank. What would happen if we constantly ran on an “empty” tank? Eventually, our engine would give out! We want to keep your “tank” at least 1/4 to 1/2 full so we never feel starved.
We no longer want these peaks and valleys in food consumption. Instead, we recommend you eat regularly throughout the day (most research points to anywhere between 3- 5 meals a day) so that you never get to the point of feeling like you are going to die of starvation. Without all of those peaks and valleys, you will actually eat less throughout the day, and feel a whole lot better!
We hope this 4 principles can help you towards your goals of fueling for better health. If you are looking for more accountability with your nutrition and fitness, our New Year New You Program is currently open for new members! If you are ready to make more changes in 42 days than you ever have in the past, this program is definitely for you. Apply below for more information!