JDP Top Trainer Scarlet Hollands reveals her Ultimate Summer Body Diet Tips.
Most people know that an effective diet is key to getting into lean shape. And most people know that in order to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. (Output > Input) For some people, that is about as much as they know regards dieting and nutrition. Even many professional athletes and bodybuilders make many mistakes which hinder their progress.
Some people are lucky enough to get decent results with sub-optimal diets. Many others get no results at all when using similar diet protocols. This blog is here to help you to avoid many of the common mistakes made, and get the best possible results for a summer-ready body.
Ideally, anything “quick fix” either don’t work or do but only as a very short term, unmaintainable result. I say quick fix in the form of: “Juice Fast” “Cabbage Soup Diet” “Hollywood Diet” (there is unfortunately a rather long list ..) All of the above are what we call a “crash diet” that promises results from between 2-7 days. AMAZING I hear often but seriously, these don’t work long term and most commonly, as soon as you introduce a “normal” eating routine, the lost weight will pile back on.
Here are the most common risks when following a crash diet:
* Slowing down of the metabolism
* Loss of muscle, leading to further decline of metabolism
* Weight gain after the crash diet, sometimes gaining more weight than was lost due to slower metabolism
* Weakening of the bones potentially leading to osteoporosis
* Deprivation of essential nutrients
* Weakening of your immune system
* Cardiac stress
* Heart palpitations
Fundamentals and Concepts
Below are my 5 top tips to help guide you on your summer body diet. It doesn’t have to mean a 6-8 week diet of chicken, broccoli and rice for example – we can be a little more flexible with food choices. Its more about being consistent with calories and macronutrients, why and when to consume them and not eliminating any food groups for a drastic loss but to consume a balanced diet with perhaps modification to portion sizes and nutrient timings. Drinking a “Skinny Detox Tea” simply just won’t cut it.
1. Not Eating Enough
Not consuming enough food, or enough of the right foods will hinder your fat loss goals in many ways. The fewer calories you consume, the more efficient your metabolism becomes. In most cases, efficiency is a good thing. In this case, it is not. A more efficient metabolism basically means that your body burns fewer total calories, and less total fat as a result. If calories levels are too low, your muscle tissue stands a much bigger chance of being burned for energy. Decreased calories can also significantly reduce performance in your workouts.
2. Eating Too Much
Eating too many calories, or too much of the wrong foods is just as bad. On one hand, eating more will cause your body to burn more total calories, and will make your metabolism more inefficient. However, this is a tool which must be used intelligently; it does not mean you can eat as much as you want.
3. Not Eating Frequently Enough
Nearly every professional athlete or “successful dieter” understands on some level that eating smaller, more frequent meals is important. There are some that know it is helpful, but are unaware of just how important it really is. Even worse, there are some who stubbornly believe that it does not matter. The first, and most well known reason is to provide the body with a steady supply of protein. Maintaining a supply of protein is crucial for building muscle, and it is very important for fat loss & preventing muscle loss as well. The body cannot store protein for future use, so providing a steady stream of protein and amino acids is extremely important. The next reason involves hourly energy balance. Too many people think in terms of daily energy balance. They think of calorie per day, or grams of protein per day and less focused on the need to a consistent and even energy spread throughout the day. Why not count in calories per 2 and half days, or grams of protein per week in this case? It makes just as little sense. Eating frequently is important for providing your body with just enough nutrients and energy it needs at that given moment.
Too many people think in calories per day, total carbs per day, or grams of protein per day. Your body however, does not share this same thought process. When you consume food at any one time, your body will use what it can, and store the rest as fat.
Imagine that someone needs 300g of carbohydrates per day and is trying to lose weight. They then consume a large part of those during the time of day when they are less needed. (Evening before bed or early morning when their workout is scheduled later in the evening) A large portion of those end up being stored as fat. Later on, when their body requires and can use carbohydrates, less are consumed. Glycogen stores do not get replenished to the same degree. Some protein ends up being burned as energy, because sufficient carbs were not available at that moment.
To summarise, weight was lost – yes, because calories burned exceeded the calories consumed. However, extra muscle tissue was lost and less fat was burned. Possibly little to no fat may have been burned. Moment-to-moment, or hourly energy balance is much more important that daily energy balance.
4. Consuming Too Few Carbohydrates
Very low carb, or ketogenic diets are a fairly popular method of weight loss. While people do get results with these types of diets, they are neither necessary nor ideal for fat loss. Again, something may ‘work’ for some people.
A few people may even get better than average results. But that does not mean it is ideal, or without serious drawbacks. Carbohydrates are crucial for optimum performance in both the gym and day to day living. Having optimum performance is very important for losing fat. Having a certain level of carbohydrates in the body is also important for sparing muscle tissue from catabolism.
A slight reduction of carbs can be beneficial. Carb cycling can be an excellent method, if used intelligently. But drastically reducing carbs yields many more drawbacks than possible benefits.
5. Not Drinking Enough Water
It would be hard to find an athlete who did not know the importance of consuming sufficient amounts of water. However, it would be rather easy to find one who did not actually consume enough. When effort is not made to drink enough water, it is easy to fall far short of the optimal amount. The biggest reason this happens comes from relying on thirst. In many people, the thirst mechanism is not a reliable measure of when water is needed as this is already too late and you are already dehydrated. Again, similar to energy balance, consuming water at regular intervals throughout the day will ensure you stay hydrated consistently. Chugging 2 litres before you go to bed will not only mean you will be up through the night with numerous trips to the toilet but you will just excrete much of the water consumed as you body can’t process such a large intake of water. Also, staying hydrated and keeping your intake consistent will decrease water retention in the body as you are sufficiently hydrated, your body doesn’t need to hold onto water as a “reserve”. This will also make you appear physically smaller and less soft.
By implementing the above protocols, you can ensure with adequate nutrition you will steadily lose body fat and tone up in a little as 6-8 weeks. Continue implementing these key points and you will only improve and feel better over the coming months. This is not about a drastic “quick fix” but providing you with information to implement and make a part of your life/routine longterm. If you have any questions with regards to macros and calories and how much should you should be consuming please don’t hesitate to contact any of the JDP| Trainers. Macros should be a very specific and goal focused and differs from person to person. Plucking a number off the internet will also not suffice so don’t take the easy option. Always as a professional when in doubt.