When it comes to changing our diets in order to lose the fat and gain the muscle that we want, we often wish we could do it over night. But to accomplish this kind of change, it always works better when it happens gradually. The following is a ten-week plan to change your diet so that you can begin to see the results you want without changing your entire lifestyle over night.
Weeks 1 & 2
For the first two weeks, you will be cutting fat. During this time, you need to start becoming more aware of what you are eating. Read the labels on foods, and start to understand what kinds of foods are not good for you. Instead of getting something that is fried, try steaming your veggies and broiling your meats. Look at the fat content of your salad dressing. If it is really high, switch to a low fat or no fat alternative to start with.
Also, you need to get rid of the meats that have a high fat content and go for lighter meats. Eat chicken or turkey, they can be cooked the same as any beef dish, but have much less fat. If you are already eating chicken, then try skinless chicken. Giving up beef can be a big issue for many people. If it is an issue for you, than simply get leaner cuts of meat to begin with.
Weeks 3 & 4
During this time period, you should cut refined sugars out of your diet. This means switching to diet sodas or cutting sodas out of your life completely. Also, you should stop using the little packets of sugar, which are very bad for your diet goals.
Another step you need to take during this time is cutting sweets out of your life. Now, I realize cutting them out completely may never be achievable. Switch to the 100 calorie packs or the weight watchers snacks. There are some healthier alternatives when it comes to sweets.
Also, realize you might fail in this area. Plan to have a sweet once or twice a week, maybe as a reward to yourself for accomplishing a goal. This does not mean to pig out on a quart of ice cream. This means you can have a cookie of two, or a bowl of pudding. Do what works best for you. But the more you can take sweets out of your life, the better results you will see.
Weeks 5 & 6
These weeks are not as drastic as the previous four weeks in terms of diet. You are simply going to be consuming much more water. For these two weeks, drink only water for your beverage of choice. This will get your body in the habit of desiring water. It will also make mind and body realize water is what you want when you are thirsty. For these 2 weeks, consume at least 16, 8 ounce glasses of water a day. If you workout, drink at least 16 ounces during your work out.
Weeks 7 & 8
During these weeks, you will need to calculate your lean body mass so that you can figure out you daily caloric intake needed. This can get a little tricky. There is a great online resource to help you calculate your lean body mass at http://www.davedraper.com/bodyfat-calculation.html. You now know how many calories to take in per meal, and per day.
You will need to write everything down that you eat, to make sure you are still on track. Making menus at the beginning of each week will help you stay on track with your health goals and your budget.
Weeks 9 & 10
For these weeks, you basically continue what you learned in the past two weeks and break it down into groups. You need to determine how many carbs, fats, and proteins you should be eating each day. You should get 40% of your calories from carbs, 40% from protein, and 20% or less from fat. Also, you will need to keep a constant food log.
Overtime the eating habits will become routine. When you are first starting, it can seem very daunting. Take it one step at a time. The results you achieve are well worth the work.