Here are the basics of this program. Consider these the “Pillars” of this reconstruction phase:
Pillar 1: Stick to five 400-calorie meals per day
However, this is the most important part of this program since it’s what you actually consume on a daily basis. If you’re going to lose weight, you need to regulate what you eat. You need to know what’s being consumed and what it’s doing for your body.
For the first week of this program, eat four 400-calorie meals and drink at least 8 cups of water each day (I’d recommend drinking even more than that). This is to reduce the amount of food traveling in your body and “clean” you out. Consider this your healthy body cleanse.
After the first week, eat five 400-calorie meals. Note that you’re consuming the same amount of calories each meal, you’re just eating one more meal each day than you were in the first week.
Not only does this breakdown make for a consistent meal plan, but it also makes each meal that much more important. If you only have 1,600-2,000 calories to work with each day, you need to make sure you’re planning them out correctly so your body gets the proper nutrition.
Pillar 2: Make sure you consume Monounsaturated Fats with every meal.
Not all fats are created equal. Yes, you want to avoid some fats like Trans Fat. To scare yourself, go ahead and Google “why is trans fat bad?”. So what about good fat? Those would be the monounsaturated fats.
You’ll find monounsaturated fats most prevalently in these foods:
1. Oils (Olive oil, almond oil, sesame oil, flax oil, etc)
3. Olive and seeds (almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc)
4. Dark Chocolate (yes, this is everyone’s favorite among these)
Monounsaturated fats have a whole slew of health benefits, but one of the most attractive ones is that they help promote fat loss. Best of all, you can easily incorporate one of these foods into every meal you eat. In fact, you need to for this program.
Pillar 3: Eat slowly
Fact: when you slam your food, it doesn’t last as long nor is it as filling as it could be. Eating fast doesn’t curb hunger as well as eating the same portion slowly, which can lead to over-eating or feeling unfulfilled, resulting in over-eating later.
Instead of rushing to be the first one done with your plate, take your time. Eat your food slowly and you’ll feel more satisfied with the same amount of food (as opposed to eating it faster and not feeling satisfied).
Also, drink a full glass of water before each meal and if possible drink another full glass during or after you finish your meal. This will help you feel fuller without over-eating.
Pillar 4: Drink lots of water
This should be a staple of your day-to-day lifestyle anyway, so it should go without saying that water needs to be the main liquid you consume.
Not only is water essential to a healthy body and hydration, but it can help fill you up (odd as that sounds). I mentioned this in the last point above, but when you drink water before, during or after your meals, it helps satisfy hunger cravings.
In addition, drinking water periodically helps curb your appetite throughout the day, making it easier to stick to a balanced diet with proper nutrition. Case in point: drink more water!
Pillar 5: Prepare meals in advance
Most people don’t fall off the healthy bandwagon because they want to, but because they plan poorly (or don’t plan at all)
Remember the age-old saying: “Fail to plan, plan to fail”. The anonymous creator of that saying couldn’t have been more right.
To be successful on any meal plan – dietary or otherwise – you need to prepare foods and/or in advance. When I know I’m working in the morning, there is a very slim chance I’ll allow time to pack a proper meal plan to eat throughout the day before I leave, so I make sure to do it before I go to bed. That way, I just get up and grab the bag out of the refrigerator and I’m good to go.