Struggling to drop those stubborn pounds? Want a less bloated, flat tummy? Need more energy? With a few changes and upgrades to your nutritional program, you can achieve all this and more. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, to be honest, it won’t be easy, but nothing with great reward is. You will have to make some changes to your diet that you may not be accustomed to following. But, once you pass the initial “I can’t do this” and you toughen up and commit, you will be amazed by the results.
MIND OVER MATTER & TOUGH LOVE
Here’s the deal… do not tell yourself this is hard. The mind is powerful and beating a serious illness is hard…breaking an addiction to substances is hard. Taking sucralose out of your diet and avoiding grains for 30 days IS NOT HARD! So man up, and tell yourself you CAN do this!
Now, you will get the temptations from friends or even yourself to give in. JUST SAY NO! (Funny how this quote can go a long way.) Unless you are in middle school and still have peer pressure issues, there’s no reason you can’t resist the influence of others.
This will require a bit of effort, but believe in yourself. If you are cutting out grains and dairy for the first time, make sure you replace those calories properly, as this is not a starvation program. This is about making small changes to your healthy lifestyle to take your wellness to the next level and to help you to drop unwanted pounds in the process.
GUIDELINES & RULES
The guidelines for this nutritional reset are based on my own experience and that of my clients, in addition to research. The goal of this program is to get you unstuck from your weight loss plateau, help you to feel more energetic, minimizing bloating, help you to determine foods that you may feel better without and minimize your reliance on certain foods. During the 30 days, you will eliminate a number of items. After that time, you can reintroduce the items in moderation. Although, a number of my clients choose to do without these items beyond those 30 days. That is up to the individual.
No Grains. I know what you are thinking, “Why? Aren’t grains healthy?” Well, when I have clients struggling to lose those last five pounds, I put them on this protocol. Most commonly, my clients report less bloating and more energy, because their digestive systems aren’t working as hard to break these grains down. Now, I’m not saying you have to get rid of grains forever (unless you feel so amazing that you don’t want or need them). You can slowly add them back in once you’ve reached your desired goal weight! So, for 30 days, avoid rice, oats, whole wheat pastas, quinoa, etc. Instead, fuel your body with complex carbs like yams, squashes or green veggies.
Limit the legumes. Snap peas, green beans, snow peas are perfectly fine to eat during this nutritional reset, as they are more of a veggie and “pod” than a bean. Beans (black, pinto, etc.) are difficult to digest and can weigh you down. There are ways to make them to make them easier to digest, but save that for after our reset.
Minimal processed foods are allowed. Unsweetened almond milk, unsweetened coconut milk, unsweetened applesauce, organic canned tomatoes are foods that pass the test. Just make sure there are no additives in the ingredients (i.e., carrageenan, added sugars). Keep it simple.
Keep your seasonings natural. Use apple cider vinegar (raw, unfiltered), balsamic vinegar and natural seasonings that aren’t processed. The cool thing about vinegars is that it supports digestion, blood glucose levels, metabolism and weight loss. [Read more about vinegar’s health benefits HERE.]
No gluten. I have celiac disease, which causes an immune response when I eat gluten. It is not fun! Even if you don’t have celiac disease, there are a number of studies indicating that gluten can negatively impact health. Some of the symptoms of gluten sensitivity include bloating, digestive distress, abdominal pain, fatigue, joint pain and brain fog. According to Dr. Mark Hymen, gluten sensitivity impacts about 30% of Americans, and 99% of the population who have a problem eating gluten don’t even know it. When my clients eliminate gluten, they always report feeling better, lighter and leaner.
No dairy. A number of people look and feel better when they are not consuming dairy products. Again, dairy can be very hard on the digestive system, cause bloating, discomfort and more. As with a number of the other guidelines, you don’t have to give it up forever, but you may find you feel much better without it. Milk substitutes like unsweetened almond or coconut milk are okay to have.
No sugar or artificial sweeteners. Here is the toughest part. So many of us are too reliant on artificial sweeteners. In effort to avoid sugar, we consume too much sucralose, aspartame, etc. in coffee, tea and various diet products. However, these chemicals can make us crave more carbohydrates, as reported by Dr. Edwin Lee in Feel Good, Look Younger. A study from Dr. John Ludwig in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that since the artificial sweeteners are so much sweeter than natural sugars, we become less satisfied by naturally food like vegetable and fruits. You see where I’m going with this? Artificial sweeteners hinder your weight loss efforts by making you crave more of what you don’t need (excess carbs and sugar). So for now, we will eliminate these until goal weight is reached. (You can reintroduce in moderation later, as many individuals choose to use supplements that feature artificial sweeteners. However, there are supplements that are sweetened naturally.) You can use stevia for the 30 day reset.
WHAT TO EXPECT
As your body eliminates toxins and gets over your sugar and refined carbohydrate withdrawals, you may have headaches and a little irritability. It will pass…promise. Be patient.
After about one to two weeks, you will see the light at the end of the tunnel. Your flat tummy, natural energy, amazing outlook and weight loss will make it all worth it. Trust me, it works!
SAMPLE MEAL PLAN
This is the meal plan that I would follow. However, I am 5’2 and 110 lbs. You may require more or less calories, so adjust accordingly. As for supplements, make sure to buy pure, high quality supplements. (I use Allmax Nutrition, as I trust the quality of the ingredients and formulation.)
Upon waking (pre-cardio): Allmax BCAA, Allmax Glutamine, Allmax L-Carnitine, Allmax R-ala, ¼ scoop IsoNatural Protein
Meal 1: Omelet (1 whole egg, ½ cup Muscle Eggs Organic Egg Whites (plain), spinach and peppers), ½ cup berries
Meal 2: 4 ounces chicken breast, 10 cashews, ½ cup squash of choice
Meal 3 (pre-workout): 4 ounces tilapia (or white fish of any kind), 4 ounces yam, 1 cup broccoli
Meal 4 (post-workout): 4 ounces shredded chicken, 4-5 ounces yam
Meal 5: 5 ounces orange roughy (or white fish of any kind, shrimp or salmon), ½ avocado, large salad, 1 cup spaghetti squash or butter nut squash.
Meal 6: ¾ cup Muscle Egg Organic Egg whites (plain), ¼ scoop IsoNatural Protein Powder and 1 tbsp almond butter. (I make this into a pancake or muffins using my magic bullet)
Before bed: Allmax ZMA, Allmax glutamine, Probiotic, Allmax Digestive Enzymes
As you can see, the meal plan it’s still filling and yummy! Give it a try for 30 days, and you will not be disappointed! For those of you who do try, take a before photo and an after photo 30 days later! I can’t wait for you to see how amazing your results will be! Post your pics on my Facebook page, so I can see who took the challenge! I will be picking a lucky winner for an amazing surprise! GOOD LUCK!
Lee, M.D., Edwin. (2013). Feel Good, Look Younger. Florida: IHB Publishing, LLC.
Ludwig DS. Artificially Sweetened Beverages: Cause for Concern. JAMA. 2009;302(22):2477-2478. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1822.