Look Good, Feel Good: A Weight Loss Plan for Young Women
4th OF June 2012
Find yourself eating on the run too often? Body Beautiful expert Natalie Carter has devised a time-efficient diet and excercise plan to have your body smiling from the inside-out - including food options for when your at home or out and about!
You are on a date, sitting there with your Mr Hunk-A-Spunk, the waiter comes along and takes your order. You request a vegetarian meal thinking its figure friendly and going to keep you lean however you are unfortunately mistaken.
According to new weight loss research conducted by The University of Sydney, a higher protein rich diet compared to that of a higher carbohydrate diet was more favourable to higher amounts of weight loss. This research was the first in its field as most of the weight loss studies tend to be on older adults. The group was focused around women aged 18-24yrs who were grouped with their peers at home, so as to be less confronting.
Many of these young women felt pressured by lack of time which in turn forced them to eat out frequently and put their general health on the back burner. Body confidence is of high priority to this age group and also to most women in general. We all know too well that as we get older we generally have less time than in our early 20’s. With the pressure of work and motherhood it’s hard to develop decent eating and exercise habits. Alcohol consumption is also high in this age group so strategies needed to be put in place to help not hinder weight loss and boost confidence levels. Many girls, especially young women are lacking in iron and zinc (found in red meat). Iron is essential for energy and concentration, while zinc supports a healthy immune system. Too often we forget about essential nutrients when we are pressured for time and go for quick, convenience based take away foods. Whilst they hit the spot at the time many of the nutrients are lacking along with higher fat and sodium amounts.
The girls were given either a higher carb or higher protein diet to follow (the same calories were adhered to and exercise was strictly 30 minutes). In the higher protein group a 300g amount of protein was consumed daily, along with fruit (2/day), dairy (low fat yoghurt/milk/cheese), veg (green and coloured), grain/carbohydrate rich foods (brown rice/bread/noodles/pasta), healthy fats (olive oil) and treats (2 per week; alcohol, chocolate, crisps, etc).
A sample day’s food includes:
Home: 1 slice soy & linseed toast with avocado and sliced tomato with a strawberry smoothie (125ml low fat milk, 150g strawberries and 100g yoghurt)
On the go options: 1 tub yoghurt (low fat), 1 slice wholegrain toast with peanut butter tbsp and margarine 1 tsp and a small tub of peaches/pears in natural juice
Out and About: Sandwich bar- wholemeal wrap with 3 falafel, one slice reduced fat cheese, lettuce, cucumber, tomato and alfafa sprouts. Plus 30g nuts with a small (150g) fruit salad
On the go options: Salmon and brown rice salad (small tin salmon, 2.3 cup brown rice, 40g reduced fat cheese, 2 cups mixed salad vegetables, 2 tsp sweet chilli sauce and 1 tsp oil) plus a piece of fresh fruit
Home: 200g Beef and Vegetable stir-fry (served with a small serve of brown rice)
Out and about: 200g fish fillet with 2 cups mixed salad, oil and vinegar and a small wholemeal bread roll.
The subjects (higher protein group) experienced greater weight loss than those following the higher carb plan. The combination of low Glycemic Index (GI) and protein means higher levels of satiry (fullness) and stablisied blood sugar. Snacking regularly on fibre rich foods also helps will fullness levels. Adopting a low GI, fibre and protein rich diet is key for women, in particular, those under 30. The sooner you are able to adopt a regime such as the Look Good, Feel Good plan a healthier you is bound to follow.
As you can see by the above food plan, a focus on nutrient rich and fibre packed food choices are part of the success of this plan. When you choose to remove a food staple (such as meat) it is essential you replace your protein source. Although you will be missing out on animal protein (higher amino acid profile) you can still receive plenty of plant based protein (somewhat compromised by their limitation of one or more amino acids) to bulk up your eating. So if you tend to be following the “removing meat trend” in hope that your waist line will shrink, based on the data, I hope you are now rethinking this option.
Refreshingly, this plan is easily followed and accessible to all. There are eating out, on the go and home cooked options. Healthy foods are to be eaten in the right amounts, exercise should be taken for at least 30-60mins each day and (my favourite) it is recommend to explore your personal barriers that caused your weight gain in the first place. Genius! So not only do young women now have a stable, easy –to- follow food plan but they are also encouraged to address factors such as emotional eating, excuses, peer pressure and eating out. All forms of activity are recommended including: strength training, walking, riding a bike, dancing, boxing, team sports and incidental exercise (taking stairs versus escalators) and group classes like yoga.
I’ve put together 4 effective circuit moves you can do in your lounge room to compliment this high protein eating plan. You will successfully burn fat and building muscle with these babies. Aim for 2-3 sessions of this full body workout. If you try to complete each for 1 min followed immediately by the next move resting only at the end of the 4th move, you can expect to burn up to 300 cals in 30 minutes
Lunge with curl: Holding cans, full water bottles or weights, step out with your left leg and curl the “weights” up to the top of your arm. Make sure your knees bend to 90 degrees, always keeping an eye on your 2nd and 3rd toe when lunging (don’t lean forward through the knee). Step your right leg forward to meet the left and continue the walking/curling motion for 1 minute.
2. Mountain climbers: Next, drop down to the floor in a push up position (shoulders in line with hands). Keep your hips still, parallel to the ground and abs pulled in as you bring your right knee under and into your chest quickly swap the legs. Now you will bring the left knee under the chest and keep repeating this running motion for 1 min.
3. Side to side lateral hops: Such an easy yet effective fat burning exercise. Start with both feet together and take a lateral jump out to the left then immediately back to the right. Continue this side-to-side movement for 1 minute. Don’t stop moving!
4. Tricep One legged Dips: You’ll need a bench or chair for this one. Face away from the bench/chair, slide your butt off the bench as your hold your bodyweight with your arms. Your arms will bend 90 degrees, as will your knees. To increase the intensity of this exercise I added a lifting of each leg for each dip. So now as you dip with your arms you will lift the right leg, return then do the opposite leg. Keep this up for 1 minute then you receive your well earn break for 1 minute.
Continue with exercises 1-4 plus the 1-minute break for a total of 4-6 rounds.
Stay awesome till next time,
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