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Nutritional Guidelines

for Various Body Fat Reduction Goals

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Fat Burning 101

WEIGHT LOSS: THE MOST IMPORTANT METRIC TO MEASURE PROGRESS

What is Body Fat Percentage?

Your body fat percentage is the single best indicator of your fitness level because it tells you information about how your body is composed. Your body fat percentage tells you where your weight is coming from: lean mass (such as muscle and bone) vs. stored body fat.

The essential or minimum healthy amount of body fat for men is around 4% and for women is around 10-14%. It is a much more reliable measure of fitness than BMI - body mass index, which is a measure of your weight vs height. This can become unrealiable as someone puts on muscle and gets heavier, though much leaner.

Why do we care about body fat percentage instead of calories and pounds?

If you weigh 150 lbs and start Booya today and still weigh 150 lbs a month from now, you'll think that this program doesn't work. However, what you don't know is that your body fat may have changed quite a bit.

You may have put on muscle (which makes you much leaner, but heavier because muscle weighs more than fat) and lost body fat (which makes you smaller and helps you lose inches). Unless you measure your body fat percentage, you wouldn't know what happened to your body. Weight is a very poor indicator of progress. What is a reliable measure? The way your clothes fit, your energy, your digestion, your health, and how you feel about yourself. Get off the scale, measure your body fat.

HOW TO REDUCE YOUR BODY FAT PERCENTAGE: GENERAL NUTRITION GUIDELINES TO HELP YOU GET LEAN

Frequency of meals
Eat 5-6 small meals every day.
Size of meals
Make breakfast your biggest meal and dinner your smallest.
Hydration
Drink as much water as you need to stay hydrated. How do you know you're properly hydrated? The color of your pee is clear.
Veggies
Eat as many non-starchy veggies as you want.
Protein
Eat a lean protein 3-5 times per day. Aim for the size of the thickness of your palm: Chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, bison, buffalo, protein powder.
Muscle fueling
If you are extremely active, add an additional portion of protein daily to feed your muscle mass and to stay full. Protein shakes are ideal.
Fats
Eat healthy fats in moderation, such as avocado, olive oil, coconut oil with every meal. You only need about 10g 5x a day.

WANT FAST RESULTS? FOLLOW THESE ADDITIONAL CLEAN EATING GUIDELINES
COMMITMENT = FASTER RESULTS

Foods to avoid

Light Commitment

For health reasons, keep your sugar intake low, but eat a balanced diet that includes the foods that agree best with your system.

Moderate Commitment

Fat storage foods, such as alcohol, sugar, dairy, processed foods and too much fruit (that includes fruity drinks) should be limited to 3-4 meals max per week.

Heavy Commitment

Avoid all fat storage foods, such as alcohol, sugar, dairy, processed foods and too much fruit (that includes fruity drinks).

Foods that should be moderated

Light Commitment

Carbohydrates high in starch, such as grains, root vegetables, and legumes can be eaten on high-intensity workout days without having a fat storage impact.

However, if you do notice belly fat gains, these are the first foods you want to reduce, along with the unhealthy and fat storing foods, such as alcohol, sugar, processed foods.

Moderate Commitment

Carbohydrates high in starch, such as grains, root vegetables, and legumes can be eaten on high-intensity workout days in moderation (limit to one meal per day) without having a fat storage impact.

However, if you do notice belly fat gains, these are the first foods you want to reduce, along with the unhealthy and fat storing foods, such as alcohol, sugar, processed foods.

Heavy Commitment

Limit carbohydrates high in starch, such as grains, root vegetables, and legumes to high-intensity workout days only, and limit to 1 meal per day, ideally right after your workout.

Eating around your workouts

Light Commitment

For workouts or runs that last longer than 60 minutes, you may want to eat some easily digested carbs about an hour before, such as a banana or a slice of bread with turkey. You will fuel your body so you have the energy for an intense workout and won't run out of energy.

After your workout, refuel with lean protein and veggies. For fast fatloss, do your cardio workouts on an empty stomach and refuel afterwards with lean protein and veggies.

Medium Commitment

Work out on an empty stomach if you're working out for 60 minutes or less. For longer exercise sessions, eat an easily digestible carbohydrates about an hour before your workout, such as a banana or a slice of bread or oatmeal.

Eating a small snack before your workout allows you to push harder during your workout, thus helping you make greater gains in building lean muscle.

Heavy Commitment

Working out for an hour or less? Do so on an empty stomach, so your body learns how to burn fat for energy, not just the food you ate.

Right after your workout, refuel with lean protein and veggies or grab a protein shake.

Cheat meals

Light Commitment

Enjoy up to 4 cheat meals every week guilt-free.

Pay attention to how your body feels after eating foods that are high in sugar, carbs or processed as your body is the best barometer to assess whether what tastes good actually makes you look and feel good.

Medium Commitment

Enjoy 2 cheat meals every week guilt-free.

Pay attention to how your body feels after eating foods that are high in sugar, carbs or processed. Your body is the best barometer to assess whether what tastes good actually makes you look and feel good.

Heavy Commitment

Cheat item (not meal) once a week. Your meal can include anything you like: a burger, a drink, or some ice cream, but not all three in one meal.

CHECKING IN: Q&A FOR COMMON ISSUES WHEN YOU SUDDENLY CHANGE YOUR DIET

I'm much more hungry than I used to be

The intensity of your workouts can make you hungrier initially. Counteract your appetite by eating more veggies and protein. If your appetite is insatiable, it's a sign you may be overdoing the cardio. Add more strength training and sleep to balance out your stress response.

I'm tired all the time

The more active you are, the more you need to nourish your body, give it adequate rest and recovery, and build in rest days to allow your body to get stronger. More is not necessarily better. Add more low-intensity workouts into your week and see your energy increase. Sleep and eat enough carbohydrates and veggies! This will also help.

I crave sugar often! Which most describes you:

You stepped up your exercise intensity and frequency
Eat more veggies and more proteinm, especially right after your workouts.
You are not sleeping enough
Lack of sleep can raise your cortisol levels. This hormone not only makes you store belly fat, but it also creates blood sugar imbalances, which result in sugar cravings and increased appetite. Sleep more!
You are about to get your period
In the week before your period, estrogen and serotonin levels drop, which can cause sugar cravings. You can feed those sugar cravings without negative impact with dark cocoa powder. It boosts your mood, feel-good hormones and addresses sweet cravings before you reach for the candy bars.

Some ideas for consumption: Hot or cold cooca: Mix dark cocoa powder with unsweetened vanilla almond milk and stevia. Or, make a cocoa pudding by mixing dark cocoa powder with 1/2 avocado, 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk and a few ice cubes. Creamy and sugar free!
You're going too low-carb
Eating too few carbohydrates while exercising intensely will not only make you ravenous, but can also inhibit muscle growth. Eat more on exercise days and less on rest days and you have your metabolism working overtime for you.
You're stressed out emotionally
Physical stress and emotional stress can both raise your cortisol levels and as a result, cause you to crave sugar and starchy comfort foods. Manage your stress by addressing the issues that cause you to react with food and food will no longer be your go-to fix.
You're 3-4 weeks into a program and you're starting to plateau.
According to the law of metabolic compensation, most people see the greatest improvements in the first 3-4 weeks of starting a program. After this period, your metabolism will actually adjust to the level of exercise and calories coming in and slows down a bit because it adapts to the program quickly. What does that mean for you? It's time to mix things up every 3-4 weeks. Here are our tips to keep your metabolism on fire:

  1. Eat carbs according to your activity level. Eat a little more on workout days, eat lower carbs on non-workout or restorative exercise days
  2. Get enough sleep and rest days to let your body recover. Believe it or not - your muscle mass develops on your rest days, so give your body the break it needs to speed up its metabolism!
  3. Keep your protein intake high. How much do you need? Ideally, aim for 5 small meals of protein, each about the size and thickness of your palm.
  4. Change up your workouts! Lift heavier weights, slow down the reps, add more reps, up the intensity - choose one way to modify your workouts and keep your body guessing.