best-weight-loss-plan-melanie-palmer-large.jpg For many people, losing weight is a struggle. It is the number one goal for majority of my personal training and nutrition clients, but when I ask them "why haven't you been able to achieve this goal in the past?" they usually reply, "I don't know how! I don't know where to start!" Sound familiar? You're not alone! There is so much confusing information out there about nutrition, how do we decide what's best for us? Focus in on the following 6 rules and let's have a look at the basics. The more muscle you have, the more fat you burn so focus your training on muscle gain or 'hypertrophy' training. Whether male or female, if you want your metabolism to work faster, you need more muscle so don't be afraid to lift weights. Ask trainers at your gym if you need help. Ladies, lifting weights does not make you look bulky! We simply don't make enough testosterone to stack on muscle quickly. Resistance training (in combination with changes to your diet-we'll get to that) will help strip the layer of fat off the top of your muscles, making you look toned and defined. Limit processed food-processed foods such as cakes, biscuits, pastry, chips, lollies, chocolates etc not only contain high amounts of quick digesting sugars (which in excess you will store as fat!) but also processed fats which in the long term may cause damage to your heart among other issues! These foods also probably contain chemical preservatives and additives which our bodies recognise as toxins which also cause all sorts of damage to our organs as well as making us feel sluggish and lacking in motivation. So, we want to stick to foods that have been minimally processed or not at all, we call these foods 'whole foods' as they are pretty much farm to our plate, as close to its natural state as possible. Thermogenic effect of food - you may not have heard of this trick for burning fat stores. This flows on from the limiting of processed food. As discussed previously, the more processed, the faster and easier the digestion. Opposite on that spectrum is food that your body has to work really hard at digesting! These foods take time to digest-keeping you feeling fuller for longer, stabilises blood sugar levels and providing a slow sustained release of energy over time rather than a big hit, (followed by a big crash which will leave you looking for a Mar's bar to pick your sugars up again!!) These foods also require energy to digest-this means you're burning calories without even trying! Again, these are whole foods!! Clean, unprocessed, no preservatives/ additives and as close to the natural state as possible. Supplementation is an important addition to your whole foods dietary intake. You would have heard that protein is the most important macro-nutrient for muscle building so starting with a protein powder supplement for post-workout is a great place to start. Look for one with low sugar, to lose fat we need to limit our sugar intake. Again, all the information out there can make it confusing to make an informed choice so pop into AAA Supplements store to have a chat with the staff who can help you understand which the best protein powder for you, there isn't one protein supplement that suits everyone. There are many other supplements to assist you in your weight loss goal, coming blogs will delve into more detail regarding these so stay tuned! Planning- you have to meal prep! When you're planning your meals, start with the protein source, add a source of 'good fats' then the rest of the meal can be carbohydrates. Have a look at the table below for ideas of healthy choices when you' re figuring out your meals. Portion sizes and frequency of meals is trial and error for most people, especially if you're used to eating only once or twice a day. PROTEIN FATS CARBOHYDRATES fish - salmon, barramundi, tuna avocado sweet potato red meat - beef, kangaroo, veal, pork in the form of steak or mince nuts - almonds, cashews, pine nuts, macadamias, peanuts, walnuts green vegetables - broccoli, beans, snow peas, asparagus, green beans plus leafy greens like spinach, kale and mixed lettuces poultry - chicken or turkey in the form of breast or thigh fillet or mince seeds - chia, pumkin, sunflower root vegetables - carrots, beets, parsnips, radishes eggs coconut oil and butter for cooking meats grains - rice and quinoa beans and legumes - chickpeas, kidney beans and lentils dairy - full fat cheese, yogurt and milk or milk alternatives such as almond, oat and coconut fruit - bananas, berries, apples, citrus, stone fruit and kiwi Some whole foods contain more than 1 macro-nutrient such as beans and legumes also contain carbs and dairy/dairy alternatives also contain protein. There are many more whole foods to explore, the above list is just a starting point. Explore the outside walls of the supermarket, this is where they keep most of the whole foods! There are many isles in the supermarket you don’t need to go down! Ratios of our 3 marco-nutrients, (proteins, fats and carbs) is different for everyone and depends on too many factors for me to give you a generic formula but when you're starting out on your new healthy lifestyle, I recommend you don't bother with tracking macros and counting calories, that can come later. At the beginning, keep it simple by concentrating on feeding your body whole, clean foods combined with resistance training in your exercise routine, you should feel a massive difference in your performance, mood and motivation within only a few weeks. Lastly... Consistency and patience - this does not happen overnight so at the start take time to figure out what's actually going to be able to be maintained as part of your lifestyle, not just for a 'summer bod' because you all know what's going to happen after summer when you go back to eating the way you were! No matter your goal, you have to work for it every day. You may go off your plan for a dinner out with friends or family, and that's ok! Enjoy the occasional night out, take away or ice cream date because you know tomorrow you'll be back on the wagon, pushing towards your goals! weight-loss-by-melanie-palmer.png If you have any questions about training and nutrition, I am at the Knox store 11-3:30 every Sunday. Follow me on Facebook ‘Melanie Palmer’ and Instagram for training tips and whole food recipes! Melanie Palmer BHSc Nutritional Medicine, Personal Trainer/Coach