While not all vegetarians have a higher bodyfat percentage than meat-eaters, many are heavier, and are less healthy than those that consume animal proteins. Not only have I found that vegetarians are fatter than carnivores, to be true, over the years in everyday conversations with those that I meet, but also solidifies my theory, in the gym where people hire me for weight loss and strength training.
I don’t tell vegetarians to eat meat, but I do tell them to eat more protein from beans, and to remove all dairy products and junk food from their diet. When people don’t have enough protein, they are hungry and gravitate towards unhealthy fatty, and sugary items. I asked one of my clients what she thinks she’s eating that’s causing her to keep gaining weight, because the meals she told me she was eating were low in calories and healthy; at work she snacked on foods in the breakroom, like donuts, mini chocolate bars, and Doritos. I asked that she work towards being 100% vegan. She is following my advice, but occasionally slips up, but she’s still losing bodyfat, and she said she feels as if a cloud has been lifted, since she has more clarity and better focus.
While I’m not a vegan (it works great for some, but not for all), I’m 100% dairy-free because dairy makes me violently ill. You will shed a lot more fat, have a lot more energy, have a healthier gut microbiome, reduce belly pain, and have clearer skin by omitting dairy. Give it a try!
There’s a pattern of overweight people who say they cannot lose weight, generally follow, that they may not be aware of. If you do any of the things below regularly, that’s likely why you cannot lose extra pounds.
Starving yourself. Eating too little in the morning, and at lunch, to try to eat fewer calories throughout the day, almost always backfires, since people who eat so little before 5:00pm, tend to snack throughout the day, which adds up to even more calories than a proper-sized breakfast and lunch. People who just snack, or eat incomplete meals, binge at night because they’ve been starving all day. Make sure to eat a full breakfast with protein, carbs, and a small amount of fat. A favorite light breakfast of mine is a banana smoothie blended with almond milk, protein powder, and a level tablespoon of creamy almond butter. Or, for breakfast, try scrambled egg whites with spinach, kalmata olives, sliced bell peppers, ¼ slivered yellow onion, with a side of oatmeal, topped with a few chopped walnuts.
For lunch, and for every meal, also eat lean protein, carbs from grains, beans, or vegetables, and a little bit of healthy fat, like a wedge of avocado. The reason why you want to eat all three macronutrients (protein, fat and carbs) at every meal, is to provide suffient nutrition, which helps to keep you fuller longer.
Cardio, cardio, cardio. You can exercise for hours every single day, and it does burn calories, but if you want to lose weight, exercise can only do so much. You also need to eat fewer calories, by cutting back on fattening foods. And, while cardiovascular exercise, is good for the heart, it’s terrible for muscles, and slows metabolism. Do cardio a few times a week, but aim for weight training, at least twice a week, to boost metabolism and increase muscle growth.
Take out. If you eat most of your foods at a restaurant, or get take-out, you’re going to have a hard time losing weight. Restarant portions are riduclously large for a serving, and use lots of oil and way too much salt. If you are serious about losing weight, start making most of your meals from scratch.
If you like sweet treats with licorice and chocolate notes, you’ll enjoy this low calorie snack, or mini meal. I’ll have this as my pre-workout drink. I use carob instead of cocoa powder because it’s sweeter and has a creamier consistency when blended.
High-protein, dairy-free, chocolate-licorice smoothie
- raw fennel stalk (save the bulb for a salad or soup), cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 T carob powder
- ½ cup frozen green grapes
- ½ frozen banana, cut into 1-inch chunks
- ¼ cup plain collagen protein powder (I use Great Lakes)
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (I use Sprouts)
Blend ingredients in the order above. Mix with a large spoon and put in the freezer for 2 minutes. Remove from the freezer, stir with large spoon and drink right away.
Calories: 247 gross carbs: 30 fat: 3 grams protein: 26 grams
If you’ve ever bought an exercise or diet plan, the first reaction is usually excitement: “Cool!” You’re looking forward to dropping excess weight and envisioning a more fit and fabulous you. Now, everyone’s reaction is a little different, and some may take different paths. The second reaction, may be either: “This is different; that’s what I need. I’m going to follow it.” Or maybe it’s: “Wait…I don’t like this!” This last reaction is usually out of fear. It takes you out of your comfort zone, and making these changes makes you uncomfortable. This is where most people stop, never move forward, and never make progress. Don’t stop here. Try the next step:
If the plan doesn’t fit you, for whatever reason, some people tell themselves: “I’ll just cross off stuff I don’t like.” If it’s foods you don’t like, I get it, see if you can find a similar food, like swapping out broccoli for asparagus. Or if it’s an exercise you don’t like, try swapping out the leg press for reverse lunges. If the exercise is awkward or difficult, that just means it’s something you need to work on. The more often you do it, the easier it gets. If the exercise hurts, stop. No exercise should hurt. Know the difference between a muscle being worked, and pain. You should never be in pain. On that same note, a diet shouldn’t be so restrictive that it’s making you depressed, that you can’t ever go out to eat, or you can’t sleep properly. Maybe some small changes are in order, instead of tossing the whole plan out the window.
The next step some people go to, is giving up on trying something new. They say something like this: “Maybe I’ll just do my own thing.” Please don’t! What you’ve been doing doesn’t work! Please move onto the next step.
Acceptance. You tell yourself, “What I’ve been trying either doesn’t work, is too hard, I lose weight, but gain it back, so, the methods I’ve been doing, doesn’t really work. I should, at least, give this new plan a try.” Then, you follow the program as best as you can. You may not do it 100%, but you are trying (that’s what counts).
Be honest with yourself. Are you really giving it your all? If you’re working with a coach, let your coach know what isn’t working, and why. Maybe you’re too tired after work to exercise at 6pm. Maybe the morning traffic is too stressful, and causes you anxiety. Is there a better time to get to the gym? Can your coach change the time, or come to your house? Or maybe you hate cooking. Is there a food preparation company you can get your meals from that you, or your coach, can customize the macros (carbs, protein and fat?), so you can still lose weight?
Final outcome: The plan is working, you’re getting results at a slow, but steady pace and you understand that progress takes time, and you’re going to continue. Or, the plan isn’t your cup-of tea: start a brand new program. Not every diet or every exercise program is good for every person. I don’t give my Indian clients American or Chinese recipes, when they tell me they prefer Indian food. I don’t give my seniors the same exercises or weights as I do with my clients in their 20’s and 30’s. The point is, don’t give up when things become difficult; think of it as a challenge you’re going to excel at. Try your best, try something new, and never ever give up on yourself. Accept imperfection, and strive for improvement.
P.S. I offer personal training sessions, a workout plan that I customize for each client, and I also sell two books: the High-Five Diet, and Slimming Dairy-Free Smoothies and Desserts, both available through me, or on Amazon. For detailed info and to place your order, go to my website at theHighFiveDiet.com
Depending on your current body fat percentage, you could see impressive results in just 2-3 months with consistent, strategic exercises (full body weight training with some cardio). Check out my client Zack’s progress photos. He lowered his body fat (BF) percentage 10 points, from 20% BF to 10% BF, in less than 3 months. He did this by lifting weights two times a week, working with me as his personal trainer, copying our routine and doing it again two more times later in the week. He walked daily, and took exercise classes, or went on hikes, on days he didn’t lift weights.
He also changed his diet, by cutting out processed foods, but he still went out to dinner and had drinks with friends, but he chose healthier meals, and limited his alcoholic drinks to two. Take a look at his before and after photos and you’ll notice that he’s much happier, has more confidence, and got a cute haircut.
While not everyone can take the exact steps that Zack did, this shows that if you’re really motivated and follow your coach’s advice, you will see results of your hard work.
People tend to freak out when I tell them to eat a meal instead of a snack, but most of the foods people snack on, like chips and salsa, a bar, or cheese and crackers, typically don’t contain sufficient protein, fiber, or nutrients. These snacks may curb your cravings initially, but they don’t provide what you need, so you’ll end of eating more calories, and snacking more throughout the day.
When I tracked my snacks, I realized I was eating about 700 calories in snacks alone! My meals are 350 calories, so my snacks were equivalent to 2 meals. Try dividing your meals into smaller portions, eating more frequently, and cutting out the snacks, and you’ll find you’re less hungry, have more energy, and see those extra pounds come off quickly.
P.S. Wouldn’t you want to eat tacos as instead of a snack?
Instead of eating whenever you’re hungry, pick specific times that you can adhere to, every day, when you want to eat breakfast, a snack, lunch and dinner. This will re-program your body to cue your hunger signals at, or about 30 minutes before those times. What this does, it prevents you from eating throughout the day. Those little snacks add up fast!
To start, decide how many times you want to eat a day. Then figure out how many meals, and how many snacks you want to eat daily. Lastly, pick the times to eat that work best for your schedule. For instance, I’ll eat breakfast at 8am, lunch at noon, a snack at 3pm, and dinner at 5:00pm. On occasion, I’m so hungry, I cannot wait the four hours from breakfast to lunch, so I’ll eat half my lunch at 10:30am and the 2nd half at 12pm; this way I’m still eating the same amount of calories, while listening to my body. And if I’m not hungry, that’s my body’s way of signaling that I shouldn’t eat, either because I’ve eaten enough, or because I’m not feeling well.
Even though I’m usually hungry between meals, I drink about 20 ounces of filtered water between meals, which helps fill my belly until mealtime. While there may, or may not, be an actual diet called, The Clock Diet, it just means to schedule and eat your meals at certain times, which is similar to the concept of going to bed and waking up at the same time; it keeps your body running more effectively.
I’ve had several moms tell me that they have snacks in the house, like cookies, chips, bars, soda, pretzels, crackers, and/or candy just for their kids. Why is it okay to have your children eat sugary, salty, calorie-dense, nutrient-lacking foods? It’s not okay! You also don’t want to be tempted to grab those items when you’re hungry.
You want your children to be healthy, the proper weight for their age and height, and to get adequate nutrients, which most don’t, so don’t have junk food in the house for them. Start them young to eat vegetables.
Eating fruit, veggies, protein, nuts, seeds, and beans, and limiting junk food, feeds their bones and cells, and protects against disease now and in the future. Picky kids typically end up being picky, overweight adults with medical issues.
Make your children (or yourself) healthy snacks like apple slices smeared with a little bit of almond butter, a fruit smoothie with almond milk and vegan vanilla protein powder, celery with peanut butter, vegetable soup, or even little carrots with hummus. They’ll feel better, get more nutrients, feel fuller, and maybe even be less cranky (but no promises!).
If a diet produces fat loss, but the weight comes back, that’s not a diet that works. You want a diet that’s sustainable, one that’s flexible enough so that the weight stays off. This diet works because it’s flexible enough so you can go out to eat, have desserts, and eat the foods you enjoy, without counting calories, excessively limiting carbs, or eating a lot of protein.
So, what is this diet? The High-Five Diet, is a dairy-free diet and nutrition book with over 40 delicious dairy-free recipes. A dairy-free diet has been shown to reduce cholesterol, clear up skin conditions, alleviate stomach issues like bloating and cramping, and rids the body of excess bodyfat. It’s up to you decide if you love milk and cheese more than looking and feeling good. Once my clients stop eating dairy, they are so much happier, and have a ton more energy. They even tell me that they don’t crave dairy products anymore.
With the carbohydrate and calorie-controlled dairy-free recipes provided, High-Five Diet proprietary program, tips and tools, this plan is not only easy to follow, it’s a healthy-food promoting plan that can reverse or protect against many diseases, that you can use for the rest of your life that will get rid of that unhealthy excess weight once and for all.
Click this link: https://thehighfivediet.com/ to order your copy and start your new weight loss program today.