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The Model Body Plan
A Motivational Weight Loss & Fitness Plan That Strips Away the Fat
By Aesha Waks, Chris Northrop
Trafford PublishingCopyright © 2016 Aesha Waks
All rights reserved.
Throughout the years, I've researched and read many diet books and tried most of the popular plans. While there is merit to these plans, they have failed me. I've found these plans to be too rigid. If you break one rule, the entire house of cards collapses. I was left feeling guilty and it brought me back to square one. Here's an overview of some of the more popular diet philosophies that I've researched and tried in the past:
This is the most common plan. Simply put, you eat three meals — breakfast, lunch and dinner — and three snacks a day. For women, combined calories from meals and snacks should not exceed approximately 1,200 calories. Men can add a few hundred calories more to this number. Height and weight does factor into the exact daily caloric count. While this is a great starting point (and I understand the value of eating three meals a day), I am not a morning person and thus rarely eat breakfast. I also felt it was a bit rigid to commit to eating three snacks everyday of the week.
With this mainstream popular approach foods are assigned point values. It's like going to the casino and trading in money for clay chips, but more complicated. At a casino, if I have 100 dollars to gamble with then I have a few options. I could trade in my money for twenty $5 red chips or four $25 green chips or one $100 black chip. It's pretty clear-cut. However, with this point plan the options are so much greater, because there are thousands of different combinations of foods and meals available to choose from. In order to grasp the system and accurately count the points it is encouraged to use a points manual and buy foods sold by the company that created this plan.
When I go out for a slice of pizza different pizzerias use different flours, different amounts of cheese, etc., thus the calories could differ. It was extremely hard to transfer these foods into points unless I was buying this company's pre-fixed meals. I didn't want to be limited to their way.
The philosophy behind this plan is to combine proteins, carbohydrates and fats to create balanced meals or snacks that you eat every 2–6 hours, 4–5 times a day. While I found this diet easier to comprehend than a point system, it had flaws. I live in a big city. I am on the go and often eat out. I found it very hard to eat balanced meals and/or snacks 4-5 times everyday. Sometimes I only had time for two meals a day and though it's not ideal I still lost weight. Another issue I had was that I was told I was "cheating" if I wanted to grab a bag of fries or a yogurt on the go. I became frustrated and started feeling guilty because I was breaking the rules.
Dividing Food Groups
The structure of this diet is to divide food groups. Optimally, eat fruits in the morning, carbohydrates throughout the day and proteins in the evening. The idea behind this diet is that this type of eating pattern will get your body use to digesting certain foods at certain times, which can promote weight loss. Each food group takes different amounts of time to digest. For instance, fruits take less time to digest than proteins and that's why it's suggested to eat only fruits in the morning. You are not limited to the amount of calories you can consume on a daily basis, however, eating less will lead to greater weight loss. If you divide food groups it can work, however, the rigidness wasn't for me. If I wanted to have a hot dog for example, that wouldn't fit in anywhere because a hot dog combines protein (meat) and carbohydrates (bun). This plan doesn't leave enough room for flexibility. As soon as I bent the rules, I gained the weight right back.
Vegetarian / Vegan /Pescetarian
The vegetarian diet consists of primarily vegetables. While vegetarians don't eat meat, some may eat animal byproducts such as milk, eggs and cheese. The vegan diet is a stricter version of a vegetarian diet. Vegans do not eat meat or animal byproducts. The pescetarian diet consists of eating primarily fish and other seafood. Pescetarians do not eat the meat of other animals, but incorporate vegetables, nuts and animal byproducts such as honey into their diet.
The practice of these diets is both humane and healthy for the body. I tried these diets, but couldn't keep it up for the long haul. When I began incorporating meat into my diet, my body struggled to digest the protein. I gained all the weight right back. I commend anyone who chooses one of these diets. Personally, I was not able to fully commit to this lifestyle, but I do incorporate organic and free-range meals into my diet as often as possible.
The all protein diet became a mainstream fad years ago. Simply put, it encourages the consumption of proteins and fats. Vegetables are allowed in limited consumption, but carbohydrates are discouraged, especially at the start of the diet. Eventually, you can begin to incorporate carbohydrates in very limited amounts. While this diet works, it's unrealistic for most people to eat little to no carbohydrates. I couldn't imagine not being able to enjoy a bowl of pasta, a bagel or a donut. I knew I would not be able to keep this rigid all protein diet up. As expected, as soon as I craved a carbohydrate the weight came right back and I felt like a failure.
By researching and trying all of these diets I learned a lot. While there are many positive aspects to these plans, I found all lacked the flexibility I needed to feel good about the process of loosing and maintaining my weight. I became set on creating my own plan. I took into account commonalities and differences of popular diets as well as proven scientific facts versus fads. I developed a structure to my diet that leaves room for flexibility so you can feel good about yourself while you're loosing weight. I am confident that my plan will help you reach your model body.CHAPTER 2
AN INTRODUCTION TO DIETING
By now you've completed your 3-Day Starter Journal and logged the results. You've determined your daily caloric intake then subtracted either 250 calories or 500 calories (if you are opting to attempt a faster path to reaching your goal). This number is your new daily caloric intake goal to meet each day. Ultimately, you must work toward shrinking the size of your stomach, thus I can't stress enough how important it is to meet your new daily caloric intake goal.
Make a decision whether you are dieting simply to lose weight or to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. It is possible to lose weight while still eating junk food as long as you don't exceed your daily caloric intake goal. If you crave sweets or are a fast food junkie, then it might be beneficial to learn to love healthier foods, because vegetables are a staple of The Model Body Plan.
Get into the routine of eating a few small meals a day. Four meals a day is optimal, but if your schedule doesn't permit it or if special occasions arise then 3-5 meals is okay. Keep in mind, the more meals you eat in a day the smaller the portions must be to avoid exceeding your daily caloric intake goal.
Ideally your meals should consist of vegetables, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. The reason for this is to balance your blood sugar and keep you full.
When eating your meals do your best to eat slowly. Typically people who eat fast consume more food in a shorter amount of time, because it takes the brain approximately 20 minutes to register that the stomach is full. There is less of a chance you will go back for seconds if you slow down when eating a meal.
Try your best to space meals apart by at least two hours. This will give your stomach time to digest the food and burn some of the calories off in the process.
Here is a short list of key points that make up the structure of The Model Body Plan:
Subtract 250-500 calories from your daily caloric intake
4 meals a day (ideally)
If you are stuck on using titles, you can opt. to use breakfast/ lunch/dinner/snack instead of meal (1/2/3/4) for example
Balanced meals consisting of proteins, carbohydrates and fats (ideally)
Wait at least 2 hours between meals
50 calories or less is a freebie
Unlimited Water and Vegetables
In the following chapters we will discuss my plan in more detail, but first let's clear up some dieting myths.
Don't feel guilty or fall victim to dieting myths or old wives tales. Guilt can lead to stress and stress can lead to overeating. When I work with a new client I make it a point to clear up some of these myths. Here are some examples of dieting myths:
Client: I can't eat certain foods, because it will make me fat.
Me:Untrue. You can eat whatever you'd like as long as don't exceed your daily caloric intake goal.
Client: As long as I eat healthy I will lose weight.
Me:Untrue. While eating healthy is a bonus to losing weight, it is not the deciding factor whether or not you will shed pounds. Fish, fruits, granola bars and whole wheat bread are all examples of healthy foods that when eaten in excess will lead to weight gain. Healthy foods have calories too. The key to losing weight is eating in moderation and meeting your daily caloric intake goal.
Client: I can't eat late at night or I will gain weight.
Me:Untrue. As long as you have not exceeded your daily caloric intake goal you can eat anytime of the day you'd like.
Client: If I eat fruits all the time I will lose weight.
Me:Untrue. Unlike vegetables, fruits have calories and many are high in sugars. Fruits are beneficial and can help you lose weight when eaten as a replacement to a carbohydrate (or eaten on it's own as part of your daily caloric intake), but eating fruits all the time will not necessarily help you lose weight.
Client: As long as a beverage has zero fat I can drink as much as I want and won't gain weight.
Me:Untrue. Just because a beverage, such as some brands of ice tea, has zero fat doesn't mean it has zero calories. Fat and calories are two separate entities. You can still gain weight from consuming fat free beverages that contain calories.
I've heard all sorts of dieting myths and most are simply untrue. Do not let myths worry you. Focus your efforts on meeting your daily caloric intake goal. A great way to do this is to eat lots of vegetables.CHAPTER 3
Vegetables are a staple of The Model Body Plan. Vegetables do not contain countable calories, thus you can eat as many as you'd like as often as you'd like. Roughage helps to push other foods and toxins through your body, which helps eliminate fat and waste. Eating hearty portions of vegetable will help you lose weight, because your stomach will remain full leaving little room for fatty foods that could push you past your daily caloric intake goal.
Here are some useful tips for incorporating more vegetables into your diet:
Green, leafy vegetables are optimum for losing weight.
Bulk up your meals with vegetables. Instead of eating a bowl of pasta with bread or a plate of chicken and rice, cut the portion of carbohydrates and proteins in half and add spinach, broccoli or a salad. This shrinks the number of calories, creates a more balanced meal and will fill up your stomach.
Keep a pot of steamed vegetables handy. Graze on it throughout the day.
Stock up on raw vegetables. Carry carrots and celery sticks with you at all times.
Grab a celery juice. It's a great energizer and a healthy alternative to sodas that are loaded with sugars and calories.
Substitute fattening deserts such as cookies and cakes with sweet vegetable freebies (i.e.: sweet summer squash with cinnamon). Your sweet tooth will be satisfied and your stomach will thank you.
I understand that for some of you vegetables are not the most exciting part of a meal, however, vegetables are a vital component to losing weight. A great way to get your mind and body use to vegetables is to jump right in with a vegetable and vegetable juice fast. It will cleanse your body of toxins, energize you and fill your stomach with foods free of countable calories. Try it out for a day or so, then begin to incorporate other foods into your diet over the next few days. I've always found this approach to be most effective. It's like jumping into a cold swimming pool rather than trying to walk in step by step. The initial shock is hard, but after only a few moments your body acclimates. Before you know it, you will have built the foundation of a stable diet. Consult with your doctor if you opt to begin The Model Body Plan with a vegetable and vegetable juice fast, or any fast at any point for that matter.CHAPTER 4
A freebie is any food, beverage or condiment that is 50 calories or less. Like vegetables, it is a staple component of The Model Body Plan. Eating half an apple or sipping on a small box of juice is a great way to revive your metabolism throughout the day. Another reason why I encourage freebies is because your body will naturally burn off 50 calories in a short amount of time, thus it does not count toward your daily caloric intake goal. A freebie is also a great way to satisfy a craving for a particular food or drink. For example, coffee with cream counts as a freebie. If you have a sweet tooth, then you can grab a lollypop or enjoy a bite of chocolate cake. Prefer salty foods? Grab a pickle. It's a freebie!CHAPTER 5
VITAMINS & SUPPLEMENTS
Most people do not get the proper amount of nutrients required to sustain a healthy body and lifestyle. I recommend incorporating multivitamins and/or herbal supplements into your daily diet. I personally prefer chewable multivitamins. According to the Supplement Facts listed on the label of a bottle of Centrum MultiGummies, the recommended daily dosage is two gummies. Two gummies contains only 10 calories making it a freebie. Multivitamins serve as a great supplement that will energize you throughout the day. Vitamins and supplements will also boost your immune system and help fight the common cold.CHAPTER 6
HONEY & APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Honey is a natural sweetener that is low in calories and promotes good health. A teaspoon of honey contains approximately 20 calories making it an ideal freebie (when eaten on it's own). Spread it on toast, add a teaspoon or two to a cup of hot tea or drizzle it on granola. It will satisfy your sweet tooth and help fight the common cold.
In addition to honey, I suggest keeping a bottle of apple cider vinegar in your home. Most brands are low to no calories. Apple cider vinegar can be used as an ingredient in salad dressing. Add a small splash of unfiltered apple cider vinegar to a glass of water to help boost immune function. Health benefits could include everything from helping to eliminate nail fungus to fighting the flu.CHAPTER 7
I can't stress enough how important it is to consume generous amounts of water each day. Water will keep you hydrated and push toxins through your body. Like most vegetables and freebies, water does not count toward your daily caloric intake so you can have as much as you'd like as often as you'd like.
Chop fruit such as cantaloupe or vegetables such as cucumbers and add it to a pitcher of ice water. This makes a fragrant and fresh summer drink. As long as you don't eat the fruit, it's also free of countable calories.
Seltzer water contains zero calories and is a great alternative for those of you who prefer carbonated beverages. Add a splash of fruit juice to create a tasty low calorie drink that counts as a freebie.
For those of you on the go, powdered drink mixes, such as Crystal Light, are convenient and have little to no countable calories. Whatever option you choose, be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Some research recommends that one should drink at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day. I encourage you to make water a key component of your diet.CHAPTER 8
While junk food typically contains more fat content than fat free foods, junk food will not necessarily increase your weight (when eaten in moderation). On The Model Body Plan we focus on counting calories, not fat, and both junk food and healthy food contain calories. It's your choice whether you want to lose weight and become healthier or simply shed pounds.
In Chapter 2, under the Dieting Myths section I touched upon this topic. Here's an example to add additional clarity to the subject. A burger, fries and soda from a fast food chain has a comparable amount of calories to a grilled chicken sandwich, baked potato and juice prepared at home. While the latter is a healthier option, both contain roughly the same amount of calories. As long as you hit your daily caloric intake goal, you will not gain weight from eating the junk food option.
While eating junk food might not necessarily increase your weight, it could leave you feeling lethargic and unmotivated. Unhealthy fats found in junk food, such as lard, could lead to high cholesterol. You might also get hungrier faster after consuming junk food, making it harder for you to meet your daily caloric intake goal.
Excerpted from The Model Body Plan by Aesha Waks, Chris Northrop. Copyright © 2016 Aesha Waks. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
WEIGHT & MEASUREMENT LOG, xv,
3-DAY STARTER JOURNAL, xvii,
PART I DIET,
CHAPTER 1 COMPARATIVE PLANS, 1,
CHAPTER 2 AN INTRODUCTION TO DIETING, 5,
CHAPTER 3 VEGETABLES, 8,
CHAPTER 4 FREEBIES, 10,
CHAPTER 5 VITAMINS & SUPPLEMENTS, 11,
CHAPTER 6 HONEY & APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, 12,
CHAPTER 7 WATER, 13,
CHAPTER 8 JUNK FOOD, 14,
CHAPTER 9 MEAL REPLACEMENTS, 15,
CHAPTER 10 DIET EXAMPLES, 17,
CHAPTER 11 AVOIDING HEALTH PROBLEMS WHEN DIETING, 20,
CHAPTER 12 RESOURCES TO FINDING NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION, 22,
PART II EXERCISE & FITNESS,
CHAPTER 13 AN INTRODUCTION TO EXERCISE & FITNESS, 27,
CHAPTER 14 WEIGHTLIFTING, 29,
CHAPTER 15 CARDIO, 32,
CHAPTER 16 CALISTHENICS, 34,
PART III LIFESTYLE,
CHAPTER 17 SPORTS & ACTIVITIES, 39,
CHAPTER 18 REST & LEISURE, 40,
CHAPTER 19 BAD HABITS, 42,
CHAPTER 20 HOLIDAYS & SPECIAL EVENTS, 45,
PART IV INSPIRATION,
CHAPTER 21 MOTIVATION, 49,
CHAPTER 22 MAINTENANCE, 50,
CHAPTER 23 TESTIMONIALS, 51,
PART V 4-WEEK JOURNAL,
EXERCISE & FITNESS,