With summer in full swing, you’re either very close to your beach ready physique or just got slapped in the face with the realization that you are nowhere close to where you wanted to be.
This article will outline 2 nutritional protocols to put your fat loss into high gear!
Everyone tends to come up with their own diet, or simply follows one o’ them hip fad diets that just happened to gain popularity when they decided to lose the weight.
Problem with fad diets and creating your own diet is that, while it’s a great step in taking matters into your own hands, it may not be the best set-up to achieve your goals. While they more often than none get you results, the end product is nothing but mediocre.
Mediocre and The Fitness Grail just don’t get along very well. Its all about above average this side of town !!
We as people are more efficient at performing a task when its well laid out, Structured and time based. In line with the above, I thought id lay down 2 no-bullshit, no-nonsense and clearer than the blue sky on a sunny day methods to get you in the best shape of your life. You’ll be setting off the metal detectors with them abs’ o’ steel!
Following either one will get you the results you desire and will probably be more efficient than any diet you have attempted before. Better yet, you will feel great health-wise. While one of the methods is a temporary phase of 21 days, it gets easier as you transition between the phases.
I’m pretty sure that many of you have heard of the Paleo diet, but only a few of the green face diet. For those of you familiar with the latter will most probably be heading for the door now. Right, I’ve lost some readers, but for those of you gutsy ones, let get down to business.
Both diets are based around the notion of how our ancestors used to eat, mainly in the Paleolithic era, some millions of years ago.
Humans are omnivores; we were made to eat and metabolize animal protein. Research that studied the nutritional habits of our ancestors concluded that their diet consisted mainly (50-65%) of animal protein.
Think “the caveman”. Cavemen would go out and hunt, they didn’t hunt cupcakes and donuts, they hunted animals. Processed foods were not available back then. You didn’t have caramel lattes, loafs of bread, and chocolate growing on trees. Ironically, the so-called FDA places grains at the bottom of the food pyramid to make the bulk of a diet. What gives ey?!
Milk wasn’t available either back then. I would love to see a caveman trying to milk a wild cow (or whatever animals cows evolved from). Milk and milk-based products became available only when the domestication of cattle started.
To add, our DNA has changed very little compared to the time of our first existence. Our genome has only changed about 0.02% over 40,000 years. That’s not much. In accordance, we are not made nor have we evolved to eat man-made food that has just recently come to existence (in retrospect to how long man has existed). I’ts also quite evident that a host of diseases like cancer, diabetes, obesity and heart diseases have increased in proportion to the change in our diets.
Makes you think doesn’t it?
“If it comes in a box, you can’t have it”?
The belief is that we humans haven’t evolved to process man-made foods. Our gastrointestinal tract can’t assimilate processed foods and hence, consuming them creates a host of free radicals making us more susceptible to malnutrition and a number of life threatening diseases like cancer, diabetes and the like.
Nature provides us with everything we need to sustain a healthy lifestyle; moreover, it provides us with exactly what we need in the “right” proportions.
The paleo way advocates more than just a diet but emphasizes a way of life. It encourages eating clean, specifically how our ancestors ate and shuns man-made foods that typically came to existence after the agricultural era (believed to have started over 10,000 years ago). In other words, grains, wheat and all related foods (yes, whole grain doesn’t make the cut either).
The paleo lifestyle encourages physical activity in relation that our ancestors were nomadic and moved around frequently, hunted for food (chasing animals) and built their homes. It also advocates adequate rest, particularly sleeping the closest possible after sunset and rising at dawn.
Lastly, it encourages 3 – 4 meals with minimal snacking. Man is an omnivore not a herbivore. Think lions and not horses.
– Meat, meat, meat and then some more meat
Red meat, white meat all go. Vary your animal protein to avoid boredom. Experiment with meats you’ve never had. Horse meat, rabbit meat, ostrich meat are all great!
Seafood and shellfish. Shoot for at least 3 servings of fatty fish per week. The more, the merry.
Grass fed beef is best, but grain fed tends to be the most affordable and easier to find for most people.
Eggs are great for adding protein to your diet. Don’t ditch the yolks, but be conscious of how much you eat (not due to cholesterol but caloric content)
All veggies go, the more colorful the better. Try to limit starchy vegetables like carrots, corn and the like. It mainly encourages vegetables that can be eaten in raw form (careful as some are toxic like eggplants). Potatoes and other starchy tubers are of varying opinions.
While some deem all oils acceptable, avoid seed and grains derived oils like sunflower, canola, corn oil etc. and use more of olive, coconut, animal, nut based oils and approved plant oils.
Nuts & legumes
Nuts are also of varying opinion. Many agree that nuts should be limited to a handful serving per day for those after fat loss. Note that peanuts are not allowed.
Avoid legumes (peas, kidney beans, lima beans etc.) and all cereals and grains
While fruits are deemed healthy and have high nutritional properties, fruit was only available right before winter. Our ancestors are believed to have consumed fruits to increase their body fat to stave off the cold winter where food was scarce. Have fruit, but do so sparingly.
I think it goes without saying but just to make it clear, avoid sugar and sugar containing foods. Soft drinks, fruit juices(even if it says 100% fruit juice), sports drinks etc. are a no no. That goes for diet sodas too. I doubt our caveman had a vending machine back then.
No dairy products and no gluten containing foods i.e. no flour, cookies, cakes, bread etc.
Be sure to get enough sun exposure to keep your vitamin D levels up as well as supplement with a daily multi-vitamin
In a nutshell, heres a visual perspective of the Paleo Diet:
That’s it for Paleo. Whenever you wonder whether a food is allowed or not, ask yourself whether it it’s readily available to man. Now lets look at a more extreme approach;
The green faces diet
The green faces diet is a more extreme approach based on the pillars of the paleo lifestyle. It takes things further by eliminating more food groups for a period of 21 days. While not clear why the specified duration, I can relate this to scientific studies concluding that it takes 21 days to rid a habit. I also believe that 21 days gives your body enough time to get rid of toxins that have accumulated over time due to poor eating habits. Think of it as a reset button; psychologically, mentally and biologically.
The first 3 weeks of the green faces diet is phase 1 of the diet, after which you start introducing fruits, followed by other food groups. This is a great method as you can see how your body reacts to different food groups, making you more aware of any allergies or intolerance holding you back.
On a side note, gastrointestinal health is key in reaching your ideal physique. If your body can’t process and absorb the foods you eat efficiently and convert them into their absorbable state, you can face a number of health problems due to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, malnutrition, frail bones etc.
I always recommend using a natural digestive aid and a diet high in fiber.
Back to he Green Faces Diet;
“If it doesn’t swim, run, or fly, or isn’t green and grow in the ground, don’t eat it.”
The rules are simple. If it had a face, or would have grown to have a face, you can have it. If it’s a green vegetable you can have it. Now if it’s not green, didn’t have a face and wouldn’t have grown a face, you simply can’t have it. Pretty simple if you ask me.
No sodas, diet sodas, alcohol, fruits, nuts, milk, legumes and limit coffee consumption.
A few FAQs’
What is this face you speak of?
- Any animal and/or its eggs. And NO! The gingerbread man doesn’t count!
Can I have red cabbage, yellow peppers, and berries?
- While all those are healthy and perfectly fine, they don’t make the cut for this diet. It HAS to be green.
Can I drink alcohol? Bacardi lime breeze, its green 😀 ?
- Um…. NO.
Can I have avocados?
- No, avocado is a fruit and not a vegetable.
Can I use plant-based oils?
- Yes, plant based oils can be used, however try to use more olive and coconut oils over other oils. Try palm oil if you haven’t before.
I think both diets are great to incorporate. Paleo fits more easily in terms of adopting it as a lifestyle, while the Green Faces diet; simply being a form of an elimination diet, can help detox our bodies from the crap we eat on a day-to-day basis. Try doing it for a week every month or every 2 months. The green faces diet also helps one better understand their body on an individual basis and lets you identify any food intolerance you may have that you are unaware of.
Nonetheless, even attempting a laxed version of any of the two will aid in bettering your diet and becoming healthier whether or not you fully commit.
The best thing about the two is that it simplifies the whole process of creating a meal plan and takes away from the hassle of counting calories and portions. Weight loss comes as an added benefit to improving your overall health and creating a stronger mind-body connection.