A recent survey in the UK suggests that the average woman spends almost $40,000 on weight loss attempts over the course of her life — three per year, to the tune of £161.75 (around $255) per attempt. It's an astonishing figure, and an unnecessary one.
According to strength coach Rachel Cosgrove, the key to shedding fat and keeping it off is simple: When you mix a nutritious menu of high quality foods to fuel your body with focusing on what you CAN eat (not what you CAN'T eat), along with an effective exercise program (including bodyweight exercises on the TRX Suspension Trainer – see video above), you can transform your body without depriving yourself of any food group. You’ll get your metabolism revving so you can actually eat more, have more energy and burn more calories. Sounds good to us.
To achieve this, here are Cosgrove’s three nutrition rules to live by:
Never ever skip breakfast, and continue to fuel your body every two to three hours throughout the day to keep your blood sugar stable and boost your metabolism and energy levels. Foods you CAN fuel your body with include:
- Delicious, nutritious fruits and vegetables of all varieties.
- High quality protein such as chicken breast, turkey, fish, beans, whey protein, nuts, string cheese, yogurt and cottage cheese.
Unprocessed starches such as rice, whole grain tortillas or corn tortillas, gluten free breads, oatmeal, couscous and potatoes (once or twice throughout the day).
Drink water. Think of water as your “energy giving,” fat burning liquid. Being hydrated will help your body look and perform its best. Half your bodyweight in ounces of water per day is a good rule of thumb.
- Allow yourself room to splurge. Give yourself 10 percent of your week to enjoy the foods that previously may have been on your “Can’t Have” list. Giving yourself the option to enjoy a splurge a few times a week eliminates your “Can’t Have” list. The key is to eat healthy, nutritious foods 90 percent of your week, so your body can handle the 10 percent.
By following the above rule of eating every two to three hours, you’ll eat five to six meals a day, seven days a week, which means you’ll eat a total of 35 to 42 meals a week. Giving yourself room to splurge 10 percent of those meals means you have three to four meals a week to indulge in your cravings, guilt free.
Start approaching your nutrition with an attitude of what you CAN eat (instead of what you CAN’T) and build lifelong habits that lead to a fit, healthy body that’s full of energy and vitality.
So dump the diets, and save the money for your next vacation.
Rachel Cosgrove is the author of The Female Body Breakthrough and is a fitness professional who specializes in getting women of all ages into the best shape of their lives. She owns and operates Results Fitness with her husband in southern California. She has a BS in Exercise Physiology and earned her CSCS from the National Strength and Conditioning Association. She has competed in fitness competitions, is an Ironman triathlete and has set a powerlifting record. She has her own column in Women’s Health Magazine and has also been featured in numerous health and fitness publications and also had TV appearances on Fox, ABC and WGN.