Eating Clean & Getting Lean | Harmony Blaze
Harmony Blaze

UK Healthy Living & Lifestyle Blog

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Eating Clean & Getting Lean

Has anyone ever said to you that abs are made in the kitchen and not the gym? I bet you didn't believe them did you? But it's true, there's no point spending all that time in the gym if what you're doing out of there is all wrong...
So it's summer, and you're looking for that last minute quick fix for a flatter tummy before you hit the beach am I right? Well here's a little truth that might burst your bubble a bit, unfortunately there is no quick fix when it comes to losing weight & feeling great. But there are things that you can do to help yourself out along the way and if you put the effort in from now until next summer you won't be looking for that quick fix anymore!

Something I have touched upon time and time again is that you wouldn't put petrol in a diesel car or vice-versa would you? No exactly, so why put the wrong fuel in your body when you're looking to lose a few pounds or inches?

Starting the day right is so important when you're looking to get in shape - if you're on a calorie restricting/ counting diet this is where mistakes are often made by not eating enough to fire up your metabolism and keep your body going. You then go into a counterproductive state where your body begins to store more fat in it's reserves and at the end of the day you don't really lose anything other than your willpower. Been there, done that, bought and binned the t-shirt.

At the moment I start the day during the week with a nice bowl of overnight oats. I avoid gluten, wheat & dairy like the plague because they do horrible things to me and so on an evening I throw together some Oats, Chia Seeds, Coconut Yogurt & Almond Milk and leave them to chill in the fridge until the next day, at which point I add some fruit and seeds as well as a teaspoon of Almond Butter. Yummy! This gives you a good hit of Protein & Fibre start your day with and oats release their energy slowly, keeping you going for longer & reducing the likelihood of mid-morning snacking. Another great thing about starting the day with overnight oats is that it’s a great opportunity to have most of your 5-a-day as well – think Raisins, Berries, Bananas etc. I also like to have a big mug of Bootea first thing in a morning too as

If I need a mid-morning snack (this usually depends on how hard I have worked on the bike first thing) I have a stash of plain Kalo Rice Cakes and either top these with Houmous or Guacamole. Houmous is filled with healthy minerals & antioxidants, is again rich in protein & fibre thanks to the Chickpeas, whilst Guacamole is a tasy way to get some Advocado in your diet & healthy fats. Best still Houmous is a complex carb, again avoiding that sugar high & slump that many people suffer from when falling victim to snacking. Snacking isn’t something that you can’t do when trying to lose weight, you just have to be wise with your choices, don’t go for shelf ready options as you will find the added preservatives & sugars will outweigh your good work in the gym.

Lunch time is where I take on most of my daily carbs and I have a great lunch box from
Sistema
which allows me to easily measure out my portions. Lunch carbs tend to be Brown Rice, Pasta or Sweet Potatoes and I have these with some Tuna, Sweet Corn and either Kale or Spinach. Nice and simple and very inexpensive too! Also with the exception or the leaves, everything can just be kept in the pantry and grabbed as you need it.

Pre-workout I don’t, at the moment, reach for any energy boosting supplements and opt for a Banana, maybe some Cherries and a handful of Nuts (again fibre & protein rich and abundant in healthy fats). Remember everything can make you pile on the pounds if you go overboard with them so make sure you eat things in moderation, particularly Nuts as they can be quite calorific!

My evening meals tend to be my favourites and I poach myself an egg (to help build those abdominal muscles up), grill some Asparagus (a natural diuretic, helping the body to self-regulate it’s water & salt levels) wrapped in Prosciutto, for no other reason than it is really tasty, and either grill or oven roast some Chicken or Fish with a few herbs. Nice and light but just what I need after the gym.

So that’s what I eat on a day-to-day basis, weekends tend to be a little different of course simply because I have more time on my hands so I can make something fresh as and when I want it, but it’s usually equally as healthy as my meals prepped during the week. I always try to have at least 2 litres of water during the day, as well as a couple of cups of tea and then Coconut Water to rehydrate after the gym.

When it comes to exercise I try to make sure I workout at least 5 or 6 days a week with at least one full rest day. On a morning, first thing while even the birds are still shaking the sleep from their eyes I do 30 minutes fasted cardio on the bike, I try to make sure I move around as much as I can during the day (but having a desk job it’s not that easy) and then I do another 30 minutes cardio on an evening along with either a weights or bodyweight based session. At the moment I am trying to lower my body fat percentage hence the increased amount of cardio exercise that I am doing, morning cardio is LISS & evening cardio is HIIT. I can’t wait to see what difference it makes when I next weigh in on the eve of my holiday in a few weeks time.

At the end of the day eating clean does take a bit of getting used to, especially cutting out the sugar (I would love a strong, sugary Espresso about now that’s for sure), but it is very easy to stick to, isn’t overly restrictive and gives you lots of options at meal times.

Do you follow a ‘clean’ diet? Or are you a calorie counter? Let me know below and I’ll catch up with you again soon, until then though x


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