After 15 plus years in the fitness industry, I have tried just about everything when it comes to diet and nutrition. — No sugar, high fat, low carb, even NO carbs!— I’ve found that my idea of a diet is quite different from the restrictive and cliché plans that fill up your social media feed. To me, it’s about creating something I can sustain because the key to being successful in the fitness and nutrition industry is consistency.
I’m Ashley King, a mom to three boys, fitness trainer, and life coach to women. I’m here to cut through the fluff. Achieving your goal body and implementing a diet can only work when you create a plan you can actually stick to. It has to do with one simple word: Balance!
If you can teach your mind and body that there is balance in all foods then you can hit your goals, and retain them, in an efficient, healthy, and sustainable way. And in the end, you will win the diet game!
Look, welove to over-complicate things when it comes to nutrition. Between taking out major food groups, complicating meals, and punishing ourselves with rules, we are all bound to fail!
In a low or no-carb diet, you will start super disciplined, and in a few weeks, you will see results. Gain confidence. But then you will fall off — because it always happens— and eat all the carbs you’ve deprived yourself of. And eat them in excess until you gain the weight back (and maybe more). Then you are left frustrated, with low confidence, and even more behind on your goals.
In a balanced diet, made up of 70-80% clean food meals, you will eat proportionate amounts of lean meats or vegetarian protein sources, whole foods (vegetables and fruits), and clean complex carbs. You will have energy and a satiated digestive system that is working perfectly. And if you are anything like me, you will still feel the need for sweets so have some. Allow yourself to indulge once a week. You worked hard, ate sensibly, and deserve to indulge once and a while.
Soon enough, you will see RESULTS! You will lose weight the smart way, not with a crash diet.
But how can you still lose weight while eating carbs and sweets? Because you learned balance! Balance in portions, balance in sugar, balance in carbs! You learned to give your body all the tools to work optimally, without feeling completely deprived.
To implement these tactics in real life, try these 4 SIMPLE STEPS:
1. Stock up on lean proteins, veggies, fruits and clean complex carbs (eg. sweet potatoes, brown rice, whole grain pasta).
2. Try to keep only clean whole foods stocked up in your fridge and pantry.
3. Save the purchase of small treats for the allotted day you choose and only eat that treat outside of your home. Keeping treats out of your house = less temptation and fewer triggers.
4. Keep the treats just that: Treats! Treat yourself to a reasonable amount of cheat food (two cookies or one slice of pizza, or one small serving of fries).
So what does ‘Clean Eating’ look like in real life? Every meal I set up in my weekly meal plans follow these three easy, straightforward, guidelines to get your nutrition on track:
1. Choose 4 oz of Lean Protein.
Options include: Lean ground turkey, chicken breast, and whitefish. Vegan Protein options include: firm tofu, edamame, lentils, seitan, tempeh, or plant-based ground.
2. Choose 1 ½ cups of fiber and nutrient-dense vegetables.
Vegetables provide major vitamins and minerals in their purest form as well as fiber, which provides extra satiation and helps digestion. Options include: broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, green beans, spinach, carrots.
3. Choose ½ cup of clean complex carbohydrates.
Carbs arenot the enemy. Just be smart about the amount you’re taking in each meal and thequality. You need to include whole, clean complex carbohydrates (like Sweet potatoes, quinoa, farro, brown rice, whole grain pasta, plant-based or brown rice pasta), not simple, refined, and processed ones (like breads, baked goods and cereals).
Consistent practice in moderation and balance in your diet will yield long-lasting results and a relationship with nutrition that will last a lifetime!