Abs might be strengthened in the gym but they’re made in the kitchen.
And what’s more, they can be made pretty quickly.
“I believe that you can’t out-train a bad diet because there are so many detrimental factors to poor nutrition,” Darren Sealy, PT and director of Mindset London, told The Sun.
So…can you lose weight without doing any exercise?
“Technically yes,” Darren explained.
“The body is a great machine but it is also a simple machine.
“Basically, to lose weight in any form the simplest thing to do is create a caloric deficit, which means burns more calories than you consume.”
Fitness experts tend to say that it takes eight weeks to feel a difference and 12 weeks to see a difference when it comes to transforming your body.
So with that in mind, one doctor has been sharing her tips for the perfect 12-week diet plan.
She told PopSugar that there were three stages to the plan.
Stage one – weeks one and two
At the start, you want to try to “reset” your metabolism by upping the amount of protein you eat.
Weight-loss expert Dr Luiza Petre tells PopSugar that protein “promotes muscle growth and repair as it is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of your muscles.
“It’s the preferred fuel to burn fat.”
The macronutrient also slows down digestion and keeps us fuller for longer – meaning that if you fill up on things like chicken and fish at meal times, you’re less likely to go reaching for the biscuits at 3pm.
Dr Petre’s rules for weeks 1-2
- Limit calories between 1,200 and 1,500
- Get enough lean proteins (800 calories a day)
- Eat healthy fats like avocado and nuts (100 calories)
- Fill up on fermented foods like sauerkraut for the remaining calories
- Get in your 10,000 steps a day
- Have a 14-hour break between dinner and breakfast
- Avoid dairy and processed foods
- Drink lots of water
- Sip ginger and turmeric tea
- Focus on whole foods
Stage two – weeks three to ten
This is where the real magic happens.
It’s all about improving your gut health. It has the same rules as before but now you’re adding fibre back into your diet.
But this fibre is coming in the form of veggies rather than whole grains so it is still a keto-like eating plan.
A lot of people get keto wrong in thinking that you’re only supposed to eat fats and proteins, but if done correctly, you should be filling up on gut-loving veg.
“A processed low-carb diet is not good, but a real food low-carb diet can be. Sugar and carbs negatively affect our gut bacteria,” nutritionist Sarah Flower says.
“Low carb/keto done correctly should be full of good gut boosting foods, including fibre from the vegetables.
“Most people think of Atkins or just a diet of meat and fat when they hear low-carb or keto but it is more Mediterranean style, real food, vegetables, nuts, seeds, good healthy fats, oily fish, meat, dairy — nothing more than a real food diet cutting out grains, sugars and all processed foods.”
Dr Petre’s rules for weeks 3-10
- Add up to four servings of fibrous veg to your day (up to 200 calories)
Foods to include;
Stage three – weeks 11 and 12
The final stage preps you for being able to maintain your fat loss.
Again, you follow everything that you’ve already been doing but this time, you’re boosting your fibre intake with whole grain carbs, fruit and more green veg.
Up to 90 per cent of us aren’t eating enough fibre as it is and it’s massively important to our health.
It’s the stuff that ensures we don’t go too long without having a poo. It wards off things like heart attacks and stroke. It can improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels – crucial in preventing or managing diabetes.
Oh, and it also protects many of us from developing bowel cancer.
So it really is well worth making sure that you’re getting the recommended daily amount.
And it’s essential for gut health – which is largely what this diet is about.
“Fibre is an essential nutrient and has been known for some time to be crucial for normal functioning of the gut and for good daily intakes to be related to a reduced risk of chronic problems like type two diabetes, heart disease and bowel cancer,” Sun nutritionist Amanda Ursell says.
It’s all about eating stuff in its natural form – rather than fruit juices or refined white breads (for example).
Dr Petre’s rules for weeks 11-12
By this point, you’re adding in more carbs (around 400 calories), so that you’ve got a well-balanced diet where you’re not cutting anything out.
Avoid carbs that are packed with sugars (sorry, still no morning pastries) and go for fibrous, nutrient-dense options.
- Lentils, chickpeas
- Oats, brown rice
- Sweet potatoes
Although this is a no-exercise diet plan, don’t forget that the first rule involves getting in 10,000 steps a day – so you do have to be active.
You don’t have to kill yourself in the gym to get healthier but you do have to make sure that you’re moving regularly.
Combine that low-key movement with eating whole, nutritious grub and you should find that the pounds start coming off.
Just be kind to yourself, and don’t stress about it.
This article was republished with permission from The Sun.