CONTINUATION PHASE 3
Planning and Preparation – Have you got a busy life?
In this day and age most people I know are running around like crazy. Working full time with 1 or 2 jobs, family commitments, social engagements, workouts, traveling, the list goes on and on. Many people think that eating clean just takes too much time. However, taking some time to plan and prepare your meals, can actually make you more efficient during the week and give you more time to spend on other activities in your life.
Though it might seem daunting to spend 1 or 2 hours on a Sunday prepping food, I guarantee it will leave you feeling organized, motivated and often gives you more time during the week to complete all your other tasks as you are not trying to figure out what to pack for lunch or make for dinner. Personally, I feel anxious or a bit stressed when I do not pack or forget my lunch and have to rely on food on the go.
This is from both a financial and clean eating perspective.
With any new endeavor, starting small will often lead to greater success.
Therefore, I am not asking you to prep 5 meals a day for the next 7 days.
Below are a few tips for easy and efficient meal prep to hopefully get you started.
Pick one, two or all of these to focus on in your upcoming week.
Simply, plan your meals for the week. Sit down on Saturday or Sunday and plan out your entire week. Then make a grocery shopping list so you know exactly what you need and do not have to run to the store for a clove of garlic on Wednesday. I take into consideration what nights I might be getting home late or have activities and plan something simpler those nights (ex. turkey burgers).
Consider leftovers. When looking at my recipes or meal plan, I know certain recipes will make more than my family will eat in one sitting, great for leftovers the next day. Perfect, I now have 2 or 3 more lunches that I do not have to plan.
Eggs. You can boil, scramble or make an omelet or frittata for at least 2-3 days of the week. Make one large omelet or frittata and divide it up and keep it Tupperware. Eggs will keep in the refrigerator for quite a few days. If you do not like the idea of eating an omelet that was made 3 days ago, boil your eggs as texture is not as important with boiled eggs.
Salads. Salads are probably the easiest thing to prep that will keep fresh in your refrigerator. Make 4 or 5 salads (do not add protein or dressing). Then the night before or morning of when you plan on having this salad, add your protein and bring a small container of dressing.
Stockpile food at work. Many clients complain about not having access to healthy foods (ex. vending machine only) or they were caught off guard with nothing to eat. Grocery shop for your work.
Only prep food once a day. After making dinner and cleaning up, do you really want to take everything out again to make lunch? While my dinner is cooking, I simply pack my food for the next day. This simple task helps me cut my time in the kitchen and feel organized and ready to go for another day of clean eating.
Again, I believe in finding what works for you. If prepping and planning every meal, every week seems daunting, set a goal for yourself to bring lunch 2-3x this week and only eat out 2x. Then after you feel that you mastered that goal or feel that it has become more of a habit, add another day of bringing your lunch.
Soon, planning and preparation will become routine. You will be amazed at how much money you can save and the amount of extra time you can create during your week. And who would not like a little extra time each evening to read, unwind or spend with your family?
Fancy a drink?
Alcohol and Fat Burning
At KSFL we are also examining the effects of alcohol on the body and how you can still enjoy your favourite tipple from time to time without it taking permanent residence on your hard earned abs and 6 pack.
As you have just come though the 14 / 21 / 28 day KSFL detox your body is lean and clean. Going back to your old eating and drinking ways right now will keep you locked into the eat clean for 2 weeks, eat crap for a week cycle over and over again, leaving your body in a semi-clean state from week to week.
Alcohol and Drinking
Let’s quickly review how nutrients are stored and burned after a food.
1. Carbs and protein suppress fat oxidation via an elevation in insulin. However, these macronutrients do not contribute to fat synthesis in any meaningful way by themselves.
2. Since fat oxidation is suppressed, dietary fat is stored in fat cells.
3. As the hours go by and insulin drops, fat is released from fat cells. Fat storage is an ongoing process and fatty acids are constantly entering and exiting fat cells throughout the day. Net gain or loss is more or less dictated by calorie input and output.
If we throw alcohol into the mix, it gets immediate priority in the in the substrate hierarchy: alcohol puts the brakes on fat oxidation, but also suppresses carb and protein synthesis
This makes sense considering that the metabolic by-product of alcohol, acetate, is toxic. Metabolising it takes precedence over everything else. This quote sums up the metabolic fate of alcohol nicely:
“Ethanol (alcohol) is converted in the liver to acetate; an unknown portion is then activated to acetyl-CoA, but only a small portion is converted to fatty acids. Most of the acetate is released into the circulation, where it affects peripheral tissue metabolism; adipocyte release of nonesterified fatty acids is decreased and acetate replaces lipid in the fuel mixture.” – Hellerstein MK, et al (1999).
Acetate in itself is an extremely poor precursor for fat synthesis. There’s simply no metabolic pathway that can make fat out of alcohol with any meaningful efficiency. Studies on fat synthesis after substantial alcohol intakes are non-existent in humans, but Hellerstein(from quotation) estimated de novo lipogenesis after alcohol consumption to ~3%. Out of the 24 g alcohol consumed in this study, a measly 0.8 g fat was synthesized in the liver.
The effect of alcohol on fat storage is very similar to that of carbs: by suppressing fat oxidation, it enables dietary fats to be stored with ease. However, while conversion of carbs to fat may occur once glycogen stores are saturated, DNL via alcohol consumption seems less likely.
In a nutshell, if you want to maintain a lean body avoiding alcohol is a good choice. It’s not just the added calories (alcohol offers seven calories per gram compared to carbs and protein, which contain four each).
Alcohol affects metabolism because when you drink it, and your body puts all other metabolic processes on hold until it has processed the alcohol. Your body can’t convert the calories from the alcohol to fat, meaning it needs to use them up, and will delay all other fat burning and energy use until the alcohol has been processed.
Drinking alcohol affects your hormones as well, increasing cortisol and modifying steroid metabolism in the liver. This results in lower androgens for both sexes. Women with higher levels of androgens and men with lower levels are equally at risk for belly fat gain, and for men, lower androgens mean less testosterone.
On the up side, moderate alcohol consumption is linked to a decreased risk of diabetes, and red wine is well known for containing resveratrol, an antioxidant that has been shown to delay aging and decrease chronic inflammation. Although alcohol is thought to increase insulin sensitivity, remember it temporarily paralyzes the liver and other metabolic processes, an effect that is not good for weight loss or maintenance.
- Greatly increases your daily calorie intake.
- Massively spikes cortisol.
- Greatly increases sugar consumption so you will crave carbs and sugar the following day.
“But Natalie I’m going to a party on Saturday Night and I want to enjoy a drink?”
– Of course you do and why not.
– Here are some strategies to help you.
- Make the night of the party your cheat meal – and drink whatever you want!
- Choose Clean Vodkas or Gins – Grey Goose / Bombay Saphire
- Avoid Champagne and White Zinfandel from California.
- Drink spritzers or follow every glass of red with a glass of water.
- On the day of your party eat a protein rich breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Drink Green Tea through the day before you drink alcohol.
- Take your usual supplements.
- Eat a protein-rich breakfast the following day to minimize carb and sugar cravings.
– Red Wines include: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Marlbec ( Argentina) Merlot, Red Zinfandel.
– White wines incude: Sauvignon Blanc, Albarino
– Avoid: Champagne, White Zinfandel, Riesling
Spirits Gin, rum, vodka and whiskey have between 64 calories per ounce (for 80 proof) to 82 calories per ounce (100 proof).
No bar serves one-ounce drinks. So theoretically, you could be looking at four or more ounces of alcohol in a typical “social” evening, clocking in at a likely total of somewhere between 256 to 328 calories and I’m being conservative. But as long as the carbs are zero does that make it all right?. Those extra calories have to be burned immediately, putting on hold everything else.
The body can’t store alcohol, so it has to use it up first. All the other metabolic processes- i.e. the metabolizing of fat and glucose- have to be put on hold while the body gets rid of the alcohol.
Alcohol turns off fat burning at the cellular level.
And according to Dr. Gil Wilshire, head of the prestigious non-profit organization the Carb Aware Council in Washington, D.C., “alcohol- even though it doesn’t have many carbs of its own- acts as a kind of “super carb” in the body. “It has almost twice the calories of carbs and it can depress growth hormone production”, he says.
So all in all, a little depressing but if you stick to Dry White and Red Wines the occasional drink won’t sabotage your fat loss just ensure you eat your protein rich meals before and after.
Beware of Drinking after Detox!!!
After you have completed the KSFL I wouldn’t encourage you to go on a huge bender unless you want the hangover from hell for at least 3 days.
Your body is clean and will treat the alcohol as a poison potentially making you vomit and worse!
Go easy and tread carefully. Remember alcohol makes you lose your inhibitions and you might not need much encouraging to hit the chip shop, kebab shop or 24 hour Asda for god knows what else!