Another key aspect of Shawna Kaminski's 21 Day Rapid Fat Loss program is . . . The Diet. An integral part of the program is a 21-day diet which details exactly what you should eat, morning, noon and night. And mid-morning and mid-afternoon, since two daily snacks are included.
The food is all very healthy and simple and you truly never feel hungry. It isn't really a weight loss diet, but is specifically about FAT loss, so each day you consume anywhere between 1400-1600 calories. The idea is to consume the right calories to help you get strong, increase energy and feed the muscles you are building in the workouts. A typical day will have you eating eggs, chicken or turkey breast and perhaps some salmon. These proteins are always combined with fresh veggies and some carbohydrates.
My experience in following the diet has been somewhat like riding an emotional roller-coaster. Since weight loss has never been a goal of mine, I had never actually seen this kind of prescribed diet. Being gluten and lactose intolerant, I have a different diet (in the sense of what I eat) from the rest of my family (it sometimes feels different from the rest of all humanity!). But I've never had a sheet of paper that outlined exactly how much of which type of food I had to eat at what time each day.
The first week was exhilarating! It seemed like a fun game to check my list and see what foods were coming up next. I noticed immediate physical results. I dropped a kilo (2.2 pounds) in no time at all and become much more, how can I say this delicately . . . much more regular! The food was delicious and I was loving it.
Around about the middle of Week Two I sort of realised that there was no sugar in this diet. Huh. I really started craving chocolate! And then I realised there was no alcohol either, perhaps because it's kind of like liquid sugar. There wasn't even any fruit juice. This was a difficult phase in which the fun started to wear off and I started fantasizing about chocolate cake and mojitos. I didn't break down and eat a cake - though I know how to make some killer gluten/lactose free chocolate cakes - but I did, upon Shawna's recommendation, eat a small square of dark chocolate. It was good, but not great, not perfect, not as rewarding as I thought it was going to be.
|. . . sigh . . .|
Each week you get one "Sweet Treat" day. This is one day in the week when you are allowed to eat a normal meal, something you would have eaten normally before going on the diet. This day serves to give you a mental break from following a rigid food plan, and is something to look forward to. It also helps keep your leptin levels high. Leptin is a hormone that helps you feel full and satisfied. Strict dieting can lower these levels, thus lowering your metabolism. Not good since this whole exercise/diet regime is aimed at kick-starting your metabolism. But, apparently one higher calorie meal is all it takes to get the leptin back up where it should be.
I am near the end of Week Three now. This week I realised that there was no rice in this diet. I don't know, maybe I'm a little slow on the draw, but it just hadn't occured to me before. I used to eat rice just about every day, as a substitute for the ever-present pasta on the Italian menu. But rice is rather high on the glycemic index - a numerical scale used to indicate how fast and how high a particular food can raise your blood sugar (or glucose) level. The presence of glucose in the bloodstream usually triggers the production of insulin, a hormone that helps glucose get into cells where it can be used for energy. This process is vital to fueling the body. However, too much insulin secretion over long periods of time can cause problems with high cholesterol and obesity.
|Where's the rice?|
I feel like I am learning so much about the science of eating. Before starting this diet I thought that I ate just about as healthy a diet as could be possible, no gluten and no lactose means very few prepackaged foods work for me and junk food is out of the picture. But being a very resourceful sugar addict, I have ferreted out a lot of baked treats that I can make with alternative flours. I didn't realise how much sugar I was consuming a day and how many of the "healthy" foods I was eating were actually working against me feeling and looking my best.
Shawna says "you can not out train poor nutrition." Before starting this diet I was trying to do just that. I thought that if I worked out at the gym, I could then eat all the sugar and fats I wanted to. This diet has really opened my eyes.
Coming soon . . . was it worth it?