The fastest way to better health (and losing weight) is to make good choices about what’s at the end of your fork.
In The Virgin Diet, I show you how swapping 7 foods for at least 3 weeks lets your body heal from inflammation, weight loss resistance, and miserable symptoms like headaches and fatigue.
When you swap out these foods for delicious, anti-inflammatory foods, you’re training your body how to burn fat faster and turn down the inflammation that can stall fat loss.
I’ve engineered every aspect of The Virgin Diet to help you be the best fat burner. Here, you’ll find 3 strategies that complement and optimize that plan.
The end result? You feel better, look better, and reach your goal weight faster.
Secret 1: Timing is (Nearly) Everything
If you’re constantly grazing throughout the day or grabbing a bag of raw almonds during those 11 p.m. Seinfeld reruns, even the healthiest foods can leave you struggling to lose weight.
When you eat is as important as what you eat. To optimize fat burning, focus on these 4 timing rules:
Eat by the Plate Every 4 – 6 Hours
Pile up your plate with lean clean protein, healthy fats, and fiber-rich foods. Scroll down to secret 3 to learn what your plate should look like.
Break Your Snacking Habit
Every time you eat, your insulin levels increase, which means you’re raising your risk of insulin resistance and sabotaging your metabolism, so you’re not burning fat.
Even if you’re snacking on the healthiest stuff, you’re keeping your insulin levels high when they shouldn’t be.
Do your meals correctly and you shouldn’t feel the need to snack. If you’ve got between-meal hunger pangs, try sipping on water or green tea.
Close the Kitchen After Dinner
Enjoy a healthy dinner with the Plate, and then close the kitchen 3-4 hours before bed. You’ll create a nice 12-14 hour fasting window between dinner and breakfast. Your insulin will return to fasting levels and your body can access stored fat for fuel.
If you go to bed at 10 p.m., you’ll have dinner between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Even if you break your fast at 7 a.m. the following morning, you'll have created a 12-hour fasting window.
Break Your Fast with a Loaded Smoothie
When you break your fast with a loaded smoothie a little later in the morning, it’s a yummy way to beat back cravings because they’re loaded with enough protein, fiber and healthy fat to keep you full and revved until you need to eat again.
Need some ideas to make your loaded smoothie amazing? Here are 50 yummy recipes!
Secret 2: Planning is Critical
Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail.”
On The Virgin Diet, you’re going to set yourself up for success starting on day one. Incorporate these 3 hacks and you’ll quickly find that you’re saving time and money in the kitchen, all while getting the weight loss and other benefits you want:
Wait till the last minute to make meals, and you’re more likely to succumb to takeout or unhealthy choices.
Chop, cut, dice, rinse, and otherwise prep your meals ahead of time. Get your entire family involved.
If you can, double or triple the recipe, and then heat the leftovers on the following day. This 15-Minute Chicken & Quinoa Macro Bowl is a great place to start!
Load up your pantry, fridge, and freezer with essentials. Warehouse superstores are great places to do that, but you might also browse your grocery store’s weekly specials or order online.
Have Emergency Food Nearby
You're likely been stuck with an unexpected flight delay or traffic jam, and suddenly realized you were starving. As a result, gas station goodies and airport kiosks become irresistible siren calls.
Keeping emergency foods nearby will save you time, money, and your health. Some of my favorites include:
- Nut yogurt with blueberries
- Celery with almond butter
- Hummus with veggies
- Kale chips
- Low-roasted or dehydrated nuts and seeds
- Nitrate-free, no-sugar-added jerky
- Raw veggies with black bean dip
- Reignite Wellness™ Bar
Secret 3: Macros Matter
If you’re not into math but know you need to balance your macros, The Virgin Diet Plate is for you.
The plate takes counting and guesswork out of the equation… to ensure you get enough protein, healthy fats and fiber to ward off any issues with your satiety and blood sugar balance.
Every plate should come packed with:
- ¼ lean protein, or 20-30 grams
- ¼ healthy fats, or 1-3 servings (more for men or athletic women, if needed)
- ⅛ slow low carbs, or 0-2 servings (more or men or athletic women, if needed)
- ⅜ non starchy veggies, or 2+ servings (more is better!)
- Handful of nuts or seeds
Let’s look at why each of these is so important and what to include for each:
Leafy and cruciferous greens are rock stars for fat loss and overall health.
This is truly an unlimited food. Pretty much anything green here counts.
My non-starchy veggie faves include Brussels sprouts, red peppers, broccoli, cabbage, arugula, asparagus, kale, artichoke, cauliflower, and red onions.
Servings per meal: At least 2, but more is better. A serving is half a cup cooked or one cup raw,
Slow, Low Carbs
Slow low carbs keep a steady supply of energy going to your brain to help you stay focused and energetic.
I call them “slow” because they are higher in fiber, and “low” because they are generally lower on the glycemic index.
My personal top slow, low carb faves are quinoa, hummus, wild rice, black beans, and lentils. Others include butternut squash, cranberries, raspberries, and tomatoes.
Servings per meal: Add 0-2 servings of starchy carbs like legumes to your plate at each meal. (Athletic women and men can have more, if needed.).
The right fats can help reduce inflammation, keep you full longer, and so much more.
Smart choices include macadamia nuts, avocado, walnuts, chia seeds, freshly ground flaxseed meal, extra-virgin olive oil, grass-fed beef, wild salmon, and coconut (oil, butter, and milk).
Servings per meal: Aim for 1-3 servings of healthy fats at every meal.
Clean, Lean Protein
Protein fills you up, keeps you satisfied, suppresses your hunger hormone ghrelin, and stabilizes blood sugar.
Plus, when you eat protein with fiber you slow down stomach emptying and keep ghrelin suppressed so you feel full even longer.
Servings per meal: Aim for about ½ – ¾ grams per pound of your body weight. If you work out regularly, you're frequently stressed out, or you’re healing from surgery, you’re going to need more protein.
One last thing worth mentioning: Many of these foods are rich in fiber. I want you to get 50 grams of fiber every single day. Most people don’t get anywhere near that amount.
If you’re currently on the low end, gradually increase your intake by 5 grams every few days till you hit 50 grams… and be sure to drink plenty of water as you increase your fiber.
A loaded smoothie is a great way to add in more fiber. If getting that fiber from food alone feels like a challenge, try Extra Fiber.
Every serving combines fiber derived from fruits, vegetables, roots, seeds, and tree extracts…including a prebiotic that supports the growth of friendly bacteria.* Altogether, it contains 12 types of fiber to create the ULTIMATE fiber product. You can only buy Extra Fiber here. *
The views in this blog by JJ Virgin should never be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Please work with a healthcare practitioner concerning any medical problem or concern. The information here is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or condition. Statements contained here have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.