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LEAN BODY 12 WEEK
If you've tried diets and failed; if you've had it with your weight "yo-yoing" up and down; if you're sick and tired of being hungry all the time and the scale not budging; let us show you how to get those unwanted, stubborn fat pounds off and keep them off for good! Tone your muscles, too!
Whether your goal is to just lose a few unwanted pounds, develop lean strong sexy muscles, or create a "bikini body" that turns heads, this Lean Body program may be just right for you. It all starts by reading below... take that important first step NOW!
When you look at the covers of popular women’s fashion magazines, what do you see?
What I see is an endless parade of interchangeable, bony, frail-looking models and headlines proclaiming the latest, “breakthrough” diets – all of which promise to make the pounds disappear without a trace.
Guess what? It’s all a lie. Sure, those diets will help you shed a few pounds – most of them do, after all.1 But what the mags don’t tell you is that – for the vast majority of women – the pounds will creep back on.2 Of course, from the publishers’ perspective, that’s not a bug – it’s a feature! If the diets they promoted actually worked long-term, there would be no incentive for women to keep buying their magazines… to read about about the next “miracle” diet plan.
In other words, your failure is in their best interest.
That’s not the only issue, however. Even if those diets worked to keep the weight off, I can guarantee that you’d never be completely happy with the results.
Because most popular and fad diets are designed to make women smaller – not fitter, harder or leaner! So, unless you’re very young, all the “problem areas” you were unhappy about before will still be there… just in reduced form. Sure, you can conceal them under clothes (especially if you resort to Spanx or other constricting “shapewear”), but the swimsuit you bought in anticipation of your new “bikini body” will likely never leave your closet or dresser drawer.
To sculpt a true “bikini body,” you need a program that helps you do more than just (temporarily) lose a few pounds! You need a comprehensive nutrition plan that…
This is what the Lean Body Promise is all about!
Baby weight: it’s a huge problem for many women. It’s easy to gain excess body fat during pregnancy, when you’re eating (and often overeating) for two. Likewise, it’s harder to lose when you’re tired and coping with the additional responsibilities that a new baby brings.
As such, it may be tempting to embark on the Lean Body Promise while you’re expecting or nursing, in order to avoid or shed large baby weight gains.
While the Lean Body program is rich in healthy, nutrient-dense food, it is still a reduced-calorie plan that is not designed to meet the needs of a developing infant.
If you are pregnant or nursing, speak to your physician or a dietician about steps you can take to prevent/reduce “baby fat” in ways that will benefit both you and your baby.
A calorie (actually a kilocalorie) is a unit of energy. Scientifically speaking, it's the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water 1°C. Since your body maintains a core temperature of roughly 37°C, 24/7, it’s obvious that you need a certain number of calories just to exist. The number of calories needed to perform basic life functions (like breathing and thinking) is known as your resting energy expenditure (REE).
Activities such as walking, talking, eating and – yes – exercise require additional energy. So, your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is your REE, plus the energy used for physical activity and digestion (aka the “thermic effect of food”).
To put it another way…
Your TDEE is the total number of calories you can eat without gaining or losing weight.
Not surprisingly, this is the starting point for any plan designed to melt body fat, including this one. Sorry, but you can’t "eat all you want and still lose weight." If you want to reduce your body fat, you need to reduce your calorie intake, too – that’s the bottom line.
There’s always a catch, isn’t there? Reduce your calories too much, and you risk…
The Lean Body Promise plan was designed to prevent this! By strategically balancing your protein, fat and carbohydrate intake, it ensures you can strip off excess body fat, without dropping too far below your TDEE. You will look – and feel – more youthful and energized as a result.
The Lean Body Promise plan was designed to prevent this! By strategically balancing your protein, fat and carbohydrate intake, it ensures you can safely lose up to 2 – 3 pounds of fat/week, without dropping too far below your TDEE.
Protein, fat and carbohydrates are collectively known as macronutrients. Each macronutrient supplies your body with essential metabolites AND energy.
Protein provides you with the amino acids your body needs to produce its own proteins – including muscle!
Body proteins are “dynamic” – that is, they’re constantly being broken down (catabolism) and rebuilt (anabolism). The amino acids released from broken-down proteins can either be a) recycled and re-used; or b) burnt for energy.
Normally, muscle catabolism and anabolism are balanced, so that there is no net loss or gain of muscle tissue. Eating less calories than you expend in a day (remember TDEE?), however, tips the balance towards muscle loss, since your body needs the energy!
|Optimal Protein Sources||Sub-Optimal Protein Sources|
|lean beef (flank steak, beef tenderloin, 96% lean ground beef)||deli meats|
|skinless chicken breast||hard cheeses/processed cheese|
|turkey breast||lunch meats/hot dogs|
|fish/shellfish||whole milk/milk drinks/milk substitutes|
|pork tenderloin||fried chicken/fish|
|non-fat cottage cheese||ground beef with >4% fat (by weight)|
|nonfat Greek yogurt (plain)||cuts meat with visible fat/marbling|
|water-packed tuna||buffalo wings, bbq ribs|
Note: don’t be fooled by front-of-package labeling! This may come as a surprise, but more than half of the calories in 15% “lean” ground beef come from fat! This is because the label is based on the percentage of fat by weight. Since fat is a concentrated source of calories, even small amounts of fat can add a lot of unwanted calories.
As you can see from the table, an optimal source of protein is…
Meat, fish, poultry, egg and dairy proteins are not only concentrated sources of protein; they’re also rich in the essential amino acids (EAAs) that our bodies cannot make. By contrast, plant foods contain less protein overall; and may be deficient in one or more EAAs.
Meat and fish are concentrated sources of protein and essential amino acids, so it’s not hard for omnivores to eat the recommended amount of protein. Vegetarians, however, may have a tougher time. If you're a lacto-ovo vegetarian, the void left by meat can be partially filled with eggs/whites, lower fat dairy foods like cottage cheese and Greek yogurt and - of course – high-quality protein supplements like Lean Pro8 or Lean Body® for Her.
But vegans can also manage, if they choose their foods and supplements wisely. Vegan women should focus on plant foods that contain the highest amount of protein, such as lentils, soybeans, split peas and other legumes; peanuts/peanut butter, spinach, oatmeal and whole grains (including products like whole wheat pasta and bread). Certain specialty products (like “Quorn” or "Gardenburgers") and plant-based protein supplements (brown rice, pea, soy and hemp protein powders) can also be used, although whole/minimally processed foods should form the core of your diet.
Vegans/vegetarians may also come up short in certain food elements that omnivores take for granted: vitamin B12, zinc, calcium, creatine, vitamin D (assuming lack of daily sun exposure),9 EPA/DHA10 and carnosine.11 Certain supplements in my line are perfect for vegans, such as my BA-Endurance, EFA Gold, CreaLean, Kre-Alkalyn, BCAA Power and HICA-Max, as they restore the carnosine, EFAs, creatine and certain essential amino acids that may be lacking in a vegan diet.
Once upon a time, “fat” was a four-letter word; and diets that slashed fat intake to the bone were all the rage (in fact, severely low-fat diets are still popular in some quarters). Nonetheless, some dietary fat is important for good health and optimal (anabolic!) hormone levels. A little goes a long way, though, since fat is a very concentrated source of calories (9 calories/g vs. 4 calories/g for protein & carbs). Because of this, you should limit your fat intake to:
The naturally-occurring fats found in your (lean!) protein and carbohydrate sources (traces of fat are unavoidable, even in the lowest-fat foods);
Small servings of raw nuts/seeds and unrefined, heart-healthy oils, from the “optimal” column in the list below:
|Optimal Fat Sources||Sub-Optimal Fat Sources|
|almonds/walnuts/pistachios||commercial cooking oils|
|ground flax seed||margarine/butter|
|hemp/sunflower/sesame seeds||commercial salad dressings/mayonnaise|
|avocadoes||whole milk/half & half/cream|
|extra-virgin olive oil||shortening/lard|
|fish oil||ground beef with >4% fat (by weight)|
|EFA Lean Gold||cuts of meat with visible fat/marbling|
Note: be especially wary of foods containing “partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil.” Partially-hydrogenated oils contain harmful trans-fats, which are linked to heart disease and strokes.4
What makes the fat sources on the left better choices than the ones on the right? The ones on the left provide heart-healthy monounsaturated and/or omega-3 essential fatty acids. Foods like nuts, seeds, avocadoes and salmon also supply valuable nutrients in addition to the fat. On the other hand, the fat sources on the right contain excessive amounts of saturated fat, trans-fats and/or pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids.5
Not all carbohydrates are evil incarnate, despite what low-carb diet advocates claim. Complex carb sources like fresh vegetables, legumes and whole grains provide energy, vitamins/minerals, disease-fighting phytochemicals and fiber - which are important for both long-term health and wellness.
|Optimal Carb Sources||Sub-Optimal Carb Sources|
|sweet potatoes/yams; white potatoes||french fries/potato chips|
|brown/wild rice, barley, quinoa||white rice|
|old-fashioned/steel-cut oatmeal||packaged, ready-to-eat sugary cereals|
|100% whole wheat bread/pasta||bread/pasta made with “enriched” white flour|
|legumes (beans and dried, split peas)||baked beans; canned bean/pea soups|
|fresh and frozen (unseasoned) vegetables||sauced/buttered frozen vegetables|
|fresh and frozen (unsweetened) fruit||dried fruit/”fruit snacks”/juices/juice drinks|
|Rye Crispbreads||commercial crackers and tortilla chips|
|corn tortillas; air-popped popcorn||jams/jellies/honey/agave syrup/sugar/maple syrup|
|candy, cookies, snack cakes, breakfast bars|
|sweetened coffee drinks, energy drinks, Gatorade, sodas, “Vitamin Water”|
Note: don’t be misled by front-of-package terms like “organic,” “natural,” “healthy,” “made with whole grains,” or “low fat.” Organic sugar and “natural” unbleached white flour aren’t any better for you than their conventional counterparts. Likewise, many products “made with whole grains” are simply white flour products, with a few grams of whole grain flour added to justify the label claim.
In truth, many so-called "healthy" food products aren't good for you at all: they're just less unhealthy than the “regular” versions. A truly healthy food will make a strong, positive contribution to your diet, not simply contain fewer "bad" ingredients.
It should be easy to see the differences between the optimal and sub-optimal carb sources in the table above. An optimal carb source…
Eating 1g of carbohydrate per pound of bodyweight should be just about right for most people looking to lose excess body fat; although female athletes (or those with physically-demanding jobs) may need more. If you feel less than energetic on the Lean Body Promise plan, try upping your carbs to 1.5g/pound of bodyweight.
Then don’t! There’s a simple way to ensure you’re eating the right amount of food.
Visualize your plate divided into thirds. Put a serving of lean protein about the size of the palm of your hand into the first third. Put a serving of carbohydrates about the size of your closed fist into the second third. Lastly, fill the remaining space with fibrous or leafy veggies (drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil or sprinkle with slivered almonds to add some healthy fat).
Eating 5 - 6 meals/day has been a physique competition standard for years; and it works fantastically.
While there’s currently no scientific consensus on the “best” number of daily meals or when to eat them, I am a proponent of small frequent meals because this system helps prevent overeating, keeps insulin (a fat storing hormone) levels lower, and provides a steady supply of protein to your body throughout the day.
I hear you… but you don’t need to worry about bulking up on the Lean Body plan. Women simply don’t have enough testosterone to build massive muscles naturally. Nor does it happen overnight: even for men, it takes considerable time and dedication to work up to moving the kind of weights that professional bodybuilders train with.
You can get stronger and “tone” your muscles without getting big. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the hard-working – yet very feminine – ladies who enter fitness/figure competitions. Having a lean, firm physique only adds to a woman’s appeal.
Use the Lean Body Calculator to figure out what your intake of calories, protein, fat and carbohydrates should be, and divide it between 3 main meals and 2 snacks. Each meal or snack should provide a balance of lean protein, “good” carbs and healthy fats.
Here’s a sample meal plan for a 140 pound woman.
|Meal||Protein (g)||Carbs (g)||Fat (g)||Calories|
|Breakfast: Veggie omelet, 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/2 c. blueberries, coffee||25||35||7.5||308|
|Mid-morning: Lean Body® for Her packet, 6 med. Strawberries, EFA Lean Gold||30||15||7||243|
|Lunch: 3 oz. sliced chicken breast; broccoli florets/baby carrots/olive oil vinaigrette, 2 rye crispbreads, 2T hummus||33||34||13||385|
|Mid-afternoon: Lean Body® for Her packet, small apple||30||30||3.5||272|
|Dinner: 3 oz. baked orange roughy, steamed green beans, 1/3 c. brown rice pilaf, spinach salad w/1T olive oil-vinaigrette dressing, EFA Lean Gold||24||27||11||303|
There are more meal plan ideas in the Lean Body Promise. Needless to state, it’s tough to feel hungry or lack energy on a plan where you can eat frequent meals of whole, satisfying, nutrient-dense foods!
Start with your metabolism revved up and ready to go. If you’re “on the rebound” from another diet plan, the first thing you should do is take a break! It’s not good to diet for months on end, particularly if you’ve already hit a plateau. It’s time to come back to normal and eat at your break-even calories (TDEE) for a few weeks. Follow the food recommendations given here and watch your portions, but be sure to eat well… that way, you can hit the ground running when you begin the full program.
Don’t know your TDEE? Use this equation to figure it out:
REE = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) - 5 x age (y) - 161
To determine your TDEE, multiply REE by an activity factor:
If math gives you a headache, try this calculator instead!
Keep a journal. There are a number of online programs and mobile apps you can use to make this simple, although even pencil-and-paper will do. If you need to tweak your program (and most people do, at some point), your journal will provide you with valuable insights on how to do it.
Measure your food. The “normal” portions we’re used to eating and drinking have expanded over the years... and Americans have been expanding right along with them! "Portion distortion" is one reason why people fail in their efforts to lose excess fat: they're eating many more calories than they think they are! Take peanut butter for an example: a "serving" is two LEVEL tablespoons. Most Americans use heaping spoonsful - equivalent to 2 - 3 servings. Even small underestimates, over the course of the day, can add up to enough extra calories to derail your efforts.
Remember: you can also use your hands and eyes to measure your food. The portion of protein at your main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) should be the size of the palm of your open hand. Starchy, complex carbs (like sweet potatoes or brown rice), should be the size of your closed fist. And fibrous/green veggies are free! As long as you keep your fat portions small and controlled, you won’t go past your calorie limit.
Don't rely solely on the scale, as simple changes in weight can be deceiving. Since your goal is to lose body fat and sculpt lean muscle, you need a method for assessing changes to your fat and lean mass. The simplest and best method is to pick up an inexpensive caliper, Accu-Measure™.
Plan ahead! Shop for the foods you want to eat BEFORE you want to eat them - never shop when you're hungry! You can also prepare many staples in advance. It's easy, for example, to put together a quick, healthy entree, if you have pre-chopped veggies, grilled chicken breasts and pre-cooked brown rice already stored in the fridge or freezer.
Pack a cooler. If you work outside the home, there are a lot of simple to prepare-and-eat foods you can take with you: sliced pre-cooked meat or poultry, raw veggies/grape tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, fresh fruit, wholegrain crispbreads, cottage cheese/Greek yogurt (plain), foil tuna packets, pre-made (deli or home) tabouli and hummus are some examples. If you have access to a microwave, you can also bring leftover chili, stew or other entrees from home.
And don't forget to pack some Lean Body for Her® packets and a shaker bottle! Having access to a filling, high-quality, emergency meal or snack can be a life (and program) saver (see below for more information)!
Drink plenty of water. It's important to stay well hydrated! In addition, water can help reduce your appetite and - when consumed with meals - increase your sense of fullness.
Take a good, basic multivitamin, a calcium supplement and source of essential fatty acids (like EFA Lean Gold, fish oil or flax oil).
Limit your alcohol intake while you're on the Lean Body program. Alcohol slows fat burning,12 and alcohol calories displace healthier ones.
Cheat! More on this below…
Yes, you read that right. I want you to cheat… a little. Too many diets are “all or nothing diets.” On the Lean Body plan, I encourage you to stay within the guidelines but twice a week you can cheat and enjoy some of your favorite foods.
Here’s how you do it: always start your meal with a protein serving, no matter what. The protein will stabilize your blood sugar and supply your muscles with amino acids. Once you’ve eaten that protein, your appetite will already be partly satisfied. As a result, you’ll be less tempted to over-indulge.
Warning: never cheat when you’re hungry, because you’ll tend to overeat. Don’t overdo it, either! A cheat meal isn’t a license to go hog-wild. It’s still an exercise in discipline: ultimately, controlled cheats will help teach you how to live in the “real world,” once you’ve reached your goals.
In truth, you don't need to take supplements to get - and stay - lean. On the other hand, I can’t think of anyone who's ever gotten into great shape - myself included - that didn't use a few, carefully selected products. The right supplements can help you control cravings and feel more energetic - important considerations when you're on reduced calories!
A good meal replacement product (MRP). A well-made MRP can be used as a between-meal snack or as a quick meal-on-the-run. When you're on reduced calories, it can be helpful to eat frequent, smaller, high-protein meals; but not everyone has time to prepare 5 whole food meals each day. So an MRP can be a real life saver.
What makes a good MRP? A lot of commercial products consist of little more than whey protein and maltodextrin. These quickly-digested ingredients have little staying power. The best products, like my Lean Body® for Her formula, utilize a blend of proteins to provide a steady supply of essential amino acids; as well as supply whole grains/fiber, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.
A solid, well-made fat burner. A good fat burner can help reduce cravings and rev your metabolism. This is why I designed Lean Body® for Her Fat Burner. Just take two of the bright pink and black capsules in the morning, and enjoy the great feeling of feeling focused and in control of your appetite for hours.
A good anti-catabolic. Your muscles are at risk when you're dieting. High-quality protein provides the building blocks, while a clinically-validated supplement like HICA-Max keeps catabolism at bay.14
Check out the Lean Body Promise, which is packed with motivational tips, recipes, workouts and detailed advice on getting the body of your dreams. And if you hit a stumbling block, have questions or want to share your progress, log into the forum at labrada.com! We’d love to hear from you!
Heart.org. “Trans Fats.” American Heart Association, 29 Oct. 2010. 3 Nov. 2011 [Site]
umm.edu. “Omega-6 Fatty Acids.” University of Maryland Medical Center: Complementary Medicine, 17 Jun. 2011. 5 Nov. 2011 [Site]
Leidy HJ and Campbell WW. The effect of eating frequency on appetite control and food intake: brief synopsis of controlled feeding studies. J Nutr. 2011 Jan;141(1):154-7. Epub 2010 Dec 1. [PubMed] [Abstract]
Harvie MN, Pegington M, Mattson MP, et al. The effects of intermittent or continuous energy restriction on weight loss and metabolic disease risk markers: a randomized trial in young overweight women. Int J Obes (Lond). 2011 May;35(5):714-27. [PubMed] [Full Text]
Harris RC, Jones G, Hill CA, et al. The carnosine content of V Lateralis in vegetarians and omnivores. FASEB. 2007;21:769.20. [Meeting Abstract]
Raben A, Agerholm-Larsen L, Flint A, et al. Meals with similar energy densities but rich in protein, fat, carbohydrate, or alcohol have different effects on energy expenditure and substrate metabolism but not on appetite and energy intake. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Jan;77(1):91-100. [PubMed] [Full Text]
nwcr.ws. “Research Findings.” National Weight Control Registry. 4 Nov. 2011. [Site]