Yesterday, whilst perusing the socials, I ran across a post from a woman who was starting day 1 of a celebrity trainer's weight loss plan.
Her post went something like this:
"Today is my first day on (insert program name here). I had no idea my first meal was a dirt sandwich."
She then posted a recipe for an awful-sounding sandwich of sprouted grain bread filled with bean sprouts and tomato and yellow mustard. (There may have been other ingredients; I was too busy gagging to really commit them to memory.)
Oh my heart. Or as we say here in North Carolina,
"Bless your heart."
Dirt Sandwich Woman, you don't know me and you'll probably never read this, but this recipe is for you. I made it last night and it rocked my tastebuds off, so I'm sharing it with you and the masses to spread the FLF love as far and wide as the internet will take it.
Posts like hers tug at my heart strings and kick my Savior-complex* into high gear. (*That's another post for another day....)
"I'll save you!" I yell as I tie on my apron and rush to the kitchen like a superhero in one of those Marvel comic book movies I refuse to go see with my husband.
The Truth About Short-Term Quick Fixes
This celebrity diet plan may actually work. If, of course, you can really eat these dirt sandwiches and other super low-cal meals for X-number of days, you will undoubtedly lose weight.
But you won't be losing body fat, at least not much of it, and at great expense because you are taking some of your precious lean muscle mass with it. By slashing your calories well below your Basal Metabolic Rate, you are also slowing your metabolic rate so that on the days and weeks AFTER the program is complete, when you go back to eating what you normally eat, you will gain back the weight you lost, and it will bring some friends (aka pounds) with it.
(Yes, I looked up the diet and calculated the daily caloric intake and this diet is the perfect number of calories if you're like - a 2nd grader who stays in bed all day.)
Not only are strict low-cal meal plans like this unsustainable, but they also miss the point.
They don't teach you anything. You learn nothing about how you ended up here. They don't address the underlying problems (heads up: it's your hormones driving the Crazy Train you're on, not your caloric intake).
A meal plan doesn't solve the issues that got you to where you are right now: following a celebrity trainer diet plan hoping to lose more weight than is recommended in under 2 weeks.
The American Council on Dietetics and Nutrition recommends 1-2 pounds per week as a safe rate of weight loss. [SOURCE] We concur, although you might lose more than that in the first week or so due to fluctuations in water weight.
Girls, please hear me now:
You do not have to eat disgusting, bland food and be out-of-your-mind-hungry to lose weight or change your body.
In fact, this is literally what we do here at Fat Loss Foodies in our programs like Fat Loss Cooking School:
We teach women how to cook and eat real (delicious) food for fat loss.
When you cook more often and know how to cook better, you can feed your body the nutrients it needs to meet your goals. Eat with us and you'll balance your hormones and be getting enough calories to make your body feel safe so it can stop holding on to all that stubborn fat.
I get the appeal of a celebrity trainer's rapid weight loss program. I really do - and I've done them myself. Flashback to that day I tried to eat like Jennifer Garner in "Alias" when I found her alleged daily meal plan from her trainer Valerie Waters on the internet.
Okay - So You Have A Better Idea?
I do actually.
Become a Fat Loss Foodie.
You can start that at your next meal by cooking something from our free Recipe Index.
Then keep doing it. And keep doing it some more.
After eating like a Fat Loss Foodie for 5, 10, 21, or 30 days - you won't really care about reaching "the end of the program" because there isn't one. You'll be so busy playing in your kitchen eating and sharing yummy food with your friends and family you won't even care what "day" it is.
You won't be obsessing over the scale either (because it's a shit way to measure fat loss results), but you will notice that your pants are falling off, your stomach is flatter, and your face is looking thinner, too.
The recipes on our website - like the one below - are little snapshots of how we eat every day.
We eat this way because we love it.
Because it gives us amazing energy.
Because it balances our hormones.
Because it gets us results - fit, strong, healthy, balanced bodies - that we can actually maintain year-round, even through the holidays.
"Sorcery!" you say?
Give it a try. I dare you. Put down the dirt sandwich or the Lean Cuisine or the cabbage soup and make this recipe, then take a photo of your plate, and tag us on Instagram: #FatLossFoodies. I bet you'll like it and I bet you'll want more.
In fact, I'll bet you a Dirt Sandwich.
Special Diets: grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, Whole30-compliant
1-2 Tbs. oil
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
smoked paprika, sea salt, fresh black pepper (to season chicken)
2 lbs. sliced cremini mushrooms
1 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken stock
1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
small handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp. sea salt + 1/4 tsp. black pepper
1. Season one side of the chicken thighs with a dusting of smoked paprika, sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
2. Place a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and add 1 Tbs. oil. Place chicken thighs seasoned side down in the hot skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes or until browned. Season top of chicken thigh (more smoked paprika, sea salt and black pepper) and flip, cooking for 4-5 minutes more. Set chicken aside on a plate to rest.
NOTE: Depending on the size of your skillet you may need to do 2 batches of four chicken thighs each.
3. In the same skillet, add mushrooms (again working in batches if necessary). Cook until mushrooms are browned and most of their liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally for about 5-8 minutes.
4. Add the chicken stock, chopped fresh thyme, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper and bring to a boil. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Add the chicken (and any juices in the plate) back to the skillet to reheat.
Serve chicken thighs, mushrooms and pan sauce over Cauliflower Puree or roasted potatoes. Sprinkle with chopped flat leaf parsley.