Op­er­a­tion: Diet Re­set

If you re­move your puffy win­ter coat and dis­cover you’re still puffy un­der­neath, change your nu­tri­tional tack with this four-week get-lean meal plan.

Oxygen - - Contents - By Shoshana Pritzker RD, CDN, CSSD, CISSN

Trim off those stub­born win­ter pounds with this four-week getlean meal plan.

dur­ing the win­ter, with your bod hid­den be­neath lay­ers of cloth­ing, you might not have no­ticed the slow creep of pounds that be­gan over the hol­i­days and con­tin­ued through spring break. Since a study pub­lished in the jour­nal

Phys­i­ol­ogy & Be­hav­ior re­ported that Amer­i­cans typ­i­cally gain a pound or more over the course of their va­ca­tion time an­nu­ally and that most never shed those ex­tra pounds, it’s worth tight­en­ing your nu­tri­tional belt now so that you can ac­tu­ally tighten your real pants belt come sum­mer­time.

This four-week diet re­set is just what you need to re­vamp your eat­ing habits and re­set your metabolism to fat-burn mode. The meals and snacks are packed with pro­tein to keep you full and sat­is­fied for longer, and calo­ries and carbs are kept low to max­i­mize fat loss. To pre­vent feel­ings of de­pri­va­tion, we’ve in­cluded three de­li­cious low- cal dessert recipes and have built in some treat meals, so if you’ve got a han­ker­ing for a slice of cake or a burger and fries, go for it.

If the daily calo­ries are too low for your ac­tiv­ity lev­els, sim­ply boost your pro­tein portions for all the meals by half. For ex­am­ple, if the meal calls for 4 ounces of chicken, go with 6 ounces in­stead. You also can add in a 200- to 400-calo­rie snack be­tween break­fast and lunch that is rich in pro­tein and/or healthy fats, such as string cheese, nuts, Greek yogurt or a pro­tein shake.

Af­ter the four weeks is over, add some carbs back into your pro­gram to main­tain your lean physique and give you the calo­ries and en­ergy you need to train hard. Start slowly by adding a sin­gle por­tion at din­ner (e.g., ½ cup of brown rice or half a baked sweet potato) for one to two weeks. Then either in­crease that por­tion size or add an­other serv­ing to one of your snacks.

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