When you hear the word diet, nine times out of ten you think calorie restriction. This leads to hunger and more importantly metabolic damage which will lower the speed of your metabolism, making it easy for your body to gain fat weight.

The Embody Nutrition Plan is quite the opposite! We are wanting to slowly increase your calorie intake, which along side the resistance training programme will help speed up your metabolism, resulting in your body losing fat weight.

The typical western diet is loaded with foods that have low nutrient density e.g. refined carbohydrates and fast digesting insulin spiking sugars. Over time by bombarding your body with these types of foods your body becomes more resistant to carbohydrates. This means when you eat these foods they have the potential to be stored in the fat cells as opposed to the muscle cells, all because your body has become less efficient at utilising carbohydrates as an energy source.

The main focus of the Embody Nutrition Plan is to encourage you to eat a wide range of whole nutrient dense foods, giving your body what it needs to perform optimally.

The first 3 weeks of the nutrition plan are designed firstly to eliminate the common foods that are known to cause digestive issues and secondly to make your body more sensitive to carbohydrates. This is achieved by ensuring the majority of carbohydrates consumed will come from non starchy nutrient dense low GI vegetables.

By doing resistance training your body will be slowly depleting your stored energy in the muscles. As you will not be refilling the muscles by restricting your carbohydrate intake there will come a point where the body will start to use ketones for energy. Ketones are a by-product of fat metabolism and can be used for energy which means you will be shifting your body to use fat as it’s primary source of fuel and so in turn reducing the size of your fat cells.

At this point in the plan it’s completely normal to feel lower on energy as your body is going through this adaption. This is person dependant and will normally be for a short period (3-5 days) until the body adapts. Once it does adapt, it is common to feel revitalised, mentally focused and full of energy.

After 2 weeks on the plan a large amount of carbohydrate is consumed over a 1-2 day period which will restore energy back into the muscles, increasing thyroid output and boost leptin levels which helps control your hunger.

Now that your body has become more sensitive to the uptake of carbohydrates, there is a higher chance they will go to the muscle cells rather than the fat cells. From this, carbohydrates re-feed your muscle cells and will become filled with stored energy (glycogen) allowing you to train hard in the gym or any activity you wish to do.

At each 3 week retest, we introduce starches (Low GI carbohydrates) firstly in their post workout meal. The reason for this is post exercise your muscles become more permeable after exercise, allowing for maximum uptake of carbohydrates which will replenish the energy that has just been used. As the body becomes more equipped to deal with carbohydrates through Embody’s programme, more starches are introduced. Normally in their evening meal so that any depleted energy stores from the muscles are replenished overnight.

As the plan continues more starches are introduced as your meals return to what is deemed as ‘normal’ which will have a balance of nutrient dense protein, fats and carbohydrates. This time round your body has been transformed to deal with these optimal amounts.

Written by personal trainer and nutrition expert Greg Cornthwaite

Embody’s Top Ten Foods You’ll Find Our Clients Eating

1. Avocado
2. Coconut oil
3. Whey protein
4. Sweet potato
5. Brown rice
6. Tender-stem broccoli
7. Spinach
8. Kale
9. Almonds
10. Cashews

Spinach (1) tuna steak steak