A Day in the Life: How I Eat to Keep Skin Tight

Skin can be a major concern for many people, especially those seeking a tighter physique. The wear and tear of cardio and fad diets will leave the skin less than spectacular. Collagen in the skin is broken down and lost not only with age, but with every false step we take towards finding our inner skinny. This is why focusing on health and fitness is of the utmost importance. If you’re suffering from a little loose skin (or want to avoid it) take a peek at a normal daily meal plan for me*.

Upon waking: juice of 1 lemon in 6 oz hot water

Meal #1: A SHAKE (I have a slight obsessions with these shakes) :)

Meal #2: 1/3 cup oats cooked in 2/3 cup water, handful of berries and 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein

Meal #3: 2 cups baby spinach, 5 oz tuna mixed with a spoon of relish some green onion and a little mustard (don’t knock it till you try it!)

Meal #4: 1 whole grain rice cake with 2 TBSP low-fat cottage cheese and a few raisins

Meal #5: 1 scoop whey protein in 8 oz water, 1 fruit (post workout)

Meal #6: 4 oz chicken breast, 2 cups steamed or roasted veggies, 1/4 cup brown rice (optional)

Meal #7: 1 scoop casein protein blended with 6-8 oz almond milk (this is usually ONLY when I’m still hungry or on a heavy leg day)

All meals are manageable and small. You should be eating every few hours for energy as research has not conclusively found that it makes you burn more. I do still drink 1-2 cups of coffee (with cream!) a day and I cannot stress the water enough. Aim for a minimum of 1 gallon per day. Yeah, be that person.

A word of caution: I love sugar. I mean like real sugar, candy and all that. Sugar wreaks havoc on your skin though and will demolish collagen, so it’s best to treat with natural sweets (like fruits) and save the man-made sugary treats for every once in a while.

*As of this post, I am following a competition prep diet. This diet emphasizes a bit more protein and fewer carbs and will tighten skin as well. It is not, however, how I would eat all the time :)

Until next time, keep living fit!

Michelle

After 2

Bikini Morning Ritual and a Sample Meal Plan for Tight Skin

My rituals, or habits, play the biggest role in how my body looks and performs on a daily basis. There are a couple of things that are engrained in my daily behaviors which help me to get the most out of my nutrition and gym time.

THE GREEN SHAKE

I cannot stress enough how important this is. It brings my body into an alkaline state, making my supplements more efficient and my energy levels skyrocket. It’s best if you have a high-powered blender (Vitamix), but if not, simply run it through several times. I make mine in large batches and drink it over a 3 day period.

IN BLENDER (in this order)

2.5 cups pure water

3 cups fresh, washed spinach

Run blender on low/medium for a couple of minutes

ADD

2-3 cups romaine, washed

1 cucumber (washed and chopped)

Run for a minute

ADD

1 green apple, washed, cored and chopped

1 pear, washed, cored and chopped

2 kiwi, washed (skin can be removed OR left on for more fiber)

Run for a minute

ADD

1 banana

Small handful of parsley (if desired. Parsley is excellent for cleansing the blood)

Juice of 2 lemons

Blitz it good :)

Feel free to add the flesh of 1 ripe avocado if your diet is in need of healthy fats. If your skin is looking dull and lackluster, avocado will help.

Add more water as needed to suit your tastes.

Drink 16 ounces every morning. If you’re still hungry, opt for oatmeal.

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Sample Bikini Ready Meal Plan:

Upon waking drink 6 oz hot water with the juice of 1 lemon

Coffee or tea is fine, sans sugar or flavored creamers

Breakfast: 16 oz green smoothie, oatmeal if desired

Snack: Small handful of almonds or walnuts, 1 orange

Lunch: 2-3 cups mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumber, lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. 1/2 baked sweet potato, 4 oz baked or grilled fish (or canned tuna or salmon)

Snack: 1 scoop whey protein in 8 oz water. If this falls post-workout ADD 1 piece whole grain bread OR 1 banana OR 1 cup grapes

Dinner: 2 cups steamed veggies, 4 oz baked chicken or turkey, 1/2 cup whole grain rice OR quinoa, small side salad if desired (lemon juice over).

Snack before bed, if hungry: 4 oz low-fat (2%) cottage cheese OR 1 scoop casein protein in water

Follow this plan tight (6 days on, 1 rest day with a treat…not the WHOLE day people) for 4 weeks to notice changes.

Omit breads, crackers, pastas and sweets during meal plan days. Save things like this for treats :)

Michelle

The Ultimate Flat Belly Drink

Most belly bloat is due to a lack of digestive enzymes and belly fat burning acids in the stomach. This is one of my favorite drinks for flattening the abs and keeping the skin healthy, hydrated and tight.

Sip this belly trimming drink as often as you like, particularly upon waking and before bed. If you suffer bloating post meals, try this drink as a post meal tummy tamer.

Flat Belly Tea

In a tall coffee mug:

2 Tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar (you can usually find this at grocers or a health food store. RAW is important!)

1 tablespoon raw/local honey (raw honey actually helps with belly bloat. If you can’t get any, try local honey for help with allergens)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pour hot water and stir

If you need it less strong, consider using a larger cup and adding more water. If the ACV bothers you at first, drop it down to 1 TBSP as you build your taste up.

Sip this drink at least 2-3 times per day for the next 3-4 weeks and note the changes!

Have a healthy day!

Michelle

 

The Tight Skin Diet Plan

The most asked question in my inbox is “How do I tighten my skin?” This is especially asked during or after significant weight loss.

Keep in mind that resistance training is key during weight loss to keep the collagen levels high and skin tight as your body shrinks.

There are a few things to avoid if you want to maintain skin tone with your muscle tone:

  1. Crash diets. Stop the madness, seriously! Any diet that cuts out entire groups of macronutrients should be outlawed from your vocabulary. You need a balanced diet, complete with carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
  2. Diet doctors. I never hear the end of this. Doctors that give shots and prescriptions, sink patients metabolism by prescribing no/low carb diets and tell them to focus on cardio. Patients are then stuck with one plateau after another and at the end of the game, flabby, lifeless skin….that cannot be fixed without surgery. AND, patients believe it is all their fault because this quack is a doctor! NOT TRUE! Do you know how much general (that’s the basics) nutrition is required to graduate with an M.D.? NONE…it’s an elective and only 4 hours are required for that. The people who work in these offices do not care about you and that doc is no better than you. Move on!
  3. Meal replacements. Prolonged meal replacements will result in weight loss coupled with muscle loss. You have to have lean muscle mass to have tone to the skin and body tissues.
  4. Crazy pills. If it sounds too good to be true….it is.

These are the basics to steer clear of people. Now, the good news? You can have toned muscles and skin with just a few tweaks. Here are some things to add:

  1. Water. I say it all the time and I will keep saying it, DRINK YOUR WATER! Aim for 90-120 ounces per day.
  2. Lean proteins. Your trying for generally .6-.8 grams of protein per pound of weight. And you thought you wouldn’t need math when you grew up! Try for 3 servings per day as a minimum and include chicken breast, turkey breast, fish (especially salmon), eggs and egg whites, yogurt (plain), milk and low-fat dairy products, lean beef and pork, beans, and even items such as ostrich and bison for those of us who favor a little more adventure :) . Remember that if it’s fried it no longer counts as a protein that will help you in any way.
  3. Whole grain carbohydrates. It is inefficient for your body to break down fat and protein for fuel and therefore the body prefers carbs. The more active you are, the more carbs your body requires. Whole grains are best and can be found in oatmeal (regular and steel-cut), bulgur, brown rice, quinoa (also higher in protein than most grains), low sugar cereals (such as Kashi), black rice, and whole grain/whole wheat pastas and breads (in small amounts). Bread contains a lot of yeast, which some doctors claim to be the cause of stomach bloating, intestinal issues, some cancers and even food intolerances.
  4. Healthy fats. When it comes to fat, we need about 20-30% of our diet to contain healthy ones. Since fats are more caloric, it really doesn’t take as many servings as we normally think. Stock up on olive oil, avocados, coconut oil, fatty fish (salmon), olives, and steer clear of man-made fats such as trans fats. Olive oil and coconut oil are healthier alternative to vegetable oil. When in doubt, think about where it came from. Olives and coconuts do naturally produce healthy fats…vegetables, not so much.

Be smart with you grocery shopping and goal setting and exercise patience in results. You can see initial weight loss and feel a difference in your clothes within the first 6 weeks. Actually tightening the skin can take 6 months or more. Be consistent in your food and exercise and you will get there!

A Day of Skin Tightening (Sample)

Wake up call: 1 whole egg plus 2 egg whites, scrambled with veggies of choice.

Mid Morning Snack: 20 almonds and 1 crisp apple

Lunch: Large green salad with lemon and olive oil, 2/3 grilled chicken breast, 1/2 baked sweet potato with cinnamon

Mid Day snack attack: 4 oz low-fat milk (or coconut/almond milk), 4 oz water, and 1 scoop whey protein, 3 celery stalks or handful of cucumber slices

Dinner: 4 oz grilled salmon, asparagus spears, 1/4 cup whole grain brown rice, steamed veggies of choice

Before bed (if hungry): 1/2 cup 1% low fat cottage cheese and sprinkle of chopped hazelnuts

or

8 oz water and 1 scoop whey protein.

Keep in mind that your lifestyle and training will dictate how many actual calories you need to intake. If you try to starve the body, the skin will show the signs and suffer. Keep your water intake high and eat small meals throughout the day to ensure results.

Personalized skin tightening regimens are available, email michelle@michellecfitness.com

Until next time, HAVE A HEALTHY DAY!

Michelle