Celebrity nutritionist Kelly LeVeque answers the 6 most common nutrition questions she gets asked!
How often should I eat?
We’ve been told by many a diet book, blog and trainer that we should eat every three to four hours. But why? Well, on average your blood sugar rises when you eat and falls three hours later. But this advice doesn’t take into account what you ate or how much, the time of day, where your blood sugar started, or your insulin and cortisol levels. What about glucagon, the hormone that releases stored blood sugar? Why would we have such a hormone if we’re never going to use it? Digestion is work for our bodies; it takes a lot of time and energy to break down food into molecules that we can then absorb and utilize. When we eat too frequently, we are taxing our body, filling it with excess insulin and asking it to re-start a process it has not yet even completed. Not only does this weigh us down in terms of energy depletion but also in pounds — when our body cannot absorb and utilize food, it stores it as, you guessed it, fat.
But when you begin your day with a Be Well Fab Four or Be Well Smoothie, you give yourself the opportunity to start and stay in a balanced blood sugar state. Then, when you follow this breakfast with two other nutrient-rich meals, you can elongate your blood sugar curve in a normal range. What happens? You don’t get cravings, and you lose weight! You’re also re-teaching your body how to feel full and satisfied, so that between your meals you’re actually burning fat and losing weight instead of impatiently waiting for your next snack. If you do need to snack make it protein, fat and fiber packed like veggies and hummus or coconut milk ranch, a nut pack or a hard boiled egg.
The FAB FOUR:
The Fab Four is what my clients eat at every meal: protein, fat, fiber and greens! It’s a light structure to help my clients feel satisfied, elongate their blood sugar curve and eat foods that are the most nourishing to support hormone production, microbiome proliferation and healthy body composition. In combination the Fab Four works to turn off 8 hunger hormones in the body, it ensures you are getting the essential fatty and amino acids you need for cell regeneration and helps you build a complete meal that will keep you satisfied for 4-6 hours.
Are you 100% carb free?
Absolutely not! I just limit myself and clients to one serving size of carbs per meal max unless it’s an indulgent or celebratory meal. But I first make sure I have the Fab Four on my plate, maybe it’s chicken, roasted veggies and a side salad. If you opt for garlic bread for example keep it to a single serving and ditch the alcohol and other starchy carb sides like rice or quinoa.
How many times a week do you work out?
I love to sweat! I workout 3-6 days a week depending on my schedule and I normally do classes at OTF (Bruce), Soulcycle (Lindsey), Maha Yoga (Ryan, Tom or Steve) or a private training session with my friend Mike Alexander of Madfit. I just do what fits in my schedule or what’s going to make me happy. It’s all about consistency and getting at least 1-2 day of strength or weights in! If I need to I will get in a quick Kayla workout too.
Do you count calories?
I think it’s antiquated; calorie counting is a big waste of time. Calories overlook the fact that each macronutrient is metabolized and used differently in in the body. Not to mention, each macronutrient will create a different hormonal and chemical cascade in the body depending on which macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate and fat) you eat. Calories counters eat less healthy fat on average and more low calorie packaged goods. My clients maintain their wellness by eating whole foods, fiber rich leafy greens, healthy fats and wild proteins.
Cardio or Strength?
Abs and flat tummy take two things, consistent blood sugar balance and strength training. Your muscles are your metabolism, so the more you lift the more they burnt the fat on your body. Cardio is a great way to lean out but if you want a flat tummy all year long you need to do strength training too!
What are you kitchen staples?
- MCT or Coconut Oil — I can easily whip up a fatty tea or coffee, make my freezer fridge or cook with it.
- Canned Wild Salmon — this is great for lunch if you are in a pinch, mix it with primal mayo and dijon.
- Lemons — for water, dressing or roasted Fish or Chicken.
- Frozen Spinach — a green smoothie base — no need to add ice.
- Almonds — a quick snack or easy almond milk.