Introduction: Live extra lean
I love food. I love taking care of my body. I enjoy life to the fullest. I live extra lean.
When you live extra lean, the results are happiness and health. Through this proven plan, I’ll teach you how to get the body you’ve always wanted and remove the guilt from eating the foods you love to enjoy.
Extra lean is the conditioning to make your body continuously burn fat, while enjoying food even more than ever. This approach teaches you to be smart when it comes to eating, so that you can truly appreciate what it means to live a fulfilling and energetic life. There are three key components in training your body to become extra lean. It is vital to follow these three simple rules to get your body to become a strong, efficient, and healthy fat-burning machine:
- Balance your daily intake of carbs, protein, and fat
- Practice proper portion control
- Eat frequently throughout the day
Balancing your daily intake of carbs, protein, and fat is the first, and possibly most important, rule because it requires you to consume the basic nutrients necessary for your body to operate at its best. I’m all about balance, so I never cut any of these out of my meals or snacks. There are specific ratios of each nutrient that your body needs daily and, if you follow them properly, you can reach a level of efficiency that will allow you to eat whatever you want. This book simplifies the ratios of these nutrients so that you are able to know when you’ve reached your balance at every meal. It also provides knowledge about fundamental nutrition and an informative run-through on which types of carbs, proteins, and fats are healthiest and best for your body. Of course, focusing on whole, nonprocessed foods is a crucial component. Finally, this book introduces you to an array of incredible foods that are both delicious and great for your body.
Practicing proper portion control is knowing when to stop eating and understanding how much you should be eating. The key is to monitor your serving sizes. And the basic logic is that if there’s less on your plate, you will eat less. First you have to redefine your “normal” serving size. Once you do, your mind and body will recondition themselves, allowing you to feel full and satisfied with the “right” amount of food. Also, learning your limits when it comes to the amount of food you eat will especially help in balancing all the types of foods you crave. Portion control is the most powerful tool in eliminating guilt.
Eating frequently throughout the day allows you to better control your portions and speeds up your metabolism, making your body burn more of the unwanted fat and calories instead of storing them. As you practice this rule you may be feeling that eating more often is slowing down your weight loss, but it is actually speeding up your metabolism. Think of your metabolism as a furnace. In order to keep the fire burning, you have to constantly put something in there to maintain the heat. The same is true for your metabolism. You have to eat throughout the day in order for it to keep burning the fat. Doing so will help you lose weight more quickly and keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Following these three rules is all you need to maintain your weight and to burn fat daily. The reason being is that all three combined help you focus on what is most important when it comes to food and weight loss. This way of eating will jump-start a healthy lifestyle and in turn you’ll have more freedom to eat whatever you want. I love food and that even includes a cheeseburger and fries from time to time. My entire life has been about living extra lean and that’s allowed me to always enjoy food.
My life in the Lopez household always revolved around food. Cooking meals and eating right are how my mom and my sister showed me love and affection. Food was such a big part of our lives and we always tried to eat as a family. And despite my busy lifestyle and career and frequent traveling, I always look forward to and make time for meals, especially those with my mom and sister.
Growing up in Southern California, we always had an array of foods. Of course we had good Mexican food, which I’ll admit wasn’t always the healthiest, but I ate such controlled portions and so often that I just burned it all off. I ate constantly and, without even knowing it, I was eating in ways that were going to benefit me for a long time to come, not just physically but emotionally as well. As I’ve gotten older and become more involved in health and fitness, I’ve learned that my mom had it right all along. She always served me a variety of foods throughout the day, making sure I was constantly eating, no matter what I was pursuing.
Unfortunately, it’s not this way for everyone. For far too many people, mealtime is a struggle. It’s a time of uncertainty, of deciding what you can and can’t eat and how large your portion sizes are allowed to be. Eating often triggers feelings of guilt, if the food isn’t healthy, or feelings of being restricted, if it is healthy. But this isn’t the way it should be, and that’s why I’m writing this book. My approach to abundant health will get you to love food and achieve your desired body.
Thanks to my upbringing and following the three rules of eating the extra lean way, my body is now conditioned to burn fat at the most optimum level. It is second nature to me because I’m accustomed to consuming the proper amounts of carbs, fats, and proteins just by glancing at a meal. By sticking to my portion sizes, I’m satisfied at just the right amount of food and never feel too full or too hungry. My metabolism is at a constant state of efficiency because I eat frequently throughout the day.
The three rules allow my body to constantly burn fat. It is so incredibly liberating to eat whatever I want without guilt. Those who have yet to realize the benefits of maintaining an efficient body will constantly be at odds with maintaining their weight and enjoying food. I promise you that once you start following the three rules of living extra lean, you’ll never feel bad about food again. When your body is in a state of living extra lean and has become a fat-burning machine, you can afford to splurge on days, weekends, and vacations with little to no effect on your weight and physique.
This book is armed with powerful tools that are backed by fitness expert and author, Jimmy Peña, and nutritionist, Dana Angelo White, MS, RD. With their help, I wrote this book to show you how to pick the right balance of wholesome, nutritious foods, and combine them to create great-tasting meals, with over forty original recipes. Because this plan introduces the right foods to detox your body and in the right amounts, you are creating the proper environment for successful weight loss. By the first fourteen days of completing the meal plan, you can expect to lose as much as fourteen pounds. You’ll also learn how to measure the proper amounts of food you consume and regulate your body and mind to naturally adhere to portion control. Finally, I will give you a detailed breakdown of the specific times you should be eating and provide a logical method so that eating throughout the day will become second nature. These are the key factors of food that you need to balance in order to eat well over the long term with the right foods and the right amounts without sacrificing taste. This book also includes some helpful tips to maintain your new, lean body in your everyday life. From on-the-go options for those who don’t have time to prepare a meal, restaurant survival tips, and frequently asked questions, this book is filled with effective resources that will keep you loving food, life, and your body.
After reading this book, I want you never to see food the same way again. I want you to view food in so many different ways. I want you to see food as a means to healthy living and a source for energy. I want you to see it as something you should enjoy. I want you to be in control and command so that you can experiment with different foods and enjoy a variety of meals. Food can be so many things to us, and it’s only after you’ve made the decision to take control that food can be all those things to you.
The fact that you’re reading this book is a testament to the notion that you want both happiness and health. You want to be able to enjoy food and life without obsessing over your weight and whether one night of indulging will have serious consequences the following day. If you’ll just commit to learning about nutrition and following the three rules of living extra lean, you’ll never be at the mercy of food again.
I’m thankful for my upbringing and for how my family treasured mealtime and taught me life principles about how to view food. Now I can help you along your journey toward success, abundant health, happy eating, and extra lean living.
I always knew Mom was smart.