Diet

Curb Excess Cravings and Lose Weight With This Simple ‘Fab Four’ Diet Plan

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Kelly LeVeque first created her famous smoothies for a frazzled client who didn’t cook. “We were having a hard time getting her on track. So I said, ‘Let me show you the simplest meal that has everything your body needs to feel satisfied, turn off hunger hormones and get you to a healthy weight,’” shares the bestselling author of Body Love and Body Love Every Day. LeVeque grabbed a blender and began adding what she calls the Fab Four — protein, fat, fiber, and greens.

“Those are the four components I recommend in any meal. For a smoothie, it’ll be things like chocolate protein powder, nut butter, chia seeds, and spinach.” Blitz them up with some nut milk for a creamy treat. “My client began drinking one a day, and her body composition changed with little effort.” Word spread quickly. But why do the smoothies work so well? LeVeque says they’re a shortcut that works blood-sugar magic…

Why We Crave

Most of us tend to overdo processed, sugary, and starchy carbs, “and it causes an aggressive spike in blood sugar, which triggers the release of large amounts of the hormone insulin,” notes LeVeque. She’s backed by Cleveland Clinic functional medicine authority Mark Hyman, MD. He explains, “Insulin stores excess sugar as fat, locks fat in fat cells, reduces fat burning and slows metabolism.”

The cravings connection? Turns out, insulin lowers sugar spikes so quickly, “you have a sugar crash,” says LeVeque. And when your sugar crashes, your hormones trigger cravings for food to bring it up again. Give in to the cravings and “the spike-crash-crave cycle starts all over again.”

Get Satisfied, Get Slim

To end cravings for good, you need to know a little about how your body works. Every time you eat, you make at least a little blood sugar. It’s natural and provides fuel for our brain and muscles, says Dr. Hyman. But depending on what you eat, blood sugar might spike in mere minutes, or, alternatively, rise in a long, gentle arc over four to six hours.

After a lot of experimenting, LeVeque realized that making her Fab Four the base of all meals delivers perfect doses of nutrients — amino acids. Fatty acids, antioxidants, and more — to ensure a gentle, steady rise in blood sugar. Eat the Fab Four at every sitting, and you don’t have to make any food off-limits. “You naturally crowd out excess carbs and get that long blood-sugar curve,” says LeVeque. The long curve is key. It leads to hours free from cravings and thoughts about food. Bonus: “Our bodies do their best fat burning between meals, so as you elongate your blood-sugar curve and eat less often, fat burning increases.”

The main feedback LeVeque gets: “Women say, ‘Wow, I’ve never felt so calm and relaxed around food — and I’m losing weight.’ People are able to live their lives, eat what they want and look and feel amazing!”

The Secret-Ingredient Way to Shrink Your Appetite

BREAKFAST: Blitz 1⁄4 cup chocolate protein powder, 1 Tbs. nut butter, 1 Tbs. flax, 1⁄2 cup spinach, 1⁄4 cup frozen berries, and 1–2 cups almond milk.

LUNCH: Layer 6 cups mixed fiber-rich greens and salad veggies, 5 oz. tuna, 2 Tbs. olives, and 1⁄4 cup olive oil vinaigrette.

DINNER: Serve grilled chicken over veggies and 1⁄2 cup quinoa; add olive oil and seasoning or a side of guacamole.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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