For years, Gregory Jbara roamed the streets of Hollywood, California, just looking for the right part to audition for. But the 44-year-old actor had a problem. Despite his sizable athletic frame and natural charisma,Jbara was never able to shed the weight he carried around in his early 20s.In fact, the actor finally decided to take matters into his own hands and embarked on a crash diet. While on set, he would eat chicken and fish—and then some—and never felt fuller or more energized. He was able to drop the pounds and become the fit person he always wanted to be, and now he’s sharing his fitness secrets with the world.
The Successful Actor’s Diet
Developed over the course of several interviews with Jbara, below you’ll discover how the actor lost weight, what his unique approach to dieting was, and how you can implement his methods into your own fitness regimen.
Give Your Body The Fuel It Needs
To be able to lose weight successfully, Jbara knew he had to switch from a diet that relied heavily on processed carbs to one that was more nutrient-dense. In addition to cutting out the sweets, the actor also cut out carbs from rice, potatoes, and whole wheat pasta—which he believed were the main reasons he’d been gaining weight in the first place.
“I used to eat tons of pasta and bread, and I’d never been big on vegetables, so I didn’t get much nutrition from my diet,” Jbara recalls. “Once I started consuming more vegetables and unprocessed carbs, my body started converting them to energy more efficiently and it was easier to stick to a diet that made me feel fuller.”
The key to Jbara’s success was understanding how his dieting mindset had led him to rely on food as a reward, thus creating a dependency that caused him to keep eating in the face of persistent hunger. So, instead of giving himself a cookie after washing his vegetables, he would cook them together in a large pot and enjoy the combination of salt, fat, and acidity.
“I was using food as a reward, which is bad because then you’re not truly satisfied by what you’re eating,” he says. “You’re just giving your body the fuel it needs to work, and when you stop working, you’re going to be really frustrated because you won’t have any more energy to eat. So, it’s better if you don’t give yourself any kind of reward along the way. Instead, satisfy your hunger with water, and always try to keep your diet rich in vegetables and unprocessed or natural foods.”
This type of diet can help transform your body quickly and dramatically, providing you with a new, slimmer you within weeks. While it’s not necessarily a permanent solution to weight loss, it’s a safe and easy way to drop some pounds without risk or hassle.
Hydration Is Key
Keeping your body hydrated is another important factor in successful dieting. Just like when you’re dehydrated, your body will struggle to metabolize fat and carbohydrates, making it harder for you to shed the pounds. Furthermore, consuming sufficient amounts of water each day will help prevent your skin from drying out and cracking, which can make you appear older than you really are.
To be able to drink enough to stay hydrated, Jbara recommends starting out with at least eight glasses per day. If you find that you’re drinking less than that, you’re likely not staying hydrated properly and that can affect how your body processes calories. A good rule of thumb is to drink a glass at least once every two hours to stay hydrated, and avoid drinking alcohol while on a diet. Alcohol dehydrates you and makes it more difficult to lose weight.
While you might not be able to rely solely on hydration to lose weight, it certainly helps, and makes the process easier. If you’re not drinking enough fluids, your body will start ‘saving’ them for basic functioning which might lead you to miss out on the opportunity to lose weight. So, it’s always a good idea to drink more than you need – and if you happen to be worried about your weight, drink a glass before you eat too much – which can cause serious damage to your health. Your body will thank you for keeping it hydrated, and so will your heart.
Avoid Food Deserts
Aside from avoiding processed carbs, Jbara also recommends steering clear of food deserts. Simply put, a food desert is where you cannot get the food you want, due to the lack of healthful options available where you live. For instance, if you’re located in a suburb of a major city, travel 20 minutes to reach a fast-food restaurant and you might end up spending more money than you would have eating healthier at home. So, avoiding food deserts is essential if you want to lose weight successfully.
Furthermore, it may be difficult to lose weight if you eat out a lot. According to Jbara, if you want to be fit, you have to change your behavior and start cooking healthier meals at home. Traveling to a restaurant to eat is equivalent to eating fast food, so it may be hard to shed the pounds if you go to the same place every night.
Being active is another important factor in losing weight. After all, moving around increases your body’s temperature which in turn causes your body to shed calories, making you look and feel better. Furthermore, getting some exercise can help lower your blood pressure and improve your mood.
In addition to walking, Jbara advocates for maintaining a healthy weight by participating in sports and activities that you enjoy. For example, if you love to garden, play with your dog, or go for cycling rides with your spouse, consider doing these activities more often – even if it’s only once or twice a week. In addition, if you want to lose weight, consider joining a gym or taking up a sport. Indoor cycling and swimming are also great options because they allow you to work out without worrying about the weather. Swimming has the additional benefit of being able to shed pounds and inches as you lose weight – which is great if you’re looking for a new swimwear style.
However, regardless of how much exercise you get in, it’s still going to be difficult to lose weight if you don’t follow the right diet. So, make sure that you consume plenty of vegetables and fruit, and stay away from foods with lots of refined carbs. The healthier you eat, the healthier you will look – and it’s all about consuming foods that will boost your metabolism and increase your energy levels.
When it comes to losing weight, there are many different methods that you might try. Some people prefer to simply cut out all the foods that they adore most, while others completely reorganize their diet – and their lives – around fitness. For those who want to try the first approach, it might be difficult to know where to start. But, if you’re looking to shed some pounds and regain your health, you could begin by rethinking your relationship with food and how you feel about yourself.