With all the different ideas regarding food, eat this and don’t eat that- it can get downright confusing about what you should be doing to shed those extra layers. Even our food experts can’t seem to get it right. The concept of eating should have never gotten this confusing. If you are wanting to lose weight and maintain your lean body mass then you have to first start off by fueling your body the right way. Here are your new rules:
- Eat frequently
- Eat smaller well balanced meals
- Always have a protein and a fibrous carb
Sounds simple right! Well I am about to make it even simpler. Vegetables can be eaten in unlimited amounts, just make sure you are getting at least 5 servings of them a day. Let me caution you though, to start adding them in slowly. If you add fiber in too quickly, you can experience bloating and stomach discomfort. Try adding a new serving in every couple of days until you get to the 5 servings.
When it comes to fruits, enjoy a variety of them. Most people find it works best for them at 2-3 servings of fruits a day. Fruits can cause some digestive issues for some people, listen to your body and learn what works best for you. We want fruits due to their vitamins and nutrients so experiment with what amount works best for your body.
Protein- we need a serving of protein with every meal. That doesn’t include fried chicken either. Keep it clean…
- Skinless chicken
- Lean turkey
- Lean beef
- Lean steak
These are always good choices of good quality protein sources.
Eat frequently means 3 meals followed with 2 snacks a day. Here are some ideas of good snacks to incorporate into your diet.
- Almonds + a fruit
- String cheese
- Nut butter and celery
- Pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- Trail mix
- Hard boiled eggs + a fruit
- Greek yogurt
When it comes to the starchy carbs question, “Do I or Don’t I”. I am partial to DON”T!! Our grains have become somewhat of unhealthy food; however I know that is a difficult task for most of you so at least follow these three rules:
- No white flour of any kind, stick with oatmeal, brown rice, potatoes, whole wheat bread, and whole wheat pastas.
- Watch your portion sizes, a portion is not ½ the plate nor what a restaurant sees as a portion. This is where calories can really add up. Just a ¼ of your plate is all you need.
- Only eat them after resistance training workouts. Yes, that’s right you are going to have to earn your carbs. Complex carbohydrates are used for energy, if you’re not working out what do you need the extra energy for? Besides, this will keep you on track with your workouts too.
Sugar is the villain here. We want to minimize the intake of sugar and artificial sweeteners drastically. If you want to lose weight, reduce your chances of diabetes, cancers, and heart disease then start breaking the habit now. Also, no trans fats (hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils) of any kind.
- No Sodas not even diet
- No alcohol
- No donuts, cakes, or cookies
- No fast food
- No items with Trans Fats in the ingredients
Here is a great example of a day’s worth of meals.
7:oo Am Breakfast
2 eggs scrambled with fresh spinach, green and yellow peppers and a serving of fruit
10:00 AM Snack
12 almonds and a peach
1:00 PM Lunch
Large Spinach/Romaine Salad with cucumber, celery, peppers, carrots, grilled chicken, and vinaigrette dressing or a drizzle of olive oil.
4:00 PM Snack
Celery with almond butter
6:30-7:00 PM Dinner
Grilled lean steak, roasted asparagus, and maybe a small salad or second vegetable of your choice.
Get use to eating food without a barcode. Food shouldn’t come in a neat pretty little package full of advertising junk. It should be something you place in a bag, can wash and eat. If you really want to be lean, healthy, free of disease and aches and pains then you need to start reevaluating what you’re putting into your body. Food shouldn’t taste better than good health feels.