Women should get at least 1,200 calories, but 1,500-1,650 would be better, especially with all the activity they were doing. Men should get at least 1,800 calories, but 2,200-2,400 would probably be better for them, too.
Last week we talked about how to eat right—meaning balanced meals. They learned that every meal should include a source of Protein, Starch (complex carbs), and Fruits & Greens.
Proteins are for building muscle & bone, and sources include low fat dairy products like Milk, Yogurt, and Cottage Cheese. Most people don’t get nearly enough protein. A very active person needs a minimum of a half a gram for each pound of body weight and that’s conservative.
Make sure you get a generous serving of protein at every meal. If you’re active, you might even add protein shakes or protein bars just to make sure you’re getting enough.
Starches are complex carbohydrates that take the body longer to break down, so they make good long lasting fuels. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals which will help your body feel and work better. The problem in our country is that we way overdo starches.
Go to a potluck. Someone brings chicken & noodles. That’s one starch. Someone else brings mashed potatoes. That’s two. What about corn. That’s three. Don’t forget about the other potato dish. Four. Then there’s baked beans. That makes five. And what about the desserts, like pies, cakes, cookies, and others?
We really just need one starch per meal. If you do a buffet, you’ll have to make sure you take only a little bit of each, or the rest of it will be stored as fat. Quality sources of starch include anything whole grain or whole wheat, like breads and cereals, rice, pasta, corn, regular and sweet potatoes, and some beans. You just need to have one serving per meal.
Fruits & Greens are pretty self-explanatory. Fruits and greens are simple sugars that give you quick energy, some fiber, and lots of vitamins and minerals. Fruits go great with breakfast, as snacks, or even as part of a healthy desert. Greens include all the vegetables, and tend to go better with lunch and supper.
Most people don’t get enough fruits and greens, so if you’ll start eating more, you’ll have more quick energy and just plain feel better. They’re extremely low in calories, especially greens which are higher in fiber, so they’re almost free foods when it comes to your diet. Note: diabetics need to be much more careful with their sugar and should consult their physician.
So when you eat a meal, you want to set up your plate so you have a serving of protein, starch, and some fruits & greens. Once you start thinking that way, you’ll really be on top of things.
Don’t worry so much about the fats, especially if you’re doing low fat dairy, trimming excess fats from meats and poultry, and taking an Omega-3 and Omega-6 supplement.
Think of your plate divided into three sections with a serving of protein for building muscle and bone, a starch for long lasting energy, and finally some fruits or greens for quick energy and lots of vitamins and minerals. You can even shop that way. Build your meals at the grocery store before you bring them home. Plan them out.
Sample Meals for 1650 Calorie Days:
Here are some normal, healthy, balanced meal ideas. Try to identify each source of Protein, Starch, and Fruits & Greens. See how they’re balanced? Guys will need to add a little bit to your portions to take it to around 500 calories. If you’re a petite woman who needs less, make your portion sizes a little smaller. Shoot for 3 meals and 2-3 healthy snacks.
Sample 400 Calorie Breakfasts:
½ to ¾ cup whole grain Cereal, 8 oz Skim or Soy Milk, and a Medium Banana.
1 piece of whole wheat or multi-grain Bread w/butter and honey, a small low fat Yogurt, and some fresh Fruit.
2 eggs, 1 piece of whole wheat Toast w/butter, ½ cup fresh fruit.
1 serving of Oatmeal, 8 oz Skim or Soy Milk, and some fresh fruit.
Sample 400 Calorie Lunches:
1 cup whole wheat Spaghetti & Meatballs and ½ cup Green Beans.
6” Chicken Teriyaki Sub loaded with veggies on Honey Oat bread.
Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad w/fat free dressing.
½ broiled Chicken Breast, ½ cup frozen Bean Medley, 1 piece whole wheat Bread w/butter.
Sample 400 Calorie Suppers:
3 oz baked Chicken, ½ cup Baked Beans, Mixed Salad w/fat free dressing.
3 oz Meatloaf, ½ baked Sweet Potato, ½ cup fresh Green Beans.
1 cup grilled Chicken and whole wheat Pasta, Mixed Salad w/fat free dressing.
3 oz fresh or frozen Fish, ½ cup long grain wild Rice, frozen garden Bean Medley
3 oz smoked Pork Chop, ½ baked Potato w/butter, Mixed Salad w fat free dressing.
Sample 150 Calorie Snacks:
Small low fat Yogurt and ½ cup Red Seedless Grapes, or Banana or other fruit.
Meal Replacement Shakes
½ small box of Raisins and ¼ cup of Cashew Pieces.
½ cup low fat Cottage Cheese and ½ cup Fruit.
Several pieces of real (not processed) Cheese & several whole wheat Crackers .
½ cup fat free Frozen Yogurt and ½ cup fresh Strawberries.
Yellow Delicious Apple and 1 tbsp Peanut Butter.
Our winner for Week Four was Thomasena Collins, who lost 2.1% of her body weight and 4.0 lbs. She said she walked more, ate right, and replaced pop with water, and won a $15 gift card from Terry Elston and State Farm Insurance for all her hard work.
Second place went to Vicki Riggen, who lost 2.0% of her body weight and 2.8 lbs. Third place went to Nita Comstock, who lost 1.9% of her body weight and 3.0 lbs. Next week I’ll tell you about our Park-to Park challenge, and how they’re turning it up in their workouts.