When people ask for help figuring out their diets, I like to pass along the same information that we give our Biggest Losers. So unless you have a specific medical issue you’re dealing with such as diabetes, this might work for you, but sure and follow your doctor’s advice.
If you recall from last week, I believe the best diet is “no diet!” I think the best results over the long haul always come from eating a normal healthy diet that you can maintain for life. The first thing is to get off the pop and junk, and drink more water.
The next thing is to work on having a balanced meal that has servings of Protein, Complex Carbs (Starches), and Fruits & Greens. If you do this, you’ll feel better right away, and your body will start working better, especially when you’re working out. Here’s why.
Protein is used by the body to build and preserve muscle and bone. While your body can use protein for fuel, it’s not very efficient. Glucogenesis (creating carbs from protein) is very inefficient and produces extra byproducts that your kidneys then have to deal with.
Sources of protein include lean cuts of beef and pork, chicken and turkey, dairy products like low fat milk, yogurt and cottage cheese, fish, nuts (including peanut butter), and some beans. Sometimes it’s useful to supplement with a protein shake, especially when you’re very active.
Your best choices for long-lasting energy are complex carbohydrates called starches. It takes longer for your body to break them down than simple sugars, but it’s much more efficient than trying to use protein for fuel. Starches give you the time you need to complete your workout or get to the next meal.
Complex carbs include whole grain breads and cereals, whole grain pastas, long grain wild rice, oats, potatoes and sweet potatoes, corn and some beans. Our problem is that we tend to eat too many complex carbs and processed, refined foods.
The trick is to eat just one reasonably sized complex carb with each meal. Then you’ll get the long-lasting fuel you need. Go whole grain—it takes longer to breakdown, and you’ll get more nutrition too!
The last category is fruits and greens (vegetables). Self-explanatory, fruits and vegetables are probably the least consumed foods these days. That’s a shame, because they’ll give you some excellent benefits.
Fruits provide quick energy—the kind that gets you going in just minutes. They also have lots of vitamins and minerals and some fiber. Vegetables give you lots of vitamins and minerals too, that will make you feel and perform better. Because they’re packed with fiber, they also contain fewer calories which help fill you fill up.
A complete mixed salad with lettuce, spinach greens, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, green onions, green peppers, and low fat dressing tops out at just 100 calories. Most other single servings of vegetables will only run you around 50 calories. That’s a great deal!
If you’re eating this way, the fats pretty much take care of themselves, too. All you really need to add is an Omega 3, 6 & 9 supplement to be sure you’re getting the good fats you need. Next week I’ll give you some sample meals to look at.
This week’s Biggest Loser was Michelle Clark, who lost 2.4% of her body weight and 3.6 lbs. Sande Sherer was second, losing 2.0% and 3.6 lbs. Kara Englum placed third, losing 1.6% and 2.6 lbs, and Nikki Johnson finished fourth, losing 1.0% and 2.4 lbs.
If you have any questions about fitness or working out, please feel free to contact me at Tom’s Fitness on Facebook!