Most people are either trying to lose weight, gain weight, eat to perform or just maintain a healthy lifestyle. Here are some basic guidelines that should help you reach your goals.
Weight loss & Healthy Lifestyle
1. Vegetables & Fruits(CHO)
a. Eat the rainbow of fruits and veggies everyday.
b. Try to have at least two raw vegetables and fruits a day.
c. Try to have at least one green leafy vegetable, preferably raw, every day.
d. Denser CHO foods will satiate hunger longer(think apple vs grapes)
Red: bell peppers, herries, cranberries, onions, red beets, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelo
Green: avocado, broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, dark lettuce, grapes, honeydew, kale, kiwi, spinach, zucchini
Orange and Yellow: apricots, bananas, carrots, mangoes, oranges, peaches, squash, sweet potatoes
Blue and Purple: blackberries, blueberries, grapes, plums, purple cabbage, purple carrots, purple potatoes
2. Whole grains (Wheat, oats, barley, quinoa, rice, rye and corn are grains) (CHO)
a. Whole grains are those that have not been refined or milled, meaning the bran or germ has been removed, usually to preserve shelf life.
b. Enriched wheat means vitamins and minerals have been added back in after the wheat has been processed. Bread rule: white bread or rice is ok, if you’re doing an endurance or vigorous workout in the next hour, wheat bread and brown rice if you’re not working out in an hour.
3. Lean meats, Dairy , Eggs and Nuts (PRO)
a. Limit your intake of items with saturated fat, sugar, salt and those that are high or will increase your cholesterol. Learn to read the label.
b. Fish, chicken, turkey and eggs are your best choices. Limit your beef and pork intake to once a week.
c. Pair nuts, cheese and fruit together as a snack.
d. If you like low fat or fat free diary, try to add healthy fats back in to satiate your taste buds and satisfy your dietary fat needs.
e. Eating the egg yolks are ok, unless you are on a high cholesterol medication and/or you are not seeing results with a healthy diet and exercise program.
4. Rules to live by
a. Portion control is a MUST. Learn what the single serving is for the foods you eat and find utensils to help measure them. i.e. one serving of ice cream is a half of a cup, that’s ONE ice cream scoop.
b. Half of your plate should be vegetables and fruits, one-quarter grains, one-quarter protein.
c. Grab a water bottle and fill it up. Add fruit (oranges, lemons, pineapple, strawberries), mint or cucumbers if you like the flavor and if it will help you drink more. Easiest to remember-drink at least one cup (6-8oz) of water per hour of your work day.
d. Don’t skip meals, try to start with breakfast
e. If you’re watching your calories, know what your daily allowance or RMR (resting metabolic rate=the calories your body needs to live for one day) and go by your weekly total not your daily totals. If you are trying to lose weight the key here is to eat less calories daily so that your calories eaten for the week is less than your what you need to live. If you are trying to maintain, the numbers should match. If you are trying to gain then the calories eaten should be more.
f. If you are trying to lose weight, give yourself a cheat meal once every two weeks until you reach your goal. If you are trying to maintain, try to limit your cheat meal to once a week.
Weight Gain and Eating for Performance
If you are trying to gain weight, or you are trying to eat to fuel your activity, the basic guidelines are a good start with a few small changes
1. Your portion size can be double or even triple the normal serving size.
a. Protein (PRO) is optimal for men at 1.6-2.2 g/kg body weight (BW) if they are doing an abundance of resistance training, Women are optimal at 1.2-1.8 g/kg BW if doing resistance training. Those doing aerobic conditioning are optimal at 1.4 g/kg BW. (think 1g/pound BW) Athletes should eat at least 30% of your calories from protein
i. PRO shakes and be added in after workouts to replenish and restore muscle building and can also be added as part of a snack in between larger meals
b. Carbohydrates (CHO) are optimal for at 5-6 g/kg BW for resistance training, 8-10g/kg BW for aerobic training. If you have a higher metabolism than most and are on a heavy resistance program, you can go up to 8-10g/kg BW to improve weight gain (think 2g/pound BW). Athletes should consume at least 50% of their calories from CHO.
c. Athletes should consume at least 30% of your caloric intake from FAT. You can eat more fat on high intensity days as well as the two days leading up to an event.
2. If you are using calories to determine your fuel intake, look at adding 3500-7000 calories more a week to see improvements in weight gain and performance. That equates to 500-1000 calories more a day. Most male athletes average 4000 calories a day, while female athletes average 3000 calories a day, respective of their sport or activity and metabolism.
a. Add an additional 500 calories a day if you are not seeing results in two weeks
3. Athletes can and should eat pasta, white rice, white bread and white potatoes. The athletes’ metabolism will use these foods for energy quicker than sedentary people and aid in performance.