Nutrition plays an important role in your health, appearance, energy and performance as well as affecting results from exercise and overall well-being.
To succeed with your program, it is very important to follow a consistent eating schedule of five to six times a day. It will give you a profound sense of control over your world and assure three things:
1) Help control hunger
2) Minimize blood-sugar fluctuations, in turn increasing energy levels throughout the day
3) That you are feeding your body regularly to encourage an increase in your metabolism.
Breakfast - to be eaten within an hour of waking up (7 A.M)
Snack - consume 2-3 hours after breakfast (9-10 A.M)
Lunch - 2-3 hours after snack (12-1 P.M)
Snack - 2-3 hours after lunch (2-3 P.M)
Dinner - finished at least 2 hours before bed (7-8 P.M)
Make a schedule and stick to it! Snacks should be no more than 200 calories.
First, regulate how many calories you consume. If you are unable to speak with a professional, an alternative way of calculating a safe minimum caloric-intake level is by referencing your current body weight. Reduce calories by 15-20% below your daily calorie maintenance needs. We recommend to women who have a goal of fat loss, a caloric intake of 1,200-1,500 calories per day. Women need a minimum of 1,200 calories a day for their bodies to function correctly. We recommend to men who have a goal of fat loss, a caloric intake of 1,800-2,100 calories per day. Men need a minimum of 1,800 calories for their bodies to function correctly. These levels of caloric intake will begin to steer you away from large portions and fatty/processed foods toward healthier, reasonable choices.
- Choose lean meats (turkey, chicken, pork) vs. fatty red meats
- The portion of meat for a meal should be no larger than the palm of your hand (4 0z)
- Broil, grill, or bake - NEVER FRY
- Avoid cream sauces, gravies and condiments
- A large salad is great, but limit dressing to two tablespoons of low or non-fat dressing like vinaigrette for flavor instead of a coating of creamy dressing which is higher in fat
- A side portion of vegetables is best if steamed, and should be about the size of a regular full coffee mug
- Lemon juice, or low sodium soy sauce is a good way to add flavor without adding fat calories
- One small roll with dinner is okay, (whole grain) it should be limited to the size of a plum, or 1 slice of bread, with no added butter or margarine
- If you want to have a potato (yam or sweet)
- Rice (brown or wild) 1 serving is 1/2 cup cooked
- Pasta (whole grain) 1 serving should be no more than 1 cup cooked
- Water is BEST!
- Otherwise, one small glass of fruit juice (6 oz), non-fat milk
- Alcohol is discouraged, but if you want to indulge, red wine is best (6 oz) with a meal
- Iced tea, or coffee would be a worst case backup, but best not to have them at all
- Drinking two (8 oz) glasses of water during a meal will help to suppress your hunger
- Choose a healthy snack less than 200 calories
- Portion out your snacks in individual bags, so you are not reaching into a large bag endlessly
- Almonds (18) 1 serving
- 1 hardboiled egg, no yolk
- Fresh raw vegetables, no dip
- Fruit (apples, & pears are more satiating and have less sugar)
- Low fat yogurt (try to buy ones with no high-fructose corn syrup)
- 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese or 1 piece of low fat string cheese
- 1 oz beef or turkey jerky (beware of sodium)
- 1/2 protein bar or balance bar (watch for hidden sugars)
To check nutrition of almost any food, including fast food and restaurants go to the Calorie King website at http://www.calorieking.com/foods/ It's free to search!
The Importance of Protein
Protein is essential to human health. Our bodies - hair, muscles, fingernails, and so on - are made up mostly of protein. As suggested by the differences between our muscles and our fingernails, not all proteins are alike. This is because differing combinations of any number of 20 amino acids may constitute a protein. In much the same way that the 26 letters of our alphabet serve to form millions of different words, the 20 amino acids serve to form different proteins.
Amino acids are a fundamental part of our diet. While half of the 20 can be manufactured by the human body, the other 10 cannot. These "essential amino acids" can easily be provided by a balanced vegan diet.
How Much Protein?
The Recommended Dietary Daily Allowance for both men and women is 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight. People with special needs (such as pregnant women) are advised to get a little more.
While just about every whole food contains some protein, the soybean deserves special mention, for it contains all the essential amino acids and surpasses all other food plants in the amount of protein that it can deliver to the human system. In this regard, it is nearly equal to meat.
Protein in Legumes: Garbanzo beans, Kidney beans, Lentils, Lima beans, Navy beans, Soybeans, Split peas
Protein in Grains: Barley, Brown rice, Buckwheat, Millet, Oatmeal, Quinoa, Rye, Wheat germ, Wheat, hard red, Wild rice
Vegetable Proteins: Artichokes, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Green peas, Green pepper, Kale, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard green, Onions, Potatoes, Spinach, Tomatoes, Turnip greens, Watercress, Yams, Zucchini
Protein in Fruits: Apple, Banana, Cantaloupe, Grape, Grapefruit, Honeydew melon, Orange, Papaya, Peach, Pear, Pineapple, Strawberry, Tangerine, Watermelon
What it takes to lose a pound
A pound of body fat equates to approximately 3500 calories. So if you have a calorie deficit of 500 calories (meaning that you burn 500 calories more than you eat each day) you would lose approximately one pound per week: 500 x 7 = 3,500
It’s easy to see that a calorie deficit of 1000 calories would mean that you would lose approximately two pounds per week. And that’s a good number to remember, because two pounds a week is commonly accepted as the maximum rate of weight loss that is healthy.
Body Fat vs. Nutritional Fat
It is commonly said that a gram of fat contains 9 calories. But there are 454 grams in a pound, and 9 x 454 = 4086 calories, not 3500. The reason for the discrepancy is that body fat, or adipose tissue, contains not only fat, but also other substances including protein, connective tissue, and water.
Looking at it another way, 3,500 / 454 = 7.7 calories. Thus a gram of body fat contains only 7.7 calories versus the 9 calories found in pure fat. It’s easy to see that there should be a difference when you consider that body fat contains water, which has no calories.
Because of the differences in the two types of fat, it is appropriate to use the 3500 calories per pound figure when discussing fat "burned" by activity, and the 9 calories per gram figure when discussing the nutritional content of food.