I’m often asked by clients “What should I eat?” or “How can I become leaner?” or “What foods should I avoid?” Well, here you go:
Remember, your diet is 80 to 90 percent of what it takes to be fit. No amount of exercise will undo what you just stuffed into your face. PERIOD.
If you don’t eat right, you may become stronger but not leaner. Feed your body with clean, organic, unprocessed whole foods. Your body will love you and you will love your body and yourself!
Along with clean and healthy eating, make sure to get your strength training in. I recommend two 30-minute strength training sessions weekly with me. Add a walk or bike ride for fun, to burn a few extra calories, or to relieve stress.
Just because a label says gluten-free, fat-free, or sugar-free does not mean that it is good for you. Food companies make up for the absence of these ingredients with additional processed ingredients which add calories, cause inflammation and sabotage your efforts to get healthy and stay healthy.
Clean Protein: Always find clean (antibiotic-free, organic, nitrate-free, hormone-free, grass-fed, free-range or wild caught) protein sources. (beef, pork, fish, wild game, lamb, chicken)
Try to get up to 5 cups of non-starchy (preferably organic) vegetables a day. That may sound like a lot, but with choices of broccoli, leafy greens, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, asparagus, bell peppers, green beans, and cabbage, you can vary the veggie(s) and cooking method(s).
Try to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water every day (i.e. if you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of water per day). I recommend filtered/purified water, as tap water contains trace amounts of chemicals that can accumulate in your body and may jeopardize your health.
Consume at least 20 grams of protein per meal/snack throughout the day. Remember, in order to build lean muscle, you should consume about 0.8 grams of protein per pound of your ideal body weight per day (i.e. if your ideal weight is 150 pounds, you should consume 150 x 0.8 = 120 grams of protein per day).
THINGS TO AVOID:
All grains, highly processed foods, sugar, wheat, corn, starch, and artificial ingredients.
Remember: Sugar is like CRACK to your body! It is very addicting. STOP the cycle!! Sugar is present in many types of foods and products and may be disguised. YOU MUST LOOK AT THE NUTRITION LABEL CAREFULLY! If you see ingredients like corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, and honey, BEWARE. These are all recognized by your body as SUGAR and contribute to inflammation, weight gain, and trigger your body’s ‘sugar response’, resulting in insulin spikes.
A few shopping tips:
- Shop the outside aisles of the grocery store. This is where the fresh foods are kept. Inner aisles are mostly processed garbage;
- If a product has more than 5 ingredients, it’s a sure bet that it contains stuff that you don’t want/need, and that may be contrary to your goals;
- If a product contains ingredients that you can’t pronounce, AVOID IT;
- If a product contains ingredients that your grandmother wouldn’t recognize, DITCH IT;
GENERAL MEAL RECOMMENDATIONS
- Start your day with a protein-based meal such as 3 scrambled/hard-boiled eggs along with a quarter cup of berries. This sets up your metabolism for success for the rest of the day.
- 3 – 4 hours later have another protein-based meal/snack such as a protein shake or Greek yogurt. Choose your protein powder carefully. If you want a protein that has no artificial ingredients, soy, or dairy, Ariix brand – Pure Protein, is a great option. If you are looking for a whey protein, Garden of Life offers a grass-fed, organic protein powder that is also very good.
- 3 – 4 hours later have another shot of protein such as canned tuna or chicken, along with some veggies.
- Repeat this all day.
- Stop eating 3 – 4 hours before bedtime. This will give your body adequate time to digest what you have eaten before your metabolism slows for sleep.