We at WHERE FIT HAPPENS like to use the word nutrition versus diet.
That old word seems to have too many negative connotations connected to it.
Great bodies are made in the kitchen. A good nutrition plan will help you:
- Lose the weight
- Conquer your cravings
- Boost your metabolism
- Increase your energy
- Sleep better
- Enjoy more positive moods
- Decrease your aches and pains
- Stay satisfied, not hungry
It isn’t a “quick fix.” There are no gimmicks. Just patience, persistence and perspiration… ok maybe a little sweat. These three things make an unbeatable combination for success.
First off, keep a food journal. Write down everything you eat. The amount you ate, the time you ate it, and even your feelings when you ate. It can actually be pretty eye opening. If you know you are going to have write it down, it helps you to make wiser choices and it gives some accountability.
If you are just starting out, the question of what to eat can seem overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be; you just have to keep it simple. “If it came from a plant, eat it. If it was MADE in a plant, don’t eat it.” Simple right? Just go back to the basics… meat, and veggies. Eating whole foods is the key. Try to stay away from processed foods.
Tip: If it didn’t exist a few hundred years ago your body doesn’t really need it.
We could give you a set daily menu, but past-experience has shown that you will be more successful with your goals if you create your OWN meal plan. Everyone has their own needs and preferences when it comes to food, so what works for me may not necessarily work for you, especially if you don’t like the foods on MY plan. Just like most things in life, this is as individual as you.
All foods consist of macronutrients, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. It is important that you have the right amounts of each of these. They all work together to make you healthy and satisfied.
Get 30% of your calories from protein.
Best Protein Choices:
Chicken (skinless), Fish, Lean Red Meat, Egg Whites, Low-Fat Dairy Products, Turkey
Get 50% of your calories here.
Best Fruit Choices – Based on Glycemic Index:
Apples, Peaches, Tomatoes, Pears, Oranges, Raspberries, Blueberries
Best Vegetable Choices:
Lettuce, Scallions, Green Beans, Celery, Broccoli, Green Leaf
20% of calories from fats
Best Fat Choices:
Olive Oil, Fish Oils, Almonds, Avocados
Fatty Red Meats, Processed Foods, Egg Yolks, Organ Meats
Note: 1 gram of protein = 4 calories, 1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories, 1 gram of fat = 9 calories. We will be looking for balanced combination of these three.
Six Essential Nutrients
Protein might easily be called “the stuff of life.” It makes up to about 45% of total body weight. Get 30% of your calories from protein. Best choices: lean meats, seafoods, poultry and low fat dairy.
Protein is the structural core of the human body and is at work in every cell of the body. In fact, next to water, protein is the most abundant substance in most cells. It is required for growth and repair of tissues. All enzymes and many hormones are types of protein. Antibodies and other components of our immune systems are comprised of proteins, so protein plays a major role in fighting disease.
TIP: Include some type of protein in every meal/snack.
Get 50% of your calories here. When it comes to carbs, fruits and vegetable are first. Grains are second (the browner the better). Don’t become a carb junkie. Remember that too may carbohydrates are stored as fat. If you are like most Americans, you are eating too many carbohydrates. Don’t carb overdose! Most abused carbohydrates foods are pasta, bagels, breads and rice.
Carbohydrates are important because they are the most efficient fuel for the body. Try to maintain a diet of foods that have a low glycemic index rating. Foods with a low glycemic index are considered slow-acting and don’t spike insulin levels.
#3 Healthy Fats
Fear of fats has led to the carbohydrate craze. Americans are fatter than ever. The media blitz on the dangers of dietary fats (high cholesterol levels, heart disease, and obesity) had us all shunning fats and going overboard on fat-free but high glycemic carbohydrates (starchy foods and breads).
And we are now fatter than ever! Why? High glycemic carbohydrates produce a quick rise in blood sugar levels which in turn created high insulin levels. Insulin is a storage hormone that is triggered when you eat an abundance of carbohydrates. Insulin will shuttle excess carbs to cells to be stored. At the cell site, these carbs can be converted to fat. Elevated insulin not only blocks the body’s ability to burn stored body fat for energy, but shuttles off excess calories to be stored as fat. High insulin levels will also create a rapid fall in blood sugar levels for which the brain (fueled by blood sugar) now sends an urgent message to the body that it needs more energy (in the form of carbohydrates) and the roller coaster ride is on.
Fats are important. Our bodies have the capacity to synthesize saturated and unsaturated fatty acids but not the important polyunsaturated fatty acids (olive, peanut and safflower oils). For this reason, we must consume some polyunsaturated fatty acids in our diets.
As a result, people then have the tendency to eat more calories from carbohydrates than if they consumed fats. As a result, Americans are now fatter than ever. In 1980’s, about 15 percent of Americans were obese. Now the rate stands at about 27 percent.
#4 Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are involved in nearly all metabolic reactions in the body.
The various vitamins help in energy production, growth and repair, and fighting off disease and oxidation. Evidence now suggests that vitamins play a much more complex role in assuring vitality and optimal health than previously thought. Even more provocative are new findings that show vitamins can stave off the normal ravages of aging.
You can get a lot of needed vitamins from foods, but more and more people are becoming aware of the benefits of supplementing with a good vitamin and mineral formula.
Although not officially classified as a food because it has no calories, water is by far the most important nutrient we consume. The human body is 75% water and every action your body takes is dependent upon water. A great rule of thumb is to drink one liter (quart) of water for every 50 lbs. of body weight per day. So, if you weigh 150 lbs., you need to drink three liters (3 quarts) of water daily. When you add physical activity in the heat and humidity, resulting in fluid loss from sweating, you must increase your water intake. A good way to determine if you are getting enough fluid is by the frequency of urination and the color of your urine. When enough fluid is consumed, your urine will be clear or nearly clear. If dehydration is present, you may not have the ability to urinate or your urine will be dark or discolored.
Water should be consumed in its basic pure state as much as possible. That is, just water. Sports drinks, as mentioned earlier, are a great post round beverage, as are fruit juices (not from concentrate). Coffee, tea and alcohol should be used in moderation due to their diuretic effect.
Water is often purified to the point that it is devoid of dissolved solids which help with proper hydration. There are many brands of unrefined sea salt on the market which have a multitude of trace minerals which help to replenish what is lacking. A small pinch in a liter of water will also provide a better tasting water.
Eat as much as you can. Try to get at least 25 grams per day. Basically, fiber is plant cells that the human body cannot digest. Among other benefits, diets with sufficient fiber produce softer, bulkier stool, help promote bowel regularity and avoid constipation and other disorders.
Vegetables and wholegrain breads are sources of dietary fiber.
Tips: Start your day with a high fiber cereal and always drink 1 glass of water before each meal.
How to Calculate Individual Needs
Use the following to estimate the calories needed to maintain a desired weight, (considering moderate exercise).
Daily Calorie Requirement = Your Weight_____x 14 = Total Daily Calories
• If your goal is to lose weight, subtract 10% from this number.
• If your goal is to gain weight, add 10% to this number.
Using this formula, a 180 pound man would be as follows:
• Total Calories Per Day = 2250
• Total Calories Per Meal = 420 (2520 divide by 6 meals)
Now break these calories down to protein, fat and carbohydrates:
• Protein = 30% (daily total 756 calories)
• Fat = 20% (daily total 504 calories) • Carbohydrates = 50% (daily total 1260 calories)
Determine the calorie requirement from protein/carbs/fats for each meal:
• Total Calories Per Meal = 420 • Protein Calories Per Meal = 126 Calories (31 grams of protein – 126 divided by 4)
• Carb Calories Per Meal = 210 Calories (52 grams of carbs – 210 divided by 4)
• Fat Calories Per Meal = 84 Calories (9 grams of fat – 84 divided by 9)
Your nutrition intake should be 5-6 meals/snacks per day. Never go longer than 4 hours between meals/snacks.
This program is based on a 30/50/20 protein, carbohydrate, and fat intake. To maintain high energy and to increase muscle mass, eat often. Regular consumption keeps the body in an optimum state for muscle repair and growth. Eat at regularly scheduled intervals rather than waiting until you are hungry. Scheduled meals provide a sense of well-being and help prevent the cravings and binging brought on by low blood sugar levels.
If you are very busy, remember that you can use meal replacement powders or protein bars for your nutritional intake.
Tips: Snack smarter and think balance. Eat protein with every meal. It is essential that you consume 8-10 glasses of water per day.
Make it Easy
To get you started, we will provide you with a few examples of meals that work so you can get an idea of what we mean. The ultimate goal is for you to learn how to put healthy meals together.
Divide your plate into 3 sections. On one third you should have a serving of protein (about the size of your palm) and the other two thirds will be Carbohydrates – one third should be a serving of fruits and one third vegetables.
Alternately one third could be grains (bread, pasta, rice) the browner the better. A good indication of serving size would be the palm of your hand.
See more on our blog . . .
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