Thursday, November 29, 2012

The "Eat Real Food" Diet Lifestyle

I spent some time compiling a hand-out I wanted to give to my clients. After inquiring what most gym goers are confused about, the biggest topic was what to eat!

This is not a “diet”, but a sustainable style of eating that will help you lose stubborn body fat, preserve and build lean muscle mass, decrease inflammation in your body, re-establish healthy hormone levels, and supply you with an abundance of energy. It is often referred to as a “paleolithic diet” for its emphasis on consuming foods that have been naturally-occuring since the paleolithic era. Consuming these natural foods have been scientifically-proven to help heal or alleviate gut problems (IBS, bloating, constipation, etc.), autoimmune conditions (arthritis, thyroid disorders, celiac disease, allergies, etc.), & stress-related illnesses (adrenal fatigue or insufficiency, insomnia, anxiety, etc.)

What do I eat for protein?
Fresh eggs, fish, beef, chicken, turkey, duck, pork, lamb, buffalo, bison, game meat.
What does a serving size of protein look like?
Females, the size of your palm (1/4lb.) Males, the size of two of your palms (1/2lb.)

What do I eat for fat?
Naturally-occuring fats in your meat (chicken skin, egg yolk, etc.), fish oils, butter, fresh coconut, avocado, olives, nuts, seeds.
What does a serving size of fat look like?
Females, one tablespoon. Males, two tablespoons. Fat is used to satiate your hunger. Fat does not make you fat and is crucial for healthy hormonal levels that will tell your body to preserve muscle and burn stored body fat.

What do I eat for carbohydrates?
Vegetables, fresh fruit (not dried), sweet potatoes, yams, butternut/acorn/spaghetti squash, beets, pumpkin.
What does a serving size of carbohydrate look like?
Females, one small banana, or a small sweet potato. Males, a large banana or large sweet potato. Amount of carbohydrate you consume should be dependent on how active you are. Consume 1-4 servings of fruit or a starchy vegetable per day. For reference, a small banana or sweet potato will have about 20-25g of carbohydrate. Vegetables provide negligible carboyhydrate, so consume in abundance.
When should I consume my starchy carboyhydrates to assist in recovery and performance in the gym?
Carbohydrates should always be consumed around your weight training, preferably within 30-45 minutes post-workout. You may also benefit from eating a small bit of carboyhydrate 1-3 hours pre-workout.
Don't I need carbohydrates for energy? How will I have energy only eating 70-150g of carbohydrate a day?
When you are consuming less carbohydrate throughout the day, you will be using stored body fat or dietary fat for energy. Fat is a rich, dense, and consistent source of energy. Your stored body fat supplies you with thousands and thousands of calories for energy. When carboyhydrates are slightly restricted, your body can access these fat stores more efficiently so you are a “fat-burning machine” and not a “carb-burning machine”. This will stabilize your blood sugar levels which will eliminate constant or ravenous hunger and mid-afternoon sugar cravings.

What foods should I avoid?
Gluten (wheat, barley, rye, quinoa, etc.), grains (pasta, rice, cereal, etc.), soy (beans, oil, tofu, etc.), vegetable oils (canola, corn, rapeseed oil, etc.), “low-fat” products (margarine, cookies, crackers), legumes (peanuts, beans), artificial sweeteners, added sugar (agave, honey, etc.), any food item with more than a few ingredients! These are all inflammatory foods that generally do not support a healthy body composition.

What additional supplements are recommended?
Quality omega-3 fish oil, vitamin D3, magnesium, and vitamin K3.
How many calories should I be eating?
If you are eating all natural foods found in nature, your appetite will normalize and you won't need to count calories to achieve your ideal body weight. Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full.
This seems really restrictive. How could I ever sustain this for life! Don't I get to live a little?!?
Stick to the 80/20 rule. For 80% of the time, eat clean, natural foods and avoid those that are negatively impacting your health. For the other 20% of the time, feel free to indulge (responsibly!) For example, if you were 80% compliant for the week, feel free to let loose and give yourself one full day to eat what you'd like. My only request is that you sincerely note how you feel before, during, and after consuming foods of your choice. Bloated? Tired? Gassy? Headache? Stuffy nose? Acknowledge how these foods make you feel, and make your own determination whether they are worth keeping in your diet.
I still don't think I can do this. You want me to give up my bread and pasta?!? Are you crazy!?
Don't focus on what you can't eat, but focus on what you can eat and how these choices are going to get you closer to your goals. An example menu may be bacon and eggs for breakfast, chicken thighs and roasted cauliflower for lunch, ground beef with sauted onions, peppers, and mushrooms for dinner. Still hungry after all that? Snack on some frozen berries, deli meat, veggies dipped or drizzled in butter, or a handful of nuts.
Won't all that saturated fat clog my arteries? Isn't butter bad for me? I have high cholesterol, won't this diet be dangerous?
Saturated fat in your diet does not directly correlate to saturated fat in your arteries. New studies have confirmed that eating saturated fats that are naturally-occuring in meat, butter and egg yolk do not increase your risk of heart disease or stroke. What does increase your risk of heart disease and stroke is consistently eating inflammatory foods and eating highly-refined or processed food (particularly those high in carbohydrate.)

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