Whether or not you have Lean, Fitness or Performance goals, you must eat right.
The following is a list of what to do as a daily regimen.
- Eat approximately every three to four hours to maintain steady blood sugar and aid in physical and mental recovery.
- Eat fresh foods as much as possible. Fresh is best.
- Eat complex carbohydrates (starches). Starchy foods such as pasta,
wheat bread, whole grain cereals, brown rice, potatoes, yams, sweet
potatoes, and vegetables provide a major energy source to fuel your
activities. These foods are also a source of fiber, vitamins, minerals
and phytonutrients – the health protective substances in plant foods.
The more fiber the better.
- Choose protein sources from turkey, chicken, eggs, fish, lean cuts of beef, tofu, low fat cottage cheese.
- Choose healthy fat sources from nuts, avocadoes and cold-water
fish. Eat 40 to100 grams of fat per day. If you do not get enough of
these, take an essential fatty acid supplement or fish oil supplement
(one to two tablespoons each day).
- Keep drinking water or sport drinks to maintain hydration while
training. Try to avoid water-like substances such as Kool-Aid, sodas,
juice or lemonade. Although these may contain water and some
carbohydrates, they also contain a greater amount of the wrong type of
carbohydrate source (table sugar and/or fructose), which can ultimately
lead to gastrointestinal distress (i.e. diarrhea) and decreased
- Eat a diet that consists of a wide variety of foods by keeping in
mind the basic food groups. It is the best insurance for getting needed
- Consume 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day. High fiber foods include
whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and cereals. Read labels, and be
aware of fiber content in everything you eat.
- Avoid high-fructose corn syrup and excessive table sugar, even when
trying to gain weight. These include candy, juices, desserts, baked
goods, etc. This will ultimately result in excess body fat.
- Use meal replacement shakes, fruit smoothies or bars whenever
possible. Always keep bars available, such as in a book bag, gym bag,
purse, glove compartment, locker, or wherever poor nutrition might be
the alternative such as at a competition. Try an assortment of brands
to see which you like.
- Limit alcohol consumption, including red wine, to one drink per
week. The potential antioxidant benefits of red wine do not out way the
risks of gastrointestinal cancers and liver distress. A daily intake of
many veggies and some fruit will take care of that much better.
- Take a multivitamin/mineral supplement from a reputable brand.
- Use Tupperware and Zip-Lock bags whenever necessary to plan and pack your meals.
Once you have accomplished the above guidelines as a lifestyle, you will be on your way to a healthier lifestyle.
The following may be applied in more specific situations:
- Avoid the use of MSG (Monosodium Glutamate).
- Always trim any excess fats and skins from meats and poultry if you are trying to reduce fat intake.
- Broil, bake, microwave, steam, and grill foods; this will reduce excess fat.
- Use spray cooking oils such as Pam rather than regular oils (one tbsp. of oil equals 120 calories and 14 grams of fat).
- Use low-fat cheese made from low-fat milk instead of regular processed cheese.
- Use non-stick frying pans, pressure cooker, steamer baskets, roast
racks to cook foods. These tools aid in separating unnecessary fats
Eating Out Tips
- Choose restaurants that offer a variety of foods included in your meal plan.
- Ask to have sauces and dressings served on the side.
- Study your menu and look for broiled meats and fish. These tend to be the best healthy choices at most restaurants.
- Seafood restaurants offer low-fat meals such as broiled sole, swordfish, etc.
- At steak houses, order a lean cut of meat such as filet, ground steak, or grilled skinless chicken breast, preferably broiled.
- For Chinese food, choose steamed vegetables with chicken or beef. Ask for no MSG or soy sauce.
- Remember restaurant servings tend to vary in size. Be aware of portion size.
- Don’t always feel that you have to clean your plate. Take it home for another meal.
- Plan to eat meals at approximately the same time every day to increase the efficiency of the body’s digestive process.
- Keep a food diary to keep track of what you are eating. Also,
utilize a food scale in order to know the exact amount of calories you
- Try not to eat in front of the TV or when reading the paper, etc.
This will allow you to focus on enjoying the meal and concentrate on
eating. There is a tendency to overeat and not chew food properly when
- Don’t skip meals.
- Pack fruit, cereal, air popcorn, sports drinks, sports nutrition bars and other suggested healthy foods from the food lists.
- Prepare lunch if you know you’ll be on the road. Don’t put yourself in a position where there is no healthy food available.
- Order special meals when making plane reservations. Kosher food
plates, fruit plates, and other meals are available when pre-ordered
through a travel agent.
- Bring bottled water with you to insure your daily water intake requirement.
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