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Diet Tips for Weight Control Success - Articles Surfing


Last month I suggested the necessity of modifying your diet in addition to adhering to a fitness routine to achieve the aesthetic results you desire. The following are some nutritional guidelines you can use to make the mirror's reflection more to your liking:

-This in NOT a diet plan! These ideas are ways to modify your every day eating habits. The effect is to, over time, change your body composition. This is NOT a quick fix. These are moderate, livable ways to feed yourself, and your family to optimize energy and a feeling of well being. It requires thoughtful planning and a general knowledge of the logic behind the nutrition.

-Set a realistic goal in terms of weight loss/gain with your own body type in mind.

-Weight loss/gain is not always a reliable indicator of progress.

-Body fat/lean muscle mass analysis is helpful in setting realistic goals and assessing progress.

-Your goal in the gym is to increase lean muscle mass (active tissue) while maintaining or reducing fat. Cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise is needed for overall fitness. For fat loss, cardio is best done in the morning on an empty stomach or last thing in the evening (not eating afterward). Cardio should be done at 70% maximum heart rate for 20-30 minutes 3-4 times per week (220-age).

-Do NOT starve yourself! You need to feed your body with the right nutrients.

-Eat 5-6 times a day.

-Include PROTEIN with every meal in order to stabilize blood sugar.

-Insulin is a powerful hormone that can be manipulated by what you eat at specific times. It is desirable to know how this works. When one eats carbohydrates, blood sugar is elevated and insulin is released to lower this effect. Insulin enables the body to use carbohydrates as an energy source or causes these carbohydrates (in the form of glucose) to be stored as glycogen or stored as fat. In this way, insulin has a fat sparing effect in that it drives most cells to oxidize carbohydrates for energy instead of fatty acids (indirectly stimulating the accumulation of fat). As well, insulin stimulates the uptake of amino acids contributing to its overall anabolic effect. When insulin levels are low, the balance is pushed toward intracellular protein degradation.

-When selecting carbohydrate foods, choose complex carbohydrates. Increase the variety and volume of vegetables in the diet, particularly in the evening meals. See the following charts on quality starchy and fibrous carbohydrate foods. The charts suggest starchy carbohydrate and fibrous carbohydrate food choices. As a general rule, eat more starchy carbohydrates earlier in the day when insulin resistance is lower. For evening meals/snacks, try to choose from the fibrous carbohydrate list. Another rule of thumb is to try to avoid 'white' food (processed, breads, sweets, baking, treats, etc.) as much as possible, but especially after 6-7 pm.

-For evening snacks, try to choose low fat protein choices. Avoid the already mentioned high fat/carbohydrate choices that promote an insulin spike and fat storage.

-After a weight training session is an optimum time to replenish protein stores. An insulin response is useful here in this window of opportunity to deliver amino acids (protein) to muscles for growth and repair.

-Lower your intake of carbohydrate foods and increase protein intake. You should aim to be eating 1.5 times your lean body weight in grams of protein. For example, if you weigh 150lbs., you should be eating approximately 225 grams of protein daily. See the chart following for examples of quality protein foods. This is a great deal of protein compared to what you are likely eating now, so aim for one gram of protein per lean pound of body weight and work up.

-Use a quality, low carbohydrate (for weight loss) or high carbohydrate (for weight gain) protein supplement, if necessary, to meet protein requirements.

-Buy a NUTRITION ALMANAC and become familiar with what foods contain which elements. All foods are protein, fat or carbohydrate or combinations of these macronutrients. Read food labels and begin to understand what they mean. Try the following website for free nutritional analysis of 1000's of foods: http://www.globalfitness.com (click on nutritional food database).

-Pay attention to what goes in your mouth. This seems obvious, but many times things slip past the lips without much thought. If necessary, keep a food journal to help you stay the course.

-Avoid diets that restrict an entire food group completely. These are usually not diets that can be maintained for any length of time.

-Forget the 'low fat' fad. Include unsaturated fats in your diet. Unsaturated fats include: safflower oil, sesame oil, canola oil, flax seed oil, and EFA's (essential fatty acids) from sources such as fish. As a general rule, if fat is solid at room temperature, it should be avoided.

-Avoid highly processed foods and eat foods as close to their 'natural' state as possible. Focus your grocery shopping on the outside of the store shelves (eg. produce, meat, dairy departments).

-Choose one day a week to have as a FREE DAY! Eat what ever you've been craving all week. Just remember to practice a reasonable amount of portion control! Having the opportunity to indulge one day a week makes eating sensibly the other six days easier.

-The idea of a free day is NOT to gorge one's self, but indulge in a few treats. This can boost metabolism and lift the spirit, making adherence to a stricter diet for the other 6 days of the week manageable. Remember that overindulging may impede progress and sabotage your efforts for the previous six days.

***Your progress is a DIRECT result of your own efforts. No one can change your body but YOU! You are in control of your own destiny in this one area of your life and the question of priorities shine through. How much do you want to make changes?

EXAMPLES OF FIBROUS CARBOHYDRATES
broccoli
asparagus
lettuce
cauliflower
green beans
mushrooms
spinach
tomato
peas
brussel sprouts
artichoke
cabbage
celery
zucchini
cucumber
onion
peppers
salad green mix
bean sprouts

EXAMPLES OF STARCHY CARBOHYDRATES
baked potato
sweet potato
yam
squash
pumpkin
steamed brown rice
steamed wild rice
pasta
oatmeal
barley
beans
corn
strawberries
melon
apple
orange
fat free yogurt
whole wheat bread
carrots

QUALITY PROTIEN SOURCES
chicken breast
turkey breast
lean ground turkey
swordfish
orange roughy
haddock
salmon
tuna
crab
lobster
shrimp
top round steak
top sirloin steak
lean ground beef
buffalo
lean ham
egg whites
low fat cottage cheese
low carb whey protein supplement

Submitted by:

Shawna Kaminski

Shawna Kaminski is a long time personal trainer and teacher. She has many academic and athletic credentials. She can help you reach your fitness goals at: http://members.shaw.ca/shawna.kaminski.



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