Continuing on with our theme of conquering one challenge at a time, (“fork down, spoon down”) let’s discuss your daily eating plan. Let’s make it as basic as possible. I hate weighing, measuring, following complicated rules, “don’t ever eat this, eat that” – don’t you? That’s not how I want to spend the rest of my life and that’s not what God intended. Anything’s fine in moderation, use common sense.
Once again, make life a game! Get your entire family involved. For example: as you explain what calories, nutrients and enzymes are, (ex. Fat stays in your system for 5-7 hours!) ask questions. If they know the right answer there will be rewards, such as choosing the next movie.
Your body is like a steam train’s engine. It needs to be kept powered with energy to produce energy, the first Law of Thermodynamics. So strive to consume mini-meals throughout the day.
Everyone’s lives are chemically differently with various bone structure and stress levels so there’s really no “one-size-fits-all” diet plan. Besides you don’t want to rely on a “diet” – you want to change your lifestyle.
An adult’s caloric intake should never drop below 1200 calories or your metabolism will begin shutting down and you won’t lose. Here’s a website with an excellent formula to decide how much you need to cut down per week: http://www.shape.com/weight-loss/weight-loss-strategies/how-many-calories-should-i-eat. Keep things simple, slow and steady. I suggest reducing 500 “junky” calories per day x 7 days = 3500 calories which equals a pound of fat loss safely per week.
Keeping it simple, here’s a typical daily eating plan that can be adapted to fit your schedule:
For Breakfast: Choose 6-8 oz. of good quality yogurt, Dannon Natural or Mountain High are my favorites. Eat yogurt first. Why? Because the good bacteria strengthens your immune system’s digestive track. Most nutrients get dispersed out of the small intestine so if it’s clogged up, it can’t function properly. (In a hurry? Create a quick smoothie with yogurt, a banana, orange juice, ice and 1% milk. I call it my “magnesium-potassium” shake.)
Then consume 3/4 cup of a high fiber (5 grams +) flavorful cereal like Great Grains, Shredded Wheat, Raisin Bran, Grape nuts, Kashi products. If you have high cholesterol, choose soluble fiber which turns into a gel, like oatmeal, reducing bad cholesterol. Insoluble fiber, like bran products, push waste through your digestion system so you’ll absorb nutrients efficiently. Add a banana, raisins or berries for additional fiber. Use only almond, soy, 1% or skim milk (2% is 40% fat).
Carbohydrates remain 15 minutes (orange juice) to 3 hours in your system depending on the amount of fiber contained in the carbs which lasts longer. Then increase water. You’ll feel fuller because fiber expands. It also slows down insulin dispersion. (More on fiber tomorrow.)
Mid-morning: Bring a snack to work like a 1/4 cup of walnuts, an apple, red grapes or other fruit for brain function. Your brain feeds primarily on glucose.
Lunch: Choose low-sodium or homemade soups, a salad with protein/colorful greens for nutrients, a low-sodium microwaveble meal, a small Subway veggie/low-cal sub, or one brought from home on whole wheat. You can also bring ‘planned-overs’ from last night’s dinner.
Proteins last in your system from 2-4 hours. We only burn up about 30 grams of protein in 2 1/2 hours so don’t over-indulge!
Afternoon snack: If you won’t arrive home until late, try carrot sticks, 2 thin slices of light cheese on 4 Triscuits. a tablespoon of peanut butter on two low-fat crackers or an apple.
Home now, go for a walk to relieve stress or listen to music, take a short bath and de-stress before eating.
Dinner: Lots of choices!! Consume 3-4 oz. of lean protein, sirloin, pork loin, chicken breast, shrimp, crab, tuna, any white fish. (There are plenty of cookbooks with 365 ways to prepare chicken!) Eat 5x’s more water-based vegetables than meat, (broccoli, garden salad, sliced tomatoes, green beans, kale) a whole grain such as a baked potato, pasta, corn, peas, bread. Avoid frying your food and enjoy the taste of grilled, broasted or baked choices. Add olive oil or canola oil to your salads and use real butter sparingly.
Desserts? Indulge in one individual dark Dove, Ghirardelli or other fine high quality chocolate and savor the taste.
You’re in control now. Making the right decisions is powerful!!! You are the one determining to overcome previous bad choices. Choose a healthy life!
1 Corinthians 9:27 “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”