What to Eat?
Ok, now for the part we all hate. Here is where I am supposed to tell you about all of the things you can't eat and the only things you can eat taste horrible. Well if that were the case, you would never stay on the diet. This is a big reason why so many diets fail.
What you can eat for the rest of your life is maybe a little more bland than your used to but the good news is that you can eat as much as you want until you are full every time.
Your body needs three things to survive, Water, Protein and Carbohydrates. You can live for a long time without fruits, vegetables and dairy, but not very long at all without water, protein or carbs.
Yes, I want you to eat from all of the food groups. Yes, I want you to get your daily nutrition and yes, I want you to get your fiber so you can stay regular and your veggies so you can grow up healthy and strong, but I will just focus on the meat and potatoes. The rest will just be used as filler to make sure you are full every time you eat.
If you do not already take a daily vitamin, start now. I don't even care if it is a kids vitamin, it will give you the extra edge you need to ensure that you are getting the vitamins and minerals you need on a daily basis.
Every day I hear someone say that they are avoiding carbohydrates such as bread, potatoes and pasta. When they hear me tell people to eat carbohydrates they think I am crazy and probably do not listen. Hear this, your body needs carbohydrates to make energy. If you do not give your body energy, it will not be happy. You will feel tired all the time and have no energy to do things. You may even get headaches and be irritable. This is another reason why most diets don't work long term. When you get enough complex carbohydrates, you will no longer crave sugars and sweets.
So how much protein versus carbohydrates should you eat? The average is about a 50/50 split. As with everything in this program, you will have to do a little trial and error to find what works best for you. Some people use 60/40 protein/carb split while they are dieting and then go to a 50/50 split to maintain their desired weight. Everybody is different and this diet allows you to discover what works for you and use it to your advantage to customize your own diet. Again, each meal should consist of 45% protein, 40-45% carbohydrates and 10-15% of some other filler such as a vegetable or a salad.
What should you eat to get your protein? Good Question! You can eat just about any meat, fish, soy protein or whatever. What we are trying to avoid is fat. So whatever type of protein you choose, the leanest cuts are best. I usually recommend Chicken Breast or Turkey Breast.
One thing to remember is that Red Meat takes longer to digest than white meat. If you normally eat every 4-5 hours and you eat red meat, it may take your body 6-7 hours or more to digest it. If you eat again before your body has fully digested the last meal, the left over previous meal and/or what you don't burn off from the new meal will be stored as fat. If you stick to white meat you will not have this problem.
Fish is the easiest to digest, so you will be hungry sooner. Keep in mind that Some fish is more fatty than others. Try to focus on the leanest types of fish like orange roughly and sea bass rather than salmon. Tuna is right in the middle.
I usually eat Mostly Chicken and turkey for breakfast lunch and dinner and I substitute fish a couple time a week for dinner. If you are a big red meat eater, you can add one or two meals a week with a moderate amount of red meat after you have already lost the weight and are now on the maintenance part of the diet. I would prefer if you eat any red meat for breakfast or lunch rather than for your last meal of the day to give your body more time to process it before bedtime.
As far as preparing the meat, char-grilled or broiled is the best. Any method of cooking that allows the fat juices to drip away from the meat is preferable. Obviously, stay away from fried foods. I must admit, I eat fried chicken all the time. I just peal off the skin and that saves me a lot of extra fat that most people ingest. Keep in mind that I am on the maintenance phase of my diet. I avoided fried foods altogether when I was on the weight loss phase. Most restaurants now use low fat frying oil, especially in urban areas. When you go down south, they tend to cook with more grease or lard and use less healthy alternatives. For the best results cook your own food so that you know what you are eating.
To get your carbohydrates, you can eat Pasta, Potatoes, Rice, cus cus, pita bread or even regular bread. Bread is probably not as good as pasta or potatoes, but in a pinch or in a hurry it is fine. I eat bread with almost every meal. If you are skeptical, you can eat wheat bread instead of white. Again it depends on whether you are currently trying to lose weight or maintain what you have already lost.
Pasta is not fattening at all. It is the sauce that gets put on it that can be fattening. Alfredo sauce is the worst. Tomato Marinara sauce usually does not have any fat at all. Meat sauce is not as good because the fatty juice from the meat gets cooked right into the sauce. After you lose the weight and are just trying to maintain your weight, you can try mixing the marinara sauce with Alfredo for a really good pink sauce, but apply it sparingly. Just enough to get the taste.
Potatoes, pasta and bread are complex carbohydrates. These are the good ones. Simple Carbohydrates like Sugar is what we want to avoid. With this diet, your body will get enough complex carbohydrates without having to get the rush of energy that sugar gives you. Stay away from candy, pop, artificially sweetened juices etc.
When you are in the losing weight stage try to stay away from juices that naturally have sugar in them. After you lose the weight and just want to maintain, Juices can be a healthy part of your diet as long as there is not any additional sugars added. The same goes for fruit.
Avoid any foods that have corn syrup, fructose or any other type of sugars. If the label says 15 grams of sugar and 23 grams of carbohydrates, you can expect that it has 8 grams of complex carbohydrates and the rest are simple carbohydrates like sugar.
Some people eat for pleasure and some people eat just to survive. The people who eat for pleasure usually have the worst time with diets because everything is so bland. To help here are some things you can use for flavor that do not add extra fat.
- Steak Sauce
- Marinara Sauce
- Fat Free Salad Dressings
- Vinegar without the oil
- Wine (in moderation)
No you should not put the butter and sour cream on the potatoes. Next time try some steak sauce or salsa. It will add flavor and make them more palatable without adding fat.
When you make a sandwich, forget the mayonnaise, oil, olives, cheese or anything that has fat. You can load it up with veggies, lettuce, cucumber, pickles, green peppers, onions, etc. You can use mustard for flavor or fat free salad dressings.
Try to avoid Dairy products altogether while on the weight loss diet phase of the program. Yes, this means no pizza, no cheese sauce on your vegetables, no milk and not even cottage cheese. You will probably want decrease your dairy intake for the rest of your life, but if you are a big milk drinker, switch to skim milk and have up to a glass a dy after you reach your goal weight.
One thing to always remember is that even when you are cheating by adding something to your diet that I wouldn't approve of, at least do it in moderation. Here is what I mean. If occasionally once you have graduated on to the maintenance phase of the diet, you want to add some mayonnaise to a sandwich, don't just glop it on like you used to. Spread it on with an almost scraping motion and use it sparingly. Just enough to get a little taste of it. If your going to put sauce or gravy on something, use just a little dab. One trick I use is placing the "dabbed" side of the food directly on my tongue. This allows me to be content with much less of the offensive item.
Good Luck and as usual, please contact me with anything that you are not sure about on the diet support
page. Remember, if your not sure if you should eat something, skip it until you find out for sure and if you do go off your diet, its not the end of the world, just continue with the diet on the next meal.