Here is a Nutrition plan I designed based on the plans contained in many books, a few of which you'll find below. Like any nutrition plan, it only works if you are regularly exercising. Regular exercise should include some kind of strength training. You don't need to go to a gym to get strength training, you can start out at home with pushups, pullups and situps. After a while, though, you will desire to go to the gym for strength training anyway (That's the whole idea). In fact, if you have been sedentary for a long period of time, you should NOT go to a gym to start an exercise program, but rather get basic training like running or swimming elsewhere for a month or so to get started.
What you'll need:
- Willingness to learn and set goals
- Some good cookware & a kitchen to use it.
- A good recipe book, preferably one with carb/protein calculations in it.
- Money (you can rob it from your eating-out budget)
- Small notepad (to keep a small journal of protein/carb grams per meal)
- Heart-rate monitor (optional) to make sure you're not overworking your heart/monitor progress.
This plan is basic, it doesn't require a lot of thought - but it does require a lot of discipline. The plan uses a lot of numbers, and that's because a lot of the best foods don't have labels on the side that tell you exactly how many grams of carbs/protein they have inside. First, you'll need a little education of the REAL food groups.
Glucose and Insulin.
Like most foods, we eat in order to get simple magic potion that gives us the energy to move and breathe, GLUCOSE. Fortunately, our body knows what foods will bring the glucose the fastest. Unfortunately, our body isn't smart enough to know when to stop. The foods that provide the highest amounts of glucose are the same ones that taste good, are easy to eat, and can be eaten in large quanitities (packaged ones are also generally non-perishable). Once that glucose is in your body, it needs to be burned up by the furnace, otherwise, it's stacked as fat to be used later. (Your body thinks it won't get fed again for along time, so it stores the unused energy for later) . The same is true if you starve yourself all morning, then eat a big lunch. (Big meaning full or starch or sugar since those are the easiest foods to eat too much of). Your body goes into a panic, tries to store all the glucose it can. In order to do this massive storage process, your body produces insulin which makes you tired. By getting tired your metablism slows down. Do you see the chain reaction?
Time between meals » Eat sugar/starch »
Glocuse overdose » Insulin » Get tired »
Slows Metabolism » Stored FAT
So now you've got the stored fat. Bad news is it's really hard to get rid of it short of starving your self and forcing your body to use that fat. Well, that's exactly what we are going to do.
Basics of food groups.
"Group A" - Proteins.
Coupled with Amino Acids, these become the building blocks of your body's muscle tissue. Can come from other mammals or from vegetables. Man has been eating protein since the transition from Homo Erectus to Homo Sapien, and in the vegetable form, before that. It is essential that each meal (at least 3-5 per day, spaced no more than 4 hours apart) is designed around the protein source. The number of protein grams in the meal is the basis for everythign else.
Examples of good protein sources *Italicized items below have valuable additional benefits:
Chicken, Tuna, Steak, White fish, Halibut, Cod, Turkey Breast, Egg whites (5), Whey Protein (Bars, shakes, powder), Yogurt
"Groups B, C, D " - Carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates give you the energy you need to function. It's the most easily attainable food. I break down carbohydrates into three categories, based on what they do for you, and how fast the body gets glocuse out of them in digestion:
B: Starchy Carbohydrates. These are the staples of western food. Europeans and everyone from Europe has been eating potatoes and bread every day for thousands of years. The only difference is that now we are frying it, injecting it with hydrogenated oils, and smothering it with sugar and even more fat. Starch becomes glocose with enters the bloodstream a little faster than protein, and much faster than fibrous (complex) carbs. We need a very small amount of starch to keep our bodies functioning normally.
Examples of starch: *Italicized items below have valuable additional benefits:
Pasta, Rice, Shred wheat, Corn, Oatmeal, Potatoes, Wheat bread
C: Simple Carbohydrates. Sugar. Pretty much all simple carbohydrates break down into sugar. The rate at which simple carbs break down into glucose is faster than from any other food source. If you
Examples of simple carbohydrates: *Italicized items below have valuable additional benefits:
Oranges, Banana, Yogurt, Cantaloupe, Apple, Grapes, Strawberries
D: Complex Carbohydrates.
Examples of complex carbohydrates: *Italicized items below have valuable additional benefits:
, Broccoli, Cauliflower
, Celery, Mushrooms
, Red / Green Peppers, Spinach, Squash, Green Beans, Cucumber
, Lettuce, Tomato
#1 priority is protein.
For all meals, use 1 item from A, B, D. For post-workout meals, use 1A, 1C. Stay +/- 10g on carbs and +/- 5g on fats. If skim milk is used as a protein source, keep in mind 8 oz. of it has 10g SIMPLE Carbs. *Italicized items below have valuable additional benefits.
Water Intake: (Your lean weight) x .66 = ounces/day.
NO Fruit juice or sodas unless for AC meals (Crystal Lite / green tea OK with water.)
(Fruit juice: 25-60g simple carbohydrates, sodas 40-50g simple carbs/ 12 oz. A jumbo 22oz. soda refilled has 160-200g simple carbs)
Eat plenty of Monounsaturated fats
(Fish oils, virgin olive oil, canola oil, natural peanut butter, high quality nuts).
Avoid / remove Saturated fats
Found in fatty meats, hydrogenated foods, heavy cheeses, TV dinners, pretty much any impulse food (chips, vending machine foods, and most non-perishable packaged foods), coconut oil and palm oil.
Avoid / remove Polyunsaturated fats found in vegetable oils, corn oil, cottonseed oil, safflower, Doritos, oily chips, soybean & sunflower oil. (Pretty much any impulse food)
Caloric Cycling, Macronutrients, Carbohydrate-Protein-Fat Ratio
40/40/20, where = protein/carbs/good fats. (Very little sugar, alcohol, bad fats). Use formulas for calorie calculation from grams: 4xProtein + 4xCarbs + 9xFat = Calories. Use 1850/day for 2 weeks, followed by 2650/day for the next 2 weeks, rotate.
Follow proportional grams, NOT calories.
No more than 40g starch or simple carbs within one hour (insulin spike)
Cooking: Don’t cook veggies, don’t fry anything, trim fat prior to cooking, use minimum salt, butter, oil & sugar when cooking – use herbs, non-salt seasonings, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, pepper, red wine, salsa catsup, mustard & salsas instead.
ONE day per week is a “Cheat” day.
DON’T follow rules on that day, follow 7-day cycle.
Food group calculations:
Protein (3.5 oz.)
Carbs (Complex – Starchy)
ONLY after a workout
Carbs (Complex, Fibrous)
10oz.=15g complex carbs)
Round steak 33
White fish 31
Halibut, Cod 31
Turkey Breast 28
Egg whites (5) 30
Whey Protein Bar 30
Whey Protein shake 24
CLIF Bar 12
BCAA Supplement 4
Pasta 1 cup 44
Rice 2/3 cup 31
Shred wheat 1cup 31
Corn ½ cup 31
Oatmeal ½ cup 27
Baked Potato 3.5 oz. 21
Wheat bread 1 slice 12
Banana small 27
Cantaloupe ½ 25
Grapes 1 cup 14
Strawberries 1 cup 9
Red / Green Peppers
Examples of meals:
After a a workout, eat an AC meal or snack. Otherwise eact an ABD meal.
Oatmeal & Protein bar
Chicken pasta salad
Egg / Chicken salad
Meat & Rice
Fish, Beans & Rice
Tuna, toast & corn
Steak & Fries
Chicken & Pasta
Turkey & Stuffing
Protein smoothie w/ fruit
Cereal, skim milk & fruit
Egg whites, fruit & juice
Cereal & yogurt
Beef Jerky & Oranges
Cold chicken & fruit
Protein Bar & Juice
Protein Juice drinks
Egg whites & Gatorade
Tuna & fruit
Protein smoothie to go
Protein bar, veggies
Nuts & veggies
Popcorn & veggies
Egg whites, Tomato salad
Egg, Cucumber salad
Egg white & Tuna salad
Peanut butter & celery
- Get enough rest in a cool, dark room with no background noise. 6-8 hours is ideal.
- Exercise every day, in the morning, as soon as you wake up.
- At least 20 minutes of cardio-vascular exercise at 80% of target heart rate (if you have a heart rate monitor)
- Running or Swimming for 20, If you're biking, 40-60 minutes. Walk if you can't run.
- After a workout, eat an AC meal. Follow it with cool (not COLD) water, at least 20 oz.
- Drink water constantly. Use the formula above. Take the water with you, make sure you bring home empty bottles. It's up to you what kind of water you want to drink. I like delivered 5 gallon bottles of well water - I refill 5 20 oz sports bottles with this water each evening.
- DON'T drink sodas, sweet teas or artificial juices.
- Eat constantly.
- Every two hours, eat an ABD snack or an ABD meal.
- If you are strength training in the afternoons (I like a 3x/week schedule), eat an AC meal or AC snack afterwards.
- Don't eat within two hours of bedtime. (insulin » slow metabolism)
- Exercise discipline in the moment of choice.
- Plan out the next day's meals.
- Make frequent trips to get groceries. Buy fresh food, stay away from boxed and packaged foods.
- Don't eat out unless it's on your "Cheat day".
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