We’ve all heard the advice from the media, a friend, our parents, etc. “Eat this, Not that!” “Go Gluten-Free.” “Paleo is the only way to do it!”… It’s all so confusing and hard to remember. I’m going to make it simple for you, whether you are a meat-lover, vegetarian, vegan or anything in between, you can follow any of the above diets and STILL implement what I’m about to tell you.
Look at your plate.
Split it in half. Fill one full half with vegetables and fruit. The wider variety of colours you can include; the better.
Split the remaining half of your plate in half again, now you will have two quarters. Fill one quarter of the plate with whole grains/carbohydrates (I’ll explain in a minute). Potatoes count as grains as they are starchy and really full of carbohydrates. Fill the other quarter with a lean protein source (beans, fish, poultry, lean meat, egg or dairy product). Also include a small amount of healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, flax, etc.)
Veggies- should be brightly coloured and as many colours as you can because each colour of vegetable contains different nutrients that are essential to a healthy body.
Grains- should be whole grains. When grains are refined they enter our body as a grain but are processed as a sugar, which is rapidly digested and causes spikes in our blood sugar, resulting in increased secretion of insulin. Too much insulin secretion = insulin resistance = diabetes. Whole grains are digested slower and therefore do not cause quick spikes in blood sugar. When you are looking at your ‘grain’ products check the ingredient list, if the list does not say 100% whole wheat or 100% whole grain then it’s not whole grain. Avoid long ingredients list. Great grain choices include: quinoa, bulgur, brown rice, whole oats, barley, and, wait for it… popcorn! (popcorn must NOT be the microwave crap if you want to include it in this.) Another awesome fact about whole grains- they have fiber, which will help keep you regular and full :)
Proteins- not a lot I can say about this other than try to limit the amount of protein you get from red meats (beef, venison, pork) to 2 times/week and try to get your protein from fish a minimum of 2 times/week. I also like to always include a vegetarian day where my protein source comes from beans, lentils or other vegetarian sources (I don’t do tofu, but if you do this is a good choice too!)
Fats- healthy fats are essential for keeping our tummies full, aiding in digestion and making our hair and skin glow! Limit yourself to 2 Tbsp of healthy fats/day. great sources: olive oil, flaxseed, sunflower oil, canola oil, coconut, avocado.
Of course, this isn’t everything , because there are so, so, so many contributing factors that could be causing you to retain weight, gain weight or just plateau. There is NO one-size fits all approach, some people thrive on high-protein diets, others fail miserably at them. Some people cannot eat gluten, some can eat it all and never gain an ounce. If you just CAN’T figure it out, or have no idea where to start; seek help from a professional that can customize to your needs. Dynafit offers Nutrition & Lifestyle Coaching, that can help you identify where you can improve and help you discover the tools to get you to your goals.
Thanks for reading! - TAM