Let’s start our discussion of the basics with our nutritional overview. Why? Because what you put in your mouth (or perhaps more importantly, what you DON’T put in your mouth), will have the greatest effect on your body composition and changes to your physique. Here are the basic principles that guide our recommendations:
Nutritional Overview: We emphasize a natural, animal and vegetable-based diet over a refined sugar & flour-based diet. Animals foods provide our bodies with all of the essential nutrients necessary for survival – essential amino acids and essential fatty acids – in the right quantities, proportions and ratios. This is what we evolved on; you can’t beat nature.
What should you eat? Natural foods:
- Lean proteins with every meal: chicken or turkey breast, fish, shellfish, lean cuts of red meat (filet mignon, top round, sirloin, leanest ground beef), lean cuts of pork, egg/egg white mixtures (1-2 whole eggs per 4-6 egg whites)
- Natural, starch-based carbohydrates with every meal: yams, sweet potatoes, potatoes, rice (any kind), or rice based products with no additives (unflavored rice cakes)
- As many non-starchy vegetables as you wish with any meal (spinach, broccoli, etc).
- Fruit as dessert only
- Drink 2-3 liters of water per day. Tea and black coffee are fine.
- Use herbs and spices to flavor foods – garlic, sea salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, paprika, etc.
- Use low fat and low sugar condiments = salsa, pico de gallo, wasabi, mustard, etc.
What should you avoid? Pretty much all man-made, processed foods, along with sugar, dairy, and fat:
- Sugar and concentrated sources of fructose: high fructose corn syrup, pure cane sugar, table sugar, fruit juices, smoothies, dried fruits, soda, “sweets”, pastries, mochas, etc.
- Sugar alcohols, artificial sweeteners, and flavorings
- Trans fats, hydrogenated oil, margarine
- Vegetable oils, flax seed oil, and other processed oils
- Dairy – milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, ice cream, cream
- Bread, pasta, and flour-based products
- Grains, including “whole grains” – breads, cereals, tortillas
- Beans, legumes
- High sugar and/or high-fat dressings and condiments
- Processed meats – hot dogs, salami, etc
- Tofu and soy-based products
- Alcoholic beverages
When should you eat?
- If you are sedentary, eat 3 times per day.
- If you are active and exercise regularly, eat 5 times per day.
How much should you eat at each meal?
- Protein: 4-8 ounces (0.25-0.5 pound). This is about the size of your palm, a deck of cards, or your iPhone.
- Carbohydrates: 8 ounces (1 cup). This is about the size of your fist or a baseball. When you start out, measure it exactly so that you know what it looks like.
- As much/many non-starchy vegetables as you like.
Where should you eat?
- Whenever possible, eat at home so that you have control over what goes into your meals.
- Sit at the dining table, or somewhere away from the television, computer, or anything else that will distract your attention from your meal.
Got this down? Great! Next, let’s talk about Training/Exercise.