If fat loss is your goal, eat veggies and fruits with any meal; "other carbs" only after exercise.
Do you enjoy bread, pasta, rice, sugary foods, etc.? Me too! But when you consume these foods can make all the difference in re-shaping your body and losing fat mass. Be sure to focus more on the whole grain varieties and save them until 1-2 hours after you exercise.
If you want to lose fat, a controlled carb diet where most of your carbs come from veggies and fruits, plus a small amount of additional carbs from sugary sources during exercise and a small amount of starch sources post-exercise. Sure, this sounds challenging, but when mastered, this strategy sure does work!
If you want to gain more muscle, you consume more carbs. The specific amount is based on your individual needs and activity patterns (we can discuss this during a one-on-one nutrition session).
When it comes to body composition change, this carbohydrate timing strategy is the single most effective strategy in order to initiate fat loss in people with stubborn and hard-to-remove body fat stores. It also minimizes fat gain in people gaining muscle.
Types of Carbohydrate and When to Eat Them For Fat Loss:
Food Type: Exercise Recovery Drink - Consume only during exercise - Examples: Sugary, protein-rich recovery drinks
Food Type: Simple Sugars - Consume rarely - Examples: Sugary sports drinks, breakfast cereals, soda, fruit juice,table sugar, sugary desserts, ice cream, muffins, bagels, and other carb-rich snacks
Food Type: Starchy Foods - Consume within 1-2 hours after exercise - Examples: Bread (preferably whole grain), pasta (preferably whole grain, flax or soy), Rice (preferably whole grain, wild, unprocessed), potatoes (preferably sweet potatoes or yams), oats (preferably whole oats), cereal grains (wheat, rye, etc.)
Food Type: Fruits and Vegetables - Consume with each meal - Examples: Spinach, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, apples, oranges, avocados, berries, celery root, rutabega, parsnip, daikon, etc.
Types of Carbohydrate and When to Eat Them For Muscle Gain:
Food Type: Exercise Recovery Drink - Consume during and after exercise
Food Type: Simple Sugars - Consume immediately after exercise (if at all)
Food Type: Starchy Foods - Consume within 3 hours after exercise
Food Type: Fruits and Vegetables - Consume with each meal
As you can see, depending upon your personal goals, you will need to adjust your eating strategies accordingly. We can further personalize your plan during your one-on-one nutritional counseling session. I look forward to hearing from you!
Order the Lifestyle Nutrition way, even at restaurants.
Although snacking on wraps and eating out of Ziploc baggies and Tupperware works great, once in a while you will undoubtedly want to have someone else prepare the food for you. No worries. Just pick a few food places that have a flexible menu, and using the tips we discussed earlier in the week, build a great tasting meal. Most restaurants will have one or two meals on the menu that will meet your needs, and those that don't are generally happy to accommodate your nutritional requests. Simply order a lean protein source (such as chicken breast, fish or shellfish, lean steak (flank, filet, or sirloin are best choices), or tofu), ask them to fill the plate with veggies, ask for olive oil, and if you've worked out earlier that day, you can add some carbs too (1/2 baked or sweet potato, 1/2 cup brown or wild rice, etc.).
Contact me for local restaurants to go to and how to make the best choices from the menu. Learning a few tricks of the trade will make going out to eat, well, a walk in the park!
Well, there you have it. A number of great time-saving strategies for having your good nutrition and eating it too! Use them and you'll spend less than 30 minutes a day on food prep, but most importantly, you'll have a great physique to show for it!
Eat wraps instead of sandwiches.
Although sandwiches are on many of our stand-by lunch list, they're often too low in protein and veggies and too high in processed carbohydrates. One alternative to the sandwich is a wrap. Some healthy and low-glycemic wrap choices are Joseph's lavash breads, tortillas, and pitas (made with oat bran), La Tortilla Factory tortillas, and Cedars high fiber/high protein tortillas.
Stuff your wrap with some of the pre-cooked protein as well as some of your pre-cut veggies, and you'll have a great meal for lunch on-the-go. Add some of your pre-cut fruit and you're all set.
If you're trying to lose fat or if you have poor carbohydrate tolerance, you don't want to go too high in carbohydrate during your lunch if you haven't exercised already. Try this recipe below for a great, lower-carb lunch.
Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps
Make big batches of stir-fry and chili.
Two types of meals that can easily be precooked in their entirety and heated up again are various types of stir-fry and chili. Try cooking up some chili or stir-fry for dinner once or twice a week. If you cook a big enough batch, you'll get a great tasting dinner plus leftovers that you can refrigerate and then warm up for easy, delicious lunches all week long.
I have a wonderful assortment of recipes I can share if you are interested in try them. Contact me to receive a complimentary recipe that will be sent to your email. Happy cooking!
Are you one of the many individuals who want to fight the aging process or want to prevent chronic disease? Most scientists agree that antioxidants can help individuals to do just that. Here's some promising research about a powerful antioxidant that will help us to stay youthful and disease-free!
Pine bark extract comes from the bark of the French maritime pine (Pinus pinaster or Pinus maritima). The extract contains a group of compounds with proanthocyanidins, which are found in many plants such as cocoa, grape seed, grape skin, bilberry, and cranberries. They are believed to act as one of the most powerful antioxidants.
Proponents claim that pine bark extract protects against arthritis, cancer, heart disease, retinopathy, caricose veins, and diabetes-related complications. Of these conditions, current research suggest that pine bark extract may be useful in decreasing blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels while also improving circulation. This, in essence, will help decrease edema in the legs for those who suffer from such a condition.(1) Stanford University researchers are currently recruiting subjects for a randomized, double-blind prevention trial that aims to investigate the efficacy of Flavangenol, a brand of pine bark extract, in lowering blood pressure and improving glycemic control and plasma lipoprotein profiles. Lester Packer and colleagues at the University of California Berkeley agree that pine bark extract, marketed as Pycnogenol, is one of the most potent antioxidants they have researched to date.(2)
I recommed a powerful antioxidant called OPC-3. This particular supplement is Isotonic, which means “same pressure,” and bears the same chemical resemblance of the body’s blood, plasma and tears. Isotonix dietary supplements are delivered in an isotonic solution. This means that the body has less work to do in obtaining maximum absorption. The isotonic state of the suspension allows nutrients to pass directly into the small intestine and to be rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. OPC-3 contains the following: Red Wine Extract: 25 mg; Grape Seed Extract: 25 mg; Bilberry Extract: 25 mg; Citrus Extract (Bioflavonoids): 25 mg; and Pine Bark Extract (Pycnogenol®).
1. Stafford RS, Stanford University UPBEAT research team. Understanding pine bark extract as an alternative treatment (UPBEAT): Orientation for antioxidant study. Available at: http://ppop.stanford.edu/documents/antioxidant-presentation.pdf.
2. Sanders R. Pine bark extract as a potent antioxidant, and may help boost the effects of vitamin C and other antioxidants, UC Berkeley scientists report. February 5, 1998. Available at: http://berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/98legacy/02_05_98a.html.
Pre-cook your protein.
Another great way to save time in the kitchen is to pre-cook yoru protein for the week. A BBQ grill is great for this, as you can prepare a big batch of chicken breasts, turkey sausage, burgers, etc. on the day you go grocery shopping (perhaps while your chopping veggies) and refrigerate them until you need them. You can then simply heat them in a pan or in the microwave in a snap whenever you're in need of a quick meal or even to sit down for a meal with the family!
Vegetarian? You may also use alternative protein sources such as dairy products (Greek yogurts, plain yogurt, low-fat cheeses, skim milk, etc.), soy products (tofu, tempeh, soy burgers, soy jerky, soy sausage, soy bacon, seitan, etc.), or supplemental protein (whey, casein, or milk protein blends).
Add egg whites in with your whole eggs.
Eggs are a morning staple for most individuals, but others avoid them because they take more time to prepare in the morning. Rather than messing around with egg separation every morning, simply pick up a few egg white cartons and one dozen omega-3 eggs. Now omelette or scramble preparation is easy! Pour your egg whites into a pan, crack one whole egg and add it in. Grab a few handfuls of veggies from your pre-cut baggies and toss them in too.
Enjoy your quick and nutritious breakfast and stay full until your next meal!
Next time...a chat about protein preparation tips!
One question that commonly comes up when working with my clients is: "Where do you find the time to cook all that food?"
Well, I know you have a job, commitments, and responsibilities. I know you feel that you barely have any time for yourself as it is and the last thing you probably want to do with your 1 free hour every day is to cook meals.
The fact of the matter is that of all the daily commitments you make each day, perhaps the most important is the one you make to yourself - the commitment to exercise, supplementation, and eating right. I can't teach you this commitment, but I can certainly help you to utilize the tools to get you moving in the right direction.
To help you with this, here are a few tips to minimize the time spent cooking each day. Once you've made the decision to respect yourself and your time enough to take care of your body, these speedy food-prep ideas will be simple to put into action.
CHOP VEGGIES ONLY TWICE PER WEEK
One of my recommendations to everyone is to include veggies with each meal/snack. I'm not talking about 2 baby carrots here (although this may be a great place to start if you don't currently eat many veggies). I'm talking about a cup or two of veggies (or their equivalent - ex. Complete Greens). It's important to make this a priority in your daily intake as vegetables (and fruits) provide an alkaline load to the blood. Since both proteins and grains present acid loads to the blood, it's important to balance these acids with alkaline-rich vegetables and fruits. Too much acid and not enough alkalinity means the loss of bone strength and muscle mass. Veggies also contain a high water content, which will help to keep you more full throughout the day, as well as help with keeping you hydrated.
Now, it's likely best to chop your veggies soon before eating them. They retain the most nutrients that way. However, if you're pressed for time and find that you simply don't get enough veggies this way, don't keep skipping those veggies. Your next best strategy is to chop up half of your weekly veggie purchase as soon as you get home from the grocery store, and chop the rest when you're done eating the first half, three to four days later.
In order to accomplish this goal, buy some big Ziploc Freezer Baggies adn separate your veggies by type. Cut beggies only twice per week: Once on the day you shop and another time mid-week. By doing this one thing, you'll cut down your food prep time significantly. And you'll increase your veggie intake! Each time you want a salad, a veggie omelette, or a stir-fry, either right away of for later at work, a wide variety of pre-cut veggies is just a baggie away.
And remember, this isn't just for veggies. Fruits work the same way - pineapple, mango, peaches, nectarines, oranges, and strawberries all can be pre-cut. Another alternative is to choose frozen fruits and veggies. Some veggie strategies are better than others, but regardless of which strategy you choose, make sure to get those 5-10 cups per day!
Alissa Robertson, MS, RD, Nutrition Specialist and Owner of Lifestyle Management & Nutrition, received her Bachelor's Degree in Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Vermont. Upon graduation in 2003 she spent four years providing nutrition education and counseling to local Vermonters. In 2007 she returned to the University of Vermont to complete a two-year Master's program in Dietetics and Nutrition. She is now practicing as a Registered Dietitian at Essex Physical Therapy located in Essex Center, Vermont.