A Diet You Can Live With
Look at magazine covers and best-seller lists and you would think that every person in America is on some specialized diet. The Paleo Diet, Eat for your Blood Type, Raw Food, Gluten-free… the list goes on and on. However if we were to ask around,we would probably find that most people are just trying to stay fit, strong and healthy, eating the food that makes them feel best.
Most of us have tremendous difficulty adhering to a strict set of guidelines when it comes to our food. Tell me I can’t have chocolate and suddenly chocolate is what I crave for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Instead, those who are successful in keeping their bodies fit and trim have found a plan that works for them, usually involving lots of the good stuff and a bit of the stuff they just can’t live without. For some that may mean their evening bowlof ice cream and for others it’s the evening cocktail.
As simplistic as it sounds the food plan that I have found to make the most sense is the healthy plate model. First take a plate and divide it into fourths. One fourth should be a lean protein, like grilled fish or chicken, one fourth is a complex carbohydrate such as a sweet potato or brown rice, and the rest of the plate is full of non-starchy vegetables. This gives you carbs for energy, protein for building and repairing muscle, and plenty of vitamins, minerals, and fiber to help you feel satisfied. For snacks, make sure to combine a protein and a carb, and keep it between 150-200 calories, for example an apple and a piece of low-fat string cheese, or a slice of whole wheat toast with hummus.
One other helpful tipis to make sure your diet is not too“fat.” Of course there are healthy fats and our bodies need those, but they should not make up more than twenty to thirty percent of your total calories.Unlike carbohydrates and protein which have four calories per gram, fat has nine calories per gram. So, a few extra bites of chicken will not do much damage to your diet, but a few extra bites of cheesy-potatoes may put you over the edge!
Eating is not rocket science, and we don’t need to complicate our plates. Think simple, clean, and fresh with a little room for the naughty. Combine that with some hard-core workouts and that rockin’ body will be yours!