If you balance macronutrients the right way with the right combination of foods, your body will metabolize fat, be able to build muscle (with exercise) and feel energized for prolonged periods of time.
Here’s how we craft the perfect meal: we start with protein and ensure that each meal has enough. This gives your muscles the nutrients they need to grow. Then, we add carbohydrates to help you feel satisfied and energized. The remainder of your meal calories come from healthy fat. Remember, eating fat will not make you fat. In fact, it can help you feel more satisfied and maintain steady blood sugar levels.
Foods to limit
- Refined carbohydrates: Refined carbs like white bread, pasta, rice, cereal, and snack foods on their own will result in high blood sugar levels and insulin peak. This spike in sugar will stop your body from burning fat and make you crave more food.
- Too much fruit: Fruit is nature’s candy, and the fructose found in it can make you feel hungrier, so aim for no more than 2-3 pieces a day. Limit dehydrated fruit, which has water removed, and avoid fruit juices, which have the fiber removed.
- Added sugar: Be mindful of sugar and all its derivatives (e.g. table sugar, honey, agave nectar, molasses, maple syrup). Enjoy them in moderation and pair them with some protein.
- Sugary beverages: Aim to cut out soda and drinks with added sugar completely, including fruit juice. Try sparkling water with a slice of lemon or lime to satisfy your need for bubbles and flavor.
- Processed oils: Avoid processed and heat-treated oils like refined corn, canola, cottonseed, safflower and sunflower oils. Also, steer clear of anything containing refined, hydrogenated and trans fats (e.g. packaged and fried foods). Your body doesn’t know how to digest these kinds of fats, plus they increase inflammation and your risk for heart disease.
- Processed and packaged foods: Manufacturers generally add salt, sugar and fat to processed and packaged foods to keep us coming back for more.
Food to enjoy
- Fish (white fish, salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout, sardines, anchovies, tilapia, catfish, swordfish, halibut, herring)
- Shellfish (shrimps, prawns, crab, lobster, oysters, mussels)
- Poultry (chicken, turkey)
- Lean or organic meat (beef, pork, goat, lamb, veal, rabbit, deer)
- Eggs (preferably organic)
- Dairy (minimally processed cheese, cottage cheese, unsweetened yogurt and non-dairy alternatives)
- Tofu and soy products (minimally processed)
Why aren’t legumes on that list? Legumes offer lots of protein, but they are also high in carbohydrates. What’s good is that the glycemic load of legumes is rather low, meaning that blood sugar stays more constant.
- Fatty fish (salmon, herring, trout, mackerel, anchovies)
- Coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil
- Dairy and butter from organic, grass-fed animals
- Nuts (almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts*)
- Seeds (pumpkin, sesame, chia, flaxseed)
If you don’t like fish, consider either eating more chia seeds, walnuts, flaxseed or taking a fish oil supplement to ensure you get enough omega-3 fatty acids (which our bodies require).
- Whole grains (amaranth, brown and wild rice, millet, quinoa**)
- Starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes, potatoes, yams, corn)
- Legumes (lentils, beans, chickpeas)
- Fruits (apples, pears, oranges and berries)
*peanuts are technically a legume
**quinoa is technically a seed
Setting yourself up for success