Sunday, April 05, 2009
Plan out your meals EVERY DAY!! Eat 6 small meals a day, a meal every 2-3 hours. Add protein to every meal, in small amounts. A small chicken breast; 1/2 c. cottage cheese; a protein shake; etc. Having your meals pre-planned will keep you in control and less tempted by the ole, "Gee, what am I gonna have for dinner?" scam. A good book to grab is "The Eat Clean Diet," by Tosca Reno. Great recipes and excellent tips. I also give myself one cheat meal a week. I don't go overboard...I just enjoy a food that I normally wouldn't eat.
Next, how to plan your meals. I'm pretty anal, and I like to keep my meals simple. Here's what I do:
Grab paper and pen and number Meals #1 to #6. Then, I start with #1 and add a protein. Usually for breakfast, it's egg whites. Then I go down the list and fill in protein at each meal. A serving of protein such as egg whites, chicken breast, lean beef or bison, tuna or salmon (this will count as a protein and a fat), and cottage cheese.
Next, I go back and add a complex carb. These are your starches such as brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, whole grain pasta, whole grain cereals, etc. Most of my meals have one of these, except for #6. Late in the day, I don't eat complex carbs cause I don't need them. Remember: Carbs are for energy. Do you need that energy during the night?
Next, I go back and add a different complex carb that I call fibrous carbs. These are your fruits and veggies. At least 3 of my meals has a veggie or a fruit.
Finally, I add the good stuff: FAT! Flaxseed meal, nuts, nut butters, olive oil, avocadoes, etc. Those are all great fats. I try to have one at each meal, except for #6 and my post-workout meal, which for me is #2.
And you are done! Keep your meals simple. And DRINK YOUR WATER!! I encourage you to pre-plan your meals on your SparkPeople nutrition tracker before eating. Having this plan posted on your fridge every morning will keep you pretty close to your target. And if things change during the day, you can go back and make adjustments.
During my competition season, my diet is very different. But here's a sample of my daily off-season diet:
Meal #1: 1/2 c. dry oats, cooked; 1 scoop vanilla whey protein; 1/4 c. blueberries; 1/2 T. flaxseed meal; Drinks: 16 oz of water and black coffee
Meal #2: 1 granny smith apple; 1 T. Natural PB; 1 scoop whey mixed w/water
Meal #3: Tuna Pancake: 1/2 c. oats mixed with 3 egg whites and 1 small can of tuna (form into a pancake on a skillet and cook both sides until golden; great w/salsa); 1 c. steamed broccoli drizzled with 1/2 T. olive oil; 16 oz of water
Meal #4: 1 scoop whey protein mixed with water, 1/2 c. frozen strawberries, and 1/2 T. flaxseed oil; 16 oz of water or decaf iced tea
Meal #5: 4 oz grilled chicken; large salad w/1/4 c. chickpeas; 1 T. olive oil and 2 T. balsamic vinegar, drizzled over salad;16 oz of water (preworkout meal)
Meal #6: Postworkout shake: 1 scoop whey protein, 1 small banana, 1/2 T. honey, ice