Five Ways to Fight Flab and Stay Fit: Eat Like Jean by Jean Jitomir
1. No/Minimal Processing!
Foods that are processed: Crackers, bread, deli meat, sausage, veggie burgers, frozen meals, protein bars, RTE, meal replacements, boxed cereals, many cheeses
Foods that are minimally processed: roasted nuts, low-fat dairy, frozen meats, frozen fruits and vegetables, canned beans, dried fruit, old-fashioned oats
Foods that are not processed: brown rice, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, herbs, spices, fresh meat/fish, dried beans, raw nuts
2. High in Fresh Produce, Especially Vegetables!
Piles of fresh vegetables should be included, particularly non-starchy vegetables. Examples include peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach, collards, kale, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, cabbage, green beans, etc. Eat vegetables in bulk and before eating other meal items.
3. High in Very Lean Protein
Extra lean protein sources include, but are not limited to: chicken breast, tilapia, low- fat cottage cheese, 96% lean ground beef, whey protein, soy protein, defatted soy grits, fat-free cheese, egg whites
Other acceptable protein sources to eat in moderation are whole eggs, edamame, low-fat cheese, tofu, top round steak/roast, flank steak/roast, skinless dark chicken, center-cut pork loin, beans
4. Restricted in Fat
Include small portions of flax (1-2 Tbsp ground), nuts (6-10 nuts), fatty fish (3-6 oz fish), and oil (1tsp to 1Tbsp)
Limit/avoid dairy fats, animal fats, and, most of all, trans fats. If you avoid processed foods, you will automatically eliminate nearly all trans fats from your diet!
5. Contains carbs most of the time
This point will vary based on what kind of exercise/events you participate in. If you are an endurance athlete, you will need more carbohydrates. However, power athletes do not have nearly the same need for daily carb use or carb supplementation around workouts. For myself (not relying on science here) I find that the protein rule of thumb works well for carbs too, so I get about 115-170g of carbs on most days, not including carbs from fiber. Occasionally, I will have kind-of a carb spurge day and eat closer to 250-300g carbs.
A carb serving at a meal for me may come from ½ cup of beans combined with vegetables in a meal (about 25 grams) and I always save about 20 grams of carb for pre-workout and about 30g for recovery. Remember these values will be higher if you are a large male!
Good, unprocessed carb sources include old-fashioned or steel-cut oats, quinoa, vegetables (including potatoes— whole food!), fruits, beans, brown rice
If you follow the guidelines above, you'll realize that you're automatically getting enough fiber, vitamins, minerals, vegetable and fruits servings, and ample energy once you figure out the amount of protein/carbs/fat you require. Stick with it and watch your body love you for it!