Monday, January 20, 2014

Best Diet Ever?!

Not really a diet of smoothies.

The FitBlender Diet is the Best Diet in the WORLD!
This claim is just plain crazy. "Diet" is one of the hardest subjects to generalize or actually proclaim a single plan or lifestyle as "best" or "universal".
This is the "diet" I follow myself (most of the time) and give to anyone who asks for dietary guidelines. Like everything FitBlender, this diet is based on personal and social experimentation not  "a new scientific discovery," "fat burning aids" or whatever is hot right now.

Due to the amount of unique body types, physiology, efficiency and digestive differences, it's rather silly to even attempt to claim a single dietary strategy will work for everyone.
All that being said, we'll just  do as we did with exercise plans - mix all the quality true science "good" stuff and remove the fad based extreme  "bad" - mix it up to make our own simple to follow diet plan. It's not fast or easy, and it's certainly not for everyone. No marketing, no quick weight loss stories, no supplements, no fake or sponsored scientific studies. Just intelligent eating (99% of the time) with positive results, period.

Diet and Exercise go hand and hand. Though weight loss is mostly in the kitchen, those who exercise on a regular basis tend to make better choices on what to eat. The idea that "I workout so I can eat whatever I want" is a crap shoot (genetic). If you are already efficient then you likely could eat poorly without noticeable weight gain. This only relates to looks not overall health. As for overall health, all bodies hate processed garbage food at least in the long term. Exercise will quell some of the ill effects of that bad food but is no guarantee you won't have issues other than  weight gain at some point.
Understand, I love food, all food, but portion size and weekly intake should be very very regulated. When you do eat those"bad" foods make sure you can or have worked out around that time. Your body is less likely to store fat when it thinks it needs the nutrition for immediate fuel.

There is no perfect way to eat.  I'm very realistic about how much marketing, time, work, life in general effects how we eat. I'll never say "don't ever eat this again" but take the realistic approach of "eat this as little as possible." Specialized marketing and addictive food additives motivate most of our food purchases. Limiting the intake of such foods will noticeably change how you feel and perform as an athlete.

Weight Loss and Maintenance
All simple instruction from here - 28 days of strict eating, once a year- After that it's OK to add back in some of the items on the "limited lists" once in a while.

  • 4 weeks without processed foods is the perfect start to changing your diet.
  • Eat nothing you can't make 100% yourself for those first 28 days. 
  • Keep a food journal writing down everything you eat and at what time.
  • No added sugars of any kind especially fake sugars- stevia is OK after first 4 weeks
  • Eat 3-5 small meals. If 3 meals, eat til full - if 4-5 eat a meal the size of your fist every 2 or so hours.
  • Always eat breakfast- Coffee and a fruit and nut smoothie is good enough but high protein is best.
  • No bread or white starches of any kind. Ie.- corn- rice- regular potatoes- oats- grains of any kind
  • Eat all the fruit, veggies, nuts, eggs and meats you want (Try to buy organic as often as possible.)
  • Limit your dairy from very little to none- Butter or cream in very small amounts are OK must be organic, pastured or "European style".
  • Fats are your friend- Olive oil, nuts, egg yolks, avocados etc. should be 30% of your daily intake. (Vegetable/peanut/soybean oil are a no-no but Coconut and Olive oil are a big YES!)
  • Crazy as it sounds, no "health foods" like legumes (peanuts, beans) and quinoa- just first 4 weeks.
  • After those 4 weeks are up it's OK to enjoy a cheat meal once or twice a week. This meal should be eaten right after or just before a major workout- adding psyllium husk fiber and coffee or tea (natural caffeine) to, before or even after the meal is also a good idea as it will limit the bad fat and sugar storage and promote glycogen replenishment.
  • Red wine, craft beer and fine booze of all kinds can be your friend if kept to 1 or 2 drinks on 1 or 2 nights a week at most. Alcohol acts just like sugar in the blood so treat it like a cheat item.

The list below will help you keep a basic idea of what is OK for those first 4 weeks. The "very limited" and "limited" lists are off limits during said first 4 weeks.

Always Good - Eat full servings 3-5 times a day.
OK - Once a day 1 small serving a day max, 2 after the 4 week is up.
Limit - Eat once or Twice a week max- Can Not Have These during first 4 weeks.
Very Limited - Almost never, cheat meal once a week max- NONE for first 4 weeks.

Always Good- 6-12oz per meal- Free Range Eggs, Red Meat, Game, Wild Caught Fish, Free Range Chicken or Turkey-Local Seafood.
OK- All non free range, organic, pastured or wild caught meat, fish and eggs.
Limited- Sausage, chopped meats, uncured deli meats, packaged pre-cooked natural meats/ hot dogs.
Very Limited- Canned meats like corned beef, tuna or cured meats like sandwich meats, ham, bacon or beef jerky (unless you make it yourself or is nitrate free) = no no for 4 weeks and is on the very limited list below.

Veggies   -Fresh or Frozen organic is best-
Always Good- (you can eat almost anything green, 6-12oz per meal)- kale, spinach, all greens, broccoli, green beans, brussels sprouts, cabbage, green squash, all peppers, onions, mushrooms, asparagus, lettuces, Asian cabbage, chard, avocado .
OK- peas, snow peas, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes/yams, cauliflower, cooked carrots, jars of natural veggies, root veggies cooked, beets.
Limited- Canned veggies from above.
Very Limited- potatoes white or purple.

Fruit  -Don't be afraid to eat fruit but still limit yourself to 1 piece per meal for first 4 weeks-
Always Good- green apples, pears, oranges, tomatoes, apples.
OK- bananas, grapes, berries of all kinds, kiwi, peaches, plums, melons, pineapple, papaya, fresh made juice.
Limited- canned/ jarred fruit no sugar added, dried fruit -packaged.
Very Limited- Juice- bottled or not made fresh by you, candied fruit.

Other  -Fats and Fun-
Always Good- Nuts (not peanut)1-2oz per meal, Coffee and Tea (1 small cup per meal), Coconut oil and olive oil to cook with and to spice food up- Ghee or clarified organic butter (a little goes a long way so don't go crazy)1/2 teaspoon at most per meal,
OK- Seeds like chia, flax or sun flower (1-2oz), dark chocolate(no sugar or soy added), real honey(a drop or 2), legumes (beans and peanuts- once in a while, small serving), pickled stuff.
Limited- (organic) butter, goat cheese, sour cream (1-2oz ,super small amounts if any), yogurt  (Greek organic), organic milk, quinoa, steel cut oats, any all natural product that doesn't have ingredients you can't pronounce.
Very Limited- All the stuff you know isn't that great for you- Bread and pastries and candy oh my!

Extra Credit

Duration- 3 to 6 days, 2 times a year (every 6 months)
Juicing-  Use a juicer to make fresh veggie juice- drink 3-6 full glasses a day. (drink water too)

Best Recipe-
1-2 bunches of kale, 1 bunch spinach- (3-5oz), 2-4 carrots, 1/2 a cucumber, 1-2 celery stalks, 1 green apple, 1-2 inch piece of ginger- add water or green tea.

I personally use the kale and carrots from the collection tray to make a soup and eat a bowl or two a day to get fiber in me cleaning out the system. Not a part of a typical juice cleanse but part of mine.
Add organic chicken stock, water, (kale leftovers, carrot leftovers) (from the juicer) in a stock pot and cook only until it boils for just a few minutes, let cool and eat.

Weight Gain
(Yes, some people want to gain weight)

This is much easier than most supplement companies would have you believe. Though you should use a protein supplement and maybe creatine at normal doses it's hardly a requirement to gain lean mass. 
Two things you must do:

  1. Eat Eat Eat. Tons of protein plus normal servings of fats, veggies and carbs.  Just eat real food, all you can, every 2-3 hours. And yes, right before bed.
  2. Slow down your workout. Less endurance training aka long span cardio. More heavy controlled lifting. Body Building style lifts done ultra slow (count 5-10 secs in both directions) and take large set breaks. Workout every other day and make sure your muscles are worn out before you leave the gym. (Not hit by a truck worn out but a solid "pump" for sure).

Like all things health and fitness, Check with your doctor before starting a new diet or exercise program. After that, get on it.

Expand your brain and do your own experiments using some of the same reading material I did. (no, I don't get any money if you buy them from my links just making it easier to find.) My favorites:

It Starts With Food- by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig- This popular version of the paleo diet was somehow ranked the worst diet of 2013 and I couldn't agree with USA Today and Yahoo News less. The argument was that carbohydrates were guess is the writer of the article didn't know fruit and sweet potatoes are carbs?!?!?

The 4 Hour Body- by Tim Ferriss- The slow-carb diet is all about beans...well tons more, so buy and read  this book. It's not  just a diet book by any means and was a fun read.

Other things to look up info on: South Beach Diet, Paleo, Keeping a Food Journal, Organic Food, Vegan Diet, Vegetarian Meals 1 day a week, Raw food diet, Atkins. (I'm not a fan of a few of these but some present interesting arguments, it's always good to keep a balance of perspectives.)

If you want to learn more about Fitness in general please stop by the Training Center in the Golden Hill area of San Diego or ask in the comments section/email and I'd be happy to further expand.

The FitnessGenius- Training Center
2323 Broadway ste#107
San Diego, CA 92102

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