Go Veg. Think protein-rich plant foods at every meal. It’s possible to get 75 to 105 grams of protein a day by eating a variety of soy products, beans, legumes, nuts, and whole grains. Add a little peanut butter to your whole grain bread, toss some lentils into your pasta sauce, or add chickpeas, or pine nuts to a salad.
Go Organic. A handful of fruits and vegetables – including spinach, apples, peaches, and strawberries tend to have particularly high levels of residues, so organic may be your safest bet. If you can’t buy organic, take extra care when washing these foods
Good Essential Fats. Your body won’t run well on a totally fat-free diet. We need fat on a daily basis to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, which our bodies can’t process by in isolation. Research further suggests that prostate-boosting lycopene and other antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables are absorbed better when combined with good fats.
The Best Carbs. Slow-burning carbs are high in fiber and are slow to digest. They keep your blood sugar energy, and should be a staple of your diet. Where can you find them? In oatmeal and other whole grains, beans, lentils, fruits, and vegetables. Fast-burning carbs are digested quickly, are low in fiber, and have a greater effect on your blood sugar. They provide a quick hit of energy that’s useful to runners right before working out, but you should eat them in moderation. You can find them in pasta, white rice, white flour, potatoes, and cornflakes.
Slow Eating. Eat slowly if you want to lose weight. It takes 20 minutes for your body to register that it’s full, so it’s easy to load up on extra calories if you’re speed eating. Take the time to savor each bite and watch the pounds melt away.
Nutritious Winter Squash. Winter squash is a nutrition packed food. One cup of winter squash provides 145 percent of your recommended daily intake of beta-carotene and one-third of your daily value of vitamin C. Winter squash also aids in hydration. Most varieties are 89 percent water, and acorn squash boasts 896 milligrams of potassium per cup (nearly double that of a banana). Potassium, an electrolyte lost through sweat, helps regulate fluid levels in the body.
Healthy Carbs. Fresh fruits such as berries, melons, peaches, plums, and nectarines are loaded with carbohydrates – about 15 grams for every tennis ball size serving – and packed with vitamins and antioxidants.
Protein Power. To repair muscle fibers damaged during strength training, eat lean protein sources. Low-free dairy, soy products, legumes, fish, lean beef and poultry, and eggs all supply needed amino acids. Aim for approximately 80 grams of protein per day.
Conscious Indulgences. Indulgences are as necessary as training. If the ice cream cake is for a really special occasion, have a slice, then make a compromise later in the day. Save the nuts and fruit you bought for a snack tomorrow.
The Best Chocolate. Need a chocolate fix? Go for dark varieties. Dark chocolate is differentiated by the percentage of cocoa it contains. The higher the percentage, the more cocoa and the less sugar it has. Choose a percentage of 70 or more for the most antioxidants. If the ingredients include hydrogenated oil, or trans-fats, skip it!
*Weight-loss results may vary. Always consult your physician before making any dietary changes or starting any nutrition, weight control or exercise program. Information regarding training and exercise on this site is of a general nature.