If you’ve just come across my website, or have just started training with us at FitterFaster and following my programs, you may have looked at menu plans and instructions and thought, well if I can’t have bread, pasta, other grain foods, no dairy (aside from greek or natural yoghurt), some starchy vegetables, legumes, pulses and processed foods, what the heck CAN I HAVE THEN??
I love this question, and hate it at the same time. I have to remember that not every family eats like ours. And that the foods listed above are staples in many peoples’ lives daily.
I can assure you that we eat a massive variety of foods weekly, with lots of different dishes and we don’t even scratch the surface of what is perfectly suitable to eat on a whole food nutrition program.
So is this ‘Paleo’. Yes and No. I hate it when something becomes the ‘next big thing’, gets a trendy ‘name’ and celebrities and large companies jump on board to promote it. Usually, the original message or idea gets lost and everyone moves on to the ‘next big thing.’ So seeing as ‘Paleo’ is the latest Next Big Thing, I”m going to say “NO”.
However, the way I’ve been suggesting (or preaching) we eat for the past 9 years, is very, very similar;
- Avoid processed foods
- Eat things that lived and are as close to natural state as possible
- Include a protein source and vegetables in every meal or snack AND some healthy fats and fruits a couple of times per day (Some Paleo diets suggest no fruit)
The FitterFaster way is different in the following ways;
- Eat fruit up to 2 times per day (being careful about particular fruit choices if trying to lose body fat and possibly cutting back a little more IF you’re doing everything else right and not seeing results)
- The addition of a small serve of starchy or high energy carbs per day – the best choices being rice, sweet potato or pumpkin.
- Eat up to one serve of Natural or Greek yoghurt (unflavoured with no additives) per day
- If you have to, include up to one serve of quality protein supplement per day Maximum and only if you have to for convenience at work etc
- Once you have your cravings under control (some of us never reach this point) include one treat per week (or maybe 2 if you have reached your goal weight). Make sure this is not a binge or pig out. Best choices would be treats made from healthy food choices, such as some of our ‘ball’ recipes or even just larger servings of FitterFaster friendly foods such as a lovely big steak or something.
So, what else?
Some Paleo advocates recommend eating less often (such as 2 times per day) or even fasting. Some recommend eating 5-8 times per day.
I recommend that anyone drastically changing their diet eats 5 times per day. That is; 3 main meals and 2 snacks. For most people, that means breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and tea. Or breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, tea and supper.
Any of the above meal frequencies or combos can work, but I’ve found that eating more often, at least till you are making consistent good food choices, means less cravings and more constant energy levels. I’ve found this true for 99% of new clients and even ‘not so new’ clients still struggling to be consistent with good eating. If you are having regular cravings, its a lot easier to ‘hold off’ for just another hour or so till your next meal or snack than for half a day or more on a less frequent eating schedule.
Once you are off the low/high blood sugar roller coaster, you may find you are less hungry and therefore can eat less often. THIS DOES NOT MEAN LESS FOOD. It means eating the same amount of food in less settings. On a ‘normal’ day, I will eat 2-3 large meals per day, but it can vary from 6 per day down to that minimum of 2. I always eat about the same quantity of food though – and its a lot more than you would think!
So ultimately, meal frequency should be governed by your hunger, but in the meantime, till your natural hunger settings realign, I strongly recommend 5 meals/snacks per day consisting of roughly 25g protein and loads of veggies (or fruit up to 2 times per day) and a small serve of healthy fats 2-3 times per day as well. 25g of protein is roughly 100-130g of lean meat, fish, chicken etc. Men should be having about 8 same size serves of protein per day (approx. 50g at breakfast lunch and tea and then 25g at their 2 snacks)
Everyone should also add 1 serve of starchy carbs to their daily plan if they’re fairly active and another if they train hard on any given day for 60 mins or more. Men again, can have a couple of extra serves of high energy carbs.
Now back to what to eat. Below you’ll find a table with lots of ideas about individual foods, but don’t stop there. Many of your favourite recipes can probably be adapted to a healthy eating plan by leaving out ingredients, adding vegetables or serving vegetables or salad on the side and perhaps substituting unhealthy ingredients for healthy ones.
FitterFaster clients get a constantly updated recipe book that has 100’s of easy, fast recipes that your whole family will like that use only healthy ingredients in amounts that will support obtaining and maintaining a healthy body weight.
Simply adding herbs and spices or roasting, stir frying, baking or slow cooking the same foods can change them totally. As can different combos of ingredients for salads and other sides. For easy recipe ideas, follow the FitterFaster Facebook page and subscribe to my newsletter above.
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