So it seemed like a LOT of you guys were totally digging the Do This…Look Like That..Total Body Blitz Workout. I was happy to see such a great response, and glad so many of you are ready to start a total body change. A bit cliché, but true; the first step is always the hardest.
One thing that kept coming up however, was requests for a diet plan. Creating general dietary plans is always a bit tricky. Generally, exercise programming (like the workout linked above) is far easier to do effectively for the masses. Because each of us are so physiologically different, creating a cookie-cutter diet plan that works for everyone is a real challenge. Not to mention, there are so many different tastes and dietary requirements we all have. That said, I contacted one our dietitians on staff to get a little extra help with this article. Together, she and I have created what we believe to be a very good guideline to follow while completing a strenuous workout like the one linked above.
A few key points to keep in mind; if you find you are gaining weight too fast, i.e. more than a pound a week, feel free to cut back on serving sizes and/or cut out meals as you see fit. Unlike other diet plans, we’re not going to tell you exactly when you have to eat. While some may like a highly structured plan, numerous studies show that forcing people to eat at certain times every day leads to burn out and lack of adherence. We didn’t list EVERY food you could possibly eat. We gave you several options, but if you enjoy something *healthy* that we didn’t list, feel free to substitute it. i.e. beet salad for spinach salad, etc.
With all that out of the way, lets move on to the good stuff. Keep in mind, this diet was created for a 140lb woman of average build, working out 5 days a week (hopefully using the workout we posted last week).
So like I said, this is a general guideline for a diet plan. Each week goes like this:
- Monday: Pick one item from Breakfast Group 1, snack group 1 item, lunch group 1 item, snack group 2 item, dinner group item, dinner side.
- Tuesday: Breakfast group 2 item, snack group 1 item, lunch group 2 item, snack group 2, dinner group, dinner side, pre-bed snack.
- Wednesday: Breakfast Group 1, snack group 1 item, lunch group 1 item, snack group 2 item, dinner group item, dinner side.
- Thursday: Breakfast group 2 item, snack group 1 item, lunch group 2 item, snack group 2, dinner group, dinner side, pre-bed snack.
- Friday: Breakfast Group 1, snack group 1 item, lunch group 1 item, snack group 2 item, dinner group item, dinner side.
- Saturday: Breakfast group 2 item, snack group 1 item, lunch group 2 item, snack group 2, dinner group, dinner side, pre-bed snack.
- Sunday: You decide!
- Breakfast Group 1: Protein shake, 3-egg scramble with 2 oz. diced chicken breast and veggies, 1 cup cottage cheese/handful of berries/slice of whole wheat toast, breakfast burrito.
- Breakfast Group 2: Bowl of oatmeal with chopped walnuts, 3-4 Power Cookies and glass of milk, 1 whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter, 1 bowl of whole grain cereal (Kashi golean Crunch for example).
- Snack Group 1: mini pizza on whole wheat English muffin, chunky peach pop, low-fat ranch and crunch veggies, polenta biscotti, turkey rollups.
- Lunch Group 1: 6 oz. chicken breast and 1/2 cup brown rice, 1 can of tuna salad on whole wheat crackers, 1 6oz salmon filet with steamed veggies, 1 turkey burger with balsamic glazed onions, 6 oz. grilled skirt steak with cucumber and feta salad, 1.5 cups cottage cheese and apple.
- Lunch Group 2: Spinach and strawberry salad with balsamic and olive oil, baked sweet potato, asian green bean salad, tomato and mozzarella salad, lemon dill shrimp with 1 cup quinoa.
- Snack Group 2: Hummus and carrots, small handful almonds and apple, string cheese wrapped in prosciutto, feta walnut dip with whole wheat crackers, handful of edamame, ants on a log, small whole wheat bagel. Substitute protein shake for snack group 2 if you are working out. Take shake within 30 minutes of ending workout.
- Dinner Group: seafood ravioli with red pepper cream sauce, cumin spiced chicken with chunky tomato sauce, 1 cup whole wheat pasta with Sicilian-style marinara and roasted veggies, pork chops and fava beans, beef and guinness stew.
- Dinner Sides: Mock potatoes, steamed broccoli, balsamic grilled asparagus, 1 cup brown rice, 1 cup cous cous, hoisin glazed eggplant.
Before Bed Snack: Dairy protein of some sort, i.e. greek yogurt, low-fat cheese, etc. Reason for this is dairy proteins are slow-digesting, meaning they’ll give you a steady source of protein throughout the night while you sleep. This will keep your muscles from starving and help you maintain muscle mass 24 hours a day.
Again, this is a very general plan. The recipes selected (and linked to) are either some of my personal favorites and/or exceptionally healthy and balanced. Obviously, the choices and recipes you actually decide to use are limitless. These are just things that I’ve seen real-life clients use effectively.
The key components of this diet rest on a few key principles:
- 35% of your calories should come from protein. 1 gram of protein is equal to 4 calories. 35% should come from carbs. 1 gram of carbohydrate is equal to 4 calories. 30% should come from fat. 1 gram of fat is equal to 7 calories. There are variations on this ratio, but it experience 35/35/30 provides exactly what is needed. If you deviate a bit, err on the side of more protein.
- Meals are evenly spaced out to ensure metabolism stays high. Again, this type of eating works for most people. Every body is different, so if you find eating 5-6 meals a day is too much, and sticking to 3-4 is easier AND effective..go with that. This diet is hardly set in stone.
- The most important meals are the post-workout whey protein shake and the dairy before bed. Do your absolute best not to skip these.
- The most effective diets are the ones that aren’t telling you exactly which foods to eat, which foods you absolutely cannot eat, and when to eat. These type of diets are often scams/fads with ulterior motives. This diet plan is a balanced and healthy diet that is easy to stick to. The goal is to maintain the 35/35/30 balance and not neglect your intake of veggies and other foods that provide essential nutrients.
This should give you a great step in the right direction to achieving the body and health you’ve always wanted. As always, any questions, feel free to ask.