Eating healthy isn’t necessarily rocket science, but common sense that we’re all taught to be aware of, based on a guideline of historical records in research and facts provided by experts, including everyone from mom ‘n grandma’ (those two always have an interesting approach! lol), to doctors and scientists.
Well, O.K., healthy eating IS rocket science if you think of it this way: your body is a rocket ship, and food is the fuel to launch your body rocket into orbit. And the only way you’re going to get into orbit is if you’re lean ‘n mean and fit for the flight of life. If you’re overweight, chances are you’ll explode at the launch pad, due to improper power-to-weight ratio, as well as internal parts malfunctions (organs). Sports cars and superbikes are optimized for maximum power-to-weight ratio, being as light as they can be for the power the engine provides for maximum speed and agility. That’s what you want. Fighting gravity.
As you may have read in my last post, I’m bent on a SERIOUS weight loss program right now, where fortunately with the resources on the web now, a handy-dandy Google search on “weight loss program” or “weight loss diet”, and your query will result in probably HUNDREDS of returns in recommendations. So many – from fads to scams – that you’ll probably end up scratching your head wondering which path to follow.
Ultimately, choosing the right path for your diet and overall lifestyle is knowing what works or doesn’t work for you. Only YOU know what’s right for you and makes you feel better, and it will show both in the mirror and in your head. And people WILL notice it, yet more importantly, YOU’LL KNOW IT.
Choosing the right diet for good health, as I already said, all comes down to COMMON SENSE, plus “inner sense”, along with a COMMITMENT to your goal. Find the one that looks most sensible to YOUR NEEDS and REALISTIC GOALS and follow it. Just follow it! Don’t stray. Whichever healthy-eating food pyramid means nothing unless you LIVE BY IT, from the very next thing you put in your mouth, to the next thing you choose to NOT to put in your mouth; the latter of which being even more important! YOUR choice.
Food pyramids have been around for decades, and they haven’t really changed much for healthy eating, with fruits and vegetables near the bottom (most eaten), and meats ‘n sugar sweets at the top (least eaten) . Unfortunately, our great country has lost touch with that structure, pretty much flipping the healthy-eating food pyramid upside-down and inside-out, where it now looks like this…
Ugh. Sad. Which makes it no surprise the United States has one of the highest rates of obesity per capita in the WORLD. While there may be isolated psychological, sociological, genetic and/or personal health factors/issues that are causing this, other than that, I don’t care what your excuse is, the underlying cause of being overweight is YOUR PROBLEM. YOU CAUSED IT. YOU DID IT TO YOURSELF. FACE IT. FIGHT IT!
Sorry to be so blunt, but it’s true, as it is for me. Or WAS. I’m now 194.6 lbs, down from 207 lbs. about five weeks ago for my 5’9″ frame, through nothing but SACRIFICE and HARD WORK. As in DIET and EXERCISE.
I found this very profound and matter-of-fact article on a good weight-loss meal plan by Vic Magary over at GymJunkies.com, where in summary, he explains, “Weight loss, in the most basic sense, comes down to simple arithmetic. You must eat less calories than you burn. Period. And the best way to go about creating this caloric deficit is a combination of diet and exercise”
Vic goes on to explain his recommended weight loss meal program that goes like this…
Eat and drink the following with reckless abandon:
- Green, Red, or Yellow Pepper
- Green Beans
- Pretty much any green leafy vegetable with the exception of iceberg lettuce
Eat 2 – 4 servings of the following throughout the day:
- Pretty much any fresh fruit you like
Eat one 4 – 6 ounce lean serving of the following with each meal. Preparation should be grilled, steamed, baked, or stir fried – no breaded and fried foods!:
- Turkey breast
- Chicken breast
- Also consider eggs (2 or 3)
Eat one serving of the following with each snack. Truth be told, I recommend you avoid dairy during your weight loss quest, but if you feel you need it, eat it with you snacks:
- Natural peanut butter (no sugar, no salt added)
- Low-fat cottage cheese
- Low-fat milk
Eat these only with your meal that follows your fitness training and only in limited portion:
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat bread
- Whole wheat pasta
- Other whole grain food items
Use the following in extremely limited portions or not at all:
- Salad dressing
- Other condiments
Foods and Drinks you MUST stay away from to lose weight
- Soda (tons of sugar and lots of empty calories)
- Alcohol (empty calories and usually leads to bad food choices when drinking)
- Fast Food
- Creamy salad dressings (Ranch, 1000 Island, etc.)
So where do you stand? Which weight management and health dietary program makes most sense for YOU? No matter what, if you’re human like I am, you NEED FRUITS and VEGETABLES to be your foundation, with the most eaten in your daily intake from those two categories. While I’m no doctor, just from common sense, I’d say you can flip around the rest of the food categories in your daily regimen to fit your tastes, as fruits and vegetables alone provide most of what the other food categories supply, including protein, carbohydrate, antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals.
Continuing on with Vic’s weight loss meal plan program, this is how he models a typical day…
Example of weight loss meals
6:00am Fitness Training
7:30am 2 eggs scrambled in non-stick pan with chopped green pepper and onion, 1 piece of wheat toast dry, small fruit cup of berries, melon, and pineapple, 1 cup of coffee black.
10:30am 10 almonds, 1 apple.
1:00pm Large spinach salad with cucumber, celery, grilled chicken breast, and 1/2 table spoon of Italian dressing.
4:00pm Handful of walnuts, 1 orange.
6:30pm Grilled flank steak, large portion of steamed asparagus, small side salad with Romaine lettuce, tomato, and small amount of vinegrette dressing.
9:00pm 4 celery sticks with small amount of natural peanut butter.
- Drink a large glass of water with each meal and snack.
- Pre-cook and prepackage your meals and snacks on one day for the rest of the week. I usually do this on Sunday. This is MUCH easier if you eat the same meals each day.
- Keep a food journal and track your weight loss progress. You should be losing about 2 pounds per week. If you’re losing less than that, you probably need to tighten it up. If you’re losing more than that, it might be time to add that third snack.
- If it comes in a wrapper or other packaging, don’t eat it
So that’s pretty much my meal plan, based on fitness trainer Vic’s recommendation, summarized by the food pyramid shown right above. With that, I have a bunch of personal favorites tailored to that plan, with many – not surprisingly – Japanese dishes – including Natto, Ochazuke, Miso Soup and Oden, to name a few. I’ll share more on that later.
I’ll also interject my own personal modifications – some of which were already covered, yet I’m reiterating – on Vic’s meal plan, that goes like this…
What I’ve eliminated
- MEAT, including beef, pork and chicken (and anything related to those categories, however I still eat seafood of all varieties)
- Frozen, processed convenience foods (TV dinners, etc.)
- Sugar-sweetened drinks (energy drinks, soda, juice, etc.)
- Snack chips
- Dessert pastries and baked goods (doughnuts, turnovers, cookies, etc.)
What I’ve added
- Japanese Green Tea (3 or more 16 oz. richly brewed cups per day)
That said, everything else I eat is in calculated amounts throughout the day, based on Vic’s recommendations, plus I drink lots ‘n lots of Japanese Ocha.
Equally as important, I now exercise over an hour each day, including walking, jogging, swimming and weight training. Pass that “magic 20 minute marker”, and you start not just burning calories consumed in the day, but burning BODY FAT, hence when actual weight loss occurs.
Pomai’s “Revolution 2012” weight log**
5.05.12 – 207 lbs
5.27.12 – 195.8 lbs.
6.02.12 – 194.6 lbs. (BMI score – 28.7)
Target weight for 6.30.12 – 187 lbs.
Final target weight – 160 lbs.
**5’9″ height, male.
P.S. While on my weekend beach jog this afternoon, I ran across this funny sign a surfer put inside a ZipLoc bag containing his or her “precious” rubber slippers (a.k.a. “rubbah slippahz” or “flip-flops”)…
The sign reads “Please stop upgading (SIC; he/she meant “upgrading”) your slippers with mine. Thank you. I would like them back, please.” LOL!
Ironically, laying right on the sand in front of this bag hanging on a beachside shrub, were these “downgraded” pair of Rubbah Slippahz, version “RS-OSX 1.1″…
Imagine how disheartened that person would be, only to come back after their awesome surf session, to be left with those “buss-up” pink ones dusted in the dirt ‘n sand. Once again, off went “Joey Con the Surfer” with Rubbah Slippahz version 10.9.9 “Sun Tiger”, while “Mr. Cool Rubbah Slippahz Surfer Dude” is left once again with Rubbah Slippahz version 10.1.0 “In the Sand ‘n Dirt Leopard”. LOL!
*Always consult with your doctor when considering a new diet plan.