Thursday, July 21, 2011

Diet in the Works

Hi all!
I have been steadily adjusting my diet and working with perfecting it. The diet I am aiming for is 40% carbs, 25% protein, and 35% fats (mix of whole grains and high fiber foods). As you all know, I am doing this as a vegetarian, so it makes it tricky to use high protein carbs (such as lentils and quinoa, for example) without going over my daily calorie limit. More specifically, I am aiming for 150 grams of protein - making up the 25% (this is 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight) - and the carb and fat percentages are based off of this. For calories, my BMR (basal metabolic rate - the calories I burn merely staying alive - calculated this in my physiology class last year) is 1520, and on a normal day I probably use 2000-2500, or more, depending on how active I am. Jeanette Jenkins, who I am following on twitter @JeanetteJenkins, made a very good point: 500calories per day is 3500 per week, which is equal to one pound of fat. So I am aiming to cut my calorie intake by 500 calories per day - putting me at a limit of as close to 2000 calories as possible, and hopefully burning 1lb of fat per week. This is VERY difficult to do!
So here are the basic diet-making-concepts that are working for me so far:
1. AVOID "BLAH" CARBS - i.e. pasta and bread - do little for you except provide fuel. I have cut pasta out totally (still mourning) and only have one slice of bread per day.
2. AVOID ALL OILS except Udo's DHA oil. Udo's DHA has better absorption than classic Udo's, and provides a healthy omega 3-6-9 ratio (something majority of people do not have - focus on omega 3's)}
  •  cook eggs in the microwave, scrambled with a little water - no oil in the pan
  • if you make a salad - limit to 1 tbsp udo's per day and get creative for the remainder of your dressing
  • 1tbsp udo's in your protein shake before bed - for slower absorption of protein over night
3. POWER CARBS - complex carbs that provide you with killer sources of nutrients and also high protein. Quinoa is the ONLY complete protein found in a carbohydrate. Lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, etc. etc. are all excellent - just watch your fats. When you choose your power carbs, make sure you have an appropriate protein combination so that you get proper absorption for muscle building. Also, eat as little carbs as you can get away with, while still getting your protein and nutrients from them.

4. FLAVOUR - make friends with herbs and spices! Virtually calorie free and packed full of flavour and other health benefits. Also, get to know low-cal sauce options - balsamic vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, etc.

5. WATCH YOUR SOY - Soy is amazing. All vegetarians and vegans thrive on soy products to an extent. However, too much of any good thing is bad. Variety in a diet is extremely important - so don't focus all your protein in soy.

Last thing I have to say about getting your diet started - is check out FitDay ( It's a
"Free diet and weight loss journal". They give you opportunities to track foods, activities, mood, journal, body, stats, etc. My favourite part of the website is the size of their information data base. Grueling over a calculator and nutrition labels is something no one wants to do. FitDay has THOUSANDS of stored food items and activites. You can use it daily, or use it to plan your day-to-day diet. Enter all your selected foods, and you can select amounts, so you can adjust the quantities or remove/add foods to try to hit your cal/carb/prot/fat goals, check %DV for nutrients, and view this info by chart/pie graph/bar graph! Saves a headache and is extremely sophisticated.

I will post my diet once I have it perfected! I also plan on posting my "before" photos, measurements, and weight (eeek you lucky ducks).

Anything specific you'd like to learn about? I'm a science student with a passion for nutrition, so I'd be glad to write blogs about nitty-gritty stuff to do with BMR, metabolism, food use, and anything else you guys fire at me!

Have a fabulous day everyone!!

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