MY NUTRITION SECRETS
Everyone you know is always on a diet – friends, celebrities, possibly you. I have never been on a prescribed menu plan for weight loss reasons ever. But then, when you look at the foods and drinks I regularly consume, my whole life has been a “diet” from other people’s point of view. To me it never felt like this because I just keep eating and drinking what I love, it’s not something I go on and off of. I naturally adore vegetables and detest all kind of fast food. I would seriously rather starve than eat some french fries if they were the only food available. I do have a sweet tooth though and I cannot stop myself mid way through the cookie package. I also used to like alcohol until my body started rejecting it as one of sports’ side effects.
My weight has always been the same until I started working out more vigorously. I used to be 54 kg, now I am 57kg at a height of 1.72m and my body fat is 11%. I never weigh myself unless I go for the fitness test once in a while. And this is what you should do as well: throw that scale into the trash can. Less kilograms doesn’t necessarily mean that you lowered your body fat since weight loss without exercise will lead to decreases in lean mass as well. If you want to have a fit body, you need to bring down your body fat. How you do that? You will have to EAT BETTER, DO CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE AND WEIGHT TRAINING to build up your lean mass.
Here some Body Fat Illustration and the Categories used by the American Council on Exercise (ACE). It may give you an idea how much fat you have in your body. Go to your local gym to have your measurements taken with tanita and caliper method.
Let’s go back to what I eat. I became a vegetarian at the age of 10 years when I spotted a decapitated sheep next to a living fellow in a truck parked outside the restaurant I had just eaten ice-cream. I never suffered from any deficiency symptoms ever since and basically never get sick. My ex-husband got so excited when we were waiting for my blood test results during the first pregnancy. “Doctor, she has to eat fish, doesn’t she?” he asked the physician. “No, not at all. Her values are all perfect” was the answer all to his regret. Until then, I had been working out like a normal person. But when I started sports the hardcore way, I didn’t get enough protein through my diet. My trainer told me to take one scoop of protein powder after my work-out and I immediately build up muscle.
Here is what I ate yesterday for example:
BREAKFAST 07:30 AM. Two short latte (normal milk but lots of coffee and only little milk). A bowl of oatmeal with fresh fruits.
LUNCH 12:30 PM. A big plate of purslane cooked with with onions, tomatoes and a portion of rice, two spoons of low fat Turkish yoghurt
SNACK 04:00 PM. Bowl of dried fruits (1 jumbo date, 3 apricots, 3 walnuts)
WORKOUT 06:30 PM
DINNER 07:30 PM. White Omelette, Big Bowl of Chickpeas, green salad and a piece of full fat cheese.
I am definitely not saying that this is the perfect menu plan. There are times where I eat much more which means more veggies. And then there are the week-ends which are my fatty days with family breakfasts including butter, cheese and Nutella, birthday cakes and the melted cheese on top of the pasta dish that my kids and I love so much.
If you eat meat and fish, this is what I suggest for you:
BREAKFAST 08:00 AM. Omelette & Green Tea
COFFEE BREAK 11:00 AM. Americano
LUNCH 12:30 PM. Brown Rice with Chicken
SNACK 03:30 PM: Fruit-Smoothie (1 banana or seasonal fruit, 1 spoon peanut butter, 3 spoons yoghurt, ice, water)
WEIGHT WORKOUT 06:00 PM
POST WORKOUT 07:00 PM. Protein Shake (blended with water and ice) – this is only necessary if you are at a high fitness level and/or if your trainer recommends it to you
DINNER 08:00 PM: Bowl of cooked or grilled vegetables, White Fish and Salad
As you can see from those sample days, my only secret are the vegetables. I cannot get enough of them. These are my carbs and my vitamins sources. And I always make sure that one of my vegetables are high in protein, like lentils or chickpeas. I drink coffee and lots of water, never fruit juices or any other sugary drinks. I rarely drink alcohol and if I do, I mostly chose an exquisit red wine. I don’t use sweeteners and I try to limit salt and use lots of fresh herbs instead. It never occurs to me to buy canned or ready food and I stay clear from fast food. I do eat fruits but not too much and if possible early in the day so I can burn the calories. I always plan my day ahead and mostly take one or two tupperware filled with food to work so I don’t have to eat just anything because I am terribly hungry.
I have many friends who go to some dietician for several months and they actually loose weight but put it back on sooner or later. If you ask me, the problem is that they just follow a list without understanding why they should eat some foods and why avoid others. And the second reason for their failing is that they only diet and don’t do sports. “Eat smart and train hard” is the magic formula for a longterm healthy body.