Nutrition

Learn to create balanced meals with tips from Jillian Michaels

Author: Canadian Living

Nutrition

Learn to create balanced meals with tips from Jillian Michaels

I don't know about you, but I am sick to death of the entire no-carb, low-carb, no-fat, high-fat conversation. Balance – that's all we need. Our bodies are built for balance.

From now on, you're going to include a bit of protein, fat, and carbs in every meal and snack (except the evening snack, which will focus on protein). Each individual nutrient performs a critical service to our hormone production. Take any one nutrient away and you start to slow down your metabolism.

We need fat
They're called "essential" fatty acids for a reason. We have to get these fats from our diet to avoid malnourishment. Animal and vegetable fats provide valuable, concentrated energy. They also provide the building blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone like substances.

Fats slow the absorption of nutrients so that you can go longer without feeling hungry, and they aid in sugar and insulin metabolism, which helps you lose weight. Without fat, carbohydrates would take our blood sugar (and insulin) for a nonstop roller coaster ride. They act as carriers for the important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, and all the carotenoids. Heart-healthy omega-3s help keep our triglycerides in check and may improve insulin resistance, and some fats —like CLAs — actually help us to burn stored fat from our bodies. People who tend toward insulin resistance need about 30 per cent fat in their diet to help them lose weight; some studies have shown that when they try to lose weight by following low-fat diets, they either fail initially or can't keep the weight off long-term. Some researchers even argue that saturated fat, long maligned as the prime factor in the development of heart disease and obesity, is actually innocent, and may be beneficial to weight loss.

Okay, got it. Fat is good. Check.

We need protein
I'm pretty sure I won't have to fight with you on this one. You need protein to maintain and build muscle. Just the act of eating protein can help your body burn up to 35 per cent more calories in digestion. Protein stimulates the production of the satiety hormone CCK and dampens levels of ghrelin. When carbohydrates are eaten without protein, insulin levels go through the roof.

Page 1 of 3 -- Find out why those on higher-protein diets have greater success keeping weight off than those on other diets on page 2.




Excerpted from Master Your Metabolism, copyright 2009 by Jillian Michaels and Mariska van Aalst. Used by permission of Random House. All Rights Reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.

Critics have traditionally said that higher- protein diets are unsustainable, that people will automatically rebound to carb craving. But research has not borne this out —in fact, quite the opposite. Numerous studies on higher-protein diets have now found that people who follow them are better able to sustain their weight loss for longer periods of time. They have better body compositions; they lower their cholesterol, triglyceride, blood sugar, and insulin levels; and they increase their metabolisms more than when they began. The longer you follow a diet with 30 per cent protein, the more the post-meal fat-burning effects work for you. Researchers found that someone who regularly eats a 30 per cent protein lunch may burn ten more extra calories per minute than the person who routinely eats less than 20 per cent protein. (This effect lasts for more than three hours after you eat —just in time for your next meal!)

Even concerns about the increased heart attack risk of higher-protein diets have begun to fall apart. One Swedish study found that 66 per cent of the control subjects who ate "normal" diets suffered a stroke or heart attack during the four-year study, versus only 8 percent of test subjects on the higher-protein diet.

I think I like those higher-protein odds a wee bit better.

Protein is good. Check.

We need carbs
All that being said, we humans simply cannot function without carbs. Carbs give us energy; without them, we couldn't think, walk, dance, drive, or do anything. We need them to live. One study found that women who severely restricted their carbs for three days belly-flopped into a vat of carbs by the fourth day, eating 44 percent more calories from carbohydrate foods than they had initially.

Carbs give our food texture and crunch, variety and color. They make us happy, literally, by feeding our neurotransmitters. And people who eat three servings of whole grains a day are 30 per cent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

Carbs are also the vehicles for so many of nature's disease fighters. Phytochemicals come only from plants, people—you can't get vitamin C from a bunless burger. Without carbs, we'd be sitting ducks for cancer, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, chronic inflammation and digestive problems.

Page 2 of 3 -- Do you know how many calories you should be eating? Find out on page 3.



Excerpted from Master Your Metabolism, copyright 2009 by Jillian Michaels and Mariska van Aalst. Used by permission of Random House. All Rights Reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.

And as much as we've abused the vegetables in this country for years and years, pouring our toxic chemicals all over them, they may yet help to save us from ourselves. Eating fibre, a carbohydrate that can come only from plant sources, is one of the few ways we can help our bodies flush out the toxins that have built up in our tissues and messed with our endocrine systems for years.

Remember, the key here is GOOD CARBS! Vegetables, fruits, whole grains. You've been paying attention, right? If so, I shouldn't have to reiterate this point, but I did... just in case.

So, yes, we need carbs. Carbs are good. Check.

Hormone homework
: A 40 per cent carbs, 30 per cent protein, 30 per cent fat balance is a safe solution. Now, you can play with this ratio a little bit. Some people will find they do better with a little more carbohydrate, and some people do better with a little less. The final precise ratio for you has to do with the rate at which your body breaks down your food into energy. Fine-tuning your macronutrients can help give you more energy and keep you feeling fuller longer. I wrote entire volumes on this point in my two previous books, so I won't go into great depth here. The bottom line: You must have fat, protein, and carbs in each meal. Period.

Ballpark your daily caloric requirement
I repeat: This program is not about calorie counting, it's about health—weight loss will come automatically. But it's still helpful to know what range you should be operating within, so check out these recommendations based on guidelines from the Canadian Diabetes Association (www.diabetes.ca).

If you are: This many calories/day:
An average-sized woman who wants to lose weight 1,200-1,400
A petite woman at your desired body weight 1,200-1,400
An average-sized, sedentary woman at your desired body weight 1,200-1,400
A larger woman who wants to lose weight 1,400-1,600
A larger, sedentary woman at desired body weight 1,400-1,600
A moderate-to-large, somewhat active woman at your desired body weight 1,600-1,900
A larger, active woman at your desired body weight 1,900–2,300
A teen girl 1,900–2,300
An older man at your desired body weight 1,600-1,900
A small-to-moderate-sized man who wants to lose weight 1,600-1,900
A small-to-moderate-sized man at your desired body weight 1,900–2,300
A teen boy 2,300–2,800
A moderate-to-large, active man at your desired body weight 2,300–2,800

  
Using the rule of thumb
One survey found that only 1 per cent of us can gauge serving sizes correctly. Play around with measuring cups and get a feel for portion sizes. It won't take long to learn what a cup of milk looks like or how many ounces of chicken are in a small breast.

Portion: Looks like:
3 oz chicken breast A child's palm or deck of cards
5 oz meat An adult's palm or 2 decks of cards
1/2 cup pasta or grains 1/2 baseball (not a softball!)
1 tsp butter Tip of your finger (or one die)
1 tsp oil Tip of your finger (or one die)
1 tbsp peanut butter 1/2 Ping-Pong ball
1 medium fruit A fist or baseball
1 oz cheese Four dice
1 tbsp dressing 1/2 your thumb
1 cup veggies A fist or baseball
1 bagel A hockey puck
1 slice bread A cassette tape
1 cup cereal A fist or baseball
1 pancake A compact disc


Page 3 of 3 -- On page 1, Jillian explains why eating fat can help your body burn calories.


Excerpted from Master Your Metabolism, copyright 2009 by Jillian Michaels and Mariska van Aalst. Used by permission of Random House. All Rights Reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.



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Nutrition

Learn to create balanced meals with tips from Jillian Michaels

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