The Intermittent Fasting lifestyle is about sustainability and longevity - this is a marathon, not a sprint. Give your body time to adapt to its new pattern of eating and nutritional guidelines.
BASIC NUTRITIONAL UNDERSTANDING
Not one nutrient or one specific food group holds the secret to perfect health. Alternately a combination of factors will work synergistically to improve health, from a larger consumption of produce to consuming whole grains, quality protein and good fats, to a shift in mental state, exercise, and of of course Intermittent Fasting.
These guidelines will not omit any single food group, instead it will invite all three, protein, fat and carbohydrates with a special focus on fruits and vegetables. Ingest the right carbohydrates, the right fats, quality protein and a surplus of fruits and vegetables and lose weight without feeling deprived.
THIS IS NOT A DIET
Both Intermittent Fasting and proper nutrition are lifestyle changes. Learn how to eat the right foods, increase your energy, lose weight and finally keep the pounds off. Understand the right foods can allow you to eat filling amounts and satisfy your hunger, but not worry about going overboard on calories.
- Healthy fats/ Bad Fats
- Good Carbs/ Bad Carbs
Knowing more about the health-boosting elements in vegetables just may be enough to inspire an increase in their consumption! Vegetable should be eaten with every meal...
Nowhere are vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals more densely concentrated than in vegetables.
Vegetables are low in calories, but rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and other important nutrients. Vegetables contain phytochemicals( chemical compounds found in plants)...These phytochemicals can support your health in more ways than you could imagine, from slowing the aging process and strengthening your immune system against disease to preventing or even reversing chronic conditions such as cancer and heart disease.
Eat a variety of vegetables as each vegetable contains a unique package of nutrients, antioxidants and phytochemicals.
Vegetables should be eaten with every meal if possible...
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cauliflower, Bell Peppers, Asparagus, Mushrooms, Zucchini, Spinach, Green Beans, Lettuce, Garlic, kale, Cucumbers, Celery, Tomatoes, Radishes, Onions, Eggplant, Cabbage, Artichokes
Fruit should be the finishing touch “the crowning glory” to a delicious dinner every night. Fruit can be introduced with your snack meal during the day as well.
Few things are as enjoyable as eating fresh ripe fruit.
Fruits are full with exceptional nutrition.
Most contain high amounts of the ever powerful vitamin C and all of which contain essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. Many house high doses of carotenoids and other phytochemicals such as caffeic acid and coumarins which help the body rid itself of carcinogens.
Many studies have linked high fruit consumption with lower risks of certain cancers. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined the specific effect of fruit consumption on cancer and found “strong positive effects.”
There are so many ways to enjoy fruit...Berries and grapes are excellent when frozen. Most fruit with the exception of melons can be grilled. Bananas can be fried with some olive oil. Dried fruit is delicious and frozen bananas make decadent, creamy ice cream in the blender!
Finishing the day with fresh fruit will offer both something sweet and provide satiety, not to mention a final dose of nutrients, antioxidants and phytochemicals just before bedtime!
Pears, Plums, Peaches, Nectarines, Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Watermelon, Grapes any color, Oranges, Clementines, Tangerines, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Kumquats, Cherries, Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Bananas, Apricots, Apples
STAY AWAY FROM:
Pre-made processed fruit drinks, typically they have little to no nutritional value and are very high in calories. Try juicing at home for a healthy option, the only drawback being cost and the amount of fruit that gets wasted and left behind on the juicer.
GOOD FATS (Monounsaturated and Omega-3 Fatty Acids):
Fat is an important part of a healthy diet. Not all fat is created equal, there are good fats and bad fats. Fat is not bad, we need fat to function, the key is knowing how and what to consume it in a way that will maximize your health.
Monounsaturated fat tends to lower LDL “bad” cholesterol without affecting your HDL “good” cholesterol level, intern keeping your total blood cholesterol levels in check and reducing your risk of heart disease. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated this should be your “go to,” your principal source of fat. Bake with it, grill with it, “drizzle” it, dip your whole grain bread in it. This should replace butter, margarine and other oils. Avocado is an excellent source of monounsaturated fat as well.
Nuts and seeds are also good sources of monounsaturated fat, in addition to the vitamins, minerals, protein, and phytochemicals they provide. These include almonds, peanuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, and pistachios. Nut butters such as peanut butter, almond butter and cashew butter are also a good source of monounsaturated fat.
Additionally Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats, they are unsaturated fats that occur naturally in fish and plant sources and should account for at least a portion of your daily fat allowance. Getting them from whole foods, such as eating fatty fish 2-3 times per week will ensure optimal intake. Omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly important for optimal health.
The most prominent positive role for omega-3 fatty acids is observed for cardiovascular health. A large body of scientific evidence suggests that increasing consumption of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with lower risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular events (Office of Dietary Supplements, 2015).
Omega-3 fatty acids are actively being studied for their role in other chronic diseases. For example, the anti-inflammatory properties of these nutrients may lower risk of multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and other major medical conditions (Office of Dietary Supplements, 2015).
BAD FATS / Saturated Fats and Trans Fats:
Bad fats include saturated fats found in butter, fatty red meats, and full-fat dairy products along with Trans fats which are found in processed foods containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils such as margarine.
Saturated fat raises blood cholesterol levels. High blood cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. Foods containing saturated fat include:
Fatback and salt pork
High-fat meats like regular ground beef, bologna, hot dogs, sausage, bacon and spareribs
High-fat dairy products such as full-fat cheese, cream, ice cream, whole milk, 2% milk and sour cream.
Palm oil and palm kernel oil
Coconut and coconut oil
- Poultry (chicken and turkey) skin
Like saturated fat, trans fat increases blood cholesterol levels. It is actually worse for you than saturated fat and for a heart-healthy diet, you want to eat as little trans fat as possible by avoiding all foods that contain it.
Unfortunately they are in so many of the foods we grew to love even the most “low fat”, such as crackers, cookies, chips, granola bars, and packaged baked goods.
They are almost a hidden ingredient buried in the long list of pre-packaged food ingredients. If you see the words partially-hydrogenated or hydrogenated, they contain trans fats and should be avoided.
Sources of trans fat include:
Processed foods like snacks (crackers and chips) and baked goods (muffins, cookies and cakes) with hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil
Some fast food items such as french fries
GOOD CARBS ( Whole Unrefined)/ Bad Carbohydrates (Refined):
Not all carbs are created equal, just like fats, there are both good and bad...It’s not a matter of eliminating, it’s a matter of understanding. Good carbohydrates contain vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and are loaded with quality nutrients that are essential to our health.
Good carbohydrates or Whole carbohydrates would include, fresh vegetables, whole grains like oats, barley, whole-grain couscous, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, quinoa, millet, and sprouted whole-grain bread; starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, and yams; and legumes like black beans, peas, and pinto beans.
Whole grain carbohydrates( good carbs) offer some of the following benefits:
High fiber content helps to maintain a healthy GI tract
Slow digestion process helps control blood sugar
Large amounts of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals
They are satisfying, they keep you feeling fuller for longer periods of time, they help with appetite control
As a result of these benefits, whole grain, unprocessed, good carbohydrates will be much better tolerated than refined, processed, bad carbohydrates, such as, white bread, white flour pastas, white rice, crackers and cereals.
Our body’s are designed to process unrefined carbohydrates (the good ones) efficiently, like whole grains, rice, legumes and vegetables.
Good carbs are slower to digest in the body, which means a gradual release of insulin and a slow, steady increase in blood sugar.
On the other hand, refined carbs like sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juices, pastries, white bread, white pasta, and white rice will be handled by the body in the same way it processes sugar, causing a rapid rise in blood sugar or blood glucose.
Unless this sugar in the blood is being burned off through activity, insulin will be released to carry the glucose out of the blood and into FAT CELLS FOR STORAGE!
Repeated intake of refined carbs and sugar will eventually hinder the body's ability to remove sugar from the blood resulting in more and more insulin production. Ultimately this pattern will lead to diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
Intermittent Fasting combined with proper nutrition and proper supplementation will allow the body begin a “relearn process,” if you will, regarding insulin production, insulin sensitivity and how it deals with carbohydrates in general. Rather than omitting carbohydrates from the diet, understanding how and when to eat the correct carbs can set us up for long term weight loss success.
While Keto diets are great for short term weight loss, for most they are simply unsustainable for long term practices.
Along with fat and carbohydrates, protein is a “macronutrient,” meaning the body needs relatively large amounts of it to function.
When it comes to feeling full, clinical studies consistently show that higher-protein diets increase satiety and decrease hunger.
With that being said, the truth is we need less total protein than you may think…
If you are eating a sensible variety and enough vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and quality fats you should not have to obsess about protein adequacy.
Instead focus on the source of the protein as not all protein is created equal!
Protein from red meats, processed meats and full fat dairy products should be limited as they are high in saturated fat.
Multiple studies indicate that consuming these protein sources on a regular basis is linked to an increased risk of high cholesterol, heart disease and stroke.
You must choose your protein wisely...The type of protein you eat can have a profound affect weight loss and your overall health
Replacing fatty red meats, processed meats and full fat dairy products with beans, nuts, whole grains, fish, and skinless poultry can reduce all of those risks.
Red meats should be limited to 2-4 times per month. Plant based protein contains zero saturated fat and is loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients but it is not considered “complete protein.”
Plant based protein combined with fish and skinless poultry will provide the perfect balance and the least amount of saturated fat.
In the end, staying healthy and achieving long term weight loss is about finding balance, moderation and the ability to make good choices.
Good old common sense can take you further then you may think...Stay away from processed foods filled with sugar, fat and chemicals. Concentrate on whole foods that contain large amounts of vitamin, minerals, and phytochemicals. Focus on meals that include whole grains, healthy fats, fresh fruit and vegetables, low fat or non fat dairy, lean meats and a surplus of fish.