With all the noise in the nutrition sphere, it’s easy to get confused get your brain in a twist. Upgrade your diet CPU with the latest anti-virus software to clear the fog and see how you really should be eating for your goals. Here are 22 upgrades you can make to your current diet.
The opening ceremony – Breakfast
Miss breakfast and you’ll sock yourself with a higher risk of a heart attack, warns research by the American Heart Association…
1) Science approved ingredients: find the cracks
Eggs are so powerful at charging gains, they reduced growth stunting by 47%. OK, it was in children, but increasing the serve size puts you in the best position for relentless progress.
2) Don’t limit whey to post workout
Having whey for breakfast is far better than other proteins for weight loss, satiety and fending off diabetes. Punch a quick shake to cover all the bases.
Source: The Endocrine Society
3) Set up your workout: sow your oats
A 100g bowl serves upwards of 80% of your oomph-yielding B vitamins, 163% of your iron RDA and 146% of your manganese requirements. This will put you in a powerful position regardless of when you train.
But what about fasted cardio? It does cull more fat, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid breakfast.
Just smash it afterwards to recover faster. What’s more, you can eat with dietary impunity, as it’s 100% forgiving to your waistline.
Source: American Physiological Society, University of Maryland
4) Prepare for the future: take the cake
Over 32 weeks, people who ate cookies, cakes or chocolate after breakfast lost 40lb more than those who avoided those foods altogether.
Now is the time when you have plenty of opportunity to burn it all off, so pull the old switcheroo on convention and get handsomely rewarded.
5) Wash it down hot: the Tiger Woods of mug shots
Coffee might be part of your starter pack, but follow it up with a hot green tea. Not only is it a proven slayer of cancerous compounds, it can also hike your metabolism by 4.6%.
With around half the caffeine of coffee, simply have two mugs to get the same chutzpah upgrade.
6) Wash it down cold
When citrus juices are teamed with green tea, you’ll absorb more antioxidants. OJ might be your go-to, but grapefruit juice can help lose an average of 2kg – a good effort considering you won’t have left the house yet.
Source: Scripps Clinic, California
7) Most dangerous cereal: non-organic muesli
Of 15 non-organic packets tested, levels of endocrine-disrupting chemicals were 354 times higher than the maximum allowable.
Embrace your hipster and fork out the extra for organic.
Source: British Journal of Nutrition
The middle ground – Lunchtime
This is what you need to make smart choices that will impact the rest of your afternoon. Just be sure to avoid eating ‘Al-desko’ at lunchtime…
8) Science approved ingredients: choose rye bread
The gold standard for keeping blood sugar stable, while still being low in calories.
That means you won’t get as hungry (see: workplace cookie cravings) as quickly afterwards, and it helped people scoff as many as 16% fewer calories later in the day.
Source: Lund University
9) Bust out the strong flavors
Including a daily helping of omega-3 rich wild-caught salmon in your sandwich can improve weight loss efforts by up to 26%.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) found a 100g helping of salmon fishes up 2505mg of omega-3s and 20g of protein, making it a near-midday protein source.
Load it on slabs of rye bread with salad and scoff it outside as a courtesy to your colleagues’ sense of smell.
Source: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
10) Set up your workout: take your lunch break at the same time
Regular meal times will help maintain the balance of your brain’s master clock that can affect blood sugar and resulting in energy levels you’d use for a workout later in the day.
Routine breeds excellence in all things.
Source: Current Biology
11) Prepare for your future: load up on walnuts
Walnuts trick your brain into being better at fighting off cravings that may test your healthy-eating resolve later in the day. They also improve the health of your colon and gut, and no nut offers more rewards per bite.
Always carry a handy supply that can be eaten by themselves, or as a late addition to a salad.
Source: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
12) Wash it down hot: sip a miso soup
Snacking on foods with a high water content, such as soups, is a gold standard for cutting back on calories while keeping hunger satisfied.
While a coffee might hit you with that buzz, miso soup – Japan’s oldest super food – is loaded with nutrients such as B vitamins that will energize you through your spreadsheets and workout later on.
Source: Penn State
13) Wash it down cold: slurp your vegetables
Eat eight serves of veggies per day and your risk of early death drops by a third – easier said than done, unless you’re juicing.
Hit the local juice haunt or opt for a beetroot juice, which can hype up your endurance by more than 16%. Now where’s that workout? Bring it on.
Source: International Journal of Epidemiology
14) Follow doctor’s orders
Apples are rich in ursolic acid, which has been proven to increase muscle growth, so make this your fruit of choice at this time of day.
They’re also an excellent option that will give you more of an energy boost than a cup of joe.
Source: Cell Metabolism
15) When in doubt, go big
If you’re too rushed in the morning to load up with a big feed, you can still indulge in a guilt-free monster lunch without sabotaging your weight loss goals. If you endeavour to make lunch or breakfast the biggest meal of the day, you’ll develop abs that will take you home.
Source: Loma Linda University
The final feed – Dinner
Fine-tune your dinner options, and you’ll train stronger and harder tomorrow by using these simple tweaks that will make you and your entire family a whole lot healthier…
16) Science approved ingredients Load up on flavors
Veggies such as chicory, artichokes, raw garlic, leeks and onions are top heavy with prebiotics, which improve your gut health and release metabolic by-products that increase brain health.
These foods have a knock-on effect for your sleep quality and can buffer stress, making them the perfect partner to your nighttime proteins.
Source: University of Colorado Boulder
17) Have more beans, lentils and quinoa than meat
You probably consider meat a sacred habit you don’t need to kick, but it’s smart to apply some portion control.
When 170,000 people were studied over 28 years, those who ate mostly plant proteins, especially those who had other risk factors like smoking, obesity or alcohol consumption, lived longer than those who ate mostly animal protein.
Make veggies three-quarters of your plate and choose chicken or fish, as those were found to be the options geared for longevity.
Source: Jama Internal Medicine
18) Set up your workout: serve dinner before 7pm
When people did this, they weighed less and had healthier cholesterol and insulin levels than those who ate later in the evening. Eating earlier improved hormonal profiles that helped stop people overeating later. This means you’ll have a better sleep, and be more recharged for tomorrow’s session.
Source: University of Pennsylvania
19) Prepare for the future: B-grade
If you need a sweetener to finish your day, opt for honey over sugar. It’s rich in antioxidants and when athletes took it with protein, they recovered from exercise faster. If you’re tender from a legs workout, this will rid you of your bull-rider swagger.
Source: University of Memphis
20) Wash it down hot: Fatten up your soup
A small mug of fatty soup – such as clam chowder or broccoli and cheese – made people eat 20% fewer calories at their main meal. Extra food prep will keep you feeling fuller, happier and leaner.
Source: American Gastroenterological Association
21) Wash it down cold
Step aside coffee – the end of the day is a job for alcohol. Jump on the latest study, which says having a tipple 3-4 days a week cuts your risk of diabetes by
21%. Struggling to drink in moderation? If you exercise for just 11 minutes a day, you’ll have a better relationship with alcohol. Crack open a cold one every now and then – just don’t let it turn into one too many…
22) Don’t eat alone
Family dinners are paramount to everyone’s health. They improve dietary quality for everyone as there is more fruit, dark green and orange veggies eaten throughout the day, and less soft drinks. If you’re not at that stage, round up your crew and feast with them as often as you can.
Source: American Dietetic Association
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