Misconceptions and myths abound concerning diet and exercise. My Race Across America efforts allowed me to dispel several myths. First, I discovered although I was riding twenty-two hours each day, I gained fat. I increased my fat stores by two percent in two weeks by eating ice cream, hamburgers, pizza, milk shakes, and fried chicken. Humans can exist on a wide variety of different diets. Most people I know stick to the three food groups: Caffeine, sugar, and fat. They wake up with a cup of coffee. For a snack, they have a donut. And they skip lunch, so they can gorge on a guilt-free burger and fries at dinner. Then they wonder why they cannot drop weight. When they do lose weight, they lose it quickly on a fast or liquid diets. When they lose weight in a hurry, they lose muscle in a hurry.
Try taking a few bites of a dessert and give the rest to a friend. Eat your nutrient-dense foods first. Then, if you are hungry, have a tiny morsel of a treat. My first bite at dinner is my salad. Then I move to the meat, starchy carbohydrate, and cruciferous vegetable. If I am not satisfied at this point, I work my way to cereal and graham crackers. One of my students tried this method. She ate all the salad, cottage cheese, and vegetables in the house. She had cookies on her mind. She said, "I ate until I couldn't breathe, but I still had room for that cookie."
To Lose Fat, Cut The Fat .There are four calories per gram of carbohydrate and protein. There are nine calories per gram of fat. A calorie is not a calorie. Eat carbohydrates and proteins to fuel your muscle. Eat fat if you want to wear it. The body easily converts fatty foods to body fat. However, the body burns a significant number of calories to convert carbohydrates or proteins to body fat.
There are two tricks to maintaining a healthy eating program:
1. Do not eat excessive amounts of calorically dense food at a meal.
2. Decrease the quantity of processed foods, pastas, breads, and cereals you take in at a sitting.
However, if you are active, high density carbohydrates will be a staple in your diet. My wife fills two grocery baskets each week on high volume, inexpensive, whole foods to support my caloric expenditure. The bulk of my weekly diet consists of: three large bags of brown rice, one large canister of oatmeal, five pounds of potatoes, seven cans of tuna fish, three bags of economy sized puffed cereal, eggs, chicken breasts, and fish, eight boxes of raisins, twenty-one bananas, seven pears, seven peaches, seven oranges, loads of vegetables, and a variety of fun-foods such as cottage cheese and yogurt.
Supplements are not a short-cut. There is no magic elixir. Supplements do not replace food. Special vitamins, amino acids, and bottled minerals come and go in fads. Well-balanced meals are here to stay. Be wary of expensive, fat-burning, muscle-building, mind-expanding pills. Supplements are a billion dollar industry. There are pills that supposedly burn fat while you sleep and creams that "evaporate" cellulite. When I was on the United States Taekwondo team, my Korean coach told my teammates todrink quantities of Coke to burn fat and make weight.
I do not mega-dose on vitamin supplements. Some fanatics swallow fifty vitamin pills each day.What will happen if they stop taking them? How will their bodies react? I take one multi vitamins E and C. The latest research has demonstrated these anti-oxidants may prevent certain forms of cancer. I eat large quantities of fruits and vegetables, but our soils are becoming so depleted that vitamin and mineral supplementation may soon become necessary.
Eat to Lose
l. Your metabolism does not have to slow with age. Increase your metabolism by eating frequently and doing strength and aerobic exercise.
2. A potato has at least as much potassium as a banana.
3. Seventy percent of the water you drink is absorbed. Only twenty percent of the water from sodas is used by the body for re-hydration.
4. Alcoholic drinks upset your water balance. Do not re-hydrate after hard exercise with a beer.
5. Nutrients that are replaced by "enriching" use synthetic substances. Many times this process does not give back near the vitamins and minerals that are initially removed.
6. If you substantially increase your exercise you should increase your calories.
7. We cannot spot-reduce fat. We lose fat all over. We can "spot-gain" muscle.
8. Frozen vegetables are more nutritious than fresh vegetables at most supermarkets.
9. The new leaner cuts of beef and pork may be leaner thanchicken.
10. Shellfish may be relatively high in cholesterol, but it is lowin saturated fat.
11. Margarine does not have fewer calories than butter.
12. Vitamin pills do not give us energy, food does.
Your Mental Meal
l. Close your eyes, relax, quiet your mind, and still your body.
2.Imagine yourself at the dinner table. See, hear, taste, and enjoy all the sensations you encounter at your evening meal.
3. See yourself choosing all the foods that fit into our eatingprogram.
4. Savor the texture, tastes, aromas, and flavors of everything youeat and drink.
5. Experience the satisfaction of the planning and partaking of a quality meal.
6. Slowly open your eyes, fully refreshed alert and exhilarated, knowing you are eating for food value.