Poor nutrition has many detrimental health consequences. Indeed, your hormones and health are seriously impacted by everything you eat and drink. But it is not only what you DO consume that has consequences. What you DO NOT eat may also have a tremendous impact.
While weight-lifting is a crucial component in your weight-loss journey, it is not enough to help you reach optimal results. Indeed, muscle burns fat 24/7 and 10 lbs. of muscle burns 500 calories, but it requires more than time at the gym to be healthy, feel great, be lean and to slow the aging process. Even people who are lean and muscular can be seriously unhealthy if they are indulging in a pro-inflammatory diet:
- Refined foods
- Foods with high salt content
- Pro-inflammatory fats
- Bad proteins
- Refined carbohydrates
- Burnt food
- Artificial sweeteners
- Artificial Coloring
These are just some of the many negative effects of poor nutrition:
- Premature wrinkles
- High cholesterol ( oxidation of small particles)
- Muscle loss
- Weight gain
- Inability to lose weight
- Type 2 diabetes
- Tooth decay
Scientific research has shown that you do not need to "diet" to be successful in your weight-loss journey. Rather, it is all about eating the RIGHT foods.
Protein – The secret weapon in weight loss
Protein is an important nutrient because it provides the components your body needs to build and maintain healthy skin, hair, muscles, ligaments, even your bones. Your body requires protein from food every day to stay healthy. But the real power in protein is in the fact that your body takes quite some time and energy to digest and absorb it. Including protein in most meals will help keep you feeling satisfied for several hours and essentially turn your body into a fat burning machine.
Healthy protein is vital, but it is important that you consume the right amount. It's all about balance-a low protein diet can cause weight gain while a high protein diet can lead to kidney stones, osteoporosis, gout...etc.
Rich protein foods include:
Lean steak – any type, all fat removed
Lean Pork – all fat removed
Chicken Breast – skin off
Premium or Heart Smart Minced Beef
Other seafood such as prawns, mussels, oysters, lobster or scallops
Eggs, 2 per serve, 1 – 2 times per week
Dairy (greek yogurt, cheese, milk, cottage cheese...)
Lean Lamb – such as lamb steaks or back straps
Lean Veal – all fat removed
Turkey Breast – skin off
Fish fillet – all types
Some whole grains (hemp bread, quinoa, men's bread...)
Legumes (beans, lentils, peas, chick-peas...)
That said, many protein foods like meat, dairy and eggs contain reasonable levels of fats, so of course should be consumed in moderation. What is moderation? For your main meal option a protein serving of meat, chicken or fish should be between 100 – 150g depending on your body size and activity (kitchen scales are a good idea for monitoring this!). As a general guide, the portion should be about the size and ¾ thickness of the palm of your hand – minus your fingers! For Snack Options you should aim for a little over half this quantity (70 – 90g). When cooking your protein, grilling or baking are good options as they don’t require you to add any extra fat and any fats already on the meat can be drained off. If you fry or stir fry your food, use a non stick pan or wok and a light spray of cooking oil. Avoid deep frying or shallow frying in a lot of oil as most foods will soak up the oil and increase the fat content. Also avoid crumbing or battering your food as this will add unwanted carbs and fats. Meats and poultry can also be cooked in casseroles with a variety of vegetables, but go easy on the starchy vegetables and be careful adding too much oil to your cooking!
Whey protein-the best protein supplementation:
Whey protein has all the essential amino acids in the right quantities in order to promote and sustain development and growth. But an important distinction should be made between Low temperature whey protein and Heat-processed whey protein.
Low temperature whey protein contains immunoglobulins which support the body's immune system. This whey protein is created by employing a special low-temperature method which leaves the protein and immuoglobulins intact.
Heat-processed whey protein has been "denatured" which means the protein and immuoglobulins have been depleted.
Low-temperature/undenatured whey protein helps maintain optimal health for active women and men by maintaining lean muscle, reducing oxidative stress, increasing energy production and supporting immune function.
Carbohydrates-the Good and the Bad
While many think carbohydrates are only rice, bread and pasta, fruits and vegetables are carbs as well. As much as 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day are required for a healthy diet. Good carbohydrates include vegetables, whole grains, most fruits, and legumes. These good carbs are absorbed very slowly in your bloodstream and do not have an impact on your blood sugar and insulin. They actually help balance hormones like: Glucagon, DHEA, Insulin, Sex hormones as well as thyroid support. The current evidence suggests that as much as 40% of our caloric intake should come from good carbohydrates. Studies suggest:
- Starch and sugars provide readily accessible fuel for physical performance
- A diet containing an optimal level of carbs may reduce weight gain
- Good carbs stabilize your blood sugar
- Good carbs are full of good nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants proven to reduce diseases)
- Dietary fiber helps keep the bowel functioning correctly, and may prevent colon cancer and heart disease
- Good carbs prevent craving and may promote weight loss
Bad carbs, which can be thought of as "anti-nutrients", should be eliminated completely from your diet. Every time you eat processed foods, drink a soda or beer you are ingesting bad carbohydrates which flood your bloodstream with sugar, which causes a spike in insulin levels. Your blood sugar level will crash after this spike and you will become overcome with hunger. A deadly cycle occurs in which you will crave more sugar. In time, this will have seriously damaging effects on:
Your sex life
Your overall appearance
Vegetables are full of great nutrients including vitamins, minerals and fiber. The best vegetables to eat on this program are the fibrous, non-starchy types like broccoli, cabbage and zucchini because they are very low in carbohydrates and calories. Below is a list of vegetables you are free to enjoy as much as you want on The Chocolate Diet. In fact, you should try to have at least 3 cups of these vegetables daily, either cooked or raw
Below is a list of vegetables you are free to enjoy on The Chocolate Diet Program. The quantity you can eat is basically free within reason, unless otherwise stated. You should try to have 3 cups of these vegetables daily, either cooked or raw.
Recommended Vegetables include:
Watch The Carbs
Starchy vegetables like potatoes and pumpkin contain quite high levels of carbohydrates so you should try and avoid them altogether.
Below is a list of vegetables that should be reduced or avoided while on Pete's "The Chocolate Diet" Program.
Other Carbohydrate Foods
We’ve talked a little about starchy vegetable and carbohydrates foods that you should be aiming to reduce or avoid while on Pete's "The Chocolate Diet" Program. Let’s take a moment to list some of the main carbohydrate foods and food ingredients you should reduce or avoid. These products can contain high levels of carbohydrates, sugars and fats and will actually stop your body from burning fat. To ensure you get the best results, it’s best to avoid them altogether.
Biscuits – all types
Bread – all types
What To Drink
The best drink for weight control and good health is plain H20. It is a great thirst quencher, has zero calories and is used by your body in almost every biological process. For good health and an optimum metabolism you should aim to drink about 6 - 8 glasses of water a day. You can include the water in coffee, tea and diet drinks in this, however try to make most of your intake plain filtered water. To turbo-charge the benefits of water, add ice and a squeeze of fresh lemon.
Alcohol is always a tricky area if you are dieting. In general it is best to avoid alcohol intake however if you’re finding it challenging to cut out altogether, the occasional glass of white or red wine is ok but you should limit it to 2 – 3 glasses per week. Any more could compromise your weight loss.
Your daily intake can include:
Water – plain, mineral, spring, drink at least 6 - 8 glasses per day,more if you exercise
Tea, with or without dash of milk – use artificial sweetener, maximum 3 cups per day
Coffee, with or without dash of milk – use artificial sweetener, maximum 3 cups per day
Diet soft drinks – maximum 2 glasses per day
Dry white or red wine – one glass 2 - 3 days per week
Drinks to Avoid:
Soft Drinks – all types
Alcoholic drinks other than wine as listed above
Milk except in tea or coffee and when used to mix with Chocolate Diet Shakes