Many people ask me what should we eat to get a lean body. There is a lot of confusion what we should eat and what we should avoid. Let us clear this doubt and get a healthy and an active life.
Great Protein Resources
Protein is the building block of our body. It provides energy, builds muscles, gives amino acids which are required by the body for various functions. So it is essential to include 20-30 grams of protein in each meal we eat. Protein in our meal will improve body composition, help in weight loss and help in weight maintenance. Below are some good sources of protein.
Whole eggs including yolks are great sources of protein. Make sure to include yolk as it is the healthiest part of egg and provides all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Egg yolk consist 90% of calcium, iron, zinc, B6, B12, phosphorus, folate and panthothenic acids. It also contains all of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K as well as all of the essential fatty acids. Make sure to choose free range organic eggs instead of grocery store eggs. If you are forced to choose from grocery then choose organic, free-range which are better than typical factory farmed eggs.
Wild caught Fish
Why wild caught fish?
Wild caught fish are essentially healthier than farm fish which are fed a grain based diet and kept in pens. Wild caught fish have significantly higher levels of the essential fatty acid omega 3, which has potentially positive effects in your body. These omega-3 fatty acids help in fat loss and build muscles. Other benefit includes healthy heart, healthy brain and healthy joint.
Free Range chicken breasts
Why to choose free range chicken?
Most of us know that chicken that are raised in factories are given antibiotics and hormones to fatten up as soon as possible. Also they are strictly free to move which is not healthy. On the other hand free range chicken is allowed to freely move and eats natural bugs and gets proper sun and air.
They eat more of their natural diet, including the things that keep the good fat ratios between omega 3 and omega 6.
Choose grass fed meats because they have more beta-carotene, vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids than produced using conventional cattle-feeding strategies. Grass-fed meat has been shown to aid in fat burning and muscle building processes.
Gluten free Brown rice (Not white Rice)
Brown rice pasta
Carbohydrates provide us energy for daily activities. Use brown instead of white (white is poison). Carbohydrates are less encouraged for lean body as they are converted to fat. Use them after having work outs for building body or on cheat days.
Note: Cheat days: On the cheat days you can eat anything with little precaution. Once a week, have a cheat day.
Onions, Spinach, Broccoli, Red Peppers, Fresh Mushrooms, Zucchini, cilantro, Frozen veggies, Cauliflower, Cabbage.
Buy vegetables from your local farmers which are better than bought from grocery shops which are shipped from many miles across the country. Organic vegetables are great as they have few pesticides, herbicides and preservatives on them, because it does not come from a huge factory farm, making them far, far healthier for you.
Use green vegetables as much as possible.
Baby greens, Dark green leaf lettuce, Red leaf lettuce, Arugula, Romaine, Organic baby spinach, Kale
Leafy green vegetables are the ideal for lean body food, as they are very low in calories. These leafy greens deliver a bonanza of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phyto-nutrients. They are useful in reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease since they are low in fat, high in dietary fiber, and rich in folic acid, vitamins K, C, E, and many of the vitamins, iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium.
Green vegetables like Cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and broccoli are rich in natural chemicals called indoles and isothiocyanates, which protects against cancer.
Green leafy provides vitamin K. It is super beneficial as it regulates blood clotting, puts calcium in bones not in blood stream, regulates inflammation and helps in protecting from inflammatory diseases including arthritis.
Arugula has a super-high nutrient density and a delicious nutty, spicy flavor. Kale and collard greens are the most common examples of hearty greens.
Spinach is best known in this category. So eat as much as possible.
Great Dairy Food
Grass Fed Milk
Why grass fed milk?
These days we get pasteurized milk from grocery stores which is heated to the point that most of vital enzymes, nutrients are killed, the milk proteins are detected from heat that's why it is very hard to digest and causes allergic reactions. Also commercially manufactured milk from the cattle's which are fed antibiotics and hormones to produce more milk. So use raw milk instead of pasteurized.
Unpasteurized and unhomogenized from healthy grass-fed cows is the only source of milk that can be considered healthy. Clean raw milk, cheese, and butter from grass-fed cows are a complete and properly balanced food.
Raw milk contains essential amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats such as CLA which helps in building our muscles and burns fat. Amino acids are the building blocks for protein. So drinking a glass of raw milk is good for your teeth as well as the rest of your body.
Use coconut milk instead of pasteurized milk from grocery shops. It is far better than pasteurized milk. Add coconut milk to smoothies, oatmeal, or yogurt for a rich, creamy taste. It is full of healthy saturated fats such as medium chain triglycerides.
Grass fed Butter
What to choose margarines or butter?
Margarines are pure junk and should not be consumed because it is major source of harmful trans fat, produced by highly refined inflammatory vegetables at high temperature, high pressure and with use of petroleum solvents. It is closely related to inedible industrial oil rather than something that should be thought of as food.
On other hand butter is a completely natural food that is essential to your health, especially when you eat organic, grass fed butter. It is high in vitamins, minerals and other power-packed nutrients.
Butter contains CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) a powerful fat burner, muscles builder, anti-cancer agent and immunity booster. It provides quick endurance energy.
So do not restrict yourself from eating grass fat butter. Also do not restrict yourself from eating Cottage Cheese, Ricotta cheese.
Coconut Oil, Olive oil, Krill oil
Replace canola oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, and safflower oil with coconut oil, Olive or Krill oil. Coconut oil is preferred by athletes, body builders and by those who are dieting. The main reason behind is that coconut oils are made up mostly of unique healthy saturated fats called medium chain triglycerides (MCT) which are mostly converted into energy and is healthy for heart and arteries. It boosts energy, endurance and improvements the athletic performance.
Coconut oil helps in reducing body fat. It contains short and medium chain fatty acids which improves body's metabolism. So enjoy your butter, coconut oil, olive, krill oil and feel good about it!
Fresh Berries, Frozen Berries
Frozen blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Strawberries, cherries
Eat organic berries instead of non organic berries which are one of the highest sprayed crops and since strawberries really have no skin or rind, they soak up all those pesticides and herbicides. Even washing will not get rid of that.
Berries are a power house of nutrition, packed with vitamins and minerals, and also some of the best sources of antioxidants of any food in existence. Berries are great source of fibers which slows your carbohydrates absorption and digestion, and controls blood sugar levels to help prevent insulin spikes, making berries a great super food for fat loss and a lean body.
A cup of strawberries contains over 100 mg of vitamin C, which is better than orange juice. Vitamin C strengthens the immune system and helps build strong connective tissue.
So eat fresh berries as much as possible. Other frozen berries also good if fresh berries are not available. The pigments in berries that create the bright colors are also good for your health. Berries contain potent phytochemicals and flavonoids that may help to prevent cancer, reduce heart disease risk, and protect skin from damage. Blueberries and raspberries also contain lutein, which is important for healthy vision.
Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts, Pistachios, Nut Butters
Can high fat foods help in losing extra body fats? The answer is yes. Good fats help in reducing your body fats.
Almonds and walnuts top the list in nutrition, but other nuts are healthy, too, including pistachios, pecans and cashews.
Many studies have shown that people who include reasonable amount of nuts in their diet actually lose more weight than those do not include. Nuts are great snacks.
Only thing you have to remember is do not overeate because they are so tasty that we do not stop eating 5-10 nuts but go for 30-50. So do not overeat. Protein and fat in nuts helps you feel fuller and stops cravings and since nuts have no sugar. They do not put you in weight gaining cycle.
Nuts contain significant amounts of vitamin E which is an antioxidant, fiber and protein, which of course, you know helps to control blood sugar and can aid in weight loss.
Eating pistachios daily is great for your vision. Pistachios are also high in protein, making a satisfying snack.
Do not eat roasted and salted nuts, as these often have unhealthy cottonseed or soybean oils added, thus canceling out the many of the health effects of the nuts.
Add almond butter, cashew butter, pecan butter, or macadamia butter to add variety to your diet and make it easier to get more of the quality nutrition of nuts into your diet.
People try to avoid avocados because they are high in fat but we already discussed all fats are not bad. Avocados are power-packed super food. Not only is this fruit super high in mono unsaturated fat, but also full of vitamins, minerals, micro nutrients, and antioxidants. Avocados contain plenty of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that helps lower cholesterol and is helpful in preventing breast cancer and other forms of cancer. Potassium present in avocados helps in regulating blood pressure. Adequate intake of potassium can help to guard against circulatory diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or stroke. Avocados help in fat loss and muscles building. The healthy fat content in avocados helps control insulin levels, makes you feel full longer and takes away junk food cravings. These are great snacks.
Avocados are also a very concentrated dietary source of the carotenoid lutein which is good for eye health. Kiwis are a full pack of nutrients. Kiwifruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K as well as a very good source of copper and dietary fiber. It is also a good source of vitamin E, potassium, folate, and manganese.
Apples, Cherries, Grapes, Chile, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Raspberries, Strawberries, Bell peppers, Celery, Bananas, Mangos, Papaya, Pineapples
Green Tea, Oolong Tea, Herbal Tea, Black Tea
Teas are great antioxidants. Best benefits start with 2-3 cups of tea a day. Not into hot liquids? Make some up and pour it over ice with a little stevia to sweeten it up.
Studies conducted on green tea found that it helps in weight loss and glucose regulation. Green tea is a source of caffeine and is a decent fat burner with a well-established track record. It improves your metabolic rate.
It keeps your blood sugar level stable, you cut down on your insulin response that in turn, means more controlled appetite and less stored fat.
Oolong Tea, Herbal Tea, Black Tea are also great antioxidants and come from same tea as green tea. Oolong and Black are less studied but give great benefits like green tea.
So try mixing up these teas according to your tastes. There are many benefits as increased metabolism, a positive effect on blood sugar and insulin regulation, and the inhibitory of certain enzymes, which are required for the processing of carbohydrates and fats. It also has been shown to lower LDL levels (that's the “bad” cholesterol) as well as triglyceride levels.
Stevia, Raw honey, Real Maple Syrup, Blackstrap molasses
Our craving for sweets often ruptures our program of becoming healthy and getting lean body. We tend to eat cookies, cakes, and a scoop of ice cream. These are pure sugar and sometimes high fructose corn syrups.
So avoid these sugary items and artificial sweeteners which are loaded into many foods marketed as healthy foods but in reality they are culprit of gain gain in long term.
There are many good and healthy sweeteners like stevia, raw honey and real maple syrup.
Raw honey can actually improve your body's ability to process glucose. On the other hand, refined sugar negatively affects your body's ability to process glucose over time. Honey contains vitamin B2, B6 and good source of antioxidants. Consuming just a spoonful of honey each day can raise the antioxidant levels in our bodies and it is also the healthiest natural sweetener available for those with Type 2 Diabetes.
Real Maple Syrup is a great replacement of sugar like honey but it should be pure, natural maple.
Stevia is a natural sweetener and calorie-free. Stevia comes from the leaves of a shrub native to Paraguay and Brazil. Stevia is about three hundred times sweeter than sugar, and has all the benefits of a sweetener without being bad for you or fattening. It's really natural and it does not affect your health like artificial sweeteners. So remove not-so-natural Splenda and NutraSweet chemical artificial sweeteners from your list.
Tomato sauces, Salsa sauces
Dark chocolates are made up from the beans of cacao tree. Cacao is full of Flavonoids which are known for antioxidants. Eat 1-2 pieces of dark chocolate after meals.
Everyone needs a sweet to satisfy treat. Dark chocolates can fill the gap. One of the major reasons the diet fails because you end up feeling stripped.
You can make your diet plan successful by indulging chocolates in small amounts, once in a while. Integrating chocolate and other foods you enjoy, in small doses, can help you make your new lean and easy to incorporate into your daily life without feeling stripped.
It should not be any chocolates like milk made chocolates but dark chocolates with at least a cocoa content of 70% or higher to keep your sugar content low. These chocolates offers many benefits like antibacterial agents that fight tooth decay, increase theta brain waves resulting in relaxation, phenyl ethylamine a mild mood elevator, increases antioxidant levels in the blood.
So enjoy dark chocolate and make your lean body plan successful. You can also add organic unsweetened cocoa powder to smoothies or other recipes.