By Aaron Baker,MS, ATC, SCCC, CSCS, Hive Ambassador
As a sports performance coach and a personal trainer, I can easily say the #1 question I get asked is “What should I be eating.”
Undoubtedly my answer is the same to every person, “if your looking for a nutrition plan read “The ABS DIET,” written by David Zinczenko.”
There are many important topics and concepts The “ABS DIET” delves into, but for the purposes of this blog there are three key concepts a person who reads this book should understand. Why eating 5 to 6 times a day is important for weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight, the importance of exercise, and what healthy food actually is.
First, the concept of multiple feedings in a day or grazing is nothing new. Basically it states by eating 5 or 6 times a day you are not allowing your resting metabolism to dip, which in turn burns more calories at rest, and burns more fat.
While the actual science of this has come under scrutiny over the years, I’ve seen this strategy work for many people. Whether you believe in this strategy or not one thing cannot be denied, the human body is a highly efficient organism and if you provide it with enough calories for your given activity level it will shed any unnecessary body fat.
Grazing also becomes important when talking about the concept of the thermogenic effect of food. Which states, there is an increase in metabolic activity in order to digest food consumed. So if you are eating multiple times a day, you are burning more calories through digestion than a person who eats twice a day. While the amount of calories burned here may be small, over a 3 month period it adds up.
Now, these concepts are very useful but only if your exercising and eating the right things. I may not agree with all of the things he recommends for exercise, but I do agree with him on the importance adhering to a routine and eating the proper foods.
Foods that are only low in calories and fat or sugar free should not by default be considered healthy food.
They are however a healthier option than their respective counterparts, so given the choice the right decision is obvious.
Instead healthy foods should provide the body with the proper vitamins and nutrients that assist in healthy weight loss, weight maintenance, boosting your immune system and promoting general health.
“The ABS DIET” provides a list of what the author believes are the best foods to eat. The book refers to these foods as “The Power 12.”
While these certainly aren’t the only pro healthy foods out there, they are a good start.
These are “The Power 12:”
Almonds and other nuts – Builds muscle, fights against obesity, heart disease, cancer, and high blood pressure
Beans and other legumes – Builds muscle, fights against obesity, colon cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure
Spinach and other green vegetables – neutralizes free radicals, fights against cancer, heart disease, stroke, obesity and osteoporosis
Dairy (Fat Free or Low fat) – Builds strong bones, fights against osteoporosis, obesity, high blood pressure, and cancer
Instant Oatmeal – Boosts energy, reduces cholesterol, maintains blood sugar levels, fights against heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer and obesity
Eggs – Builds muscle, fights against obesity
Turkey and other lean meats – Builds muscle, improves immune system, fights against, obesity
Peanut butter (Natural) – Builds muscle, fights against, obesity, muscle loss, and cardiovascular disease
Olive Oil – Lowers cholesterol, boosts immune system, fights against, obesity, cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure
Wholegrain breads – Fights against obesity, cancer, high blood pressure, and heart disease
Extra protein (Whey) – Builds muscle, burns fat, fights against obesity
Raspberries and other berries – Fights against, heart disease, cancer and obesity
Obviously, not all nutrition plans are going to work for every body, but I do believe that the plan laid out in “The ABS DIET” provides a great nutritional foundation that can help most people achieve their goals.
So the next time you pick up something to eat, you should ask yourself, “how is this food helping me?”