Most fad nutritional and diet plans today emphasize restriction.
A more successful approach to nutrition would be to focus on what to eat instead of what not to eat.
If you focus your attention on the foods you should be eating more of to achieve your goals, then there is less room for food choices that are not helping.
Having a plan that focuses on filling up your nutritional requirements for the day to match your goals will also allow you to plan for treats, and you can have some fun with it, too!
If you have ever played the game Yahtzee then you will be familiar with this card.
The game is played by being the first player to fill up all of your categories with the most points. If you fill up all of your categories and reach a certain number of points then you can get a bonus.
What if we looked at nutrition this same way?
The upper section would consist of macronutrients (Protein, Fat, Carbohydrates.)
Protein – 1.5 Grams per pound of goal weight
Fat – Grams equal to 20-30 percent of total caloric intake
Carbohydrates – Amount varied depending upon what your goals are.
*For fat loss eat mostly complex carbohydrates from whole foods like
vegetables and fruits. This should complete the rest of your calories
depending on your goal.
The lower section would consist of specific foods needed to get a variety of micronutrients. Micronutrients are your vitamins and minerals. Choose a variety of foods that will satisfy a variety of needs based on your goals. An example for fat loss would look like this…
Eggs (Essential Aminos and Fatty Acids)
Green Leafy Vegetables (ex: Spinach)
Cruciferous Vegetables (ex: Broccoli)
Nuts (Vitamins, Minerals, Essential Fatty Acids)
Greek Yogurt (Probiotics)
Other Fermented Foods (ex: Sauerkraut)
If you eat all of your planned foods and fill your nutritional categories then you could earn a “bonus” AKA treat.
This would be a much more efficient way to look at nutrition, and decrease the chance of eating foods that don’t positively affect your goals. It would also help keep you stay satisfied and avoid binging on treats.