I’ve been keeping diet and training journals on my personal training clients and myself for over 20 years. Every now and then I look back searching for consistent patterns of successful weight loss. When I look back on all the different diets we’ve tried there was a realization that Protein, Fat and Vegetables seems to be the way to go for losing weight without being hungry, deprived or overwhelmed.
I’ve always been a big advocate of eating whole natural foods but a mistake that my clients and I have made over the years is eating too many grains. Whole natural grains are healthy, low in fat and have good amounts of fiber but they still are converted into sugar (glucose) by the body. It’s real easy to eat too many healthy grains. Everyone including myself recommends eating whole grains but if you are eating grains every day and not losing weight, step back and take a look at your serving size and how often you are eating them.
When my clients tell me they’ve been eating very healthy for the last few weeks but haven’t lost any weight, in so many cases it’s too many grains. For example, if a client gives me their food journal and it looks like the following, I know grains are the problem.
Breakfast: multigrain cereal with skim milk and fruit, and a glass of OJ
Lunch: veggie burger on 7 grain bread with lettuce, tomato and diet dressing, and a diet coke
Dinner: brown rice, steamed broccoli and small piece of grilled chicken, a glass of wine, and fruit for dessert
Snacks: 100 calorie pretzels and wheat crackers a couple of times per day with plenty of water
To a lot of people this sounds like a great healthy diet and in a number of ways it is but if you’re not losing weight on it, something is wrong.
Weight Loss Diets for Women
The problem with this diet is there are just too many grains and sugar in it with not enough healthy fat and protein. Cold cereal, skim milk with fruit and juice is way too high in carbohydrates (unless you’re going out for a 10 mile run) with not enough protein or fat. If you like cereal in the morning, try hot oatmeal made with water. Add ground flax seeds for healthy fats and a scope of whey protein for the protein and calcium with half an orange for vitamin C. Skip the juice and have some unsweetened tea instead. This breakfast is still high in fiber but lower in sugar and higher in protein and healthy fat.
If you had oatmeal for breakfast you don’t want to have another grain for lunch. A 7 grain sandwich even with a healthy veggie burger and diet dressing is not a good choice; too much sugar. Try a salad with raw vegetables; add a piece of salmon and use oil and vinegar for your dressing. Skip the diet coke and have a glass of unsweetened ice tea. This lunch is still high in fiber, but has more vegetables and antioxidants than a veggie burger plus more protein and healthy fats from the salmon.
No brown rice for dinner; double up on the vegetables instead. Have 2 to 3 cups of sautéed vegetables with garlic and olive oil. Have a lean piece of grilled chicken or meat with a glass of wine for dessert. I have always liked the three to one rule for dinner. Three parts vegetables and one part protein and fat. This is another great high fiber, low glycemic meal with the optimal amount of protein and healthy fat.
Instead of snacking on pretzels and wheat crackers which are just empty calories try 1 oz of salt free almonds or a glass of fresh vegetable juice.
I know it can be frustrating when you think you’re eating healthy and can’t lose weight. Take a look at your diet and see if you’re eating too many grains. If so, try some of the recommendations I have made in this article and let me know if you start losing weight.
If you enjoyed this post, then make sure you subscribe to my e-mail list.
Best – Mike Cola