Dear Jonny, What To Eat?
I’m trying really hard to lose weight. I’ve been good about following a gym routine, but I don’t know much about diet. Portion control isn’t the problem. I just don’t really know what I need to to be eating for optimum weight loss and health (I eat out too much and drink a lot of soda). Even though I’ve never really been fat, these last few years have seen me put on 10-15 unwanted pounds. Otherwise, I’ve got a pretty muscular frame. But my doctor says I have a problem with insulin resistance. I’m 28 years old, 5’10”, and 210 pounds. Knowing that, will you give me a list of ten or so things that I can make the staples of my diet?
Like many Americans, it sounds as if you’re an endomorph-mesomorph whose metabolic rate has begun to slow, allowing your sucrose-laden diet to catch up to you. That’s the reason for your “sudden” weight gain and the accompanying insulin resistance (the latter is also an indication of possible vitamin D deficiency). If what you say about being consistent in the gym is true, then, yes, your main concern should be with what you eat. As you alluded to, both fast food and soda are complete shit, the main reasons for your unwanted physiological changes. That said, stay the hell away from anything that can be purchased at a drive-thru. You need to stick to healthy, nutrient-dense foods that won’t negatively affect your blood sugar. Here is a partial list of what you should be eating:
Chicken, ground turkey, fish, and the occasional cut of lean beef or pork (purchase organic, hormone-free meat if possible). Onions, garlic, tomatoes, spinach, kale, sweet potatoes (in moderation), broccoli, lettuce, eggplant, walnuts, almonds, quinoa (An Incan warrior grain; in moderation), low-fat cheeses, and organic eggs. Cook with olive oil. If you’re a fan of fruit, I recommend that you eat it only after working out (one or two pieces), when your body will best utilize the simple sugars. Even then, it’s best to stick to the following: Apples, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and melon. A high quality whey protein powder can be a convenient post-workout replenishment source. Lastly, I suggest that you take a high dose vitamin D supplement, at least 2,000 – but no more than 10,000 – iu per day. That’s a damn good start.