Balancing Your Plate

by Christine Lusita | | Easy Meals, Health + Fitness, Lifestyle

When it comes to putting meals together, I have just three words: Balance, balance, bal- ance. And I mean that literally: Three times a day, you’re going to balance your intake of carbs, proteins, fats, fruits, and veggies.

Here’s why. Different types of foods have different effects on your blood sugar. Blood sugar instability is the number-one physiological cause of a binge. After a sudden drop, you’re starving, cranky, and must feed the beast now. That’s not the best attitude to take to your refrigerator!
High glycemic foods, for example, are simple carbohydrates that break down in 30–60 minutes. They’re fine for pre-workouts, giving you that short burst of energy you need.
Examples: Nonfat yogurt, cereal, juices, smoothies, instant oatmeal, and yes, fruits (whole and dried).

Low glycemic foods are complex carbohydrates that break down in about 90 minutes to two hours. Because they’re full of fiber, they keep you feeling fuller and will give you a little more bang for your blood-sugar buck.
Examples: Oats, rice, whole grain pasta/breads, sweet potatoes, and veggies.

Proteins take 3–4 hours to digest, depending on the protein. With protein, you sacrifice an energy rush but gain stabilized blood sugar. You also stay fuller and keep your me- tabolism active longer. That’s exactly what you want. An inactive metabolism does not support weight loss, people!
Examples: Nuts, beans, lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, milk.

Fats, meanwhile, can have a breakdown time from 6–8 hours. But in a healthy diet, your
fat intake should be small enough not to affect your blood sugar and metabolism.
Examples: Oils, avocados, butter, cheese.

So the magic formula for energy and stability is to combine it all. If you bring together carbohydrates, protein, fats, fruits, and vegetables in each meal, you’ve got balance. Your blood sugar remains stable, and your metabolism works at its peak all day long. This staves off irrational hunger and supports a solid and satisfying meal plan. (Not to mention a slimmer waistline!)

To choose the right amounts for your metabolism and weight loss goals, keep reading.

*This is an excerpt form my new book The Right Fit Formula

Portion Control!

by Christine Lusita | | Health + Fitness

How much to eat:
This gets interesting! It turns out that a serving of protein is not a Quarter-Pounder with Cheese or a Cracker Barrel buttermilk-fried half-chicken. WTF?!

Here are some basic guidelines to help you navigate in this crazy diet centric world!

Protein Servings:
Red Meat: 3 ounces.
Lean Turkey/Chicken 4-5 oz

Dairy: 1⁄2 cup

Legumes: 1 ⁄2 cup

Fruits/Veggie servings:
Leafy veggies: 1 cup
Fresh/frozen veggies: 1⁄2 cup
Fruit: 1 ⁄2 cup fresh; 1 ⁄4 cup dried

Carb servings:
Cereal: 1⁄2 cup
Rice/pasta: 1 ⁄2 cup cooked
Bread: 1 slice

Fat servings
Peanut butter, cheese, etc.: 1 ounce (spoonful of peanut butter)

Final thought: Eating well is all about quality and quantity. If you keep your food whole and fresh and your quantities reasonable, you’re golden.

*This is an excerpt from my new book The Right Fit Formula. Use the charts on pages 224–225 to stay golden with your serving sizes.