Dear Dr. Terri K: Hello. Starting this New Year, I’ve recommitted myself to my health. I work out 4 times a week (which includes cardio, weights and yoga). I don’t eat beef or pork but love chicken, fish and tofu. I’m looking to create a simple eating plan that will allow for enough protein and carbs to keep me going. What do you recommend? Thank you – CT
CT: First, congratulations on committing to life! Here are some simple guidelines to keep you on track:
Eat a balanced breakfast. Focus on a mix of low-fat protein, such as yogurt, and complex carbohydrates, such as whole grain breads.
Stay alert with a protein-rich lunch. Choose 3-4 ounces of poultry (without skin), fish or beans.
Graze. Eat small amounts throughout the day to keep your energy levels and mood constant.
Replenish macronutrients after your workout. After a cardio session, eat a fibrous carbohydrate, such as a yam, fruit salad, yogurt, brown rice, beans, or peanut butter. After weight training, eat a carb/protein combo such as potato and chicken or fish, a protein shake with a banana and nonfat or soy milk, or egg whites and toast.
Make water your drink of choice. Water can help control your appetite and works as a cleansing agent for your body.
Don’t eat two to three hours before bed. If you must have a bedtime snack, eat a tryptophan-containing food such as a banana, or a carbohydrate-rich snack like dry cereal.
Contributed by Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, Ph.D., MBA.
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