Today’s blog post is from Dana Cavalea, founder of ML Strength, Inc., a private performance training facility in White Plains, NY. Cavalea created ML Strength with the vision of enhancing human performance and the company utilizes the same training protocols that professional athletes use. Previously, Cavalea was the Strength & Conditioning Coach for the New York Yankees for seven seasons. Prior to that, he had served as a conditioning coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays.
When it comes to losing weight and improving our diets, we often times look to the internet or the "experts" for the advice that we like to hear.
Typically, we leave this google search completely confused, over-informed, and therefore in the same position we started in. Then a few weeks go by, a few more pounds are added, and we start the search again. We find the word "cleanse"- as well as a recipe to lose 10lbs in 5 days while drinking lemons, maple syrup, and cayanne pepper- with a touch of detox tea. Well, this is a good way to lose weight quickly but also set you on a destructive path of deprivation, which often times leads to binge eating and excessive caloric intake. So what is a better strategy? EAT! Eat well, hydrate, and sleep! This three step formula contains all the weight loss you can desire. When it comes to the fundamentals of weight loss, it is imperative that you focus on eating more, not less; drinking more (water that is), not less; sleeping more, not less. With our athletes and adult clientele we follow a simple recipe:
- Drink Half Your Body Weight in Ounces Per Day (Minimum)
- Include Fruits and Vegetables at Each Meal
- Sleep 7.5-9 Hours per Night
The concept of eating more is often a confusing one for people- leaving them with the question," If I eat more, how can I be lose weight?" Well, the answer is simple- if you add fruits and vegetables to every meal (a double helping is preferred; and more greens then fruits), eat these fruits and vegetables before your main course (or make them the main course), you will see results. Increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet will add lots of nutrients and fiber your system- allowing your body to repair itself, heal itself, and flush itself of the processed toxins we typically take in. So, the practical approach looks something like this:
- Breakfast: Big Bowl of Berries or Slice Melon; Vegetable Omlette with "as many vegetables as you desire"
- Lunch: Big Salad with Nuts, Fruits, Beans, and "as many vegetables as you desire" (use a vinegar dressing)
- Dinner: Salad, Small Piece of Protein + Double Helping of Vegetables (Spinach, Broccoli, Squash, Brussell Sprouts)
A sample snack would be baby carrots and hummus and/ or a nice fruit smoothie with a water or almond milk base. A disclaimer with this diet is to eat the vegetables and fruits first. Then, eat what’s on the rest of your plate. With this eating strategy, meat and animal products should make up only about 10-15% of your diet. Also, drinking half your body weight in ounces of water per day will flush your system and most importantly provide you with the nutrients you need to improve your body composition, recovery, and your overall vitality.
As a society we are very confused on nutrition, but if we keep our food as close to the earth as possible, simply prepared, with a high amount of nutrients we will succeed in weight loss- avoiding the yo-yo trap often surrounded by fad dieting.