DIET PLAN­NING 101

Top tips from the lat­est book by global gym Ul­ti­mate Per­for­mance

Shape (Singapore) - - November 2018 -

Use the right tools

Set daily nu­tri­tion tar­gets and keep a de­tailed log of your meals with nu­tri­tion track­ing ap­pli­ca­tions like My Fit­ness Pal. To pre­vent por­tion dis­tor­tion, keep your serv­ing sizes in check with a food scale – dig­i­tal for ex­tra ac­cu­racy. Af­ter cook­ing, meat and fish tend to lose flu­ids and weigh less, while starchy carbs like pasta ab­sorb wa­ter, so it’s ideal to weigh your foods be­fore toss­ing them onto the pan. Sched­ule your meals reg­u­larly Work in four meals round the clock at threeto five-hour in­ter­vals. Have an early morn­ing break­fast be­fore work, lunch and din­ner, and fit in a mid-morn­ing or mid-af­ter­noon meal. Hav­ing a fixed rou­tine helps to stave off hunger and con­trol your crav­ings, since you know when your next meal will be.

Time your pre-work­out meals well

Fu­elling your bod­ies with the right food is as im­por­tant as when ex­actly you should pop a snack. Avoid eat­ing at least one hour be­fore it starts to pre­vent a stom­ach up­set. Train­ing first thing in the morn­ing? Have a small 200kcal snack that is easy to di­gest, such as a piece of fruit.

Pri­ori­tise pro­tein

When plan­ning your meals, make pro­tein your main com­po­nent, es­pe­cially if your aim is to build mus­cle. Even if you can’t eat meat, fish, poul­try, eggs or dairy, your al­ter­na­tive op­tions are aplenty. Plant-based pro­tein sources in­clude soy­abased prod­ucts like tofu and legumes like chick­peas and lentils.

Don’t for­get fats

Fat is not the en­emy – it helps to add tex­ture and flavour. How­ever, be wary of trans fatty acids found in pro­cessed foods. In­stead, in­cor­po­rate good fats that help to lower your choles­terol lev­els and boost heart health, such as av­o­ca­dos, al­monds, cashews, and omega-3-rich sal­mon and mack­erel. Be smart about carbs Op­ti­mise your carb in­take by fill­ing half your plate with non-starchy veg­gies like spinach, as­para­gus and pep­pers and add one or two serv­ings of fruit ev­ery day. It is easy to overeat starchy veg­eta­bles and grains like po­ta­toes and brown rice, so leave them only as fillers to meet your car­bo­hy­drate tar­get for the day.

Add drinks too

Con­sum­ing enough flu­ids isn’t just im­por­tant for over­all health; it can also help with fat loss. Good hy­dra­tion habits to adopt in­clude drink­ing one to two litres of wa­ter through­out the day – when you wake up, and with ev­ery meal. If quit­ting high-calo­rie so­das cold turkey is too tough for you, try switch­ing to diet so­das first, but be aware of its caf­feine con­tent.

Learn to adapt when din­ing out

You don’t have to avoid all so­cial oc­ca­sions for fear of bust­ing your diet. The se­cret is mak­ing wise de­ci­sions: choose restau­rants with health­ier op­tions, skip dessert, re­place fries with salad and ask for dress­ing and sauces to be served on the side. Be­sides mak­ing pro­tein your base, re­mem­ber to choose the lean­est op­tion to help con­trol calo­rie count.

“A top tip to sim­plify the meal plan­ning process is to cre­ate one or two reg­u­lar meals for each meal time. For ex­am­ple, mak­ing it part of your rou­tine to have eggs for break­fast and chicken salad for lunch.” AU­THORS NICK MITCHELL AND JONATHAN TAY­LOR

Body Trans­for­ma­tion Meal Plan De­sign is avail­able for pur­chase on Ama­zon, as well as from the Ul­ti­mate Per­for­mance per­sonal train­ing gym (8 Cross Street) at $30.

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