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Healthy Diet Plans
Today we are going to talk about the supreme importance of maintaining a proper healthy diet-plan that will ensure you thrive on your journey to optimum mental and physical health.
Just like exercise, there are a plethora of directions you can take depending on the goal you are are trying to achieve. We will go over what a healthy diet for weight loss might look like, as well as diet-plans that may assist in preventing certain diseases and disorders.
The D.A.S.H. Diet
The D.A.S.H. Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is highly recommended among the nutritional community. Its focus is on the consumption of vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy foods — and moderate amounts of whole grains, fish, poultry and nuts. (1)
The main goal of this diet is to reduce the amount of sodium you intake through the foods you eat, which naturally serves to provide a host of health benefits, the most prevalent being a reduction in blood pressure.
The D.A.S.H Diet on average allows the consumption of up to 2000 calories per day, however, if you're adhering to this program your main focus is going to be on your Sodium intake. Since the main purpose is to lower cholesterol and hypertension, you are going to want to keep your sodium at 1500-2300 mg per day predicated on your health goals and needs.
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For those of you looking to make strength and muscle gains while simultaneously shedding body fat, this diet is for you. This is the most common diet adhered to among bodybuilders because it has achieved the most consistent results. The key to the bodybuilders diets in the three phases, cutting, bulking and maintaining.
When on a "Cut" your goal is to maintain as much muscle as possible while reducing your body fat percentage. This is done by maintaining a "caloric deficit" of your total daily energy expenditure "TDEE", and focusing on a high protein and low-fat diet.
To give you an idea of the Protein intake required, if you are a "lean" athlete participating on a caloric deficit, you would need at least 1.05 to 1.41 grams per pound of fat-free mass (2).
While "Bulking" your goal is to gain as much mass as possible while ensuring you do not go overboard and gain too much fat. To do this means maintaining a moderate caloric surplus and choosing the correct foods to do so.
Notice I emphasize moderate and correct, this is because this is where most bodybuilders shoot themselves in the foot. Failing to eat clean and in moderation will only lead to rapid fat gain which will do nothing for your overall physique and health. Check out this article for great advice on how to clean bulk.
Maintaining is just as it sounds, your goal is to maintain the levels you are currently at, assuming you are pleased with your current physique. Maintaining tends to be less arduous than the other two phases as you are simply eating to meet the current needs of your body.
It is important to maintain your level of physical activity while maintaining, if your TDEE goes down but your caloric intake stays the same then you will be setting your self up for a potential relapse.
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For a deeper look into the diet requirements required to truly reap the rewards of bodybuilding, click on the link below:
The "Ultimate Low Carb Diet" has been hailed recently as one of the most beneficial eating programs out there. By drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing that with healthy fats your goal is to consistently be in a state of Ketosis.
This has been known to reduce the risk of seizures and greatly assist with managing certain types of Diabetes (3).
There are numerous ways to do Ketogenic diet, this article is going to focus on the Standard Ketogenic Diet but the article below goes into detail on the other variations.
The Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKG) typically goes with 75% fat, 20% protein, and only 5% carbs; one of the most beneficial aspects of this diet is its focus on the intake of healthy proteins and fats. (4) Protein especially plays a huge role in assisting with weight loss and building muscle while the consumption of healthy fats (monounsaturated fats) has been known to help lose weight, improve communication between cells and store energy for later use. (5)
While adhering to the Ketogenic lifestyle you are going to want to stay away from the following items:
1.) Sugary Drinks / Foods: Soda, Juice, Candy, Chocolate etc.
2) Grains / Starches: Wheat Based Products such as rice, bread pasta
3) Low Fat / "Diet" Products: These products are typically high in calories and carbohydrates
4) Alcohol: Most alcohol is high in carbohydrates and will throw you out of Ketosis
5) Root vegetables and tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips,
Here are some of the food items you will want to start incorporating:
1. Meat: LOTS of it, chicken, cow, pig, rabbit, (you get the picture)
2. Fatty Fish: Salmon, Mackerel, Anchovies
3. Avocados: Delicious, versatile and chock-full of healthy fats
The Mediterranean diet is based on what people ate in places such as Greece and Italy before 1960. Its popularity is due to the numerous studies that have shown the Mediterranean diet can cause weight loss and help prevent heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes, and premature death. (6)
As a consequence of the variation in cultures in the Mediterranean area what foods are exactly included is among debate, however, it is generally agreed that the goal is to minimize red meat and processed foods as much as possible while maximizing the consumption of fish, vegetables and nuts.
While this diet boasts impressive health benefits, it can be hard to maintain especially if you are not the biggest fan of seafood. On the flip side, if your'e not the biggest fan of counting macros then your in luck as there is typically no need to do so with the Mediterranean diet granted you eat in moderation.
Here is a list of some of the foods that people eat when adhering to this diet:
1) Eggs: Don't just think chicken, venture out to quail and duck eggs.
The Paleo Diet is the true original diet because you are attempting to emulate the same diet that our ancestors would have followed. This means foregoing pretty much all modern food (out of a box = out of your life) and maintaining an active lifestyle.
It is claimed that the Paleo diet can help reduce fat, improve glucose tolerance, assist with blood pressure control and help with appetite management. While this an impressive list of benefits and there are many people who attest to its accuracy, further tests still need to be done to gain consensus among the scientific community as to the long term effects of Paleo diet. (7)
If you are looking to give your diet a blast from the past then you are going to want to stick to the foods that would have been consumed by our ancestors before we discovered farming.
This would include:
5) Healthy Fats: Extra Virgin Olive-Oil, Avocado, Butter, Coconut Oil
Foods you abstain from when living the Paleo lifestyle are:
1) Pasta: Doesn't matter if its gluten-free or wheat, no pasta!
2) Dairy: Ice cream, chocolate shakes, creamer, (the only exception being butter)
3) Packaged Foods: Remember the equation above? (Out of a box = Out of your life)
4) Grains: Wheat, Barley, Corn, Rice, Quinoa
5) Refined Sugars: Cane Sugar, Brown Sugar, Equal, Truvia
One of the most attractive features of the Paleo Diet is the community. If you choose to take on the challenge of living this lifestyle you will find that there are a lot of like-minded individuals who are willing to provide advice and encouragement which is a major factor in determining the success of any diet program.
If you are interested in researching the Paleo Diet further, click the link below:
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