Thanks to Chris Tremonte, an elite triathlete and owner of Geekfit, for sharing a self-experiment which might help readers track and manage their carbohydrate and alcohol intake. The self-experiment spreadsheet is available for download at the end of this post.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle goes far beyond exercise. Although staying active and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle is vital, you need to be just as conscious of what you’re putting into your body. You should always, or at least as much as possible, give your body the best fuel you can – healthy, natural food.
Let’s start with a few things to cut down on, or even rid your diet of completely…
Stay away from all “refined” foods such as refined sugar and refined wheat flour. The more refined something is, the less natural it is. Why would you put synthetic and processed foods into your body? There are really no nutritional benefits at all to them.
As you’re reducing refined foods, start replacing them with more natural food sources. Dairy products like milk, butter and cheese are a fantastic, healthy food group. They should be eaten in moderation because they can be very calorie intensive, but they’re great sources of vitamins and minerals, particularly calcium. Eggs are an excellent source of protein and essential amino acids – if you’re worried about calories, just nix the yolks. Another super healthy food is coconut and coconut oil. The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, and even stress relief!
Vegetables, particularly non-starchy ones, should be a cornerstone of your diet. Raw veggies are the best, but steaming is a great option too for maintaining nutrients. Don’t be afraid to try them in all sorts of ways, from soups, salads, bakes, stir-frys and many more. Farmers’ markets can be a great way to explore seasonal vegetables, which taste much better when they’re fresh from local farmers, rather than grown on big industrial farms, with chemicals. Farmers’ markets get you out in the fresh air and you can get cooking tips and recipe ideas while you shop.
Try reducing alcohol intake. Wait! Before you dismiss this idea out of hand, give it a chance! Consider trying it for one month to see how it feels. You might be surprised at how much of a difference it can make – especially in your energy levels.
While on the subject of reducing things from your diet here are a few other things to be aware of: plant oils, rice, corn, and non-grain starch like potatoes (especially if one is trying to lose weight), while natural, are still all things that should be consumed in moderation due to their high calorie content. Legumes (beans and peanuts) also break down in the system like a white starch, so be cautious with those as well. Too much soy in your diet should be similarly moderated.
So now we come to the spreadsheet to correlate carbohydrate, alcohol intake and weight. Fig 1. here shows a snapshot, you can download the spreadsheet below for your own use.