Salam alaikum. I would just like to state that the following is a diet appropriate for one who is trying to get abs and a "well-cut" body frame (both males and females). No matter how hard you work at the gym, you won't get abs unless you have a good diet too. Anyways, the following is an article by a personal trainer called Arnel. ________________________________________________________ Most people will agree that there is more weight loss and fitness information today but there is also more and more people that are getting even more confused about proper nutrition. Each diet contradicts with one another. I know it can get very confusing. I am not a nutritionist and I do NOT claim to know everything. However, I spent over 7 years of my life studying how the body functions. These are just the general guidelines that I use for myself. I can never stress it enough how crucial proper eating is. It is one of my biggest reasons why I was able to drop my body fat so that I could reveal my six pack abs. Without proper supportive eating, you are wasting your time at the gym. It is only going to be a lot tougher without the proper supportive eating. Here are my eating tips and I'll try to keep it simple and easy to follow. If you want to lose weight and gain lean muscle, you will want your supportive eating to consist of high protein and high fiber food. You will understand why after reading this article. Let? Talk About Protein First: You want to make an effort to consume high quality protein and fiber in every meal. A suportive eating rich in lean protein is very crucial for numerous reasons. Protein is essential for repairing, building, and preserving your muscle. Of course, the more muscle that you can keep and build, the higher your metabolism. In addition, protein is needed for the production of important hormones and enzymes. However, one of the biggest reasons why protein plays a big role in your supportive eating is because protein does not spike your sugar level up. The more your blood sugar is steady, the more fat your body can release to be utilize as energy. Protein is hard for your body to break down causing up to 20% thermic effect compared to carbohydrates and fat. What does that mean? When you consume protein, 20% of the total protein calories are used just to break down the protein into small chains of amino acids. That is extremely important to help boost your metabolism. Here are the top 12 sources of high quality lean protein: 1. White egg omelette (hard boiled eggs) 2. Lean skinless chicken and turkey (white meat) 3. Wild Salmon 4. Lean beef 5. Tuna 6. Lean Pork (haram - minus this option) 7. Sardines 8. Skim milk 9. Cottage Cheese (Fat Free) 10. Beans, nuts, legumes 11. Soy (Tofu) 12. Whey protein drinks. Let? Talk About Foods That Are High in Fiber: Adding fiber into your meal is crucial for overall heath. Fiber (soluble) absorbs water making your feel fuller and for much longer time. For example, plain oatmeal is high in soluble fiber with attract water to keep you satisfied for hours. However, eating cereal that is high in sugar and low fiber causes you to get hungry very quickly. Insoluble fiber help move the food faster through the stomach and intestines to prevent constipation and other disease. It is recommended to consume about 25-35 grams of fiber per day. Like I said earlier, you must make an effort to consume lean protein in every meal. But you also want your supportive eating to be rich in high fiber food. The list below are food that are high in fiber and packed in vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are essential muscle building, fat burning meal. Top 12 Foods That Are High in Fiber: 1. Broccoli 2. Spinach 3. Yellow and red peppers 4. Cauliflower 5. Kale 6. Sweet potatoes 7. Brown rice 8. Plain Oatmeal (my favorite breakfast food) 9. Tomatoes 10. Berries (extremely high in antioxidants which speed up your recovery) 11. Bananas (my simple carbohydrates after working out.) 12. Legumes, beans, nuts Let? all put it together. Again, you want to try to consume some lean protein in every meal with foods that are high in fiber. Below are four samples of what my everyday meal looks like. Sample Menu #1 Meal # 1 (Breakfast) 2 egg whites 1 serving of plain oatmeal with whey protein (for flavor) ½ cup skim milk Optional Supplement: 1 teaspoon of Flax seed oil Meal # 2 (Snack) 3 Hard Boiled Eggs 1 serving of Broccoli Meal # 3 (Lunch) 31/2 ounces Chicken Breast 1 cup of mixed vegetables 1 Large Apple Meal # 4 (My post workout meal) 1 Banana 11/2 servings of whey protein powder (sipping on my whey protein during my workout and finishing it after my workout) Meal #5 (Dinner) 31/2 ounces of Salmon ½ cup spinach 1 serving of berries such as strawberries Meal #6 Optional (Before I go to bed) Cottage cheese with blueberries. Quick notes: Cottage cheese contains casein protein to help prevent muscle breakdown. Blueberries are high in antioxidants to help aid muscle repair. Sample Menu #2 Meal # 1 (Breakfast) 5 egg whites with broccoli ½ cup skim milk Optional Supplement: 1 teaspoon of Flax seed oil Meal # 2 (Snack) Cottage cheese with strawberries Meal # 3 (Lunch) 31/2 ounces Turkey breast ¾ cup of brown rice 1 small Apple Meal # 4 (My post workout meal) 1 Banana 11/2 serving of whey protein powder (sipping on my whey protein during my workout and finishing it after my workout) Meal #5 (Dinner) 31/2 ounces of chicken breast ½ cup yellow and red peppers. Salad with spinach, tomato, olive oil and vinegar Meal #6 Optional (Before I go to bed) Whey protein in skim milk Sample Menu #3 Meal # 1 5 white egg omellete with chopped brocolli ½ cup skim milk Meal # 2 1 ounce of Almonds 1 medium Orange Meal # 3 3.5 ounces Chicken Breast ½ cup of brown rice 1 Large Apple Meal # 4 (My post workout meal) 1 Banana 1 scoop protein powder (22grams protein, 5g carbs, 1 g fat) Meal #5 3 ounces Turkey Breast or Salmon 1 cup of mixed vegetables 2 tsps olive oil dressing Sample Menu #4 Meal # 1 6 egg whites ½ cup oatmeal (measured dry uncooked) 1 small orange Meal # 2 1 ounce of Almonds 1 medium skim milk Meal # 3 4 ounces Turkey Breast 2 ounce sweet potato Meal # 4 (My post workout meal) ½ banana 2 scoops protein powder Meal # 5 4 ounces Chicken Breast or Tuna ½ cup Spinach Medium tomato 1.5 cups lettuce 2 tsps olive oil dressing Quick notes: Casein is the predominant protein in milk to help prevent muscle breakdown. My Nutritional Tip Before, During, and After Working Out Based on research, consuming protein before, during, and after workouts help increase muscle mass more compared to any other time. My suggestion is to make a protein shake prior to working out, sipping it before and throughout the session, and a little bit more right after your workout session. To maximize your fat loss, drink a total of 20-40grams of whey protein before, during, and after working out. My Supplement Tip I am also receiving a lot of questions about my recommended supplements. I do NOT recommend any fat burning pills. However, I highly recommend flax seed oil and a muti-vitamin with your breakfast. Whey protein and other meal replacements can also be very helpful as well. Quick Guidelines Overview: I will provide you with a great guideline to help you lose weight. Let me simply it for you. These are the guidelines that I am following in my 16 week journey to six pack abs. Rule #1: Eat smaller meals through out day. Ideally, try to eat every 3- 31/2 hours of a smaller meal everyday. Not only will you feel less hungry but it will help boost your metabolism by constantly supplying your body with the adequate amount of energy. Stay away from eating 3 larger meals and start eating smaller meals through out the day. Rule#2: Consume enough high quality protein every day. Protein (such as chicken) has a high thermic effect than carbs and fat. What does it mean to you? Your body has to burn extra calories to break down your protein into smaller amino acids. Plus, it will keep you satisfied a lot longer compared to carbs. In addition, protein is needed to build and maintain lean muscle. Aim for about 60-70% of your total calorie intake. Rule#3: Consume 25-35 grams of fiber a day Your carbohydrates should be mostly high fiber foods such as vegetables, fruit, and high fiber unrefined grains. Fiber in your food absorbs water causing it to expand in your stomach and therefore making you feel more satisfied for a longer time. In addition, high fiber food will also control your blood sugar level; therefore, allowing you to release more body fat. Rule#4: Avoid refined sugars and refined grains. One of the biggest reasons why we are so overweight is because of the amount of sugar intake that we consume every year (Yes. That means to put your soda down). High sugary food/drink intake can cause your blood sugar to spike up causing you body to stop producing another hormone called glucagon. Glucagon is a releasing hormone that is responsible for releasing body fat to be utilized as energy. However, when you consume too much sugar, your glucagon production is discontinued. Rule#5: Consume an adequate amount of fat. When I say fat, I meant the healthy kind of fat such as nuts and seeds, nut butters, olive oil, organic meats and eggs, virgin coconut oil, and avocados. Depleting yourself with the healthy fat can negatively affect your hormone levels that will only result to more cravings. In addition, you want to limit the unhealthy fat (saturated fat) such as butter, margarine, and the fat around your steak. Avoid hydrogenated fat at all costs as they cause more harm than good. Rule#6: Keep yourself hydrated all day; It is crucial to keep yourself hydrated especially while working out. Try to drink .6 - .7 ounces per pound of body weight. We are made up of mostly water and a slight decrease in your body fluid level can affect your exercise performance. My number one rule in regards to water: If you are thirsty, you are also dehydrated. Do NOT wait until you are thirsty. Let? put it all together: I eat small meals through out the day containing one lean protein and foods that are rich in fibers. I consume an average of 400 calories per meal (5-6x per day) for a total of about 2,000-2,400 calories per day. In order for you to lose weight, you must create a caloric deficit; in other words, you must burn more calories than you consume. However, consuming too little calories (extreme dieting) can result in an even lower metabolism. Eating smaller meals through out the day will help boost your metabolism and keep your energy up all day. Below is a list of great sources of food for lean protein, fibrous carbs, and starchy carbs.