Thursday, June 23, 2011

Is that good?

"Is that good?"

I get that question a lot...
  • "I had a protein bar today, is that good?"
  • "I ate greek yogurt today, is that good?"
  • "I worked out for an hour today, is that good?"

Here's my simple 3 step analysis...

1. Everything circles back to this....What's your goal?... 

Example Goals: Fat Loss, Muscle Gain, Health, Cancer Prevention, Performance.

Example Question: "I ate fruit this morning, is that good?"

Quick Answer: If the nutrition plan you are on permits fruit, Good. If it doesn't, Not Good. The fat loss nutrition plan that my clients are on aims to minimize sugar unless required for performance reasons.  Fruit is sugar. Therefore, depending on when they consumed it, fruit would be bad while following my particular plan.  I'm not saying fruit is bad in general, just doesn't fall within the plans rules.

For most of us, our daily/weekly/monthly eating habits don't typically match our goals. Adjust accordingly.

2. Remember to look at the big picture... frequency.

Example Question: "I ate a bagel today, is that good?"

Quick Answer: Always circle back to the first question... then, ask yourself... "Is this a one time occurrence or a frequent habit?"

Eating a bagel isn't bad, you won't wake up morbidly obese... but eating a bagel frequently stacks up quick...

For instance...
  • 1 Bagel with Cream Cheese for Breakfast (Roughly 400 calories, 45 grams of Carbs)
  • Bagel every day of week for Breakfast (Roughly 2800 calories, 315g Carbs)
  • Bagel every day of month for Breakfast (Roughly 12,000 calories, 1350g Carbs)

3. It's all relative, What was your alternative?...

Example Question: "I ate a protein bar today, is that good?"

Quick Answer: Always circle back to step 1 & 2... Now, what were your alternatives? Protein bars are essentially candy bars with some protein mixed in.  But, if you only had the choice between...
  1. 2 Servings of Cereal with Milk (Roughly 300 calories, 45g Carbs, 6g Protein) 
  2. Protein bar (Roughly 280 calories, 29g Carb, 29g Protein)
And your goal also included increasing your protein intake, consuming green vegetables, decreasing your calories and overall carbohydrates during the day... the Protein Bar, doesn't hit all of your requirements but was probably the better choice of the two.

But if your other choice was...
  1. 3 Eggs & 2 Egg Whites, with 1 cup Sautéed Spinach (Roughly 262 calories, 3g Carbs, 26g Protein)
  2. Protein bar (Roughly 280 calories, 29g Carb, 29g Protein)
The first choice seems to be the better option as its more inline with your goals... Decreased calories & carbs, solid amount of protein... Plus carbs from vegetables are much more nutrient dense then carbs from sugars and fillers... 

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