Eat, Lift & Be Merry

Fitness instructor Seth Lagana offers advice for eating properly to reach fitness goals.

“I recently wrote out my diet for someone. I know a lot of you inquire about diet regularly. And for good reason. To me, diet is 80-90% of your fitness goals. 10-20% is exercise. Anyone can exercise. The hardest part is disciplining yourself to eat clean. To sleep well. To stay hydrated. To stretch and to trigger point. Your goals are never finished after you exercise. They’ve only just begun. Your recovery process is the most important part of your road to being fit. Eating clean is the most important part of your recovery. As Branden Collinsworth (world renowned exercise mogul) says, “it’s a lifestyle y’all.” Practice your diet like you practice your squats or sprints. A clean diet should be an every day occurrence, a lifestyle.

Here’s the diet:
Thirds Method Diet “TMD”
TMD is the perfect diet for people who are exercising regularly. The portions are controlled and the nutrients are all included.

Every meal, you will eat:
One thirds greens or veggies
One thirds protein
One thirds complex carbohydrates
Each “thirds” is the size of your fist – this helps with portion control.

Snacks – Throughout the day, if you’re hungry, you can eat:
Nuts, seeds, avocados and fruit. This includes natural nut butters (no added oil, salt or sugar).

You will eat these meals 3-4-5 times a day, so it’s IMPERATIVE that you meal prep every Sunday night for the upcoming week. Meal prep will make or break your goals. So take this seriously. You will eat snacks only when you’re hungry, and trust me, you will be. Exercise will speed up your metabolism. Your body is going to crave nutrients for recovery. So feed the body! But feed it with clean food.

You need to drink water all day. Try a gallon a day. It’s hard, and you’ll pee a lot, but it will ensure that you’re hydrated for your workouts and that your nutrients are aiding your recovery efficiently. Water will curb unwanted hunger too.

Your typical day:
Breakfast- Immediately upon waking, you need to drink a glass of water and eat. Especially fat and protein.
My typical meal consists of two to three eggs, fruit (I usually eat blackberries or blueberries) or veggies and half a cup of oatmeal. Don’t cook with bad fats. I use coconut oil.
I also drink a glass of BCAAs and have vitamins: fish oil, maca, CLA, multivitamin and vitamin C.

Note: if you are trying to cut fat, cut out your breakfast, and go straight into 30-45 minutes of slow steady cardio (jogging, swimming, cycling, etc). It’s called fasted cardio, and body builders have been using this technique to get down to 4% body fat for nearly 50 years. But don’t do this every day. Two to three times a week will suffice.

Meal two (lunch):
One thirds carbs: quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato, jasmine rice, basmati rice, wild rice, kidney beans, yams, cous cous, sprouted bread, etc…
One thirds protein: steak, chicken, fish, tofu, etc…
One thirds greens or fruit: broccoli, spinach, kale, curd, bak choy, cabbage (my favorite for muscle building), etc… You can eat fruit because it’s still early in the day, but abstain from fruit 3 hours before bed. Cycle your carbs, especially simple sugars from fruit. And remember, greens will have the highest nutritional value, so stick with greens.

Meal three (intra lunch and dinner, typically after your workout):
One thirds carbs: quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato, jasmine rice, basmati rice, wild rice, kidney beans, yams, cous cous, sprouted bread, etc…
One thirds protein: steak, chicken, fish, tofu, etc…
One thirds greens (cut out the fruit and focus on the greens): broccoli, spinach, kale, curd, bak choy, cabbage (cabbage is my favorite for muscle building), etc…

Meal four, if you are hungry. If not, then just eat a snack:
One thirds carbs: quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato, jasmine rice, basmati rice, wild rice, kidney beans, yams, cous cous, sprouted bread, etc…
One thirds protein: steak, chicken, fish, tofu, etc…
One thirds greens (cut out the fruit and focus on the greens): broccoli, spinach, kale, curd, bak choy, cabbage (cabbage is my favorite for muscle building), etc…

Cheat meal, or re-feed meal:
Flexible dieting is important. If you restrict yourself TOO much, you will find yourself overindulging. Gluttony can happen to anyone. I binge eat on the regular, but I’m also extremely active. My body will burn up any bad meals quickly with strenuous exercise. But I strongly suggest that you have one bad meal a week. NOT A DAY OF BAD MEALS. One bad meal a week. This can be anything. Use your imagination. But, keep the portion size down. Don’t eat a whole pizza. Maintain the fist size portion control method, or you run the risk of negating all of your progress. One pound of fat is 3,500 calories. One pizza could put on a pound of fat if you’re not careful. And don’t eat three fists worth of candy.

Protein shakes and bars:
I include these in my diet, but like I’ve stated, I can burn through it quickly. If you’re short on time and you don’t have your meal prep, and you need your protein, go ahead and get a bar or make a shake. But stay away from high sugar bars and shakes. Solid food will give you better results! But if you’re in a pinch, bars and shakes can help. Unless it’s a Source Bar. Eat those on the regular ?.

This should be an easy rubric to follow. Let me know if you have any questions. Stick to natural foods. Nothing processed. Stay away from genetically modified substances. Stay away from processed meats. Cook your meat with polyunsaturated fats like grape seed oil, hemp oil and coconut oil. Also, mix your foods up. Don’t just eat the same thing every week. I typically have a theme every week. Peppers and broccoli one week. Spinach and carrots the next. Don’t be so myopic with your diet. Incorporate several clean and natural foods; they’ll have their own unique nutrients to help you recover. Last, stay away from sweets, pastries, sugary drinks, dairy and reduce your salt intake. Salt isn’t so bad, but too much sodium can be damaging.

Booze:
Alcohol is a poison, so your body’s going to want to purge the alcohol you ingest before it helps you with recovery. And remember, your recovery is very important. So including alcohol in your diet after a long week of exercise, will set you back. But people go to weddings. Graduation parties happen. The nightclub happens. Being social is part of that healthy balance. And as Americans, we often socialize with a heaping portion of booze. That’s ok. Booze happens. Just stick to clear liquor. Stay away from sugary alcoholic drinks and beer. So, gin, vodka and clear tequila is your best bet. But stay away from flavored clear liquor too. Again, watch the sugar!

Cheers!”

 

For any questions for Seth Lagana, email him at [email protected]!

1 comment

  1. This was VERY helpful!!! Nutrition is most definitely the hardest part in transitioning into the healthy lifestyle.

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