There are so many diets out there these days that are so limiting, so harsh, and frankly not substantial. For example, paleo is all the rage in elite exercise communities and for good reason. It promotes lean proteins, nutrient dense veggies, and a good quantity of fats. All things I agree with. However, carbohydrates (even fiber, nutrient rich beans!) are strictly off limits. So what happens is that you end up consuming a high amount of protein. Protein is a winner for helping keep a steady metabolism, increasing fullness, and maintaining muscle mass. However, protein breaks down is into various amino acid in the digestive tract. If all of these amino acids are not used, then the kidneys must filter out these acids. The kidneys are being taxed and over worked when excess acids are coming through. Thus, Paleo is not my first choice because is not a balanced approach.
On the flip slide, lets look at a vegetarian or even vegan diet. Again, on the surface, consuming (mostly) plant based food items is a good thing… It is one of the key items of the Savage Standard after all. However, when you ONLY eat plant based with fruits, veggies, and grains, the carbohydrate intake is going to be high. There is just no way around that. As a result, insulin levels are spiking constantly. These spikes have a ripple effect with other hormones that control weight stores. Secondly, a lack of animal based proteins contributes to a deficiency in vitamin B12. (I’m not saying that every vegetarian is going to have this deficiency; however, there is a huge risk for the deficiency). Vitamin B12 is responsible for a key step in energy metabolism. Without it, one will experience constant fatigue.
The answer is to balance out the carbohydrates, the protein, and the fat so each part of our bodily system gets what is needed and is not taxed with excess. But who has time and/or attention span to count carbohydrates or fat grams…Not I my friend. Introducing… the Plate Standard!
Half of your plate should be filled with non- starchy vegetables like asparagus, squash, or greens (sky is the limit here). The other half of the plate you divide into half again to make one-fourth and one-fourth. (Yes we are going back to third grade fractions!) One-fourth of the plate contains your animal and/or plant based proteins. The last fourth will hold the complex, natural carbohydrates. The deal is to moderate both protein and carbohydrates, while maximizing high fiber, vegetables (and/or fruit for breakfast). Lastly, 1 serving of fat should be consumed with at every meal. Fat is good people!