March 22, 2003
Know What I Should Eat . . . But!
by Phil Kaplan
If you've been with
me for any period of time, if you've been a regular listener
of my radio show or you've attended any of my seminars, you
know. If you want to boost metabolism, if you want fuel for
consistent energy, if you want the raw material from which
to build new healthy muscle tissue, you want to eat Supportively.
But . . .
Sometimes I stumble
upon words that just express a concept or idea so well they
combine to become a component of my vocabulary. The words
Supportive Eating have found their way into my regular
dialogue. I coined the term more than 10 years ago and it
stuck because it says exactly what it purports to say. Eating
Supportively translates into, "eating in a manner that
works to support your metabolism and your fitness goals."
Disciples of Supportive Eating know precisely how that term
translates into food. For those who may be new to the concept,
and as a refresher before I go beyond the basics, allow me
to summarize the "wants" of Supportive Eaters.
You want to eat frequently
Fueling your body frequently, ideally every 3 - 3 1/2 hours,
you send a continuous supply of vital nutrients into your
body. Metabolism, by definition, simply means "the speed
with which your body burns through food." To boost metabolism,
to become one of those people who can eat anything and not
get fat, it's essential that you put lots of food through
the "food burning machine" with consistent regularity.
You want to limit
bad fats and recognize and avoid sugar
We've heard fats are
bad, and that's partially true. Bad fats are bad. Essential
fats are vital. If you're going to eat supportively, the less
supportive fats are to be minimized. Less supportive fats
would be those that come from saturated or hydrogenated sources
such as the fat in red meat, butter, or margarine. Too many
people think that fats are evil, thus they believe that "eating
right" is synonymous with "eating less fat."
Eating less "bad fat" is a part of the puzzle, but
it's not the entirety of it.
who try to follow "low-fat" eating regimens opt
for fat-free cookies, fat-free pastries, and low-fat ice creams.
The number one ingredient in these foods is sugar, and regular
ingestion of simple sugar can completely throw fat burning
ability out the window.
You want to recognize
and restrict bleached, processed, and refined carbohydrates
calorie is a unit of heat. While conventional diets have taught
people for dcades to avoid calories, offering tricks for getting
low-calorie meals or for taking in fewer calories in the course
of a day, they fail to consider a very relevant factor. Metabolism,
as stated above, is the speed with which your body "burns"
through food. Burn is an appropriate word to use as restated
that would equate to "the speed with which your body
converts nutrients into heat." Right now your body is
maintaining a temperature somewhere around 98.6 degrees. Every
time you move, every time a muscle contracts, heat is produced
and calories are burned. Recognizing that human movement burns
calories, it should become clear that the act of eating and
digesting food burns calories. Some calories, such as fats,
are simple for your body to deal with, thus there aren't very
many calories needed for the act of digestion. Conversely,
when you consume "thermic" meals, meals that require
a great deal of energy to digest, a significant number of
calories are burned as that food travels through your intestinal
tract. Proteins are highly thermic. Complex carbs are less
thermic than proteins, but far more thermic than fats. When
you take complex carbs, such as grains, and bleach them or
process them using refining machinery, it's sort of like the
machine did the work your body was going to do. Bleached and
processed carbs, such as white flour or breakfast cereals,
are easily converted to triglycerides and stored as fat. Clearly
all calories are NOT created equal. Eat thermic meals throughout
You want every meal
to ideally contain a Lean Protein, a Starchy Carbohydrate,
and a Fibrous Carbohydrate
A meal containing
all three components has high thermic properties, contains
slow release carbs for an ongoing fuel supply without significant
blood sugar spikes, and contains the amino acids (building
blocks of protein) that are used as the raw material from
which you build new healthy cells. The fibrous carbs not only
aid in digestion, but assuming they're chosen from natural
sources, are usually rich in antioxidants, phytochemicals,
and a host of other valuable micronutrients.
Here's the "But"
The challenge is,
we live in the real world. We have family obligations, business
trips, vacations, jobs, sporting events, sick days, and the
desire to go out and get a little crazy every once in awhile.
Those vital responsibilities, obligations, and irrepressable
urges, make supportive eating challenging. There are some
common questions that come in from people who "know what
to eat . . . but." I'll address and answer a few of them
if I don't like vegetables?
had many people tell me they hate "all" vegetables.
If I rattle off enough options, we can always find at least
a few they're open to. Those that I find vegetable haters
are often open to include corn and carrots as a starting point.
The trick thereafter is to find ways to turn other veggies
into little non-imposing treats. Celery or sliced cucumber
can be dipped in fat-free Ranch Dressing (yes,there's likely
going to be some sugar, but if it's part of a thermic meal
and helps develop the "veggies are OK" belief, it's
acceptable). If you're open to "dipping," try peppers.
Even if you "hate" green peppers, yellow bell peppers
and orange bell peppers have a unique flavorful taste. Creatively
find ways to mix veggies into foods that you do enjoy. Perhaps
you can chop up some mushrooms and add them into your morning
omelet. Stick some sprouts in your turkey sandwich. Stir fry
foods using some chinese vegetables such as watercress, snow
peas, bamboo shoots, and baby corns.
people, when they think of vegetables, think of broccoli and
cauliflower. There is in fact a massive field of veggies to
choose from. Consider trying asparagus, baby carrots, leeks,
eggplant, endive, red cabbage, kale, cherry tomatoes, beets,
bok choy, brussels sprouts, chili peppers, jalapeno peppers,
zucchini, artichoke, lemon grass, and squash. If you are an
avid vegetable-hater, even with a massive list to choose from,
you'll want to get fiber and antioxidants from other sources.
While fruits are high in sugar, and not an ideal staple for
someone seeking fat loss, if you are avoiding veggies completely,
you should get an ample amount of fruit and supplement with
an antioxidant formula and a multi mineral formulation.
if I don't have time to prepare a complete meal?
don't have to be ideal. Just make the best choice you can
in the situation you're in. Whipping a sandwich together is
simple, assuming you have the ingredients ready to go. If
you prepare your fridge for the "sandwich in a bind"
situation, you shouldn't have any difficulty finding a supportive
meal option. If you're pressed for time, toss a few pineapple
chunks into some fat free cottage cheese. Ideal? No, but nutritious
and a source for proteins and carbs (pineapple is a source
of a digestive enzyme, bromelain, and can aid in protein digestion).
You can grab a few handfuls of nuts. Again, not ideal, but
a source of protein and essential fats. Fat-free sugar-free
yogurt is always available in any supermarket. Toss in some
granola and/or some grapes and you've got yourself a quickie
if I'm stuck at the airport without any good food?
restaurants aren't usually the best resources for supportive
meals, but . . . you can always get a grilled chicken breast
sandwich with some lettuce and tomato and toss the bread.
Many airport restaurants have shrimp cocktail. I suggest carrying
a meal replacement powder with you. You can also ask the nice
people behind the ice cream / shake counter to make you up
a meal replacement. The downside is, they may charge you for
mixing water into your powder, but they have the ability to
make it frothy and serve it in a large cup with a straw.
restaurant is best for grabbing a supportive meal?
sushi restaurant is a wonderful place to grab a supportive
meal. Get a mixed salad with some ginger dressing, a sashimi
appetizer, and a side of brown rice and you've got a supportive
meal. Many sushi restaurants have rolls wrapped in cucumber,
without rice and without crossing the boundaries of supportive
eating, manage to create something delicous and healthy. For
newcomers to sushi, try tuna tataki. Many sushi restaurants
now have a crabmeat and spinach soup that is virtually a meal
in itself. One of the best things about sushi is the convenience
of the sushi bar. You can pop in without a reservation, sit
right down, and in less than 10 minutes you're eating your
if it's hopeless . . . if I just can't find a good meal and
I'm tempted to grab a good old candy bar?
It's never hopeless.
You just have to learn to observe a hierarchy of meal choices.
Fresh food is better than
Frozen food is better than
A meal with nutritional value
and some protein and complex carbs is better than a very
high sugar snack food
A thermic meal is better than
A shake is better than a bar
A sports nutrition bar with
30 grams of protein is better than a candy bar
And that brings us
to the much misunderstood food alternative, the Meal Replacement!
Why do I say "misunderstood?"
Well, because advertising and product hype lead people to
believe there's something miraculous in those formulas, or
some muscle building miracle packed inside the wrapper of
a bar. Return to the supportive eating hierarchy above for
a moment. Note that a thermic meal is better than a shake,
a shake is better than a bar. That will always hold true.
If you are tempted to believe that a bar or shake is "better"
than a supportive meal, you can bet you're being misled.
of you have relied upon my EAT!
formula for Supportive Nutrition for those times a meal
is a bit too difficult to obtain through thermic food sources.
I've made it abundantly clear, there isn't any magic in EAT
. . . just the highest quality nutrients. I've also done something
unique. I've portioned it in servings where one scoop equals
100 calories. That way it becomes simple to customize portion
sizes. If you want a 30-calorie meal, that's simple. Three
scoops. Just last week we received our first shipment of the
new EAT! formula, EAT! Pro. It has some advantages over the
previous formula and it's delicious in Vanilla Milk Shake
and Chocolate Milk Shake flavors. Find out more about EAT!
Pro! Buy more than one container and save $$! Click
here for details.
The Games Labelers
In the last update
I wrote about food labels
as they relate to supermarket foods. When it comes to supplements,
wow, the advertisers and sellers are having a field day! A
deception field day! There are several tricks, some of which
cannot be detected without a complete analysis that runs upwards
The first trick is,
they fail to include the ingredients the labels say they include!
How can they get away with it? Simple. Nobody checks! That
allows manufacturers to list everything that is reputed to
have some benefit
The second trick is
they trademark names and use double talk to create the illusion
of a miracle in a container. Rather than calling their protein
blend, "protein," they give it a name such as Myomoligopeptide
formula and call it their proprietary blend of protein. In
some cases that's used to create "blends" that use
inferior proteins with a token amount of whey or egg albumen.
The bars are full
of deception, and they're also full of sugar. Many say "low
carb" or "sugar free" yet if you look at the
ingredient list, you'll find glycerine which is a sugar alcohol
and does have the potential to spike blood sugar and limit
fat release. As they create offerings with lower sugar, those
bars are pumped up with fat. They have to be. As you remove
the sugar, the bar loses its texture and consistency. All
bars have a trade off - they either lower sugar and increase
fat or vice versa. Does that make them bad? Well, no, not
necessarily bad. Just not ideal. In trying to find the best
bar possible, I used to opt for Parrillo bars as they were
the lowest in sugar and had a high quality protein. I then
found Lean Body bars to be my favorites as they were high
protein and tasted much better than anything else on the market.
Today, DETOUR bars have found their way into my office. Wow
are they good . . . tasting that is. I think of them not as
an ideal meal, but rather as a Snicker's Bar alternative with
32 grams of protein. I will grab a DETOUR bar once in awhile,
but when I'm in my office I usually rely on my blender and
my EAT! formula.
shake is better than a bar since there isn't any worry about
"texture" and "mouth feel" when creating
a powder. I've managed to make EAT!
Pro! without any sugar and with very low fat content.
The ingredients are basic, but high quality. Whey protein.
Egg protein. Maltodextrin (glucose polymers which act as a
slow release complex carbohydrate). Vitamins. Minerals. You
can find the ingredient label by scrolling down the following
With a recognition
that Supportive Nutrition primarily asks you to make the best
choice possible, you'll also understand why the following
remaining questions can all be answered with three words.
"Have a shake."
What can I do
if I travel and can't get to enough meals on the road?
What if I'm in
the office for hours without a meal break?
What can I do
if I drive most of the day stopping only for breakfast
OK, so with a meal
replacement shake as an option for most scenarios, the "but"
in "I know what to eat, but" is history.
Anyone who might have felt inclined to say those words will
now replace them with, "I know what to eat . . . and
. . . I'm going to make the best choices possible!"
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Of Interest to
Go to the
Previous [ Update ] and
Find out About Deceptive Food Labeling.
Find additional details on
the new EAT! formula, [ EAT! Pro
2/4/03 - The Relationship Between Sex and Fitness
1/25/03 - Phil's Biggest Mistake - The EAT! Formula Screw
1/12/03 - The Talk Show Illusion (Infomercials exposed)
12/14/02 - Penis Enlargers and Breast Enhancing Pills
11/20/02 - How Do I Lose This?
8/27/02 - The Promise and the Real Story Behind the Infomercials
Update 8/01/02 - Clearing
up Four Prevalent Myths
6/20/02 - Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
Update 5/11/02 - Miracle
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Update 3/25/02 - Women on
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2/15/02 - the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Fitness
1/14/02 - Counting Calories
12/28 - 'Twas the Night Before New Years
12/8 - The New Electronic Ab Offerings
12/12 - The "Magic" is Within You
Update 11/20 - Holiday
11/3 - Weight Loss Bread and other Nonsense!
Update 10/29 - Supplement
10/3 - Getting Back to Doing What We Do
Update 9/19 - Tragedy and
Love, RE: Sept 11
Update 8/15 - Myths, Fallacies,
Update 8/1 - The Internet,
Leptin, Steroids, and more
7/9 - The New Supplements
Update 6/14 - Seminar
offerings and clarity on "Brownies"
Update 5/29 - Lose
Weight, Eat Brownies?!?!?
Update 5/1/01 - Pizza, Beer, and Fitness
Update 4/7/01 - "Phil-osophies"
and Rip-Off Realities!
Update 4/1/01 - Gourmet Recipes!
Update 3/15/01 - Research Has
Update 3/1/01 - Preparing for
The New Infomercial
Update 2/1/01 - Time, Space,
Matter, and Energy
Update 1/15/01 - Atkins hits
Update 10/7/00 - Supplements,
Update 7/27/00 - The Experts
Round Table, Almada, Colgan, Parillo
Update 7/3/00 - Core Training
& Metabolism Boosters
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