This blog has been a personal journey for me and not in the way I expected. I started it out of frustration over the poor fitness information that was out there. I just wanted to be a sane voice in the cacophony of crappy marketing.
What hadn’t occurred to me is that I’d be learning a whole bunch of new information as I wrote (over 600 posts and counting). There are so many people talking about diets in social media and I started researching, taking my “Nutrition 101″ class in college as a base, and reading, reading, reading …
The best I’ve seen so far (funny … he uses the term sane too) is from Jonathan Bailor and his Smarter Science of Slim™ program (affiliate link). He argues that we already know a lot about nutrition and we shouldn’t be all that conflicted about what to eat. Pretty much it’s lean protein and a lot of fruits and vegetables. His SANE eating is a way to counteract all the crappy nutritional marketing he saw out there.
Bailor’s not a nutritionist and neither am I. There are aspects of this program that registered dietitians will have problems with; there is dissent and conflict in the nutrition community among really well-respected people about how much protein to eat, or if dairy is good for you or not.
The biggest push-back I’ve seen with Bailor’s method is protein, that’s he prescribes too much: 30 grams of protein per day, three to four times per day. Here are my thoughts on this …
- When I originally read the book, I thought grams of protein meant the “whole chicken breast.” It doesn’t; any piece of meat also has a mix of fat and carb grams, which is why a big piece of meat is less protein than it may appear.
- I was chagrined when I figured that out; it was after I had given an incredibly strong endorsement to the book and I was annoyed at myself (I know better) for making that assumption.
- I talked to Bailor about it and he said, yes, he’s heard the push back too, but he stands by his research results. He wasn’t going in with a pre-determined bias; he was just following the facts.
- He also said I could eat 20 grams of protein per serving instead of 30 since I’m a woman, and no matter who you are, you definitely shouldn’t eat to the point of feeling ill.
The other thing that I really like about this program is it’s done on a range. If you want to eat “average,” you can have more starches and sweets and less protein and veggies. As you eat better, you’ll look and feel better, but to what degree is up to you.
So I’m going to be testing this out. I’ll eat two weeks at the “Fit” level, two weeks at the “Hot” level and two weeks at the “Fitness Model” level.
As a reference, the Fit level consists of:
- two servings of starch or sweets
- four 30-gram servings of protein (I’ll do 20 grams)
- seven servings of non-starchy vegetables
- three servings of berries or citrus fruits
- 1/4 cup of milled flax seeds
The exercise component is short but critical. It is only 20 minutes per week (two 10-minute sessions) of metabolism-boosting work; this involves heavy, heavy weightlifting and intense intervals of cardio.
“It is key that you do the two together,” says Bailor. ”You won’t see good results if you don’t.”
This isn’t replacing all exercise by the way; if you enjoy sports or other activities, keep doing them. You should also still aim for 10,000 steps a day, but according to Bailor, you will no longer need to go nuts on the cardio equipment in the gym just to keep the weight off. I fully plan to continue to do hooping, a little running, and Pilates. I already walk everywhere, so the 10,000 steps isn’t a big deal.
This eating plan is not a diet and you won’t see quick results from it. It takes five to six weeks to change your metabolism over to a “fat-burning machine.” When you get rid of the junk, you’ll see a water loss, of course, and if you were eating a ton of excess calories, then that will reflect on the scale too. But you need to give the process a little time to kick in. So that’s why I’m not doing the typical blogger “30-day challenge,” but a six-week plan so you can see the whole transition (hopefully) occur.
Feel free to join me on my challenge. I know some of my regular readers have already started on the journey and I’d love to hear how you’re doing! I’m off to eat some egg whites, sauteed onion, and spinach; that’ll be 20 grams of protein and two non-starchy vegetables. A nice start to the day.