Extreme Newsletter—Diet and fitness tips, recipes, and motivation

Issue #060 THE SKINNY ON CARBS

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The Carb Lover's Diet: 4 Tips for Losing Weight without Losing Your Mind

By Whitney Provost

I love carbs. If my last meal on earth is warm bread with olive oil and a glass of wine, I'll die happy. But I love to be fit and lean too. So I know that if I want rock-hard buns, I'll occasionally have to skip the cinnamon buns. I don't live without carbs, but I do make better choices so I can still fit in my jeans. Here's how I do it.

Loaves of Bread

Carbohydrates are essential for good health. They fuel the muscles and cells so our bodies can function. Without them, we'd be as active as three-toed sloths. And while low-carb diets can be great for jump-starting weight loss, they're not for everyone. When I go low-carb, I feel murderous within a week. So what works for me?

What does a carb lover's weight loss diet look like?

ShakeologyAs I get older, I can't get away with eating as much as I used to. So when I've overindulged a few too many times, here's what a typical day of back-to-basics eating might look like:

Breakfast: Shakeology® with 1 Tbsp. peanut butter and one small banana.

Midmorning: Protein pancake. (Grind 1/2 cup of oatmeal in a food processor, then whisk it together in a bowl with 5 egg whites, 2 packets of stevia, a small handful of raisins, and cinnamon to taste. Lightly coat a small 8-inch nonstick pan with cooking spray, preheat over medium heat, pour in batter, and cook until pancake is brown on one side. Flip and cook until the other side is brown.) I make several of these on the weekend, wrap them individually in aluminum foil, and store in the fridge. Before work I just grab one and go.

Lunch: Large salad with kidney beans, cucumbers, bell peppers, and salsa.

Afternoon (if I'm hungry): Fat-free Greek yogurt with berries and cinnamon.

Dinner: Grilled chicken with steamed vegetables or salad. Or whole-grain pasta with marinara sauce, chicken sausage, and vegetables.

  1. OatsI eat plenty of "good" carbs. First, I make sure that the majority of my carb intake consists of the so-called good carbs—oats, brown rice, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and beans are some of my favorites. I also eat plenty of vegetables, and even fruit (OMG!). These foods contain tons of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protein, so I get lots of energy-boosting nutrition and I stay full longer.

    I'll be the first to admit that I'm not immune to the lure of cookies and candy, but I've learned through a lot of trial and error that these things don't make me feel very good once the initial sugar rush wears off. Since I'd rather be alert than snoozing at my desk in the afternoon, I just can't eat like that too often. Besides, too many treats and I don't fit into my pants. Not a bonus.
  2. I try to eat most of my carbs earlier in the day and around workouts. When I start my day with some satisfying carbs and protein, I just feel better. Oatmeal with a little protein powder added at the end, or Shakeology® with peanut butter and a banana, and I'm off to a pretty good start. I also like to eat some carbs around my workouts. If I'm hungry, I'll eat a piece of fruit or some berries with fat-free Greek yogurt about an hour before I train. Afterward I'll have a whey protein shake with fruit, or P90X® Results and Recovery Formula® if it's a particularly brutal workout. Dinnertime usually means chicken and a large salad, although I do love pasta with marinara sauce, or even cheese, crackers, and fruit. So whatever choice I make, I just eat it and enjoy it. The next day, I'll probably eat more vegetables and protein to balance things out a bit.
  3. Hot-fudge SundaeIf I really want it, I eat it. Sometimes a hot-fudge sundae is the only thing that'll cure my craving. So I eat one.

    I'm serious—when I decide I simply must have ice cream, I eat enough to be satisfied and then I move on. The difference is that I usually substitute that treat for whatever healthy meal I'd eat around the same time. So if the only suitable dinner choice is a hot-fudge sundae, so be it. (For obvious reasons, this cannot be a frequent occurrence. Besides, it tastes soooo much better when you really want it.)
  4. Can you lose weight eating like this? Simply put, yes. As long as you're eating fewer calories than you're burning, you will lose weight on a higher-carb diet. When I need to lose weight (after a few too many pizza dinners, for example) I eat the same as always, but I cut down my portion sizes. I still get all the flavors and textures I love without feeling deprived. And I bump up my workout intensity so I'm burning more calories each time.

    If you're like me, you love to eat all kinds of carbs. But I know that in order to be as lean as I want, I need to make good choices most of the time and keep up with my workouts (I'm on a TurboFire® kick right now). As much as I'd love to eat bread and butter all day long, I wouldn't look or feel very good. I often stop and ask myself what's more important, this bowl of pasta or fitting into my skinny jeans again? One decadent meal will not derail a week's worth of healthy eating. It may slow down my progress, that's true, but I'll get where I want to be eventually. And even better, I'll be healthy, happy, and sane!

Related Articles
"A 10-Point Plan for Holiday Diet Success"
"Eat More, Lose More. (Really?)"
"20 Secrets of Very Fit People"

Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Chat with Steve Edwards, the overseer of Beachbody's fitness and diet development (who also serves as your Fitness Advisor on the Message Boards), in the Beachbody Chat Room on Tuesday, December 28th, at 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

Check out our Fitness Advisor's responses to your comments in Steve Edwards' Mailbag on the Message Boards. If you'd like to receive Steve Edwards' Mailbag by email, click here to subscribe to Steve's Health and Fitness Newsletter. And if you'd like to know more about Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope.

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Bring Home BRING IT! for the Holidays

Tony Horton's "Bring It!"Tony Horton's putting the X in Xmas this season! The Master of Motivation's new book Bring It! hits bookshelves December 21st, but you can preorder yours now at the following online retailers for up to 46% off the retail price!

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Order today to make sure Bring It! gets brought in time for Christmas!

Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Chat with Steve Edwards, the overseer of Beachbody's fitness and diet development (who also serves as your Fitness Advisor on the Message Boards), in the Beachbody Chat Room on Tuesday, December 21st, at 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

Check out our Fitness Advisor's responses to your comments in Steve Edwards' Mailbag on the Message Boards. If you'd like to receive Steve Edwards' Mailbag by email, click here to subscribe to Steve's Health and Fitness Newsletter. And if you'd like to know more about Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope.

Submit A CommentTell A Friend Bookmark and Share

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5 Factors for Choosing Your Workout Wear

By Amy Ludwig

What's one of the best things about working out at home? You can wear whatever you want. There's no dress code. No need to appear "cool." And no fashion police. The only consideration is that whatever you wear should help you Bring It!® harder. The idea is to dress for action—your way.

Shirtless Man Wearing a Tie

Here are several factors to weigh as you choose the right workout wear for you:

  1. Bare-shouldered WomanHow much skin does it show? Are you currently having a "wish I were out of this body" experience? I've been there, especially at the start of a fitness program. So I understand the desire to cover up in big, baggy workout wear. Bare midriffs aren't the best look for all of us. But keep your eyes on the prize.

    You can cover your tummy with longer-cut tops, and keep it real and conceal with roomy exercise pants. Yet it's good to be aware of your body's shape, especially as you work to change it (think "before" and "after" photos). It's easier to watch your form on challenging moves if you can see your frame. And if you're working out in private, no one else's opinion matters. Besides, you're working out! Be proud of yourself.
  2. What fabric is it made of? Cotton kills. OK, that's my personal, overly dramatic bias. I know lots of people who work out in basic cotton T-shirts and like them just fine. They're inexpensive, easy to get on, and come in any size or cut you wish. But when I'm doing serious cardio, I sweat. A lot. And I find that cotton quickly gets damp, heavy, and uncomfortable. If you hate wet, bulky clothes, remove that obstacle to your workout.

    I prefer exercise clothing made of synthetic fabrics, especially those that wick moisture away from the skin. Synthetic clothing remains easy to move in, even when soaked. It also tends to dry quickly. You can easily find it in sporting goods stores, at discount retailers, and online. Motivate yourself with an outfit that makes you feel like an athlete, and you'll increase your odds of success.
  3. Woman Working OutHow much support does it give? When working out, you want to focus on how you're moving your body, not on how it wants to move on its own. If there's more of you to love in certain areas, you may be happier in workout clothing that provides some restraint. Some clothing companies, particularly ones geared toward women, rate the bounce-to-the-ounce allowance of their sports bras. If you're doing a high-impact activity that includes lots of jumping (plyo fans, holla!), opt for more support.

    And don't forget your shoes.

    Your feet hit the floor more than any other part of your body. If they're in pain, or your sneakers hurt you, you'll be less likely to Push Play. A pair of good cross-trainers with proper support and cushioning can prevent injury and provide energy. Try on several types and do a few Rock Star Hops before making your choice.
  4. How much does it cost? You don't need expensive designer gear to Push Play. No one else is around to read your label. The most important thing is that you can move freely and work at the program you've chosen. Look for bargains and closeouts at discount retailers, sporting goods stores, or on the Web.
  5. Man Dunking BasketballAnd the most important tip of all? WEAR IT. Whatever type of workout clothing you prefer, put it on. Push Play. And get your body moving. Pretty soon, you'll see results that make all this jumping and sweating worth the trouble—when the clothes you picked out begin to fit differently. And that's something exciting to work for.

Related Articles
"Warming Up, Cooling Down: How a Few Extra Minutes Can Change Your Workout"
"5 Exercise Ideas for Singles"
"10 Tips on Home Workout Gear"

Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Chat with Steve Edwards, the overseer of Beachbody's fitness and diet development (who also serves as your Fitness Advisor on the Message Boards), in the Beachbody Chat Room on Tuesday, December 28th, at 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

Check out our Fitness Advisor's responses to your comments in Steve Edwards' Mailbag on the Message Boards. If you'd like to receive Steve Edwards' Mailbag by email, click here to subscribe to Steve's Health and Fitness Newsletter. And if you'd like to know more about Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope.

Submit A CommentTell A Friend Bookmark and Share

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Get Your Kicks with Chalene Johnson

Having trouble with your kicks? TurboFire creator Chalene Johnson is here with a guide to help you tell different types of kicks apart and how to perform them better. Click below to kick it.

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Recipe: Holiday Niçoise Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Holiday Niçoise Salad with Raspberry VinaigretteThis colorful salad can be served as a first course or a main course. With ingredients like tomatoes, green beans, cranberries, walnuts, and more, this salad looks almost as good as it tastes.

Raspberry Vinaigrette (can be made one day ahead):

  • 4 Tbsp. raspberry vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh tarragon
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

Niçoise Salad:

  • 1 lb. salmon fillet
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
  • 1 lb. mixed baby greens (rinsed)
  • 2 small red potatoes, skin on, boiled and quartered
  • 2 small purple Peruvian or blue potatoes, skin on, boiled and quartered
  • 1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed and blanched
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 4 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup Niçoise olives
  • 2 Tbsp. capers, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley

Preheat broiler to 400 degrees, or preheat gas, charcoal, or countertop grill. Whisk together ingredients for raspberry vinaigrette and refrigerate. (For convenience, dressing can be made up to one day ahead.) Cut salmon fillet into six serving-sized pieces. Combine lemon juice and olive oil in small bowl and brush onto both sides of each piece of fish. Then lightly salt and pepper each piece, sprinkle with fresh dill, and either grill or broil for about 10 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Remove from grill and set aside.

Toss mixed baby greens with a quarter of the raspberry vinaigrette, then divide greens between six medium-sized salad bowls. Arrange each of the remaining ingredients (except parsley) in its own separate section atop the mixed greens in a visually appealing, festive presentation: the salmon, potato halves, tomato wedges, green beans, egg slices, olives, capers, walnuts, and cranberries. Drizzle each serving with the remaining raspberry vinaigrette, then sprinkle with parsley, salt, and pepper. Bon appetit! Makes 6 servings.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes (cooking salmon), 20 minutes (preparing servings), up to 24 hours (chilling dressing, precooking and chilling potatoes and eggs).

Nutritional Information (per serving):

Calories Protein Fiber Carbs Fat Total Saturated Fat
402 28 g 8 g 35 g 20 g 3 g

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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