The grocery store, the internet, media, the local trainer at the gym (excluding myself and a lot of extremely credible trainers :)) are all telling you something different when it comes to nutrition. I can totally understand how confusing this may be. I definitely can feel your pain. No wonder why we have so much confusion in the world of fitness & health today. Sad thing is, a lot of people are preying on the weak and vulnerable who just don’t know any better or what to believe. “Take this pill” or “use this for faster fat loss.” How many times have YOU heard things like this? As a personal trainer, nutritionist & fat loss coach myself I can tell you I’ve heard these things FAR too many times.
So what DO you eat to get better body composition? It’s important to note before you continue any further, that without exercise, proper nutrition is certainly not as effective, and vice versa. And when I say exercise, I mean WEIGHT TRAINING. Make sure you are getting on a steady regimen at least a few times a week to start before reading any further. Now that you’ve got your exercise in check, let’s dive into my
10 best & worst foods for a bikini body
1) The Donut
One of the worst foods for body composition & fat loss. Not only is this made of processed flour, it is loaded with transfats & sugar which can cause all kinds of issues in the body, leading to insulin resistance and diabetes if eaten often enough.
REPLACEMENT: Organic omega-3 eggs – And YES, the whole egg. These are on my list, because not only are they packed with protein, they also have zinc and other vitamins that are very beneficial to the body. They also contain phospholipids, which make the cell membrane more pliable, which allows greater fat loss and permeability of the cell itself.
“Naked” or “Odwalla” brands that you buy in the store – these might look healthy to some, but read the label. Usually a 12-16oz bottle of this packs about 50 grams of sugar, more than a coca cola. Not to mention it’s pasteurized, which strips a lot of the raw goodness from the fruits used.
REPLACEMENT: Try juicing some whole fruits at home and add some stevia to sweeten. I like to either do a half grapefruit or some berries and add a little stevia to it. Very refreshing and you also get some added fiber as well.
3) Granola bars
Often when I ask clients starting out what their typical diet diary looks like, granola bars come up on the daily intake. Do not be fooled, though, these are packed with carbohydrates/sugar and there are better alternatives. It’s not that ALL granola and things are bad, the problem is that people are usually carbohydrate HEAVY in regards to their diets. Therefore, it’s paramount that we work on cutting that down.
REPLACEMENT: If you still want carbohydrates and you are itching for something sweet, try some organic oat bran (1/3 cup provides about 8 grams fiber and only 15-20 carbs), a scoop of chocolate whey protein powder, 1 small spoon of unsweetened cocoa powder & 1 tbsp of almond butter or natural peanut butter. It’s like a mini reeses (in a way) that is super filling and will keep you full for a LONG time.
NOT that bananas are super bad by any stretch, but the problem is people seem to eat them on their own with no sense of nutrient timing (like after a workout) in mind. Problem is, bananas are very high glycemic, and when trying to change body composition to get leaner, bananas if anything should only be eaten if (A) the person is lean enough already (B) post workout when the body can take those carbs into the muscle quickly.
REPLACEMENT: Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, apples. Anything a little lower on the glycemic index and that packs some punch with some fiber as well to keep you fuller, longer.
5) Fast Food
This is a no brainer. Fast foods usually contain a lot of transfats and will create a massive amount of inflammation in your body. Thus, stay far away from fast food.
REPLACEMENT: Big salads usually do the trick for me. Loading a salad up with a high quality protein (grilled chicken, lean steak etc), veggies & good fats will help you feel great and satisfied without an extremely high calorie count and will work with your body to lose fat instead of fighting against your body that fast foods create.
6) Processed packaged junk (Twinkies, snack cakes etc)
If I would have known better when I was younger, I would have stayed far away from these things. However, when you are a kid, you really don’t know any better. Like fast foods, these contain a lot of transfat, sugars & artificial ingredients. Your body has no idea how to respond when you eat these things.
REPLACEMENT: When getting a junk food craving, I often times will grab some 70% or higher dark chocolate and either eat it by itself or melt it and dip some strawberries in it. This really kills the craving and gets me some great antioxidants as well.
This has been touted as healthy by many for quite some time now. Even greek yogurt, which I don’t think is that great either except maybe when trying to add weight. The problem lies in the higher sugar content. If you are going to do yogurt, buy plain greek yogurt and add berries, maybe a small bit of almond butter and also a small scoop of fiber. This should provide a nice small dose of protein, carbohydrate, fat and fiber.
REPLACEMENT: Whey protein shake with coconut oil & fiber added. This will be basically the same thing without the added sugar in the greek yogurt. You may also add a small handful of berries to this as well.
Many people think corn is healthy and can be eaten regularly. The problem with corn is that America is putting corn into EVERYTHING. Most of it is genetically modified and can create problems with our digestive tract. It also packs a pretty high carb/calorie punch & lets be honest-most people slather it with butter which is definitely disastrous.
REPLACEMENT: Try sautéing some kind of leafy green or asparagus in a pan with a small teaspoon of coconut oil & spices. Coconut oil is resistant to high heats and will not oxidize or mutate like olive oil will when cooking.
Many clients ask me about beans. The problem with beans is that they are very high in starch and cause a lot of digestion issues often times (bloating, gas, etc). Again, if trying to avoid a lot of really starchy carbohydrates, at least try ones that can be more easily digested like brown rice/sweet potato.
REPLACEMENT: We need to eat a LOT of protein if looking to change our body composition and repair our muscles from weight training. Beans are NOT a good source of protein, so opt for any good lean cut of meat, fish, or even lean beef once or twice a week.
10) Gatorade or sports drinks
These will make you more fat & will not help you get a bikini body. Not only do drinks like Gatorade and powerade contain loads of sugar, they contain artificial dyes that are neurotoxic to your brain.
REPLACEMENT: Drink BCAAs (branch chain amino acids) during workouts. These will help facilitate recovery, endurance and help body composition by increasing protein synthesis.
Hopefully these tips help you on your journey to getting your dream bikini body. Be smart, make good choices, be patient & listen to your body and you will find success.