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Carbs for energy

What are some foods that will give me the carbs I need for energy before a workout so I can target building muscle without gaining fat?


There is a lot of debate as to what is the best carbohydrate to fuel a workout. However I think it is easy to overcomplicate the issue. I recommend Honey as a pre-workout carbohydrate. Honey contains a mix of both simple and complex carbohydrates as well as trace amounts of vitamins and minerals as well as a number of anti-oxidant like substances. The combination of both fast and slow digesting carbohydrates will help provide energy through your workout. Studies have shown honey to be as effective, if not more so, than commercially made energy drinks. It also helps boost your immune system which is particularly useful following intense exercise, as intense exercise temporarily lowers your immune system while your body is trying to recover. Other good carbohydrate sources are Banana and Oatmeal and can easily be blended with a some protein powder to make a pre-workout drink. Alternatively if you prefer not to eat something so close to your workout and prefer to eat a few hours before hand then try to aim for whole grain bread, whole grain pasta or brown rice. These slow digesting carbohydrates take longer to digest and will ensure you still have energy when you come to workout.

Husbands diet of chicken and carb masters yogurt

My husband lost 240 lbs over 3 years by exercising and eating a low Carb high protein diet. He has been at goal weight for about 18 months. He continues to run, but only eats Carb master yogurt for breakfast and lunch and for dinner he has 2-3 chicken breasts. For dessert he has cocoa mixed with ice and artificial sweetener. He has this everyday. He only eats vegetables once or twice a week, no fruit or red meat. Can this be a healthy diet over time, I don’t see him eating anything different in the future.


Your husband has done very well losing so much weigh! Whilst there is nothing wrong with eating chicken and yoghurt, the problem is that your husband is getting virtually no micronutrients, vitamins, minerals or anti-oxidants in his diet. In the short terms this diet is great for losing weight, but for long term health, its not good. When we eat food, food is broken down and used for energy and to repair our body. During this process, all manner of complex reactions take place in our body, these reactions lead to the creation of free radicals. These free radicals float throughout our body causing damage to our cells that make us up. Collectively over time this cellular damage is what causes us to age. To reduce this amount of damage we need to consume anti-oxidants that quench the free radicals in our system. By having high amounts of anti-oxidants we help reduce the rate of damage. The only source of these valuable anti-oxidants is from fruit and veg and certain other foods. Our body also needs vitamins and minerals for many of these reactions and also to repair the complex organs in our body. As you can see depriving oneself of these nutrients can have long term health implications. If your husband is resistant to adding vegetables to his diet, I would suggest trying to make either smoothies or juicing to try and re-introduce vegetables into his diet again. If his concern is that he is worried about gaining weight again there are low calorie vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, watercress, cucumber , radish, celery. Watermelon, Honeydew melon, grapefruit, strawberries and peaches are low calorie fruits.

Am I eating too much fat?

I’m trying to lose weight and have been tracking all meals with MyFitnessPal. I’m controlling my calories well, but concerned about balance of calorie sources. Currently I am getting about 25% of calories from protein, 40% from fat, and 35% from carbohydrates. My fats are typically from avocado, eggs, the olive oil I put on my salads, and the macadamia nut oil I use for cooking. Proteins are typically eggs, bacon, chicken, and beef. Carbs are typically from fruits (watermelon) and veggies plus a few pretzels and the occasional breaded chicken breast. Am I on track, or off course?


Thanks for your question. There is no golden rule when it come to ratios of carbohydrates to proteins to fats, only recommendations. Whilst 40% from fat is a little high when compared to most recommendations which suggest somewhere between 20-35% its not overly high. Additionally the fats you mentioned from avocado, olive oil and macadamia nut oil are considered to be healthy. The intention is to control intake of unhealthy fats such as trans-fats and other low quality processed vegetable oils. Good fats are an important part of your diet and should not be restricted in the same way. Your main focus should be to concentrate on creating a calorie deficit, based on your profile I have calculated your approximate daily calorie requirements below. Maintenance 2900 Fat Loss 2350 Rapid fat Loss 1750 As long as you are following a diet that falls within the fat loss range, combined with a regular exercise program you should see progress.

Is 945 daily calorie intake for a national population healthy?

I am doing a research project on agricultural self sufficiency for my home country (India). My calculations show if we distributed food equally to every citizen on a ration, each citizen will get 945 calories daily. This brings me to 2 questions. 1. Is 945 calories a day healthy? Is it OK? Or is it starvation? 2. Can you squeeze in 3 meals with 945 calories daily? Thanks for reading this question and any answer will be highly appreciated.


Thanks for your question. 945 calories a day is a very low amount of calories. For the average person with average activity levels this would not be sufficient. The average recommended daily allowance is 2000 calories for women and 2500 for men. In your case, based on your stats and activity levels 2700 calories a day would be considered your maintenance allowance for your current weight. So 945 for you would be almost a third of what you need. Anything less than a 1000 calories could certainly have some negative effects unless some particular effort had gone into balancing your meals. This leads to your second questions, can three meals be squeezed into 945 calories? The answer is yes if you eat foods that total 945 calories and divide them into three!! However I am guessing that is not what you were asking! Could you make three nutritious meals that come to 945 calories? The answer is yes, if you picked some nutritious low calorie fruits and vegetables along with some healthy protein sources such as white fish or skinless chicken and a very small amount of carbohydrates then it is possible. Whether it would supply enough nutrients and enough calories on a daily basis in the long term, then the answer is probably no. 1200 calories is the recommended lower limit for women and 1500 for men.

High activity diet

Hello! I am a 25 year old woman who works summers out building trails. I am out in the woods hiking at least five miles while doing heavy labor for 9 days at a time. I have always having trouble gaining weight, and during the off season my weight is usually around 110. During work season though, I waste away! I normally eat a lot of fruits, veggies and protein, but out there we have no refrigeration so I end up eating a lot of high carb foods (like pasta and rice). I spend my summer underweight, and feeling terrible. I just want to be healthy, and maybe build some muscle! Any advice on nutritious foods that are also high calorie? And how much more than the “standard” calorie consumption should I be eating?


Hi, Thanks for your question! From your description it does sound like you are involved in some very intense and heavy work. Based on your profile and the activity you have outlined, you should be aiming for a minimum of 2000 as your maintenance, but more likely up to 2400 calories per day when you are working heavily. Regarding your diet, whilst high carb foods such as pasta and rice are a good energy source, you probably need something that will give you sustained energy and some sustenance when you are out and about. An easy way to add calories to your diet would be to add a mix of nuts and seeds to your diets, walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts and pecans are rich in calories but also contain healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. You can take a bag with you to snack on and mix in some dried fruit such as raisins and cranberry’s. If you have the time get some high quality dark chocolate which you can melt and mix in with your nuts and dried fruit to make your own healthy snack bar without the additives you might find in commercial products. Dark chocolate has many benefits including heart healthy anti-oxidants and the additional benefit of Theobromine, a stimulant which can give you a little pick me up when you are tired. 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories versus 1 gram of carbohydrates or protein with 4 calories, so gram for gram fatty foods are more calorie dense. That said its important to get the right fats, fried foods contain bad fats so this is something your want to avoid. Oily fish such as Salmon, mackerel and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have a myriad of health benefits. Tinned sardines packed in olive oil are convenient way to get the benefits of fish oil and olive oil in the same meal, and do not require refrigeration. Fish, nuts and seeds are all good sources of protein, but one other option is jerky, jerky can be a useful and convenient source of protein, but unfortunately finding additive free natural jerky can be difficult. There are a few people out there making organic additive free jerky, but your unlikely to find them in any of the big supermarkets, www.headwatersjerky.com is one I found. I would also suggest that you try to snack every 3 hours when you are out. If you have the snack mix I suggested have a handful every few hours and that will provide your body with a good source of fuel and will help prevent you losing weight. Good Luck with your trails!

Is prune juice a laxative or just a good source of fiber

I love prune juice and tend to use it in mulled wine drinks to add a darker richer flavour. My mom is horrified because she says prune juice is a laxative. Since I only use 1 oz per glass in mulled wine I can’t imagine its a problem but just wanted to check. I always thought of it as just a great source of fiber and vitamins.


Prune juice is indeed a mild laxative, however in small amounts it should be fine. It has a number of benefits as its a source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which can help lower cholesterol and also help increase levels of good bacteria in your digestive system. Additionally prune juice contains a type of anti-oxidant called Anthocyanin’s which have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Another substance called chlorogenic acid, which helps combat free radicals has also been found in prunes. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, K and potassium. So to summarise, there is no harm in drinking your prune juice and if anything it will be doing you some good!!

Teen Nutrition

My daily breakfast and lunch (dinner is always different but healthy) is Breakfast: 170 calorie high fiber oatmeal with added cinnamon Lunch: 2 slices of whole grain bread with peanut butter (don’t know amount because my school doesn’t have measurement cups) and a banana Is my lunch too big? Should I cut it down to 1 slice of bread? I am asking this because this past summer I lost like 15 pounds because I used to be overweight. now I’m just trying to stay slim and healthy


Your breakfast and lunch is fine, I would not suggest cutting down to one slice of bread. Well done for losing a significant amount of weight! It sounds like you are trying to eat a healthy diet to maintain your weight, which is great. I would suggest that rather than eat the same for lunch everyday, try and eat some other sources of protein such as tuna, white meat such as chicken or turkey. Bananas and Natural peanut butter are good but you want to try to vary things more so that you consume a more balanced diet, so as to prevent developing any nutritional deficiencies.

my meal plan

Hi, I decided to make myself a meal plan to follow daily. I’m a male, 29, 5.9 and weigh 140lbs and my goal is to build muscle with a good diet. I am currently quite skinny with very thin arms and frame and I also have a little belly which I’m finding quite hard to shift. I figured I need to make myself a healthy daily diet plan and follow it strictly. I thought maybe I should get a second opinion on what I have planned to see if I’ve made any mistakes. Thank you in advance 🙂 Daily meal plan 8 am – Breakfast – scrambled Eggs 5 10 am – Fruit smoothie 1 Apple 1 Banana Blueberries 50g Strawberry 50g 2 Kiwi Milk (1 cup) 12 midday – Lunch tuna and avocado Canned tuna in spring water (1 can drained) 2 Avocado 3pm – Super mini meal (pre workout and 2mile run) mixed in a blender Almonds 50g Peanuts 50g Walnuts 50g Raisins 50g Goji (wolf) berries 50g 6pm – Dinner – chicken with raw vegetables 2 Chicken breast With any 5 Vegetables (depending on what I find at the supermarket that day) Approximate Daily total Calories 3006


Thanks for sending your plan. Based on your stats, your maintenance allowance for calories is 2600 per day, but if you are engaged in daily exercise and looking to gain some muscle, then you defiantly will need to have a surplus. Your program will certainly deliver those additional calories. A few comments on your diet would be that 5 eggs per day is perhaps a little more than I would recommend just from a general health perspective. Whilst the jury is still out on whether the cholesterol from eggs is bad for us. I would say consuming 35 eggs a week in the long term is not ideal. I would suggest reducing this to 2-3 eggs a day and perhaps add some other ingredients such as mushrooms, tomatoes, low fat cheese. The fruit smoothie will contain quite a lot of fruit sugar from the banana, apple and 2 kiwi’s, whilst smoothies are great and can be healthy, they can also introduce to much sugar into the diet. I would suggest replacing some of the fruit with vegetables which will reduce the calories but still add some valuable nutrients. Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and peaches are all low calories fruits so use them, but aim for 2 vegetables for each piece of fruit in your smoothie. You could also use some fruit yoghurt with probiotics in your smoothie to add some flavour. Regarding raw vegetables, be aware that not all vegetables are best eaten raw, while some are, it has been shown that in many cases we absorb nutrients better when they have been cooked. This is something you may want to consider, if you do want to eat your vegetables raw, I would suggest alternating days of cooked vs raw, so you get the best of both worlds. Two other points, reviewing your profile I noticed you are skipping frequently. This is something you want to avoid wherever possible. Eating regularly and at the same time for breakfast, lunch and dinner can help regulate your metabolism. In particular skipping breakfast is something I strongly suggest you avoid. Additionally your profile says you exercise daily doing jogging. If you are looking to build muscle, then I would recommend you are engaging in weight training as part of your ongoing training program. resistance training will allow your body to make use of the additional calories you are consuming to build muscle and weight. Something that jogging alone will not achieve.

The difference between Iodine and Sodium?

I’ve been advised to LOWER MY IODINE INTAKE. Are foods with lower sodium automatically lower in iodine? What foods can I prepare at home that will be lower in iodine?


Regarding your question, foods with low sodium are not necessarily lower in iodine. Iodine is found in many foods and also manufactured food products. Certain products may be advertised as low sodium, but may include ingredients that are rich in Iodine. Additionally certain products such as bread may contain iodine containing compounds. On the ingredient list of an item, it may not say Iodine, but calcium iodate€ or potassium iodate€. These are chemicals that contain iodine and also need to be avoided. Unfortunately because of this it is important to read the label or processed foods. The links below have a lot of useful information regarding what foods are low in iodine and also what foods are suitable to eat. You will find that in most cases which the exception of certain foods such as dairy and fish, that Iodine is most commonly found in processed food products. http://www.cc.nih.gov/ccc/patient_education/pepubs/lo_ioi_list.pdf http://www.penncancer.org/pdf/education/LowIodineDiet.pdf