Do bodybuilders require different diets?

I was wondering if bodybuilding athletes need to eat differently than other athletes. If so, how so, and does timing of eating come into play? All athletes, including bodybuilders, should aim for adequate calories and balance of the food groups. Too few calories will result in weight loss and too much will cause unwanted weight gain. A diet that has adequate amounts of carbohydrate and moderate amounts of protein and healthy fats is important. Some may look to over-consume protein, but while protein is good for the building and repair of muscles, it’s not a main energy source during exercise. Choose high quality sources of protein such as lean meats, fish and poultry, soy products, eggs, beans, peas and lentils and low fat/nonfat milk, cheese and yogurt. A guideline is to aim for 0.63 to .77 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Carbohydrate is our main energy source. Good choices include whole grains (like brown rice, whole wheat pastas and breads), fruit and low fat/nonfat dairy products. Recommendations for athletes include consuming 2.3 to 3.6 grams of carbohydrate per pound. Enjoy vegetables as well. Our bodies need vitamins and minerals. Consuming heart healthy fats is recommended. Avoid/limit saturated fats and instead focus on unsaturated fats like nuts, olive, canola and peanut oil, avocado and seeds. A diet with 20 percent to 35 percent of total calories from fat is suggested. It’s also important to stay hydrated, without overdoing it. It’s recommended that athletes adhere to an individualized fluid replacement regimen that takes thirst, fluid intake, urine color, sweat loss and body weight changes that happen during exercise....

The State of the Soda

Last week a judge struck down New York City’s ban on sodas larger than 16 ounces the day before it was to go into effect. The ban affected restaurants, food carts and movie theaters, but not venues like convenience and grocery stores or any other venue not regulated by the health department. Judge Milton Tingling determined that the proposal championed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, was “arbitrary and capricious.” The judge stated that the law was inconsistent and would be difficult to enforce. His finding went on to say that his reasoning for striking the ban “excluded some drinks that had higher concentrations of sugar or calories on suspect grounds, and that it did not limit the amount of refills.” He also discussed that “the simple reading of the rule leads to the earlier acknowledged uneven enforcement even within a particular city block, much less the city as a whole … the loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the stated purpose of the rule.” Mayor Bloomberg promised to fight the decision and I’m sure that he will. While I don’t recommend the consumption of high calorie, sugary drinks and believe that we shouldn’t drink our calories, I wish that the mayor wouldn’t invest his time and energy in fighting it. My opinion is that this effort is one that goes in the wrong direction and that this ban would be nothing but a Band-Aid. Not only do people not like to be told what to do and they would get around it easily, they might not focus on all the things that they should. Fried foods, large desserts and portion...

How to keep the weight off after a gastric bypass?

I had gastric bypass a year and a half ago and I need to know what the best things are to eat now to keep off the weight. I have lost 95 pounds and I don’t want to gain it back. I know protein is my life, but I have overcome diabetes and do not want to have to go back on medicine or insulin. Please help me. First, congratulations on your weight loss. That’s awesome! And it sounds like you have been able to cut back on medications, which is great! With regard to the suggested diet 18 months after gastric bypass surgery, at this point you should be able to eat healthy balanced meals. A healthy plate with half the plate non-starchy vegetables, one-quarter of the plate starch, one-quarter of the plate protein and fruit and dairy on the placemat is a good guide. Monitor your portion sizes. Don’t overdo it. Eating 3 meals per day spread out about 4 to 5 hours apart is recommended. Other guidelines include not drinking beverages for 30 minutes before or after each meal; avoiding high calorie drinks; limiting fat and sugar intake to help avoid dumping syndrome; limiting alcohol intake; chewing food thoroughly; eating and drinking slowly and to stop eating before you feel full. I think it’s always a good idea to touch base with your healthcare team who knows your individual situation very specifically. They can help guide you. Also, if you aren’t involved in a support group for those who’ve had the gastric bypass, you might consider joining one. These can be very...

What can a diabetic on insulin do about diet?

Hi. I am a type two diabetic on insulin. My blood sugar is almost always high in the morning…187 up to 300. At lunch time I sometimes get some lows like 70, and sometimes 53. At dinner time it is sometimes okay and sometimes it is high. What can I do about my diet? First, I recommend that you speak with your healthcare provider regarding your blood sugar readings. As you know, with diabetes, we look for the fasting number in the morning to be between 80 and 120. We like blood sugar to be less than 160 two hours after a meal. Since your reading are in the low and high range, working with your doctor is important to make sure medication dosage is appropriate and working. It’s also essential that all medication be taken as prescribed. I trust that you know how to treat low blood sugar episodes (hypoglycemia) defined as below 70. If not, please speak to your healthcare provider. I always recommend that diabetics always have glucose tablets handy. With regard to diet, it’s recommended that people on insulin eat a bedtime snack. Even those who are not on insulin, but who have high fasting number in the morning, can often benefit from a bedtime snack. It can help lower your fasting blood sugar. Remember, snacks are small. Examples are a glass of nonfat milk, a few crackers with cheese or a slice of whole wheat bread with 1 ½ teaspoons of peanut butter. Bedtime snacks should not include fruit or any type of sweet treat or dessert. In general, to help manage blood sugar,...

Ask Lisa

Thanks to everyone who has asked me a question through either my Facebook page at Lisa Tillinger Johansen, on Twitter @LisaTJohansen or via my Web site at www.fastfoodvindication.com It’s been great to receive them and I’ve been happy to provide the answers. To better respond to your questions and to have them and my answers readily available for viewing, I have retooled my other Web site, www.consultthedietitian.com to accommodate Ask Lisa inquiries. If you have a nutrition related question, just visit www.consultthedietian.com Please feel free to ask me any dietitian-oriented inquiries about a variety of things like diabetes management, cholesterol, hypertension, gout, irritable bowel, diets, different foods, weight management and more. Please be advised that by sending me a question, you are giving permission for it to be posted on my Web site. If I choose it for posting on the Web site, not only will you get my answer, but I’ll send you a free e-reader version of my book FAST FOOD VINDICATION. So, ask...