What about nutrition? You need the following nutrients, and you are not
going to get sufficient quantities from foods alone. However, you should
focus on the foods that do provide these. Keep in mind that grains should
be a very small part of anyoneís diet.
- Vitamins C, B6, and B12. C does not work without B. For a C
supplement, get one that is cold-pressed only, or you wonít get the
enzymes that allow it to work. A sustained release supplement is best.
Keep in mind that whole-food sources of C have the enzymes and come in
a time-release delivery system. Supplements should simply be
concentrated whole food, not chemical derivatives. Red meat is an
excellent source of B6 and B12, plus the creatine you need for
building new muscle and for maintaining cell volume in the muscles you
have (creatine causes muscle cells to "wick" water from
surrounding blood vessels).
- Essential Fatty Acids. Notably, Omega 3. Natural sources are nuts
and cold water fish. So are seeds and green leafy vegetables. So, have
that spinach salad with nuts and seeds on it, and a dash of flaxseed
oil. Donít have croutons, as grains defeat Omega 3.
- Water. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. This helps you
maintain cell volume, which helps take up slack in the skin. Drink
enough that your urine is clear.
- Protein. You need small amounts of protein, six times each day. Each
portion should be about the size of your fist. For a woman of average
size, this would work out to about a dozen eggs a day if all the
protein comes from eggs. However, eggs are not a perfect protein
source, so be sure to tap other sources. Meat, soy products (except
tofu), beans and rice, milk, and whey protein supplements can work
together to round out your protein profile. If drinking milk or taking
whey, do so only within two hours of intense exercise or after your
cells are depleted from a night of sleep. The casein in milk helps
buffer whey, but this is a protein that spikes your insulin and
"burns" fast. Never take whey before bedóit will simply
turn into fat. Exception: the new whey supplement that has a time
release delivery engineered into it.
- Calcium. Your body wonít add muscle if the bones arenít there to
support it. Take a calcium supplement that contains magnesium and
- Always eat a breakfast that includes a protein about the size of
your fist, plus carbohydrates at least that large. Even twice that
large is fineóthis is a great time to take in your carbohydrates.
Examples include eggs with a side of blueberries, eggs and oatmeal,
steak and tomatoes, amaranth pancakes, a protein shake with fruit
(even a banana or small glass of orange juice is fine at breakfast).
- Avoid eating a carbohydrate by itself. This wastes the carrier
ability of the carbohydrate to bring protein into the cells, and it
also creates an undesirable insulin response.
- Six meals a day, and keep them small. Try not to go more than 2 or 3
hours without food. If you are going to be away from food sources,
pack a small plastic bag of nuts (raw, unsalted), or bring a food bar.
Note that most food bars are junk. Read the labels carefully.
- Variety is king. Donít eat the same foods all the time, and donít
buy from the same store all the time.
- Donít follow the Food Pyramid. Its reliance on grains is a recipe
for obesity. We feed cows grain to fatten them before slaughter. Itís
easy enough to see the effect of the grain-centric diet just by
looking around today. If you replace "grain" with
"green," the Food Pyramid improves dramatically.
- When eating out, ask that your food be as unadorned as possible. No
sauces, creams, or breading. If you make a habit of this, you will
learn to enjoy the taste of food, rather than the taste of
hydrogenated oils and sugar.
Do note, you have connective tissue involved here--so, provide support for
that sagging skin. You may wrap your abdominal area with an elastic bandage for
most of the day, for example. This will help that connective tissue to shorten,
thus reducing the sagging. If gravity is pulling on the skin and stretching it,
that has the same effect as fat pushing it out.
If you donít see a visible improvement each 30 days, you are doing
something wrong. Go back and check what you are doing. You may wish to
keep a logbook or at least a food diary while you figure this out. All it
takes is one slip in one area to foil all the other efforts you make.