So most readers of this blog are aware of the squirrel formula I present in Don’t Eat for Winter, if not read about it here.
Eating foods with this formula, or foods with this combination is, I believe, a sure fire way to put on weight because you prime your appetite and set your body up for fat storage for many reasons. Lots of hormones and chemicals are released by your body in response to eating foods and nothing invokes more processes than carbs+fat. Let’s call them autumnal survival fat-storage instincts.
Eating for Spring, Summer and Autumn means not Eating for Winter so the simplest way to think about diet is to think about the foods available in each season.
DEFoW Do: Low GI fruit, berries and vegetables are stuff you should be eating over the course of every day. Of your seven a day chose 2:5 ratio of fruit to veg i.e. 2 pieces of fruit for every 5 pieces of veg. You can eat low gi veg with absolutely everything.
DEFoW Don’t: Don’t eat too many portions of sweet fruit, fruit juices and stuff with sugar in general. It’s too easy to over-consume sugar these days in both natural and artificial form. If eating sugary stuff, eat it to fuel activity and avoid eating fat in or around the same time to avoid invoking autumnal gorge instincts.
DEFoW Do: Get in healthy fats once a day, fats with omega 3s, mono-unsaturated fats, vitamin d3 etc. Think fish like salmon, walnuts, avocado, olives (or a really good olive oil), eggs. Get in vitamins A,D,E&K at this time, the fat soluble vitamins.
DEFoW Don’t: Avoid eating carbs when eating fats, even healthy fats. E.g. avoid fruit juices and toast with a fat based breakfast. For example if I had eggs and bacon there is no way I would have toast or apple juice with it.
DEFoW Do: Choose an appropriate protein source with each meal. E.g. at breakfast time if eating healthy fats, a fatty protein source is OK at this time, e.g. bacon, a lamb chop, salmon and so on. At lunch time with low GI veg you probably want to start tapering out fat and maybe eat something like chicken, tuna, cod, turkey or lean cut of meat, and in the evenings then the leanest possible source.
DEFoW Don’t: Avoid processed proteins including meats as they have lots of additives you don’t want to be eating as staples. Have things like protein bars as an occasional treat and not a staple protein source. Don’t rely on whey protein supplements, have maybe one or two scoops a day if you lift weights or train hard, and go for ones with natural ingredients (pure whey even better and add your own natural sweeteners). Don’t eat fatty protein sources all day every day (e.g. bacon, fatty fish, pork, lamb), keep to once a day and not with sugary or starchy carbs.
DEFoW Do: Eat an appropriate amount of carbohydrates for your lifestyle and opt for carb sources with fibre e.g. oats and wholegrains if you don’t have allergies to grains; vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes with skins are decent sources of vitamins too, bananas and apples provide lots of energy and nutrients too. Avoid refined carbs like sugary drinks in particular.
DEFoW Don’t: If sedentary in particular ensure you look at carbohydrates holistically over the day and use primarily for activity. Your body can only process so much sugar/starch and if it has to deal with a surplus you put your body under undue pressure and it tends to want to store excess energy. Limit carbohydrate intake to around activity for optimal usage. You only need about 400 calories from carbohydrates for brain and nervous system and a little more for the body, which runs very efficiently off fat at rest. Only when you work physically do you need to supplement diet with more carbs.
DEFoW Do: Split your day up so that at different times fat is a focus, fibre is a focus and carbs are a focus, with an appropriate protein source to go with each.
DEFoW Don’t: Don’t Eat Autumnally in every meal and snack i.e. high fat high carb and low protein, especially avoiding junk foods with this signature. Whatever about the natural foods nature produces in autumn, the Frankenstein foods of today multiply the effects they have on our taste buds and fat storage abilities.