Move over South Beach; step aside Atkins… make way for the Montreal Diet.
Heading to Montreal in the middle of July? Here are <u>four tips</u> for keeping <u>three days</u> of beer drinking from expanding your waistline. Feel free to continue following the Montreal Diet once you return to the real world… you may even want to throw in a trip to the gym once or twice a week.
1. Pound the Protein. Eating protein all day long means there will be plenty available when your body needs it to make muscle. Regardless of whether you’re trying to gain muscle or lose fat, I recommend you consume one gram of protein per pound of body weight every day. So, if you weigh 191 pounds, you’ll try for 191 grams of protein a day. The rest of your calories can come from the beer (carbs and alcohol) and French cuisine (fats) consumed while in Quebec. When back in the real world, feel free to substitute vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains and nuts in place of beer and French food every now and then.
2. Eat Every Three Hours. I’m still not kidding about this. For most people, that’s about six small meals or healthy snacks a day. Frequent eating stokes your metabolism to burn calories and fat and guarantees you get enough nutrients to build and maintain muscle (remember Beer & Health #4?... one pound of muscle burns fifty calories per day at rest). Try to eat protein at every meal or snack. During my twelve hours at Dieu Du Ciel back in January, I ordered food four or five times. Mostly, I ordered the bagel with smoked salmon and capers (lots of protein and “good fat”). I didn’t stress too much about the bagel as I had already screwed up any low-carb plans with all the great beer I was drinking. No worries mates. Splurge! It’s RBSG2005! Only another week or so until I finally get to sample Martin T’s bottle of 1992 Belle-Vue Selection Lambic… ok, ok, back on track.
3. Don’t Fight Fat. Fat isn’t the enemy. In fact, your body needs fat to burn fat. While in Montreal, there’s no need to count fat grams unless you’re already on a calorie restricting diet. However, make sure you incorporate one to three servings of nuts and seeds a day. Ask for peanuts at the pub or place an order for something cooked in olive or canola oil (just ask your server) as almost every restaurant has one or both of these oils on hand. When back in the real world, use these oils when preparing vegetables or in your protein shakes. Hey, it’s hard to down 191 grams of protein per day via “real food” so make sure you supplement with whey, egg or soy protein isolate. Also, taking a daily supplement like flax seed oil can be very beneficial and convenient for fat burning. Go with the capsules as flax seeds and flax seed oil taste much like a luke-warm Steelback Tango.
4. Drink Lots of Water. For every beer you consume in Montreal you need to drink one glass of water. Twenty ounces of beer needs to be chased by twenty ounces of water. One of the causes of a hangover is dehydration, so a good practice after drinking ethanol is to replace lost fluids as soon as possible. This will help to ward of some of the after-effects. Make sure the water is ice cold as ice cold water burns more calories and body fat. Why? Hey, great time for a homework assignment. Either tune in to next month’s Beer & Health article regarding the many benefits of water or use your favorite search engine to find the very definition of “calorie” for the answer.
<U>Supplement of the Month
A double blind study conducted by a trusted colleague shows that this supplement reduces blood levels of cortisol – a hormone produced in response to stress. One of the effects of elevated cortisol production is accelerated amino acid catabolism which could lead to muscle break down. Suppression of cortisol levels could theoretically maintain muscle mass during periods of increased stress and intense training. Phosphatidylserine could also be considered a “general stress” nutrient which may not only provide benefits to those subjected to the physical stress of exercise, but those who are under chronic emotional stress from hectic lifestyles, work deadlines and many of the other stresses of modern life.
In addition to preventing muscle breakdown, it is suspected that phosphatidylserine stimulates immune function and maintains brain function, memory and cognitive ability. Of course, these claims have not been evaluated by the FDA as the administration doesn’t seem to show any interest in investigating nutritional supplements… unless, of course, the supplement in question seems to work well enough to cut into the pharmaceutical industry’s profits (i.e. ephedrine). I take 400 mg of phosphatidylserine before and after each workout. Always consult your physician before beginning any supplementation regimen. You have been warned… and my ass has been covered!
Until next month, as always… everything in moderation, including moderation.
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Fat isn’t the enemy. In fact, your body needs fat to burn fat. While in Montreal, there’s no need to count fat grams unless you’re already on a calorie restricting diet. However, make sure you incorporate one to three servings of nuts and seeds a day