Foods for Fitness

Foods For Fitness

I received an email from a former Naval Officer who wanted to get back moving again. The good news is that he started before Thanksgiving, which helps avoid extra holiday pounds we gain imbibing spirits, snacking while watching sports, and eating holiday feasts. It all contributes to our caloric intake.

The "former pilot - now desk jockey" writes:

I started working out using your "45 Day Beginner Program" last week and already I am feeling better than I have in a decade. Of course, I did NO activity other than work behind a desk after getting out of the Navy in the 90's. But, I need some assistance with the Food Plan you have. Do you have a simple list that could break down the foods I should be eating and not eating (or should at least try to limit)? PS - love the water consumption.

Here is what I would recommend to eat MORE of and LESS of in order to have energy to exercise and build lean muscle, help with health issues such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, and assist with weight loss of fat.

Protein Rich Foods
Choose More of Limit or omit these foods
Fish and Shellfish Fried Chicken / poultry
No skin Fatty ground meat
No fat meats (all trimmed) Liver / Organ meats
Smaller servings of meat, seafood, poultry Bacon
Beans, peanut butter, tofu, whole wheat pasta, nuts Sausage and other high fat meats
Egg whites Eggs with yolks
Protein Bars (if needed) 2% or whole milk / ice cream/ whipped cream
Skim or 1% milk Whole milk cheeses / sour cream
Yogurt, low fat cheese  


Vitamin / Carbohydrate Rich Foods
Choose More of Limit or omit these foods
Raw, steamed, boiled, colorful vegetables Fat - Fried vegetables
Green leafy / romaine lettuce Iceberg lettuce (little value)
Whole grain / multi grain bread / pasta White bread / regular pasta
Fruit juice seasoning (lime / lemon etc) Cream sauce, cheese sauce, butter
Fruits with skin - apples, pears, peaches... Canned fruits in syrup
Other fruits - banana, oranges, grapes Coconut - high in saturated fat


Foods with Fat / Healthful Nutrients
Choose More of Limit or omit these foods
Non trans fat bread spreads Avoid partially hydrogenated oils
Some heart healthy margarines Cooking with lard, meat fat, grease
Cooking with olive oils, sunflower oil ... Salad dressings with cheese / creams
Salad dressing without saturated fat Some chocolates - high in saturated fat
Nuts in moderation - high calorie content Cakes, cookies, pies, chips, crackers
  Fried rice / beans,
  Donuts, pastries, croissants

The list of foods above are general foods we tend to eat regularly and many are omitted due to space of the article, but these should help you take control of your food intake yourself. Nothing above is news to anyone, but sometimes we need a good / bad comparison with healthful alternatives. Eating well does not mean your food has to taste like cardboard or that you will starve yourself trying to eat healthy.

So keep it up during the Holidays and see if you can actually lose weight during the end of the year time where parties and family / friend visits can tend to cause our healthful eating habits to stray.  

More Diet & Nutrition Tips:

- Beer and Fitness? Can It Be? - The "Get Lean" Diet - The "Three-Hour" Diet - The Food Pyramid and Other Options - All Diet & Nutrition Tips

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at

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