Last week I got an email from a frustrated dieter named Bob asking me to "critique" his diet and offer any advice. Josh, Tim, Brett, and I get these kinds of questions all the time, so I thought it'd be extremely beneficial to everyone if we laid Bob's diet on the table, so to speak, and analyzed it over the course of the next few newsletters. Bob agreed, so let's get started.
Why Bob came to me:
Bob is frustrated, tired, and despite "dieting" and trying (really hard) to drop those extra pounds, he hasn't been seeing any significant results. In fact, over the last few weeks Bob's been either stuck at the same weight, or even worse, GAINING weight some weeks. YIKES!!
Let's take a look at what he's eating...
Breakfast: 2 cups of Raisin Bran Crunch with skim milk
Snack: Meal Replacement with all natural peanut butter
Lunch: Grilled chicken sandwich, baked potato
Snack: Mixed nuts and raisins
Dinner: Spaghetti with low fat tomato sauce
What Bob is doing right:
To be frank, Bob's diet is pretty bad and it's no wonder he's struggling (we'll get to why in just a minute), but at the same time, I do applaud Bob for making an effort to eat throughout the day, and sticking to a schedule...that shows discipline. In reality, most people are extremely inconsistent when it comes to when they eat, so the fact that Bob seems to be keeping a regular feeding schedule is a positive.
What Bob is doing wrong:
Okay, let's take this meal by meal.
Breakfast: Bob starts the day off with a bowl of Raisin Bran Crunch. I asked Bob exactly how much Raisin Bran Crunch he was eating, and he told me he didn't really know (big mistake...if you're dieting and don't know how much you're eating, you have very little chance of losing flab and dropping those extra pounds). So I had him measure his bowl of cereal the next morning, and he informed me that he was eating 2 cups, along with 12 oz of milk.
Raisin Bran Crunch contains 190 calories, 45 grams of carbs, and 20 grams of sugar per serving. Unfortunately, a serving is only 1 cup, which is rather small especially for a guy, so Bob is actually eating DOUBLE that amount in an average sized bowl. That's 90 grams of carbs and 40 grams of sugar!
Not exactly a quality nutrient profile.
And while the milk adds a few grams of protein, it also adds a lot of insulin as milk scores very high on the insulin index -- a beverage that is best avoided when consuming a substantial amount of carbs in the same meal...not to mention the 40 grams of sugar!
As for the "bran," while it sounds healthy it scores toward the higher end of the glycemic index. Raisin Bran Crunch also contains High Fructose Corn Syrup, perhaps the worst "man made" form of sugar you can possibly eat.
Overall, Bob's breakfast is low in protein, high in carbs, high in sugar, and produces a very substantial insulin response. While it may seem like a "harmless" breakfast to start the day, it's one of the worst choices on his menu.
I'll be back soon to tackle more of Bob's sample diet day...for now, here's a simple one-day meal plan that you can follow right now and KNOW that you're eating the right foods: