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The Powerfood Nutrition Plan: The Guy's Guide to Getting Stronger, Leaner, Smarter, Healthier, Better Looking, Better Sex--with Food! Paperback – Illustrated, May 30, 2006
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About the Author
JEFF O'CONNELL is senior writer for Muscle & Fitness and a contributor to Men's Fitness, Flex, and other magazines.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
You, Only Better
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR DIET AND YOU'LL MAKE OVER YOUR LIFE
I'm a dietitian by trade, not a writer or a preacher, so you'll have to forgive me for getting right to the meat of the matter.
Eating right can change your life.
The right foods can help you feel like a million bucks. They can give you dramatically more energy, and help you to look better than you ever have. Assuming your present diet leaves something to be desired--and the fact that you picked up this book suggests that it might--improving it can have a huge impact on your life. It will make a big difference.
All you need is the right knowledge. That's where The Powerfood Nutrition Plan comes in. What you hold in your hands is both bible and manual--an all- in-one guide to handling your dietary needs. It will help you to gain control over your eating and, in the process, make over your life.
Although I employ many strategies, there is only one overarching goal: to show men (or any women looking for a complete, no-nonsense guide to nutrition) how to use food to improve every aspect of their lives. This is more than a book about how to lose weight or build bigger biceps (although those areas will be covered as thoroughly and truthfully as any book could cover them). It's about waking up refreshed and ready to start your day, enjoying sustained energy, saying goodbye to energy peaks and crashes, and having better workouts, better workdays, and better sex. It's about improving the condition of your body and the state of your mind.
Yes, you can have all of this simply by eating the right foods at the right times for the right effects.
We offer no gimmicks, no miracle nine-week makeovers, and no magical transformations from dud to stud. This is a book for the guy with a finely tuned B.S. detector--the one who knows that both his immediate goals and long-term health hinge largely on the food he eats.
Throughout these pages, you will find:
■ The latest science on muscle building, metabolism boosting, energy enhancing, and much, much more. We've pored over the latest research for you and boiled it all down into simple changes you can make for maximum impact. We don't hype or overstate the benefits of given foods. You'll find the truth--nothing less and nothing more.
■ Detailed meal plans and diet makeovers to help you put the science of nutrition to work in your life. It's one thing to know that some percentage of your calories should come from fat; it's quite another to actually put it into practice. These meal plans will help you do just that. Every chapter contains specific meal plans for boosting energy, heightening endurance, improving muscle building, and more. Once you successfully accomplish your targeted goal, you'll find a 14-day menu plan to keep you healthy for the rest of your life. No matter what your goals are, you'll find the meals and snacks you need--and advice on when to eat them.
■ Foods to minimize and foods to maximize in your diet. In each chapter, you'll find detailed lists of foods that benefit your sexual performance, appearance, weight, and so forth--as well as the foods to cut down on or avoid.
■ An insider's look at which industries are sabotaging your diet and which ones are not. In several chapters, you'll learn why you cannot always trust restaurants, food companies, gym chains, weight-loss centers, public and private schools, universities, the medical establishment--and, yes, even the U.S. government--to direct your food choices. For example, did you know that scientists discovered long ago that a common additive, used to extend the shelf life of processed foods, not only promotes weight gain but also may cause heart disease? This food additive--you'll soon learn more about it--is almost as dangerous for your health as cigarettes, yet the government hasn't required food manufacturers to place a warning label on their packaging, and only recently has required manufacturers to note that their products contain this ingredient.
We'll also take a close look at the medical establishment, the media, and even nutritionists, giving you the lowdown on who and what you should turn to for information.
■ The truth about supplements. From muscle-building protein powders to metabolism-boosting weight loss pills, you'll learn what works, what doesn't, what's dangerous, and what's a waste of your hard-earned cash.
It all starts now, in this chapter. You will soon take a 24-hour journey through a typical day in your stomach that will show you what you may be doing right and what you may be doing wrong. More important, you'll learn how it all affects your health, energy levels, mood, and physical and mental performance. There's a reason you pass out on your desk at 2:00 P.M. You'll soon learn how food plays a role in not only the mid-afternoon slump, but also insomnia, performance anxiety (at the office and in the bedroom), gastrointestinal upset, headaches, and more.
But first, let's take a look at what topics I'll be covering in chapters 2 through 10.
Chapter 2: Using food to improve mood. Do you find yourself daydreaming during your afternoon meetings? Are you angry all the time but not quite sure why? Your diet may be to blame. In this chapter, you'll learn the latest science on how foods influence your mood, energy levels, memory, mental sharpness, and stress levels. If your alertness takes a dive each afternoon, you'll also find a detailed meal plan to help turn things around.
Chapter 3: Using food to burn fat. Burning off those love handles requires more than simply eating fewer calories than you burn. You'll learn powerful ways to boost your metabolism so that you never feel hungry as the fat melts away.
Chapter 4: Using food to build muscle. With our meal plans and advice, you'll finally be able to lay down some serious muscle. We've even included a special section for hardgainers--guys who struggle to build lean muscle. If you've been a skinny guy all your life, I've got some advice that really works.
Chapter 5: Using food to improve your athletic ability. Want to be a better athlete? You can shoot free throws until your arms fall off or run wind sprints until you faint, but if you aren't eating to fit your sport, you will never maximize your potential. In this chapter, you'll find the secret eating techniques that will take your strength and endurance to a new level.
Chapter 6: Using food to stay healthy. Want to have fewer colds? How about fewer stomach and intestinal problems? Are you looking for ways to recover faster after an injury? We've got the answers for you. Food can help heal your body in myriad ways, bolstering your overall health.
Chapter 7: Using food to live longer. Here's the chapter that can add decades to your life and keep you healthy while you live them. Find the most-current advice on using food to reduce your risk for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Chapter 8: Using food to have better sex. I know, I know: That sounds vaguely dirty, but you get the point. Whether it's your first time or your five hundredth time, no one wants to be a lousy lover. Yet every day, guys shovel down food that stifles their sex drive and punishes their penises. In this chapter, you'll learn how to eat and drink so you can be a champ between the sheets.
Chapter 9: Using food to look better. Here I put the screws to the old saying "Beauty is only skin deep." It goes a lot deeper--all the way to the foods you eat and the fluids you drink. Here, you'll get the eating secrets for better skin, stronger hair, whiter teeth, and an assortment of other looks-related benefits. If you've ever been concerned about looking good-- whether as a 20-year-old or as an 80-year-old--then you need the information in this chapter.
Chapter 10: The Full-Power Meal Plan. If you've read all the other chapters, you've learned how to eat for muscle. You know how to eat for weight loss. You know how to eat to avoid cancer, to feel energized, to have marathon sex. Now it's time to pull it all together. In this chapter, you'll find the one diet that packs enough all-around nutrition advice to be called the Full-Power Meal Plan.
If you need improvement in only a category or two, congratulations--you're ahead of the game. If you need help in all of the above, don't sweat it. You've finally come to the right place. There isn't a man alive who wouldn't benefit from the information contained herein.
You Are What You Eat
Along with death, taxes, and the haplessness of certain professional sports teams, the transforming power of nutrition should be added to the list of life's sure things. It's time that food received its due. The insiders--the models, trainers, and athletes who get paid to stay in shape--say that diet is 80 percent of the battle. But the masses often view it as a mere footnote to exercise. To illustrate that point, ask yourself the following two questions:
1. How many people do you know who've hired a personal trainer or taken some sort of exercise class taught by a fitness professional?
2. How many people do you know who've employed the services of a registered dietitian?
Although many people have hired personal trainers to help them go from bum to buff, very few have hired a registered dietitian. It should be the other way around. Don't get me wrong. Exercise is important. Exercise shapes and builds the muscles needed to bolster your metabolism and help you burn more calories. But exercise can take you only so far. For example, you'd need to run hard for more than 10 miles to burn off the number of calories in a typical fast-food meal. It's far easier to avoid the Quarter Pounder with Cheese than it is to run 10 miles, don't you think?
Women know this already. That's why most of your girlfriends can name the top 10 best-selling diet books in rapid fire. They probably own them and have read them, too.
It's time for you to give diet the prominence it deserves. The right foods can do more than help you control your weight. They can also help improve the benefits you get from exercise. Eat the right foods after a workout and the iron you pumped will result in bigger biceps. Eat the wrong foods--or no food at all--and your biceps will always look like Popeye's arms before the spinach.
Once you've digested the information in this book, you'll see that you really are what you eat. (And drink, because the average guy's body is 60 to 65 percent water.) By consuming the best foods, you can make yourself better than you could have imagined.
YOUR GENETIC HERITAGE
THE RIGHT DIET HAS ITS LIMITATIONS. Internally, your genetic makeup has hardwired many of your body's defining attributes: the good, the bad, and the ugly. But the bytes (no pun intended) of the program you're running over those circuits constitute your diet. Setting aside what goes on behind closed doors in your home, food and drink are the only things, other than the air you breathe, that enter your body (save a surgical implement, and I hope those insertions are infrequent). Every time you nourish your body, or choose not to, you and you alone are programming it.
Also, if your father and his father both suffered heart attacks before their fortieth birthdays, you may indeed be genetically predisposed to heart disease. Your doctor will certainly note that as he scans your personal information and, one would hope, watch vigilantly for high blood pressure, problematic cholesterol readings, and any of the other telltale signs that might foreshadow a similar fate befalling you.
To be predisposed, however, means to be susceptible to; it does not mean to be doomed by. If your doctor is better than merely competent, rather than looking for red flags he or she will encourage you to lift weights, do cardiovascular exercise, eat foods low in saturated fats, add fish to your diet, and employ other heart-saving strategies before something bad happens. By doing so, you're likely to at least undermine or curtail the influence of any dangerous strands of genetic code, and you might be able to avoid them altogether.
On the other hand, if you avoid exercise and eat things that damage your cardiovascular system, your checkout time from Hotel Earth could be even earlier than that of your forefathers.
The bottom line is this: Although you can't control everything in your life, given the endless number of variables involved, you can at least control your part of the equation. It's up to you whether the life you form and then project outward is more like a horror flick or more like an inspiring tale with a happy ending--or at least one with some dignity and redemption as the credits roll.
Your 24-Hour Makeover
To demonstrate how food can transform your life and how outside institutions conspire against you, let's take a look at a typical day in the life of an average guy's mouth and stomach. I'm not saying that what follows describes your diet to a T. I'm saying that, either partially or fully, this day echoes the experiences of a lot of guys a lot of the time.
What's important is that you learn how interdependent your dietary decisions are and how those decisions accumulate to influence and shape your life. Our journey starts at night, during those last few crucial hours before you hit the sack.
The Coffee Cure
Relaxing in front of the tube or over a crossword puzzle, you slug down a cup of coffee. Normally at 9:00 P.M., a powerful substance called adenosine will signal your brain that it needs rest. Adenosine is what's called a neuromodulator, meaning it controls the rate at which nerve cells fire. In this case, adenosine is slowing down the activity of the brain's nerve cells. That makes you feel drowsy.
When you drink a cup of coffee, a cola, or any other caffeinated beverage, the caffeine binds to the receptors in your brain where adenosine would usually settle. But caffeine doesn't suppress nerve cells the way adenosine does. Therefore, because your brain doesn't "see" adenosine in its normal place, it doesn't slow down; on the contrary, things speed up. Instead of dilating, your blood vessels constrict. With your brain's electrical activity now resembling a shooting gallery, sleep is not an option. Instead, your adrenal glands release epinephrine, a.k.a. adrenaline, which reverses many of the processes that normally precede sleep. Your respiration quickens, your heart pumps faster, your liver releases sugar into your bloodstream, and your muscles tighten.
- Item Weight : 0.035 ounces
- Paperback : 448 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1594862354
- ISBN-13 : 978-1594862359
- Dimensions : 8.43 x 0.88 x 10.86 inches
- Publisher : Rodale Books; Illustrated edition (May 30, 2006)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,547,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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More and more people are taking their health into their own hands. Hopefully, this is a widespread trend. The author writes on how insurance won't pay for nutritionists -- this has been changing in the insurance world, even though the government and their healthcare meddling has largely ignored it. Again, the point is to take charge of your health and this book can help start you down the right path. See also Eat This And Live and The New Abs Diet .
The only drawback (which truly is expected) is that the meal plans are tailored for, I think, a 180 individual so you will have to tailor the nutrition for your weight over or under that. My wife and I haven't used a full plan yet, but we do find ourselves looking through the book and finding some tip to make us a little healthier from time to time.
Bottom line: Get it.
I tried a couple recipes and they were easy to make and tasted fine.
Top reviews from other countries
The Powerfood Nutrition Plan was well advertised and exactly what I thought it would be from the reivews.