ReShape: Week Four


This week, we’re going to discuss the key elements of your ReShape food choices.  We’re going to provide some details and suggestions about Proteins, Fruits and Vegetables, Vitamin C, and Whole Grains that will fuel your muscles and help you ReShape your life.  There is a lot of information to digest this week, so don’t hesitate to bookmark this page and come back often in order to refresh your memory.  Don’t worry, after a while this information will be second nature to you.

Part 1: The ReShape Week Four Diet – Focusing on Food Science


[stextbox id=”custom-2″ float=”true” align=”right” width=”300″]Fat Fact: Dietary fat is not the same as body fat. Excess body fat is the combined result of a lack of exercise and overeating all nutrients, which includes proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.[/stextbox]

Proteins play a key role in your ability to lose weight, plus they help satiate you, build muscle mass, and boost metabolism. In short, proteins feed your muscles so you can shrink your fat. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. But Americans don’t get the right proteins—or the right amounts. Most people eat far more protein than they need and from sources like steak and cheese that are loaded with saturated fat. Other people buy foods on the run that they may think are protein sources but in reality have more starchy carbs and unhealthy fats than lean, nutritious protein.

Best Protein Sources:

  • Protein eggsThere is a simple solution: low-fat, highprotein foods. With all the extra-lean meats available, it is easy to buy protein without all the fat. Turkey, chicken, eggs, most fish, and soy-based proteins are the best sources for high-quality, low-fat protein, whereas red meats, duck, and pork are higher in fat and should be limited in portion size.  It is OK to have 4 to 5 ounces of lean chicken, but reduce your serving to only 3 or 4 ounces of sirloin steak. Eat medium- to high fat proteins only twice a week. These include higher-fat fish, chicken thighs, eggs with yolks, turkey sausage or bacon, and red meats. 

Vegetable Protein Sources:

  • Instead of getting your protein from meat, try vegetable sources, which come packed with complex carbohydrates plus protein. The richest sources of vegetable protein are legumes—dried peas and beans, including lentils, black-eyed peas, soybeans, kidney beans, pinto beans, and black beans.

All About Fish Protein:

  • Salmon and other types of cold-water fish contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. But you are probably aware that high levels of mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and other pollutants have been measured in all sorts of fish from different parts of the world. So are fish healthy or harmful? Do the benefits of eating fish outweigh the potential risks associated with the alleged toxins? While there is no definitive answer on just how harmful these contaminants are, it is wise to take the reports into consideration and be mindful of where we get our fish and how much of it we eat. So I recommend two things: First, consume cold-water fish like salmon two or three times a week, and second, seek wild, not farmed, varieties. Speak with your local grocer in the seafood department for ideas on selecting the best and freshest types of fish. You may have to spend a little more money for wild seafood, but it is worth it. You will find these fish more flavorful too.

How Much Protein Do You Need?

  • It depends on your body size and activity level. For an active adult the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.36 gram per 1 pound of body weight. For a 150-pound woman, that equals 54 grams. Different foods contain different amounts of protein. Most of the foods listed in the chart on page 61 have about 7 grams per ounce. It is OK to eat more protein than the RDA. Because the Feed Muscle, Shrink Fat program strives to build and maintain lean muscle mass while boosting activity levels, my meal plans and suggestions call for slightly more protein than the RDA standards, which are a bare minimum.

Protein Needs and Vegetarians:

  • If you are a vegetarian or get most of your protein from plant sources, you must choose your protein sources carefully. Meat, chicken, fish, eggs, and milk products contain all of the essential amino acids. However, the protein in most plant sources is “incomplete,” meaning it is missing one or another amino acid. You can easily rectify this by combining two incomplete proteins that complement each other. You don’t need to eat complementary proteins in the same meal, just a variety of different protein sources on a regular basis.

Here are some vegetarian protein combinations that will work:

  • Rice and beans or sesame seeds
  • Wheat and nut butters
  • Beans with wheat or corn

Fruits and Vegetables

Your Vegetable Choices:

Fruits and VegetablesVegetables are foods you can eat in large amounts. They fill your stomach and fuel you with the vitamins, minerals, and fiber that you need for ReShape. I categorize veggie choices by volume: The more water and fiber a vegetable has, the higher its volume.

High-volume vegetables supply the most food with the fewest calories, so you can eat more without risking a calorie overload. Raw leafy greens like broccoli, cabbage, and salad greens are high-volume veggies, whereas parsnips, peas, and cooked beets are low volume. Keep an assortment of veggies in your freezer at all times. That way you can always add them as a quick side dish to any dinner you prepare.

If you want more food, opt for more high-volume vegetables first. This will allow you to satisfy that urge to chew without overindulging in calories. Aim to have two servings of vegetables at every meal, but don’t be afraid to load up on high volume veggies. It is hard to overeat in this category because you will fill up fast. You can mix and match. A salad can be a mixture of spring greens with a handful of diced carrots, mushrooms, celery, diced tomatoes, and sweet peppers.

Your Fruit Choices:

Fruits also have a volume component, but they have higher concentrations of sugar—and thus calories. While lots of diets restrict daily fruit servings, with ReShape you should really worry only about limiting fruits that are high in sugar. Your best bet is to find a middle ground where you eat a variety of different fruits and vegetables.

Choose freely from this list but aim to fill up on the higher-volume fruits, such as whole apples, berries, and grapefruit, that are also higher in fiber. Any fruits with edible skins are excellent choices; think of them as vitamin C bombs wrapped with fiber. I recommend that you have two servings of fruit a day and then adjust your intake to your activity level. If you find that as you increase your activity level your hunger also goes up, you can safely add another serving or two of fruit a day. Grains are another category that you can adjust to help satisfy your body’s calorie needs to keep you going.

These foods are listed in order from high volume to low volume. Eat more of the highvolume
foods to fill you up without adding a lot of calories.

The reason I do not impose strict limits on fruits is because studies show that when you crave sugar or sweets, fruit is an excellent solution. Eating fruit is much healthier than bingeing on a high-fat, high-processed-sugar product that will sabotage your weight loss goals.

When you crave a food that is more likely to feed fat cells, like a doughnut, reach for a muscle-feeding food instead, like a green apple with cottage cheese and a sprinkle of cinnamon. It is not the end of the world if you splurge on fruit. Fruit is considered a muscle-feeding friend compared with its junk food counterparts. In time you will be able to manage your consumption in this category and choose smartly among your vegetable and fruit options.

One small restriction:

It should come as no surprise that sugary fruit juices are not the same as whole fruits. During this weight loss phase, you should avoid sugary fruit juices in addition to dried fruit (including raisins) and packaged dried fruit concoctions that contain added sugars.

Vitamin C

tomatoLet’s return to the vitamin C component that is another key in the weight loss equation. On the Feed Muscle, Shrink Fat plan, you will consume vitamin C mostly from vegetables and fruit. The fruits and veggies with the least calories and the most vitamin C include tomatoes, salsa, grapefruit, and asparagus, which I use often in my recipes. These all have levels of vitamin C greater than your daily need, which is 75 milligrams. Salsa in particular not only adds vitamin C but is also a low-fat, low-calorie alternative to sour cream, margarine, or butter. It even counts as an extra vegetable. Although supplementing your diet with vitamin C pills can be helpful, nothing beats getting your vitamins mostly from real foods.

What else does vitamin C do? It is needed for the growth and repair of tissues in the body. It plays a role in your immunity as well as your metabolism. It is necessary to form collagen, which is used to make skin, scar tissue, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. It is also essential for wound healing and for the repair and maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth. What’s more, it’s a potent antioxidant.

Whole Grains

Let’s be honest: Grain is often a code word for carbohydrates like bread, bagels, and pasta. They can be sinfully good at times and are typically the one food we find hard to restrict for long periods of time. When you deny yourself these, the tension builds and at some point you feel like you are going insane. Carbohydrates serve an essential and important function in the body, including helping you to lose weight. They help to make you feel satisfied at meals and give you sustained energy. They are also key to keeping your bowels regular and your brain fueled. If you’ve ever gone on a low-carb diet that restricts your intake of complex or starchy carbs for an extended period of time, you may have felt tired, weak, and brain-dead. Well, here is why: You were denying your brain and body what they want most—quick access to energy.

Whole Grains Keep You Sane:

whole grainsThere is a point I am making here by calling this category “whole grains.” As you are aware, I am putting the focus on whole grains that offer muscle-feeding, fat-shrinking fiber. In addition to getting fiber from fruits and vegetables, you are going to obtain even more fiber from this category by switching to whole grain food varieties that can include pasta, crackers, tortillas, bread, cereal, and even cookies and some baked goods. The fiber will enhance your blood sugar stability, which in turn contributes to your feelings of fullness, satiety, and overall sense of well-being after and between meals.

Even though you will move away from refined grains like white bread and any “enriched” carbohydrate that has been stripped of its natural fiber, you will need to limit your intake in the grain category. Grains are the most calorie-dense complex carbohydrate (sugar).

Finding whole grain alternatives to your favorite breads and pastas is easy. Not only do natural food stores carry these products, but supermarket chains across the country also now stock their shelves with wholesome grains. On page 66 I have given you a list of my favorite grains and I will keep you posted on my website about new products on the market that I think you should add to your menus.

The “Grains & Starchy Vegetables” chart  displays lists from which you can choose grains that will feed your muscles and assist you in your weight loss efforts. Popular foods like white bread and regular pasta are listed as foods that you eat rarely. You would do well to transition from white (“bleached wheat flour”)-flour-based products to purely whole grains and multigrains. Look for the Whole Grains Council’s stamp of approval on products.

Vary Your Grain Servings:

Grains occupy one category that you will need to adjust for your body type and activity level. As you start to create your own meals, limit grains to two servings a day. But if you find yourself feeling low on energy, moody, and unmotivated to work out, then by all means increase your intake of these complex carbohydrates to help keep you energized and fueled for your workouts. This will take some experimentation, but don’t be afraid of trying three grain servings a day as long as you stay tuned in to how you feel. Keep a record of extra servings in your journal. If you get bloated and your weight loss seems to halt, then reduce your grains and add more protein and vegetables to your meals. Also experiment with when to add grains to your meals. You may, for instance, want a grain at lunch if you plan to work out later that afternoon.

Part 2: The ReShape Week Four Workouts – 20 Minutes Per Day

Day 1 – Lower Body (10 Minutes) and Cardio Workouts (10 Minutes)

Lower Body Workouts

Cardio Workouts


Day 2 – Upper Body (10 Minutes) and Core Workouts (10 Minutes)

Upper Body Workouts

Core Workouts


Day 3 – Lower Body (10 Minutes) and Cardio Workouts (10 Minutes)

Lower Body Workouts

Cardio Workouts


Day 4 – Upper Body (10 Minutes) and Core Workouts (10 Minutes)

Upper Body Workouts

Core Workouts

Day 5 – Lower Body (10 Minutes) and Cardio Workouts (10 Minutes)

Lower Body Workouts

Cardio Workouts


Day 6 – Upper Body (10 Minutes) and Core Workouts (10 Minutes)

Upper Body Workouts

Core Workouts