Midmorning: Protein: Egg whites, whether scrambled, an omelet or boiled. Plan to eat two to three egg whites each morning with whole-wheat toast. Make it interesting with peppers, onions, spinach, broccoli or a small amount of feta cheese to prevent protein boredom.
Lunch: Protein: Fish, chicken or beef grilled or broiled - don't fry. Accompany with colorful vegetables (green, orange, yellow, red or purple) steamed, broiled or raw. It may be salad, broccoli, yams, carrots, corn, beets, squash or eggplant. No white pasta, rice, potato or bread.
Midafternoon snack: Protein: Celery with peanut butter, tuna with celery, apple with peanut butter, a handful of nuts with a piece of fruit. Combine a complex carb with a protein and fat for a small snack.
Dinner: Protein: Chicken, shrimp, lean pork or beef with colorful vegetables. This meal is very similar to lunch but choose something different. Avoid alcohol and soda. Try green tea if you are bored with water.
Evening snack: Protein: Make a small fruit smoothie with whey protein or eat a piece of cheese with a pear or an apple. Keep it light and simple. Your body should be recovering and relaxing so don't feed it too much to digest. Eating after 8 p.m. is not a good idea if you are working toward weight loss.
A final bit of advice: Rather than picking up where you left off, try forging a new trail and shake up your body with new workouts. Training differently is a great challenge, which usually yields enviable results. Moving in new ways, strength training with higher weight (20 to 25 pounds) and fewer reps (8 to 10) combined with a high-quality meal plan will help you lose the weight and reach the goals you deserve.
A friend of mine sent me your column about push-ups with an accompanying rating chart, so now I'm doing push-ups every other day. Thanks! I have a 12-year-old daughter. What would the chart show for her age group? - Dan
For children, I recommend using the Fitness Gram assessment to determine a child's muscle strength and endurance. The Fitness Gram has developed standards known as "Healthy Fitness Zone." A healthy zone for your 12-year-old daughter would be 7 to 15 push-ups. Glad to hear you are exercising regularly and kudos for encouraging your daughter to stay physically fit.
Cindy Boggs, fitness presenter, author and Activate America director, has been an ACE-certified coordinator/instructor since 1989. Send your questions about fitness, training or health to YMCA of Kanawha Valley, 100 YMCA Drive, Charleston, WV 25311 or e-mail cindys...@aol.com. Look for her fitness advice book, "CindySays ... You Can Find Health in Your Hectic World" on her Web site www.cindysays.com or contact the YMCA at 340-3527.