Tag Archives: food diary

Food Diary: 4 Tips to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle

Ariane ,

When you have a moment (ha!), can you please peek at my food diary and tell me if I’m on the right track… 
I seem not to be able to figure out the trick on how to gain muscle (lost muscle my first Slim and Strong AND on the 21-Day Detox Challenge with you)…  if there’s anything obvious you see that I’m missing or overdoing, please let me know.  I am early enough into the process to be able to make a noticeable change by the time this April/May Slim & Strong session ends in 3 weeks.
Appreciate your time…Have a great day and a great weekend!


8am: Cranberry water with 1 tsp ground flax seed
9:30am:1 decaf americano with 1 oz of half / half
10am: 2 soft boiled eggs with spinach, 1 tsp plain yogurt, mustard
10:40am:  10 almonds
12noon:  ground turkey with tomatoes, spinach, cauliflower, a little plain yogurt
2:30pm:  Quest Protein Bar
3pm:  1 cup yogi detox fasting tea
8pm:  4oz chicken and 1 cup of broccoli, a tsp olive oil and garlic


8am:  Cran water with 1 tsp ground flax seed
9:30am:1 decaf americano with 1 oz of half / half
10:30am: 2 soft boiled eggs with spinach, 1 tsp plain yogurt, mustard
12noon: 4oz ground turkey with tomatoes, 1 TBS plain yogurt, 1 cup cauliflower
2:30pm:  4oz plain yogurt, ½ banana, 10 almonds
830pm:  Quest Protein Bar
It’s not surprising you’re losing muscle mass. You are simply not eating enough. A significant calorie deficit results in weight loss, yes, but if you skimp on protein, you lose muscle mass. If you skimp on good carbs, you can lose both body fat and muscle. What you lose depends on a few factors:
  • how active you are (cardio burns muscle mass if overdone)
  • how you space out your meals (going many hours without eating promotes muscle loss)
  • how much you strength train (it’s key while losing weight to keep the muscle on your body and promote fat loss)
  • your existing muscle mass and your metabolism (the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, the faster you lose fat

I see a few things you are doing right now that promote muscle loss:

* You need to eat more calories overall – from good carbs and protein. Let’s just take the first day you sent me. You are not eating any calories until 10am. At that point you have been awake for at least 3 hours. Your blood sugar is low when you wake up after a night of fasting and needs to be balanced. However, you wait until 10am to eat some protein and at that time your blood sugar is even lower than when you woke up. The little bit of sugar in your cranberry juice and coffee raise your blood sugar a little bit, but definitely not enough to get it balanced. Remember that sugar raises it quickly and then crashes again.
* Eat a balanced breakfast of protein and veggies – omelettes, fritattas, a cup of oatmeal with a protein shake, cottage cheese with berries…. Just a few ideas.
Your breakfast of two eggs with a little yogurt and spinach adds up to about 15g of protein and no more than 10g of carbs. By far not enough to balance your blood sugar because you need about 20g of protein (add another egg) and about 30g of carbs (load up on veggies). Keep in mind that you have gone without protein for about 14 hours at that point and your muscles will go into a catabolic state (breakdown) if you don’t feed them regularly. The less muscle you have, the slower your metabolism, and the flabbier you get.
Eating most of your calories in the first part of the day will fuel you, fill you up and ensures you don’t get ravenous in the second part of the day. You’re much better off eating an omelette with loads of veggies or a fritatta or oatmeal with a protein shake or Greek yogurt than having nothing for the first 3-4 hours per day. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and sets the tone for the rest of the day. Not eating for hours after getting up will backfire later on.
* Eat more frequent meals
Don’t let so much time go by in the afternoon without eating. You have a snack at 2.30pm and then nothing until 8pm. That’s 5.5 hours without food. By the time you eat dinner, your blood sugar level is very low and it’s hard to recover it. Plus, you’re barely eating any carbs at dinner. One cup of broccoli for dinner is just 6 grams of carbs (4 grams if you deduct the fiber, which doesn’t impact your blood sugar). You need to have about 5 cups of broccoli to balance your blood sugar. Non-starchy veggies are a freebie. You can eat endless amounts without overdoing it. Fiber is key, as are the nutrients in these veggies, so load up!
* Balance your carbs
I’m estimating you’re eating no more than about 40 g of carbs right now, which is way too low for you. That’s almost an Atkins Diet approach where you stick to below 30grams in the first couple weeks. While this is effective in helping you lose fat short term, it’s absolutely no sane way of finding balance, Nor will it help you lose weight in the long run. Eventually you’ll cave into the next high carb food and binge because you’re so deprived. End result: you’re putting on weight faster than before. Plus, you don’t want to lose energy to do your workouts because they are necessary to increase your metabolism and to build muscle mass (and keep your sanity). Eat at least 100g of carbs per day or else you’ll risk losing muscle and your workout intensity will suffer. Aim to stay below 150g per day.
Your dinners are so small that your blood sugar will definitely drop during the night, which will make you wake up feeling sluggish and tired and leaves you with little energy to do your workout. Finding the right carbohydrate balance is one of the hardest things to accomplish but it can be done if you focus on eating as many veggies as you can.
Focusing on just these three steps will make a big difference in your body composition. You’re at 29.5% body fat right now and your goal is to get below 24%. You will be able to gain muscle with consistent balanced eating, while allowing your body to lose any excess body fat. So, more veggies, spread out your protein throughout the day, eat more frequently, snack in the afternoon and start your day with a great breakfast.

Ariane Hundt, founder of the Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp.

Food Diary: Avoid Post-Meal Sugar Cravings


Hi Ariane, 

Here’s my food diary for the last week. I’ve noticed a jump in my energy level without as much starch in my diet, which is great. And I feel like I’m getting better about incorporating more protein. I’ve never kept a food diary or really paid much attention to my eating habits, so it’s been a real learning curve.
Beyond learning to “eat clean” I’ve been facing two challenges: 
1) I’m finding that a shake for dinner is not filling enough. Do you have any suggestions?
2) I’m craving a sweet after lunch or dinner.  I’ve been trying to substitute sugar with fruit when the craving is too strong, but I know that’s not ideal. What can I eat instead?
Food Diary
Day 1:
Breakfast: 1c kefir and 1/4 c steel cut oatmeal
AM Snack:  Fage yogurt and a handful of almonds (dry roasted)
Lunch: Baked zucchini and grilled chicken
PM Snack: Apple and string cheese
Dinner: Vegetables and tofu in yellow curry sauce
Day 2:
Breakfast: 1c kefir and 1/4 c steel cut oatmeal
AM Snack: Whey protein shake-water and 1/4c strawberries 
Lunch:Roasted pork and zucchini, steamed cauliflower and broccoli 
PM Snack: 1 red Pepper cut up with hummus
Dinner: Roast pork with 20 spears of asparagus 
2 small choc chip cookies and 1/2 c skim milk (cheat snack)
Day 3:
Breakfast: Tofu, egg whites and kale scramble
AM Snack: Apple and string cheese
Lunch: Roasted chicken(1/2 serving) arugula salad, meatloaf(1/2 serving), 1 pierogi. 1 slice chocolate zucchini cake. 1oz. (Office thanksgiving potluck!!!!!!!!)
PM Snack:quest bar 
Dinner: Protein shake–almond milk, banana and spinach 
Thanks for your feedback!
That is a great week of eating!
Given that you’re lean to begin with, you definitely want to eat dinner, rather than just have a protein shake. Skimping on calories too much makes it impossible to gain muscle. If you do have a shake here and there, but the shake isn’t filling enough, you can add 1/2 an avocado, which makes it creamier and more filling.  I think the reason your shake didn’t fill you up on that Day 3 was because you had sugar during the day, which lowered your blood sugar and by the time dinner rolled around and you had just a shake, you simply couldn’t regain your blood sugar balance.
The cravings after lunch or dinner are typically a sign that your blood sugar isn’t balanced, which can be the result of your previous meal being too small or unbalanced. Take a look at what you had in the meal before and see if it was truly providing you with enough protein (to fill you up) and veggies (to keep you full). Too many carbs and too little protein can cause blood sugar issues, causing it to drop. The cravings set in so that you replenish your blood sugar. However, eating sugar would be the wrong thing to do. You want to raise your blood sugar, not skyrocket it only to drop again.
I suggest you make your breakfast a little higher in carbs and aim for about 30g of carbs along with 20g of protein. For example, 3 eggs with 2 slices of whole grain bread, or a 3-egg omelette with a lot of veggies, or 3/2 cup of slow-cooking oatmeal with 1 cup of low-fat Greek Yogurt. You should notice that your afternoon cravings become a thing of the past if you balance the first two meals of the day. Also, make sure you eat an afternoon snack about 3 hours after lunch to maintain your blood sugar balance and counteract cravings.
As you continue to eat clean, you’ll become more and more sensitive to sugar and starches and you’ll feel the impact more and more. That in itself turns you off to eating excessive amounts of bad carbs too often.
Your food intake was great: protein at every meal, along with veggies. Nice job!

– Ariane Hundt, founder of Brooklyn Bridge Bootcamp.