With a family history of diabetes, Stephen Richards made a life-changing decision: To become healthier by making better food choices. That’s why he created BetterBody Foods. To produce delicious, nutritious and ‘better for you’ foods he felt comfortable sharing with his family.
After turning 60 last year, maintaining his muscle and flexibility became two very important goals. Pilates, stationary bike, and light weight lifting with a focus on high repetitions are all part of the weekly routine.
When it came to nutrition, Stephen looked to the philosophy that started his journey in the first place – “Life is Better When you Eat Better.” Rather than focus on what he couldn’t eat, he turned his focus on what he should. In other words, it wasn’t about a diet of DON’Ts, but rather a diet of DOs.
Many perceive the word ‘Diet’ as inherently restrictive and is often associated with a poor relationship with food. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word diet as “the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.” The restrictive perception of the word is certainly valid, but has been formed from a cultural obsession on body image and more specifically weight loss. While The Do Diet can certainly help in one’s weight loss journey, the fundamental goal is to shift public perception of dieting in a positive direction.
On top of focusing on the DOs, Richards sought to create a simple structure to further guide his daily food choices. For this structure, he turned to three areas of nutrition that himself and many other Americans tend to neglect: water, protein, and fiber.
And thus The Do Diet was born! A ‘To-Do List’ of three goals that can be achieved by focusing on the addition of nutritious foods into our daily lives. A simple, yet effective, structure meant to guide individuals into making better food choices and improving the way they look and feel.
Drink 125 ounces of fluid
Consume 160 grams of protein
Consume 30 grams of fiber
The exact amount of fluid, protein, and fiber will differ based on age, weight, and gender. Continue reading for the benefits of each and how to calculate the proper amount for you!
How much fluid does a healthy adult need to drink per day? The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:
125 ounces per day for men
91 ounces per day for women 
What liquids should contribute towards the daily total? All fluids, with the exception of alcohol, can count towards the total goal for the day. This includes water, milk, plant-based milk alternatives, smoothies, coffee, tea and protein shakes. Yes, even things commonly perceived as “dehydrating” like coffee, have a net hydrating effect .
When choosing beverages, both nutrients and calories are important to consider. Beverages that are zero calories, especially water, or nutrient dense beverages, such as smoothies, should be the primary focus when working towards a fluid intake goal.
You may need to alter your fluid intake based on various factors, including exercise and environment.
Most of us are aware that we should eat more protein, but how much is enough? The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein in the United States is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound. For example, an individual who weighs 165 pounds should consume 60 grams of protein per day. However, this amount is simply what’s needed to prevent a deficiency, which isn’t a major concern for the majority of Americans .
Whether you have a goal of fat loss, muscle gain, or increased recovery, additional benefits for body composition have been shown in studies by increasing protein consumption from the RDA up to 0.72 grams per pound of body weight . Furthermore, higher protein intake has been shown to be much more satiating . This is most likely to do with the pure volume of food compared to the amount of calories.
In simpler terms, we simply recommend eating 0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Here is the calculation:
Body Weight (lbs) x 0.7 = Daily Protein Goal (grams)
If you’re not used to consuming this much protein, that is not a problem. Start as high as you can, and then slowly increase based on your comfort level. There are also several ways to add protein into your diet without making drastic changes. (ie: Throw a few tablespoons of PBfit into your morning smoothie or oatmeal.)
The last, but certainly not least, element of The Do Diet is fiber. Fiber is one of the most helpful tools for losing weight and for your digestive system. Fiber is thermogenic to about the same degree as protein, aids in digestion, and improves satiety in some cases .
In the United States, the current recommendation for fiber intake is 14 grams per 1,000 calories. On average, this comes to 25 grams of fiber per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. Women and men older than 50 should have 21 and 30 grams, respectively.
Despite the many benefits of consuming adequate amounts of fiber, more than 90% of women and 97% of men do not meet the recommended amount. With such a large percentage of the population not getting adequate amounts of daily fiber and the health problems associated, fiber has been labeled a dietary component of public health concern in the United States .
With so many people struggling to get the recommended amount of fiber, it may seem like an insurmountable goal. However a mix of whole grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables will make checking this to-do off the list much less intimidating. Whole wheat tortillas, sweet potatoes, apples, avocados, and blueberries are only a few of the many recommended high fiber foods.
Seeds and nuts are another great way to not only get fiber, but protein as well. Chia, flax, and hemp seeds are all great options. For fiber benefits, fruit should be consumed in the whole form. However, if you prefer a fruit smoothie, simply add a couple tablespoons of chia, flax, or hemp seeds for a beverage containing both fiber and protein – The Do Diet trifecta!
Nutritional preferences, fitness goals, life circumstances and many other factors make the food we eat on a daily basis highly individualized. Seeking a magical food plan or dietary supplement can often seem like a vicious cycle that can lead to the same result. The hope with The Do Diet is to simplify a complicated process by embracing our personal preferences, and meeting three dietary goals through the foods we enjoy.
While the modern world allows for burgers, beignets, and buffalo wings to be delivered to your doorstep within 15 minutes, it also allows for the globe’s most nutritious and delicious foods to be carried at your local grocery store. Whether it is chia seeds from the sun-kissed soil of Argentina, or organic baobab from sub-Saharan South Africa, there has never been a better time to focus on the foods you CAN eat.
1. Institute of Medicine. 2005. Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.https://doi.org/10.17226/10925.
2. Killer, S.Cl, A.Kel Jeukendrup, No evidence of dehydration with moderate daily coffee intake: a counterbalanced cross-over study in a free-living population. PLoS One, 2014. 9(1): p. E84154
3. (2009, March 13). Dietary Guidelines should reflect new understandings.. – NCBI – NIH. Retrieved February 20, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm..nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2666737
4. Walberg, J.L., et al., Macronutrient content of a hypenergy diet affects nitrogen retention and muscle function in weight lifters. Int J Sports Med, 1988. 9(4): p. 261-6.
5. Protein, weight management, and satiety. – NCBI. Retrieved February 20, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18469287
6. (n.d.). The effect of fiber on satiety and food intake: a systematic review. – NCBI. Retrieved February 20, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23885994
7. U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. 9th Edition. December 2020. Available at DietaryGuidelines.gov.
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