From the book
The Jumpstart Rules
Take Control with Proper Proportions--40/40/20
It's one thing to hand someone a tough battle plan and tell her to "just get going."
It's another to give her the tools to execute said plan and win the battle.
I want you to win.
That's what this rule is about.
The 40/40/20 plan is the nutritional architecture of your Jumpstart eating regimen. And it is easy, especially since I've done all the work for you in my menus and recipes!
The 40/40/20 plan is my way of making sure you get the right amount of the three essential macronutrients in your diet: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Without them, you'd be in trouble. Without them in the right amounts, you'll stay fat, and you'll never get into that dress, tux, Speedo, or bikini. (Of course, you also need fiber, which is why I give you license to eat unlimited quantities of Jumpstart veggies.)
I've tinkered with this formula to get it right: I've tried different percentages, added, subtracted, split things up one week and then tried something new the next. In other words, I have been your guinea pig, and I know this is the formula that will work. Don't make my effort for nothing--use what I've learned!
But I'll back up a step and give you a macronutrient primer:
Protein is a dieter's best friend. Not only does it help maintain muscle while you are losing fat, it can also prevent you from feeling hungry. Why? Because protein helps control blood sugar and insulin--two elements that, out of balance, can make you feel famished and craving all the wrong things. During your Jumpstart program, 40 percent of your calories will come from protein.
Carbohydrates--nature's sugars--are the body's fuel. We need them to keep our energy levels up, to keep our thinking sharp, and to replenish starved muscles. But carbohydrates come in two different forms: simple and complex. I'm oversimplifying, but think of it this way: simple carbohydrates are found in fruits and vegetables (which, again, also give us needed fiber) and are, generally, "good." Complex carbohydrates are what we find in processed starchy food--breads, baked goods, pastas, crackers, and potatoes. It's not that complex carbohydrates are evil or that you can never have them again (you can!), but most people rely too heavily on carbohydrates of the complex variety, and don't get enough simple ones! When we overload on the complex carbs, we wreak havoc on our systems.
If we can control our carb intake--if we use them rather than abuse them--we can push our body during exercise, and the carbs we have eaten will replenish our starved muscles. As with protein, you're going to be eating 40 percent mostly simple carbohydrates (see Rule 3 about when you can have some complex ones) for the next three weeks.
In addition to simple carbs and complex carbs, there's one more vocabulary word I need to explain here, folks: net carbs. Net carbs refers to the amount of carbohydrates in the food after you have considered the way in which the fiber in that food offsets the carb number. A food like, say, blueberries, has 21 grams of carbs per cup, but 4 grams of fiber. So, to calculate the net carbs for a cup of blueberries, you subtract the grams of fiber from the carbs: that's 17 net carbs! You'll see in Part IV that I list the nutritional value of each recipe. When I list the carbs per serving, I'm talking about net carbs.
We also need fats--whether in the form of oils or solids. Fats help maintain the essential barriers around our cells, help keep our skin and various other tissues flexible, and...