Dr. Bryan Davis doesn’t just prescribe, he subscribes to his own advice for healthy living. As an avid participant in triathalons and obstacle challenges like World’s Toughest Mudder, Bryan strives to stay in peak physical condition. He can tailor an exercise and diet plan that can help you achieve your health goals.
This is the diet plan Dr. Davis recommends for most of his patients. You can download a printable copy here.
Restricting carbohydrates refers to limiting starches and simple sugars from your daily diet. This involves avoiding bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, tortillas, chips and cereals. It also involves avoiding foods high in sugar (ice cream, cakes, cookies and candies). Be aware that sugar is abundant in some foods not traditionally thought of as dessert. Examples are: fruit, milk, juices, energy bars or drinks. Ideal carbohydrate restriction is <50 net grams of carbohydrates per day. Use of a fitness app (Carb Manager or My Fitness Pal) is extremely helpful in tracking macro-nutrients and total calories.
Your major protein source should be oily fish (salmon, tuna or other cold water fish such as sardines). Pasture-raised beef, pork and chicken are good protein sources, too, but the goal is to increase consumption of omega-3 fatty acids. These are found abundantly in fatty fish but not in other sources of protein.
Ideally, your fat consumption should derive from healthy sources and should represent the majority of calories consumed on a daily basis. Healthy fat sources are cold water fish, avocados, nuts and seeds, olives and olive oil. Butter is fine, but I recommend butter from grass fed cows such as the brand, Kerrygold.
This depends on your goals. If you are trying to lose weight or have a sedentary lifestyle, I recommend to keep your caloric intake <2,000 calories per day (with a restriction as low as 1,000 calories per day). In contrast, an athlete might consume in excess of 4,000 calories per day, depending on level of activity. Overall, I aim for 2/3 of daily calories from fat, 1/3 daily calories from protein and a minimal amount coming from carbohydrates (50 grams of carbs = 200 calories).
Sugar and Sweets:
Do your best to avoid sugar and sweets. Personally, I use Atkins products, sugar free Hershey's chocolate chips or Premier Protein drinks to satisfy my sweet cravings. Swerve, Stevia or Monkfruit sweeteners are all good options for baking.
I recommend low sugar, high fiber fruits. Berries are an excellent option, followed by apples and grapefruit. Specifically, I try to minimize high sugar fruits, such as bananas and grapes.
I do not recommend any juice. They are high in sugar and do not contain the fiber or nutrients you normally get when eating the whole fruit itself.
I recommend you eat an abundant variety of low-starch vegetables. Do your best to minimize vegetables that grow below the dirt. Carrots, potatoes and beets are much higher in starch and sugars than leafy, green vegetables..
Do consume green vegetables such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, green beans, asparagus. Leafy greens such as kale, collard greens, spinach, Swiss chard are excellent options.
Nuts and seeds should be part of your diet. Both tree nuts and peanuts are high in healthy fats, protein and fiber. Peanut butter should contain nothing but peanuts, oil and salt. Most brands are high in sugar, unless specifically noted otherwise on the nutrition label.
Plain, Greek yogurt is a good protein source. Greek yogurt is a fermented food. It will help stimulate healthy bacteria in the gut. Cheese, grass fed butter and heavy cream are fine, in moderation. Avoid milk, which is high in sugar.
Both the egg whites and yolks are healthy and can be consumed daily.
As mentioned, cereals should be avoided. This includes all oatmeals, cream of wheat, grits and most breakfast cereals. This generally causes the greatest confusion among patients who have watched a lifetime of advertisements stating the benefits of Cheerios and oatmeal. The truth is that these products are high in processed starches and sugars, contributing to our epidemic of obesity and diabetes. One exception is Fiber One cereal, consumed in moderation.
Intermittent fasting means not eating immediately upon awakening. Instead, delay the intake of calories until later in the day. I believe an extended fasting period may be of benefit for those struggling to control their body weight. It also helps to break the cycle of elevated insulin levels and blood sugars.
I personally eat my last meal by 7pm and do not take in my first calories until 12 noon the following day. I encourage a 16 hour period of fasting followed by an 8 hour feeding window each day. Longer fasting periods may be useful for some patients.
If you have any other questions about your diet or nutrition, I am happy to discuss them with you at your next appointment!
RESOLVED TO EXERCISE? DOCTOR URGES CONSULTATION FIRST
While many people start the new year with a resolution to get fit or lose weight, a Nacogdoches doctor is reminding East Texans that any new exercise program should begin with a visit to your physician.
“People dive into New Year’s resolutions with the best of intentions,” Bryan Davis, MD, said. “Exercise is an important component of a healthy lifestyle, but going from 0 to 60 can cause problems for some people. It’s important to have an initial consultation before you begin any exercise regimen. You want to determine your baseline health, and you want to map out a plan that will work.”
Before you begin any exercise regimen, you doctor should assess your overall health, including your blood pressure and other vitals. Your medical history, including any past surgeries, injuries or illnesses, should also be taken into consideration. If the doctor decides you are in adequate physical condition to begin exercising, he or she can help you outline an appropriate program.
“Exercise is not a one-size-fits-all prescription,” Dr. Davis said. “Your doctor can help you set specific goals, establish a safe regimen to reach those goals, and develop a lifestyle that will allow you to sustain those hard-won victories.”
Dr. Davis also recommends starting slow and working your way up, especially if you have not been exercising regularly.
“Some people want to go all out right at the beginning,” he said. “Don’t take ‘no pain, no gain’ literally. That increases your chance for injuries. You can get sprains, you can inflame or aggravate joints, or you can compound problems you already have. If you don’t start slow, you can end up with an injury that forces you to stop altogether.”
Although moderate physical activity, such as walking, is safe for most people, health experts recommend that you talk to your doctor before you start an exercise program if you have heart disease, asthma or lung disease, diabetes, liver or kidney disease, or arthritis. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends you see your doctor before engaging in any exercise if two or more of the following apply to you: