Vocal Health - Body

February 24th, 2013 | by VoiceCouncil

The Singer’s Diet

Once you know the perils, you’ll be on your way to the body you want – says Sharon Zarabi

You want to look good on stage so it’s going to take some effort, otherwise we’d all be models.

I’m not going to give you a detailed diet. Instead, I will point out the perils and pitfalls so that you can make the right choices on your way to the body you want to have.

1. Avoid the Quick Fix

If you want to lose weight, remember to avoid the quick fix. It’s all about calories in vs. calories out. To get rid of that gut, avoid empty calories that come from foods that are high in sugar. Pastries, desserts, ice cream, even natural juices that you think might be healthy are extremely high in sugar.

Think of your body as a car. It requires fuel to operate as our bodies require food for survival. You wouldn’t put cheap diesel in a high performance unleaded v6 engine. The same goes with how we nourish ourselves.

2. Don’t Be Fooled by the ‘No Sugar Added Label’

And don’t be fooled by the “No Sugar Added” label, all that means is that no sugar has been added to the original 40 grams that are naturally there already. Remember, we eat for fuel so put the natural form of fiber and protein in your diet; this takes longer to be digested, leaving you feeling “full” longer. Most fibrous foods do cause gas, so it’s important for you to get in tune with your body to see how each food affects you.

3. Stay Away from Fat-Producing Foods

Pizza, bagels, macaroni and cheese, beer, alcohol, juice, cookies and chips don’t take much effort to be metabolized and go straight to the cells to be stored as fat. Fiber must be chewed thoroughly and gastric juices come into play – so imagine how much energy you are using just to digest. Now, that’s what effects an increased metabolism. FIRE AWAY!

Fried foods and sweets will leave you feeling bloated, tired, and craving for more. If something tastes too good it’s probably loaded with salt, oil or sugar so AVOID. Choose whole grains – yeah, that brown stuff that still has the speckles of the kernel, husk and germ from the seeds. Remember, you are what you eat. Avoid dairy and beans- they produce gas and are high in acid content. You can get lean proteins from chicken, eggs, certain cuts of meat (eye of round and loin), poultry and tofu.

4. Don’t Go Near the Vending Machine

Finally, avoid the vending machine. Yes, I know it’s convenient if you are between sets/shows and that’s all that’s available. However, Lord knows how long that stuff has been sitting there. Your body needs vitamins to produce a glowing skin on stage and maintain cells within the body. Plants were put on this earth for a reason – eat them. Choose apples, berries, baby carrots and salads.

Sharon Zarabi is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Dietitian Nutritionist (RD, CDN) and Certified Personal Fitness Trainer with the International Fitness Professional’s Association (IFPA) and Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA.) She is a contributor to The Singer’s Guide to Complete Health (Oxford University Press) and her work can be viewed at www.sharonzarabi.com/

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  • kulwant

    Are there any techniques to control acid reflux? i love to sing but sometimes acid reflux gets in the way which is very annoying and frustrating. I’m on medication for it. Any advice would be helpful, thanks

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  • Anonymous

    Hi – check out this great VoiceCouncil article from Dr. Jahn – it deals with Reflux http://voicecouncil.com/please-help-my-raspy-voice/

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  • kulwant

    Thanks, will check it out

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