Originally Answered: A list of foods and drinks that I can consume to lose lose weight and gain muscle?
According to several fitness pros, you should eat mostly carbs before workouts and mostly protein after.
Why? Carbs are used for energy. Protein is mostly used to repair your body's cells (example: to repair tissues that have been "broken down" from using weights.) Fats are used for several things: for satiety (keeping full longer), taste, and they help you to absorb certain vitamins. You will hear bodybuilders refer to these as "macro nutrients." It doesn't matter if you don't want to look like a body builder...it is only a matter of severity. You can just use their knowledge to get rid of your fat, not to bulk up. It takes a lot of effort to get "bulky" anyway.
So, how much do you need? Depends who you ask. Someone will always disagree with someone else on this, so that's why you need to search and also see what works best for you. I haven't found the "magic number" yet, but I do my best workouts (and feel my best) if I have COMPLEX carbs (not white flours or sugars, which are processed) 1-4 hours before. You should think about foods in "servings." If you eat 1-2 servings of carbs and 0.5-1 servings of protein (and vegetables too) before a workout that will probably do you good. Sometimes, simple sugars will sustain you (example: orange juice) before, but if you are working at a high intensity (which is often required to lose fat), you need to eat complex carbs, which will stay in your system longer. But they also need to be eaten at least an hour before so your body can have a head start at breaking them down before you work out. Remember, when you are exercising, your body uses the majority of your blood to work your heart and transfer oxygen and broken down carbs (glucose, aka energy) to muscles. When you're done exercising, your body goes back to metabolising your food. So be careful not to eat or drink too much, just a little to give you a little omph (energy!)
After your work out, you should have fast release protein with a fast release carb (simple carb). The best proteins are protein (isolate) powders or egg whites and the best carbs are simple carbs such as a cup of juice or chocolate milk. It is also a good idea to do this first thing in the morning after your body has been fasting (sleeping), but you can eat a few more carbs and add fat as well if you like.
To answer the first part of your question, Body-for-LIFE suggests you eat 6 small meals a day. These meals should include one serving of lean protein and one serving of complex carbohydrates. You should eat at least 3 servings of vegetables (I think 5+ would be better) and 1 serving of fat (omega 3's) such as 1 tbsp of natural peanut butter or flaxseed oil or 1 serving of salmon. It doesn't matter your gender because 1 serving is the size of the palm of your hand. Also, take a multivitamin and drink lots of water (2-4 liters per day). I'm only suggesting BFL as a guideline...the people who follow the program have amazing results! The program seems fairly balanced and healthy also.
The more you know the science, the better you can play around with your diet and lose weight easier by working with your body chemistry rather than working against and feeling defeated. You can do it!!!