Here is where we learn how to EAT and why Nutrition Planning is the Key to successful body change…
If you want to successfully change your lifestyle, transform your body, and eat healthier then you need to remember one thing. Nutrition planning is the key to everything. You can work out all you want in the gym, but if you eat badly you will still be unhealthy.
You may be stronger, have more muscle, but you will not be nourished and will still be unfit.
Carrying to much fat around your core is bad. Eating to much unhealthy fat, sugar, and refined carbs will catch up to you. And unless you are a genetic freak, you will do serious damage to your body.
Eating well is hard. And I don’t mean doing quantum physics calculations hard, but running a triathlon hard. It takes dedication, determination, willpower, and a plan.
Plan for the Way you Can Eat for Life…
This is probably the best advice I can give you. Make a lifestyle change you can do for life. Choose a Paleo way of eating, the Mediterranean method, or just plain clean eating. Whatever way you pick just make sure you stick to is. Remember nutrition is the key here, and you should choose something that will give you nutritious food.
The junk food diet does not count folks!
But here are some methods that people use:
- Clean Eating – Basically no processed foods (this is what I use albeit modified a little).
- Mediterranean Eating – plenty of vegetables, fruit, fish, and other foods commonly eaten in the region.
- Paleo Eating – unprocessed foods that resemble foods available to our paleolithic predecessors.
- Low Carb Eating – basically eating unprocessed foods mostly lower in carbs.
- Vegan Eating – not really recommenced just because it is harder to get the amount of protein you need but it can be done.
Also start slow. The first thing I did was cut out one thing from a long list of foods that were bad for me. If you need some help choosing something to cut out see my top 10 foods you should avoid and pick one. Once you have removed one item and are comfortable with it being out of your life, get rid of another item and so on.
Now would be a great time to learn how to drink lots of water. Its not easy to do at first but you will get used to it.
After a while you will get used to eating better food and learn how to make better food choices. Do this for about 3 months or until you are ready to take your self to the next level and get serious. Getting serious is in step 4 of how I did things. After you get serious and setup a good fitness goal you should learn how to meal plan.
Meal Planning is the Best Way to Keep on Track Nutritionally…
When I first was introduced to meal planning I said there was no way I would ever do that. Who on earth wants to spend their time cooking all this food, putting it in baggies or bins, and then eating it every 2 hours. Total crap I thought. Boy was I WRONG, and I mean so WRONG! Meal planning is the best thing that I did and here are some of the reasons why.
- It takes the guess work out of nutrition.
- Meals are ready to eat and properly portioned with the right nutrients.
- No more spending long hours cooking food every day.
- You are less likely to skip a meal if it is prepared and ready to eat.
- There is less chance of cheating or straying from your eating plan.
- And it becomes super easy to do, while spending less and less time doing it.
But don’t just take my word for it. Look at the sample meal plan that I am on now. It is easy to do and I spend maybe an hour preparing everything, an hour shopping, and each day about 15-20 minutes making everything. I am so used to it now, that I don’t see myself doing anything else.
We will learn how to plan our meals, what are correct portion sizes, and food combinations that make food planning a breeze.
What is the Deal with Supplements, Should I use them?
If nutrition is the key and you are sticking to a good way of eating you should get most of the supplements you need naturally. But there are so many good supplements out there that can help and I take a lot of them. I put a lot of stress on my muscles at every work out. So there are certain supplements I need to recover.
Other times I am so low on energy that I need a pre-workout drink to power through. I cant seem to eat enough fish oil so that supplement is good. And a multi-vitamin is a basic necessity. Here is a list of the supplements I use and why:
- Pre-Workout Drink – extra energy boost for my workout.
- BCAA (Branch Chain Amino Acids) Recovery Drink
- Creatine – for increased muscle growth.
- Protein Powder – used when I need the extra protein.
- Nitric Oxide Pills – gives me a pump during my workouts.
- Turmeric Curcumin with BioPerine – to help with DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).
- Glucosamine HCI, and MSM – for joint health
- Biotin – recommended if you eat a lot of egg whites, and I do.
- Multi Vitamin – just to make sure I get all my vitamins in.
We will learn more about supplements, what they are used for, and when you should use them.
How do you Shop and Prepare your Food?
Well, basically you get of your butt and go to the grocery store and buy everything you have probably never bought before. You will find yourself in strange aisle surrounded but funny words like organic, grass fed, not a GMO, and extra virgin. Did you even know there is a premium extra virgin olive oil. As if you can be an even bigger virgin. Once you buy all your food, put it away. I never buy more than a weeks worth because it is mostly fresh and it will spoil.
I also buy in bulk at a quality warehouse club. Bulk chicken, shrimp, fish, and vegetables are easy to freeze and they last longer. Buying healthy foods will cost more. But you cant put a price on being healthy. Don’t try to, because one day you might have to pay that price and a heart attack can be expensive. It can literally wipe you out!
We will learn how to shop for food, how to save money on healthy food, and how to prepare foods. We will also have some easy to use recipes.
How can I Start to Look at Food Differently?
I always have lived by the adage of — Eat to Live, not Live to Eat. Before I would dream about food. Sometimes I would plan what I would eat the next day or which fast food place I would hit up. I was a processed food junkie and french fries were my drug of choice. I would dream of delicious hamburgers, pizza, and burritos.
Once I got my fix I sat in a satiated food coma, until the cravings started again. Then back to dreaming about food. I was living to eat, and boy was I living. We talked about how nutrition is the key, and here I was giving my body nothing it needed. And I was doing it all the time. It was a recipe for disaster. I was a ticking time bomb inching closer to my first major health catastrophe. And it was only a matter of time.
So we will learn to look at food as sustenance and not an excuse to be a gluttonous pig. And we will find ways to change the way we feel about food and how we use it to fuel our body.
Remember to Cheat a Little – Don’t Deprive Yourself all the Time!
Back in grade school I probably glanced at a classmates test once or twice. Its not something I am proud of. And quite honestly it did not make a difference in my score. I still failed. Cheating is bad, except for when you are always eating well. Your body will have a craving or two while it gets acclimated to eating well. So the trick is not to deprive yourself of a delicious slice of pizza now and then.
We will learn how to cheat what is the best way to do it. How you can incorporate those calories into your lifestyle plan so you continue to lose weight.
Learn How to Eat and When to Eat…
One of the hardest things to get used to is eating every two hours. On top of that, when you eat certain foods can matter (although the science is still lacking on that). Eating more meals per day helps keep you satiated. Eating protein at every meal and more of it helps you feel fuller. And eating the right kind of carbs at certain times can help increase fat loss.
Macros is a term you will hear often in the fitness community and it deals with the percentage or weight in carbohydrates, fats, and proteins you can consume during a meal. For instance a meal plan may consist of 40% carbs, 40% protein, and 20% fats. This will help you choose the right foods in order to get the proper nutrition from them.
We will learn how to space out our meals during the day, when to eat certain foods, and what are the correct macro ingredient ratios to plan for.
Once we have learned how to eat properly we will have won 80% of the battle. And the weight will come off fairly quickly in the beginning. To make it fall off even quicker we now will turn our focus to the other 20%. Which is exercise. Oh the dreaded exercise, where you will actually have to get off your butt and do something. You will feel pain, soreness, and want to give up. But we don’t give up, we push through. And exercise is where you do it.
Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the goal is to turn all that fat into lean muscle…a fat burning machine!