The absolute key to good health is your diet. Whether you are losing weight or training for an IronMan, Marathon or your first 5k what you eat will make all the difference in the world on how quickly you start to see results.
What we eat directly impacts our bodies and overall. Food affects everything from our energy levels and mood, to our weight and ability to complete tasks. What we put into our bodies is what sustains us throughout the day, so it’s important to eat nutrient-packed foods that will set us up with an energized body and positive attitude. It is also important to realize that nutrition is a huge factor in staying healthy and avoiding potential diseases or other issues.
This isn’t meant to confuse you or be difficult by any means. It’s a simple plan to follow. The basics of eating a good eating plan. Just follow the few simple rules or proper nutrition.
1.Drink plenty of water
2.3 squares a day
3.2 healthy snacks
4.Portion sizes are set for a reason
5.Drink more water
Banana or wheat toast with smear of REAL peanut butter. This is only if you feel like you need to eat something before you work out. I personally don’t but if you have low blood sugar issues you may need to eat. This should NOT be a ton of calories.
Water – You need water! Body weight divided by 2 in ounces. 200lbs/2 = 100oz. You may even drink more depending on the weather and how much you work out. Sweating is the way your body regulates temperature, the more you sweat the more you need to replenish. Water is essential to weight loss. Water satiates us to a point we eat less if we are hydrated. Studies show around 90 calories less per meal. Most of us over eat due to being dehydrated more than out of hunger.
Meal prep is very important ya’ll! Cooking ahead of time will save you a ton of time and also deter you from picking up fast food out of convenience. Cook your meats and cut them up to portion size. Put them in a Tupperware container with your veggies and your good to go. 1 container with serving of protein, veggies and half a sweet potato is a perfect meal. Keep a dozen or 3 hard boiled eggs in the refrigerator for snacks or meals if you are short on time. The Crock Pot or Insta-Pot can be your best friend if you don’t grill. Use them to cook up your chicken for the week. The chicken will be shred able and can be used for a ton of recipes as well as on top of your salad.
Eating out and trying to stay focused.
Its all about choices. Every place I eat I have never had an issue getting something to keep me on track. If its not on the menu ask for it. Most places will almost always accommodate your needs.
Alcohol and dieting.
You can always make the choice to NOT drink but sometimes if you are at function for work or whatever you feel obligated or just need to take the edge off dealing with the people you work with J. There are still good choices you can make. Vodka and club soda with an orange wedge that you can squeeze into the drink is a great choice. Lite beer is also a choice but even with the low calories and carbs they can add up.
Fruits for weight loss
- Apples. Apples are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients that fight free radicals. They’re also packed with vitamins and dietary fiber to keep you full.
- Bananas. Bananas are one powerful fruit. When it comes to weight loss, I like to eat a banana in between meals like breakfast or lunch. This gives me the energy I need to make it to my next meal and banishes my cravings for sweets
- Blueberries. The deep blue color that comes from blueberries lets you know that they are rich in antioxidants that ward off free radicals. And they’re also great for weight loss. Thanks to the combination of fiber and water found in blueberries, they’re an excellent choice to help slim down by reducing appetite. I like to add blueberries to my smoothies, salads, or on top of my oatmeal.
- Goji Berries. Goji berries may not be as easy to find as the other items on my list, but they have similar benefits.
Goji berries are generally sold as a dried fruit, so I’ll sprinkle them on my salads or oatmeal for a little added sweetness.
Be careful not to go overboard, as all dried fruits are easier to overeat than their fresh counterparts.
- Grapefruit. If you can get past the super tartness of grapefruit, you’ll be well on your way to quick weight loss.
If it’s hard for you to enjoy the tartness of fresh grapefruit slices, try blending them in your smoothies.
- Pears. Pears are incredible for controlling appetite. Since pears have an average of 5.5 grams of fiber, they keep our digestive systems moving. Fiber helps our bodies absorb the nutrients and vitamins of all the other superfoods on our list.
- Pomegranate seeds. This low calorie snack option also packs a healthy dose of fiber, making it an ideal afternoon treat.
- Oranges. The fruit, not the juice. All the goodness can be easily undone drinking OJ because of the sugar content.
Portion sizes – Every thing in moderation, right? Well that’s not entirely the case. Sure, you can eat as many RAW veggies as you like but consider the ones you cook in oil when roasting. Granted there is not a ton of fat as most of the oil cooks off but it should be considered. Things that I want to make a huge reference to here are foods that are fat concentrated like cheeses, Hummus and peanut butters. Its so easy to eat 3,4,5 spoons full of peanut butter and consume 1000 calories and a ton of FAT in the blink of an eye. As you can see from my picture below the serving size for the PB I eat is 2tbsp, in that serving there is 190 calories and 16g of fat. Add an apple or banana to that and you have a great in between meals snack.
Be very conscience of portion sizes it will make or break a good meal plan. Some other high-risk foods include:
- Peanut Butter/Nut ButterNuts (almonds/cashews/pistachios/pecans, etc)
Also pay attention to the ingredients label, also highlighted here. The label on the right is what a peanut butter label should look like. Look at all ingredients labels!! Sugar comes in about 18 different names. Here are a list of those to look for:
2. High Fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
3. cane sugar
etc etc. you get my point here there are a lot of them. Basically, look at the label and if there are more than 3-4 ingredients one of them is bound to be sugar.
Protein shakes and bars are a great replacement for a snack or a meal whenever you don’t have leftovers or something already prepared and want to stick to your plan. However, making sure you get the best protein powder can be tricky. The label below is off the brand I use, Muscle Pharm Pro Combat. What you want to look at is the nutrition label just as you do any other canned or boxed food. Cheap brands will have a shit ton of sugar and carbs in them to make them taste good. Brands like ISO Pure and the one I use have very minimal sugar and carbs. Protein Powder should be about the PROTEIN, not all the other filler junk. Choose wisely!
Protein bars should be of the same high value content. The best and most consistent ones I have found are the Atkins or Quest bars, Think Thin are also great. The best thing with bars are they are easy and quick and filling. The bad thing is they are a lot like candy bars and easy to pack 3-4 of them in your lunch box. This is not acceptable and you must follow the guidelines of the program for it work. 3 meals and 2 snacks, 1 gallon of water!