I often talk about different exercises, fitness programs, and ways to get in shape without equipment. But, I’d be remiss if I didn’t hit on the one thing that holds all of health and fitness together: nutrition.
If you’re serious about your fitness goals, you must have a sound nutrition plan. Without one, you will not see the results you want to see no matter what. Many people count every single calorie, but I prefer a more simple plan. A plan that fits my busy schedule and yields results.
First, get the notion of a diet out of your mind. Dieting is a bad idea for the average person. It’s like trying to breathe underwater: eventually, you have to come up for air, and you come up hard. What I have learned over the last year or two and after following the advice of a very wise man, I simply eat right. It’s easier said than done because it requires a lot of discipline. You must first change your mindset. Instead of going on a diet to meet a short-term goal, change the way you eat so that you can have long-term health. As live beings, live food is best for us. The more processed, the more detrimental. The higher the sugar content, the more toxic.
Here is a basic guide to foods that are best for overall health. Complex carbs: brown rice, sweet potatoes, oatmeal. Protein: chicken, lean grass-fed beef, turkey, eggs, etc. Vegetables: dark leafy greens. Healthy fats: olive oil, coconut oil, nuts & legumes, butter, and avocados. Fruits: bananas, berries, apples, oranges, and bananas (I really love them). You can eat as much of these foods as you want without putting on fat. All these foods help increase the resting metabolic rate, which burns more fat over time.
The other main lifestyle change I did was drink more water. Our bodies are at least 60% water, so we need to consume a lot of it to stay healthy. While the exact amount differs based on activity level, sex, age, and occupation, it’s better to drink too much water than not enough. I drink at least a gallon a day, and in the summer time, I get between 2-4 gallons a day because I work outside 12-14 hours a day. Some of the benefits of increased water consumption are better performance (physical and mental), less disease because bacteria are flushed out, fewer headaches and migraines, and the big one: lose weight. Many times when we think our stomach wants food it’s really our bodies telling us it’s thirsty. Try it sometime, especially late at night when that “craving” comes. Drink a big glass of water and see how much better you feel.
The main thing to do is to stay away from processed foods as much as possible, and sugary drinks. The amount of sugar in one Coca-Cola causes your body to instantly begin turning it into fat because it cannot process it any other way. Even cutting out these beverages can help you be healthier and look healthier.
Generally, for breakfast (right after a morning workout is best) I eat oatmeal, scrambled eggs, and some bananas, and then a lunch, and dinner. All by 7pm. I usually don’t eat after that unless I’m up late, then I try to drink more water and eat nuts if I’m craving something. If I’m building muscle, I’ll eat more than three times a day, but that’s a topic for a different day.
So there you have it. Without going into a complex nutrition system, you can keep it simple and have peace of mind. I also want to point out that there can be a lot of variety to this. Incorporating various spices and seasonings will prevent the food from becoming mundane.