You can exercise all you want, but if nutrition factors are out of line - you risk not seeing the benefits you want. Here are some things that can throw you off.
- Your daily quantities of food should not exceed your body's metabolism and activity levels.
- Your macros and micros percentages need to be balanced.
- Your meal timing needs to be on point.
If any of these are even slightly off, your body won't reflect your efforts due to the mixed messaging sent to your system.
The good news is, with some knowledge and planning - you can optimize your nutrition to fit your training.
Remember, it’s not just about what you eat, it's about getting the best sources of nutrients, in the right amounts, in the right combinations, and at the right times - when you need them for your betterment .
Let’s say your plan is to burn more fat throughout the day as fuel and build more lean muscle. ,You need a sound plan that goes beyond eating 5 to 6 "healthy balanced meals" per day like we all believed when we first started learning to exercise and eat right. Again, it's not all about what you eat. It's about what your body can digest and nutrients it can utilize well at that time.
Target nutrient-dense foods which will reduce your cravings to overeat. When you eat food low in nutrients (vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, proteins, etc.) your body will signal you to eat more to get the same quantity of nutrients.
Eliminate added sugars, salt, MSG, artificial sweeteners, etc. (similar to a drug addict detoxing) and your body will adapt over time to be able to taste the natural sugars, sodium, etc. content of foods. Soon the natural foods won't taste as bland and you will start to avoid foods with added refined contents as they will be too sweet and salty.
Pair foods such as fruit (carbs) and nuts (fats & protein), so you don't get the sugar rush. Fitness enthusiasts often post workout enjoy a recovery/repair drink, an easily absorbable, re-hydrating and replenishing banana protein shake (even add in a nut butter) after a hard workout.
Avoid the Reward Trap! Pizza (is#1 most addictive food - it’s hard to turn down with salt, fat and sugar combination. Also cookies, ice cream, chocolate - these all trigger an irresistible REWARD instinct in your brain, just like cocaine or marijuana. And if you develop low tolerance for them and their addictive qualities you can end up overeating.
Stick with natural foods which won’t have this effect (Ex: carrots). You don’t have to avoid reward foods all together - and they can have a place in a balanced diet as an infrequent reward, as long as you keep your portions in check!
One in five deaths globally -- that's about 11 million people -- in 2017 occurred because of too much sodium and a lack of whole grains, fruit and nuts and seeds, the study found, rather than from diets packed with trans fats, sugar-sweetened drinks and high levels of red and processed meats. Those risks held true regardless of socioeconomic level of most nations.
Start eating less of what is good for you. While traditionally a healthy diet has focused on lowering the intake of unhealthy food (red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, trans fatty acids and salt -- all known to be health risks), this study shows that focusing instead on a low intake of healthy foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, milk, calcium, nuts and seeds, fiber, legumes or beans, omega-3 fatty acids from seafood, and polyunsaturated fats, the good-for-you fats found in salmon, vegetable oils and some nuts and seeds) is the more important factor in getting healthy. than the high intake of unhealthy foods.
Food timing is important! Your body NEEDS more food at certain times of the day based on the demands of your body. Exercise of course creates the demand. If you eat foods out of proportion to your body expending energy, you may end up with no nutrition to feed your muscles and replenish your system, and too much nutrition for when your body doesn't need it. In that case, that food doesn't just disappear - your body will hold onto even healthy nutrition and store it as FAT for later use as energy.
Develop a nutrition plan that gives you exactly what you need, when you need it and that will deliver the most dramatic results. And you need to also know how to make adjustments to your diet after a big push to lose unwanted body fat weight by cutting back on items and calories, back to a way that is more sustainable, the rest of the time, so you can keep your desired results from your hard efforts and not lose them quickly.
What you eat in private, you wear in public beneath your failed cover-up strategies.
Shop the perimeter! If you want to lean-up, shred-up and actually see abdominal definition and healthy looking muscle tone throughout your entire body, we recommend a high-protein low carb diet, found primarily in the perimeter of the grocery store. The perimeter carries meats, poultry, fish, dairy, and vegetables. If you don't like grass fed meat sources there are plenty of alternative sources these days (seitan, tofu, tempeh, edamame, lentils, chickpeas, various beans, nutritional yeast, spelt, teff, hemp seed, green peas, spirulina, amaranth, quinoa, Ezekiel bread and others from sprouted grains, oats and oatmeal, wild rice, chia seeds, nuts and nut butters, other seeds, protein rich fruits and vegetables).
Pack in the protein. Your meals should consist of a lot more protein than you may desire, and as many veggies as you want. Protein is not only excellent for building muscle, but burning fat as well. Protein can boost your metabolism and help suppress your appetite. Starting your day with protein actually reduces your carbohydrate cravings.
Focus on Whole foods. Eat mostly whole foods and MINIMIZE eating anything packaged or processed. Most people eat grains, processed grains, with little nutritional value and the potential for high calorie counts. "Whole grains" can be made into ultra processed products that may be finely milled down and have added sodium, added free sugars and added saturated fats. We need to be aware of this and not confuse the benefits from the more intact, minimally processed whole grains with what is often advertised as whole-grain products available today. Ripe grains better known as sprouted grains, contain about 1/3 more protein since enzymes are released during the sprouting process, breaking down carbohydrates, helping lower the glycemic index and making them much easier to digest, thus not plugging up/inflaming your gut and reducing ability to absorb nutrients. There are also several tasty healthier sprouted breads out there that you can enjoy occasionally.
Avoid the inside aisles! Down the inside aisles you'll find processed foods and preservatives. So avoid them. We don't need processed crap created in the last hundred years. It's not real food and your body just doesn't know how to digest it and it causes a lot of inflammation beneath the surface. All the excessive sugar and strange chemicals can a significant toll on your emotional wellbeing, just like drinking alcohol and taking drugs. Over the long haul it's not worth the risk of developing an addiction, and the sneaky damage you are potentially doing to yourself to mitigate stress and self-prescribe, self-medicate with off the shelf items is hurting you. Many of these foods shouldn't be approved by the FDA as safe for the clueless general public. Scientists and smart marketers work very hard to catch you when you are vulnerable or careless. BEWARE!
JUNK food over-taxes your DIGESTIVE SYSTEM a ton to process it out!
Eat more by going liquid! If you're eating clean, natural foods inside a more easy to digest liquid diet of smoothies (protein, fruit, ice and water), you don't need to limit your portions. Eat until you're satisfied, just chew your foods thoroughly as digestion begins in your mouth with Amylase enzyme. Add vegetables, fruit, or fiber to your daytime shakes. Juice some spinach, apples, carrots, or berries to boost the micronutrient profile of your meals. If you want to ease into a plan, gradually replace one or two whole meals per day with liquid meals. Add a greens supplement if you want even more antioxidants and micros. The right supplements you take can also help deliver precise nutrients where they need to go. There are numerous micro-nutrient supplemental items you can also add to your liquids (bee pollen, ground flax, hemp and chia seeds, acai, gogi, cayenne, turmeric, spirulina, wheat grass, fish oils, cinnamon, probiotics, aloe vera, etc.)
You may even find that it's easier to calculate, track, and hit your macros by incorporating some smoothies into your day.
Refuse to settle for the norms, rules and propaganda dictating parasites after your consciousness and wallet. Do the research and learn what works best for your mind and body! Take small steps reducing what's no longer serving you and decide every day to continue to transform your lifestyle and choice options to better ones.
We hope you've been inspired to start using your intelligence and make different choices today with your awareness.
10-Step Progressive Grass Roots Strategy For Changing Your Ways: Seek progress, not perfection
- Increase your food budget (Read labels and opt for food without labels to avoid hidden future-health costs)
- Learn to enjoy preparing home-cooked meals, a wide variety of creative healing recipes which bring out the best flavors and spices from other nations from scratch that support your desired healthier lifestyle and provide comfort (Processed foods are energetically very expensive when it comes to environment impact) and eat foods that you are allergic to or have intolerances
- Use reusable bags (Creating little waste does stack up)
- Waste less food (Buy perishables in smaller amounts and stick closer to your grocery list)
- Buy in bulk (Reduces packaging and again little waste)
- Eat less meat (Cut to 1/day meals, and even take a share in a grass fed animal and use the bones)
- Eat less dairy (Cut to 1/day meals, and even take a share in a local farm co-op that has clean raw dairy products). Raw/whole milk contains enzymes that help you digest the milk sugar lactose and fats that contain vitamin D that helps with the absorption of calcium. Stay away from dairy food in typical stores. Eggs contain 6 grams of protein and 14 essential nutrients (help with mood, memory, reduce diabetes and certain cancers, vision and circulatory system, etc. Certified organic pasture-raised, cage-free or free-range are typically not treated with hormones and have less exposure to chemicals vs over-crowded hen houses where they don't get outside time and vitamin D.
- Select sustainably raised fish (Ocean pollution has caused massive die-offs and not every fish is toxin-free)
- Go to your local farmer's market (Takes a little extra time and not as many options buying what's in season)
- Use a compost bin at home (Turn your scraps into soil in your garden or your neighbors)
"Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together."- Vincent Van Gogh