Updated: Mar 17, 2019
The foods we consume affect our health in many ways from energy levels, to chronic illnesses to skin and hair health. Food is responsible for approximately 80% of your health and fitness goals. Exercise is important, but is only a small potion time to your health and fitness program. An hour of exercise is 4% of of your day, what do you do with the other 96% has a bigger impact on your results, and I have found, the biggest reason most people quit and can't stay committed. What happens outside of the gym that has an enormous impact on the results you are trying to achieve. Your eating habits should align with your exercise program. You should provide adequate and well balanced nutrition to your body. The food we eat supplies nutrients needed for muscle growth, recovery, and daily life activities. What you eat affects how your body performs. Here are my top “rules” for well balanced eating habits that will have you looking and feeling your best.
1. Eat every 3 hours – Eat 5-7 smaller meals throughout the day. Your body is receiving a constant stream of nutrient, maintaining glucose levels throughout the day. Going longer than 3-4 hours puts your body into a catabolic state or “starvation mode”, a natural response to protect itself. In starvation mode your metabolism slows down to conserve energy, your body uses lean body tissue (muscle) for fuel and stores fat. This is one reason why many people struggle to lose weight. The common thinking is eat less to lose which is true, to reduce caloric intake but also keep enough food to stay out of starvation mode. Meals should contain leans proteins(chicken breast ,fish, lean red meat, Level 1 protein), Green veggies (broccoli, spinach, green beans) carbs (fruit , rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes) and some healthy fats (raw nuts, coconut oil, avocados). Eliminate processed foods, sugars, and fried foods. Also, Food should be eaten as close to it’s natural state as possible.
2. Stay Hydrated – Drinking water is vital to our health. Water prevents fatigue, aids in digestion, detoxifies the body, moisturizes the skin, prevents muscle cramps, and transports nutrients and oxygen into cells and muscles. You should be drinking at 100-120 oz of water a day, more if the weather is hot or if you live in dry climates.
3. Carbs are not the enemy – Unless you have celiac, there is no reason to avoid carbs. Eating carbs balances your mood. They produce key chemicals in your brain that stabilize your mood. Carbs give you energy to get thru the day and your workouts. Carbs also preserve and build muscle tissue, along with protein. Carbs can be tricky. Here is my rule of thumb here in deciding whether a food is "good" or "bad" carb....where does the food come from. Food at its most natural and unprocessed state contains the most nutritional value and is considered a "good" carb. Examples are fruits and vegetables, oatmeal, yams, brown rice. “Bad" carbs are mostly processed , especially those that are white and refined, such as pasta, white bread, bagels, crackers, pretzels etc that contain very little nutritional value and will cause spikes in your insulin making fat loss very difficult.
4. Portion Control – Don’t think that because you are eating healthy, you can eat as much as you want. Eating too much of anything will cause weight gain, a calorie is still a calorie. So be conscious of what AND how much you are consuming. Use this rule Protein - size of your palm Carb & Veggies - size of your fist and fat - size of your thumb
5. Don’t skip Breakfast or Post workout recovery shake – This is so important!! You are jumpstarting your metabolism for the day with breakfast and You are replenishing your glycogen stores that have been depleted from sleeping and training. Level 1 is a perfect meal replacement shake to fill in the gaps of your nutrition
So in a nutshell….eat 5-7 small meals, include lean protein, carbs, veggies and healthy fats, remember portion control, drink 100 oz of water per day, and please don’t skip breakfast or any meals. I know it can seem overwhelming but take it day by day, week by week. Slowly incorporate or change one or two things, make a plan for it, write it down and before you know it you will have created a new eating lifestyle.
Please feel to contact me with any questions