I get asked about diet and nutrition a lot, which makes sense, because no matter how hard you train and workout, if you don’t also eat right, then you won’t see the results you want.
While I am not a licensed dietician or nutritionist, I do a lot of research on the topic and I have a good amount of personal experience as well. The first step in figuring how you can clean up your diet is to take an honest look at how you currently eat and drink. Try and write down everything that you consume for at least a couple days. This can be a real eye opener for people.
Once you’ve done this, compare your foods and drinks to what’s on this list:
- sugary foods and drinks (dessert, candy, pop, wine, beer, liquor, etc.)
- grains (wheat, corn, rice, pasta, breads, cereals, etc.)
- legumes (soy and other beans)
- trans and partially hydrogenated fats (cakes, pies, cookies, breakfast sandwiches, frozen pizza, crackers, etc.)
If you eat and drink a lot of what’s on the list on a regular basis then it’s time for you to make a change. That said, it doesn’t mean that you can never have any of those foods or drinks! It just means that you should start consuming LESS of them.
I recommend you eat MORE from this list:
- grass-fed beef, bison
- organic free-range chicken
- fish (salmon, halibut, cod, etc.)
- some fruit (low-glycemic fruits are best such as berries, apples, cherries, pears, oranges)
- vegetables (lots of em!)
- roots (beets, radish, carrot, turnips)
- tubers (sweet potatoes, yams, jicama, etc)
- healthy fats (avocados, coconuts, etc.)
The secret here is finding a healthy balance between these two lists. I’ve tried everything from counting calories to counting macronutrients, from 30 days of vegan to strict paleo to protein shakes. The end result was always the same. It’s not sustainable.
What I’ve found is that convenience is critical. Having to meal prep for hours on a Sunday was not realistic with my lifestyle, and I’ve found this to be true with my clients who also have very busy lives. Fortunately, I was able to find a meal service that’s healthy, tastes good, and is reasonably priced: Factor 75.
On a typical day, I’ll make my own breakfast, usually 4 eggs, 3-4 links of chicken sausage, and tomatoes or red peppers. And yes, some honey! With real sugar in it! [gasp!] I’ll then have one of the already prepared paleo meals for lunch and dinner. If I get hungry in between meals, I listen to my body and I EAT! The key here is instead of snacking on a bag of Cheetos, I’m choosing almonds and dried cranberries or apples and almond butter.
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to LISTEN to your BODY! For example, sometimes I’ll go 16-18 hours without eating simply because I’m not hungry.This is usually a result of eating a good amount the day before, especially if I had a tough workout. Not to mention, there are certain significant health benefits to doing this https://news.usc.edu/…/diet-that-mimics-fasting-appears-to…/. Other times, I’ll be hungry again a couple hours after I just had a meal.
So, if you’re like so many of us that have struggled with overeating or not eating healthy consistently, start by paying attention to what you’re eating, eat MORE of the good stuff, and put a system in place that’s realistic and convenient to help you maintain your healthy habits.
Good luck and let me know how it goes!