Regardless of what you’ve heard, nutrition is without question THE MOST IMPORTANT factor involved in obtaining your desired fitness goals. I mean let’s face it, if you train hard everyday, do a 1,000 sit ups each morning, run for 3 miles everyday, and then go home and eat a gallon of Rocky Road ice cream each night do you still expect to develop that washboard six pack? I didn’t think so. But, that’s exactly why what you eat is so important. The saying “You are what you eat” isn’t just a saying, it’s a FACT.
Your nutrition has a huge impact on your results, as well as your mood and overall health. (Think about how crabby your lady is when she hasn’t eaten for a couple hours). Scary sight, right? Yeah, I know.
You need to eat and keep your body fueled and ready to go so it can perform at a high level physically and mentally.
So with that being said, let’s break down a few nutritional basics.
Number one thing to remember when trying to eat healthy, KEEP IT SIMPLE. I can’t stress this enough. Too many times people will over complicate things by trying to do too much with their diet.
In order to change your lifestyle, the change has to be sustainable. If its not sustainable then you will never get the results you want. In my personal experience, I’ve found that by keeping things simple and following a few key principles you can a sustain normal life while also remaining in great shape.
So with that being said, let’s go over a few basic nutritional principles I like to follow.
1. Principle – EAT, EAT, & EAT.
It’s VERY IMPORTANT TO EAT. Sounds simple enough, right? Sure it does, but you’d be surprised at how many people simply think they “don’t have the time” to feed their bodies. I’m just saying, If you can’t even find the time to eat a mere three meals a day then something is seriously wrong and you probably need to figure out what is taking up all your time. For the love of God people, EAT! I try to eat at least 5 small meals a day, but if that’s too much for you starting out try to eat at least the three basics, BREAKFAST, LUNCH, AND DINNER.
2. Principle – EAT FOODS RICH IN PROTEIN.
Don’t neglect the protein. Protein is responsible for tissue growth and muscle repair. It’s literally essential for building muscle. You can find quality proteins in lean meats, eggs, poultry, fish, and whey. If you’re doing any kind resistance training then try to get at least 1 gram per 1 pound of body weight. For me I weigh 189 pounds so I consume about 189 grams of protein daily. I’ll be completely honest with you, tho. Rarely can I get all my daily protein needs simply from food that I’ve eaten which brings me to my next subject..Supplements.
3. Principle – PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS.
Personally, I consume about three protein shakes per day. My favorite protein to use for my shakes is Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard whey protein. I usually take it with 8 ounces of water (sometimes I’ll also use Almond milk). One shake in the morning when I wake up, one shake after I workout and one shake before bed. Before bed I like to consume a casein protein shake instead of whey protein because casein provides me with a slow release of protein throughout the night while I sleep. Each shake is roughly 30 grams of protein so I get a free 90 grams of high quality protein every day just from my shakes. Add in a couple of delicious meals here and there and BOOM I’ve met my protein quota for the day! We’ll go more in depth about the different other types of supplements later.
4. Principle – DRINK PLENTY OF WATER.
It’s recommended that the average person should consume at least 64 ounces of water per day but if you perform any type of physical activity then that can easily double based on how hard you workout. As you may or may not know, 70% of your muscles are made up of water. Your body uses it for almost ever essential reaction that occurs. Believe it or not, even your brain needs water to function at peak levels. One of the easiest ways to lose weight is by drinking a glass of water before every single meal. Next time you are hungry, for a snack try having a glass of water first and after a few minutes see if you are still hungry. Quick fact, did you know that the number one reason for fatigue throughout the day is dehydration? I say that to point out that if you always find yourself feeling tired and sluggish, try drinking some water and see how you feel afterwards.
5. Principle – What To Avoid.
Avoid those God forsaken candy bars and sugar-loaded energy drinks (Red Bull, Monster). They’re addicting, packed with fast carbs, will make your energy crash, and won’t do anything to help your muscle-building goals.
Below I’ve included a link to a free one day meal plan to help get you started on your new nutritional journey.
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