Keep hanging in there ladies and gentlemen.
Easter has passed and so has the post-Easter-rainy-Monday-morning. Time to get back on it. And I don’t mean working out, although you need to keep that going as well.
No. I’m talking about your nutrition. I probably post more nutrition articles than any other topic. I’ve been reading about and studying nutrition and experimenting for years. There is so much nutrition information available and so many diets that the overload has caused many to not have a plan at all. They all seem to contradict each other.
There are some main points that seem to cross-over with most of the diets. If you need a guide to get you back on track I suggest you read the nutrition articles we post (like the one above) and experiment with your diet.
In the meantime follow this outline, realizing that you will have to tweak whatever you decide to do. You will also have to decide how lean you are willing to be and what you’re willing to sacrifice. And what you’re not.
Keep real food (not processed) in your house. Throw out the stuff you know isn’t taking you toward your goal.
Start out your day drinking water, 12-24 ounces. Your body needs to be properly hydrated to function at maximum capacity. May as well start the day by hydrating. Dehydration decreases your body’s ability to burn fat.
Have a protein and complex carb with every meal. (Slow cooked oatmeal and sweet potatoes are my favorites). You need healthy fat but fat is calorically dense, twice as dense as protein and carbs so you need to go easy with the healthy fat (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts and seeds).
Eat 3-4 times a day. If your goal is to lose weight you need to eat less than usual. We need to figure out your calorie expenditure on a daily basis, what your macro breakdown should be, what food restrictions you have and what you like to eat. This doesn’t have to be perfect but it helps to have some idea. I believe it’s a good idea to weigh and measure food at least in the beginning. I do not believe you have to spend the rest of your life measuring your food. You’ll get a good sense of it if you pay attention to measuring for a few weeks. You can also “divide” your plate into sections and go by that for a rough estimate. If you need help with this please let me know.
If your goal is to stay at the same weight but recomposition (lose fat, gain muscle) or your goal is to increase your body weight you still need to know the above information. The “plan of attack” will be a little different.
Supplements? I am an advocate. If you eat incredibly well you don’t need supplements. I like to err on the side of caution. We like supplements that have been studied and proven to work and be safe: fish oil, curcumin, whey protein, creatine, vitamin D3 (particularly if you don’t get enough sun), vitamin C, ZMA and Vitamin B-Complex. There are more, most likely, but these are the ones I have researched, take or have recommended to others with positive results. I’m a big fan of Probiotics, IF, you get one of the better ones available. There are some supplements that are good for certain conditions but that is a topic beyond the scope of this article.
Don’t eat until you feel “full”. If you think you need more food wait a few minutes. The feeling may pass. Hunger is unreliable and not an accurate gauge for how much you should eat.
I mentioned establishing how lean you’d like to be and what you are willing to or not willing to sacrifice. Do not snack if you are looking to get very lean. You may not want to have sweets. You may have to reconsider how much alcohol you will consume or giving it up if you want shredded abs. You need 7-8 hours of sleep for health purposes but you definitely will need at least that much if you want to have shredded abs. Personally I don’t want “shredded abs” if it means me restricting things I really want. I’ll restrict for health reasons but not so much for body composition reasons. You can be lean and healthy and not have shredded abs.
Yes. There are exceptions to these rules. There are people who can consume a case of beer and have shredded abs. There are people who will eat pizza covered with mayonnaise and have shredded abs (I’ve seen it). These are EXCEPTIONS. This is not you or you wouldn’t be reading this far down.
These are very basic guidelines but if you need to tune-up your diet or you need a place to start this will do. Spending more time at home probably means you need a “jumpstart” to a better nutrition plan.
We are here to help!