Dialing it in and getting your food on point is vital for anyone who is looking to make a difference in their body, whether you are looking to lose weight, gain muscle, or improve athletic performance. Your body performs better when you give it good fuel to burn, and you will feel so much better when you actually take the time to make good food choices! There is a misconception that often goes unchecked when it comes to eating a clean diet; the idea that eating "clean" equates to eating "bland and boring". Yes for some, giving up your Chinese food and alcohol might sound like a choice you aren't willing to make now. The truth is, you can have a lot of fun with your food even without throwing garbage into yourself, and it can taste great while being good for you too! I have a friend who deals with many food allergies & limitations, but rather than just be frustrated with her situation, she makes an adventure out of finding things that she can eat and enjoy. You can check out her blog here to see her stories.
Many of the guidelines that I give people on eating can be found in my Nutrition link in the sidebar. I'm a fan of people eating 4 or more times per day, having a healthy balance of proteins, carbs, and fats, and also having as many whole foods as possible; a good way to gauge if your foods are 'whole' is to see if you can name every ingredient in it; if you can't, well, that doesn't pass the test! There are of course many different approaches to cleaning up your fridge, and with our constant research into how food effects us, there are only a small list of absolutes when it comes to nutrition. For the most part, I feel that people should try to compose their diet of lean meats, fish, nuts, and vegetables. Calorie counts can account for how you lose or gain weight, but the composition of what you lose can be dictated by how you balance your foods out. Eating proteins and veggies will keep bodyfat percentages lower, while those trying to gain weight will want to increase calorie intake as well as their carbohydrates. Becoming educated on the Glycemic Index will give you some insight on what the differences between "fast carbs" and "slow carbs", and how they effect you. For the most part, keeping your carbs as low as possible on the GI will keep your digestion constant, avoid fat-storing insulin spikes, and show you good results.
If you have any questions about anything covered today, or want more information about how you can make a positive change in your diet, leave a comment on this article or send me an email using the Ask the Trainer link over on the left.