As we continue to discuss the 4 best ways to getting fit, we need to talk next about what we are eating. Remember, 200 calories from a Twinkie is not the same as 200 calories from a bowl of steamed veggies.
Eat Whole Foods
Don’t approach food and fat loss with the mindset of “dieting.” Dieting has the connotation of restricting food. And what happens when we are told we can’t have something? We want it even more. It’s a set up for failure.
You know that if you want to lose weight, you should be burning more calories than you’re eating. Skipping meals is NOT the way to do that though. Your body needs fuel, especially now that you’ve embarked on high intensity and strength training. If you’re looking to lose weight, you have to take in the right kind of fuel. If you don’t eat enough of the right stuff when you work out, your body will have to take energy from your muscles, which hurts your metabolism. If you aren’t getting enough calories, your body will go into starvation mode and hoard all the fat – which is the exact opposite of what we are trying to do. We don’t want to necessarily restrict the number of calories, but we do want to make sure that they are coming from excellent sources – whole foods.
Avoid sugar, flour, starch and processed foods. Your food should have an expiration date. Food is not meant to live on a shelf forever. If it walked the earth, swam in the ocean, or grew from the earth – eat it.
Every day you want to try to take in around 30 percent protein, 30 percent carbs, and 40 percent fat. When eating carbs, make sure they come from the right places – sweet potatoes, squashes, and fresh fruits. You’ll want to avoid breads, pastas, and foods with added sugar.
An active person (someone who works out three to five times per week) should aim for one gram of protein per pound of body weight. When you work out, you break down your muscle tissue. Your body depends on that protein in order to rebuild that muscle even stronger. And remember that lean muscle mass is an important key to increasing your metabolism. On top of all those advantages, protein tends to be very satiating, meaning you will be hungry less.
The important thing for people to understand is it’s not the fat intake that’s the problem. It’s usually that they are taking in far too many simple carbs.
Finally, we want to be consistent with our workouts and our food. We want to have some sort of accountability to stick with this new lifestyle so we can maintain it long term. We want to make sure that all of the changes we have made are something we enjoy so we can stick to it. We’ll talk about how to do that tomorrow!