1 | Eat breakfast
Eat a healthy mix of protein, carbs and good fats at the start of the day to keep your metabolism humming. Be creative. Breakfast doesn’t necessarily mean eggs or cereal. Last night’s healthy leftovers (we’re not talking cold pepperoni pizza) or a protein shake with a blended banana or berries are among other options.
2 | Drink more water
This will help you feel fuller, prevent cramping and speed recovery following your workouts. If you are training hard you might consider a pre-workout drink containing branched-chain amino acids, such as Amino Shooter (performance.championnutrition.com/all-products-amino-shooter-core.aspx), but skip the sports drinks. They contain too much sugar and are unnecessary for a one-hour training session.
3 | Avoid white foods
Sugar is the enemy of performance. It is obvious in foods like table sugar, soda and candy but it is also a primary ingredient in “white foods” -- foods made from white flour-- like enriched white bread and most cereals. While not made from flour, white rice (especially the sticky sushi rice prevalent in Japanese cuisine) also falls into this category. White foods spike insulin surges and trigger day-long food cravings.
4 | Eat starchy carbs only after your workout
Even “good” starchy carbs -- think sweet potatoes, slow-cook oatmeal or brown rice -- should be consumed after exercise by those looking to lose weight. Note that veggies, which are also carbs, can be consumed at any time. However, avoid corn and peas before workouts. Those should be viewed in the same light as starchy carbs like bread.
5 | Increase percentage of protein in your diet to match your level of training
People who routinely kill it in the gym or on the playing field, especially those who lift weights, require more protein than sedentary folks. Be sure to eat a lean protein with every meal, including breakfast. If you train hard, aim to consumer daily about 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight. If you train hard but only a few days per week shoot for .75 grams per pound of body weight. For men in particular, hitting this target may require the addition of protein shakes (such as our Isagenix shakes). One caveat – protein still contains calories. If you are trying to lose weight keep that in mind when selecting your portion. Even “healthy” foods can tip the scale.
6 | Avoid trans fat
That means no fried food. Trans fat not only makes you fatter, but also negatively impacts nervous system development.
7 | Take a fish oil supplement
Unless you eat a substantial amount of oily fish (such as salmon) every day you could probably use Omega 3 in your diet. Omega-3 is important for cardiovascular function, nervous system function, and immune system health. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory. If you regularly pop Advil or Aleve for joint pain, consider choosing a fish oil supplement instead. Take at least 1 gram of quality fish oil (but not cod liver oil) with every meal. More – 3-6 grams (or more in some individual cases) – if you have a significant amount of fat to lose. Available in pill or liquid form. (For more info check out www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-fish-oil)
8 | Consider going gluten-free
Many people are sensitive to the gluten protein found in many grains, especially wheat. If you feel bloated or have stomach distress after eating pasta, bread or other grain-based foods try an experiment. Give up those foods for a week or two and see if you feel better. That means no regular cookies, cakes, breads, pasta, cereal and the like. (Note that gluten is also found in less obvious places like some sauces, candy, salad dressings etc so read labels carefully.) There are gluten-free grain alternatives, such as brown rice pasta, so check your grocery store aisle. Just be aware that “gluten-free” doesn’t necessarily mean “healthy” as there are a lot of processed gluten-free foods out there filled with as much junk as traditional foods.
9 | Become an expert label reader
Learn to decipher nutrition labels so you can understand precisely what is in the food you eat. Better yet, avoid consuming any food that requires a nutritional label. That is, stick to the fresh produce, meat, seafood and possibly dairy sections of the store. Be suspicious of anything sold in a box.
10 | Choose brands carefully
For example, processed deli meat is convenient but a nutritional bomb. Fortunately there are a few brands out there that do not contain the dreaded nitrates or nitrites, such as Applegate Farm (www.applegate.com). So if you love pork bacon consider a switch to Applegate Organic’s nitrate-free Sunday Bacon. Or, better yet, try turkey bacon (also look for nitrate and nitrite-free versions). It is high in protein but lower in fat and calories than pork bacon.
One more thing…
Plan or prepare meals ahead of time
Eating healthy – especially if you are trying to lose weight – requires effort. Meals need to be planned and prepared in advance so you’re not tempted to grab a quick snack from the vending machine or fast-food chain. If you spend a lot of time in your car, stock it with healthy and portable snacks, like high-protein Tanka bars (www.tankabar.com/cgi-bin/nanf/public/main.cvw) or Baggies with a handful of berries for example.
If you have nutrition-related questions, speak to Stephanie, Dave or Derek. We are happy to point you in the right direction. If you have more than a question or two, we are available for private consults.
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