When it comes to nutrition, you don’t need to make it complicated. In fact, regardless of whether you’re trying to cut body fat or pack on lean muscle, there are a few principles that will always apply.
Here are a 10 nutrition commandments to live by:
1. Never be hungry, never be full – Your body will never lie to you, if you haven’t eaten enough you’ll know and if you’ve eaten too much you’ll know after you wake up from your nap. The body likes to maintain homeostasis (a neutral environment) as much as possible and eating sensible portions at each meal will definitely help.
2. Minimize processed foods as much as possible – If it comes in a box or can, it’s probably not your best choice. Try to stick to REAL, whole foods that are more nutrient dense. Whole foods are more filling and have less calories than most processed foods.
3. Drink more water – Water will help to regulate your appetite, cleanse your body, as well as keep you hydrated throughout the day. How much will depend on your size and activity level but aim for at least 6-8 glasses per day.
4. Don’t drink your calories – To follow up on #3, make sure you’re not using sugary fruits juices, pop, and creamy frappacinos to hydrate. This is an easy way to consume excess calories without even knowing it.
5. Keep carb intake highest around training – Worried about eating too many carbs? If you’re training hard then you’re gonna need. Carbs are your main fuel source during intense training so it’s important to keep those glycogen stores topped up. Depending on the time of day you workout, you want to eat 30-50 grams of carbs in your pre and post workout meals.
6. Eat protein with every meal – Protein is a must if you want to build and sustain lean muscle mass. An easy to ensure you’re getting enough protein is to eat some at every meal.
7. Eat healthy fats – The body needs fat too, just try to get most of it from healthier unsaturated sources like avocado, olive oils, and fish.
8. Eat an abundance of veggies – Raw or lightly cooked veggies are the way to go. They have high nutritional value and are low in calories. Fill your plate ans enjoy!
9. Everything in moderation – You only live once so enjoy yourself from time to time (i.e. 10-20% of the time). Don’t let a couple slices of pizza throw your whole nutrition game plan out the window. Indulge, get back on the horse and business as usual.
10. Supplement only when you’ve mastered the first 9 commandments – Don’t get caught up in the supplement hype if you haven’t mastered the basic nutrition principles. Supplements should only make up 1-5% of your entire nutrition plan. Focus on eating high quality foods in the right quantities and then you can add in a couple of supplements if need be.
Let these commandments serve as the foundation of your dietary habits. Stick to them and I’m sure you’ll not only start to feel better but you’ll also have more quality training sessions.
If you’re interested in cleaning up your diet and taking your training to the next level, click below to get a personalized plan.