Are You Really Doing What It Takes? Part 3
So you’ve planned out your schedule so that you can train 3-6 times per week-EVERY week.
You are putting in 110% at every training session. Pushing yourself to the maximum of YOUR ability at all times. You’ve stopped thinking about saving yourself for the last set and are really reaching as high as you can on every repetition.
Congratulations, you are well on the way to getting great results again.
The third part of the puzzle is just as important as the correct training. In fact, it can account for 100% of it if not done correctly-and that part is your nutrition.
100%!!!!!! Yes 100%. You absolutely cannot out train a bad diet.
If your diet is not anywhere near where it should be, you will not magically be able to melt away your fat by training hard. Not only will this not work, but you will be exhausted and become sick, picking up every little virus that comes your way. Some of you already experience this, but a few changes to your every day nutrition can turn this around for you.
Good nutrition will also improve your performance, keep you from getting sick all the time and help you to maintain weight loss or lose that fat once and for all. It will also provide the energy to train hard and recover well from every training session. It is not normal to fall ill with every virus that goes around. If you find that you are catching everything and feeling tired all the time, it may be time to have a good hard look at your nutrition, fitness and recovery habits.
Once you make improvements, good nutrition can count for up to 70% or so of your results. Of course the closer you get to ideal nutritional intake, the more results you will get from your training. So it’s like a vicious circle, bad nutrition equals fewer results all round. Good nutrition yields greater results from your training and your nutrition put together.
So what is good nutrition? Here are a few simple rules to follow for a start:
- Avoid processed foods whenever possible-and it is possible most of the time. Eat real food that has not been processed or added to by man. This includes avoiding so called healthy foods like breakfast/protein/meal replacement/museli bars. Breads, pastas, wraps, cereals, white rice and the like are also processed foods and despite the marketing hype (from the grain boards) do not provide available nutrition to the human body. Our bodies can absorb little of the nutrients which have been added to these foods. THIS ONE TIP WILL MAKE THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE TO YOUR NUTRITION PLAN
- Drink only water with some black tea and coffee. Simple, juices, cordials, sports drinks and soft drinks should not be consumed unless you are doing endurance events of 2 hours continuous exercise or more.
- Include a protein source with every meal or snack. Good sources are red meats, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds. Occasionally a protein powder can be used for convenience, but remember that protein powder is a processed food.
- Eat every 2-3 hours! This may seem excessive, but will keep your blood sugar on an even keel helping you to avoid crashes that cause cravings. You will also avoid those hunger pangs that make you want to eat anything and everything in sight. So from breakfast to bed time every 2-3 hours!
- Eat fruit and/or vegetables at every single one of those nicely spaced meals and snacks. It can be something as simple as an apple or banana, carrot sticks, a salad or steamed vegies. Just include it every time you eat.
- Eat healthy fats a few times each day in your meals. These include walnuts, flaxseed oil/seeds and coconut oil to name a few. Also make sure you take an Omega 3 supplement (such as fish oil) daily.
- Keep a food diary. Even if you don’t do this every day, a couple of days per week or one week per month, write down every single thing that passes your lips. Take a small notebook with you everywhere and record as you consume and the time you consumed it. Don’t wait till the end of the day and try to remember everything. A food diary will point out your weak areas and highlight things such as meal frequency, whether you are eating protein and fruits and vegies at every meal and how often you reach for processed foods.
Improving your nutrition takes planning and commitment, but really isn’t that difficult. Follow all of the above rules for a start and fine tune other things as you go along. Cooking real foods from scratch really doesn’t take any extra time or effort. So called ‘convenience foods’ don’t really save you much time or energy, so rethink what you are feeding yourself and your family and start seeing your results go through the roof.