Your fitness success not only includes nutrition but also needs to include a smart nutrition plan. Nutrition will help you fuel the muscles you are breaking down and will help them repair quicker. Proper nutrition will help you recover quicker so that you’re ready for your next workout. Without proper nutrition, you will see little to no progress, and you can put your body at risk for injuries, hormonal imbalances, and adrenal fatigue. I will give you six easy ways to get proper nutrition.
First, make sure you’re eating healthy, well-balanced meals, from good sources, 80-90 percent of the time and giving yourself something you desire the remainder of the time. You can still have great results by eating healthy 80-90% of the time. So, don’t turn down pizza or a dessert if you’re not constantly binging. You have to live your life to the fullest!
You want to be knowledgeable about nutrition, but no compulsive about it. You have to find a healthy middle ground. Also, sometimes the more we deprive ourselves of life’s simple pleasures, the more we will be focused on what we shouldn’t have.
The second piece of advice I have is be realistic with your nutrition. I would recommend staying away from rigid diets that will be hard to maintain. Most people who diet to lose weight will find it hard to keep it off. It’s not a lifestyle they are creating, it’s a short-term fix that will not have any lasting benefits. So be realistic with your nutrition. Eat a balanced diet, with the right number of calories, and macro and micronutrients that comes from good sources. Please look at my previous blogs to read more about calories and macros and micros.
Third, eat with a purpose. Make sure you know what your fitness goals are and eat for those. I normally eat for my workouts, and each energy system requires a different type of diet. I have posted about eating for a purpose previously, so I refer you back to these blogs.
Some people will get frustrated because they feel that their nutrition is holding them back from achieving their goals. But, generally, they are not eating to achieve their goals. To gain lean muscle mass, to get bigger, to get cut, or to have more energy, requires different diets. Know what you’re eating and know how it propels you to your goals.
Fourth, make sure you get enough lean protein. Protein is the building block of muscle and is incredibly integral to the diet of an active individual. I have posted previously about the right amount of protein to take in daily. As a general guideline, your protein intake should stay between at least 0.8-1.5 grams of protein per pound of lean bodyweight.
Carbs are a controversial topic, but it’s the fifth element you have to be knowledgeable about. First, make sure that you’re eating high-quality carbs. I stay away from refined carbs and stick with low glycemic carbs. You do need carbs, and your carb intake should be adjusted up or down depending on your training level, physical progress, and energy levels.
For carbs, make sure you know your goals and why you’re eating them. For example, the big linebacker will be eating more carbs proportionately to protein than the athlete who is just trying to gain lean muscle mass and is on a GPP program. So, determining how many carbs to eat, and which type is based upon your specific circumstances and also based upon your goals.
In conclusion, nutrition doesn’t have to scare you. You just have to have a goal, eat with a purpose, and make sure you’re eating cleanly, but don’t be too obsessive. You should be focused on creating lifetime, healthy habits.