You may have a kickass workout routine, but if you don't get your eating in check, all those hours spent sweating are almost worthless.
Here are my 10 nutrition rules I stick by.
1. Carb cycling
This is a great way to get out of a weight loss plateau, or to simply stay fit. There are many different ways to cycle the amount of carbs you take in, the way I found works best for me is 3 days of limited carbs, 1 day of high carbs and continue the cycle. On days of low carbs you'll want to stick to lower than 100g per day, and by doing this the body goes into fat burning mode. The one day of high carbs will replenish your body, but choose the right carbs, don't reach for that white bead!
2. The right carbs
You'll want to chose the right carbs to fuel your body. Nutrition is all about keeping you energized for your day and your exercise. Carbs like sweet potatoes, brown rice, fruit, broccoli, quinoa, and oatmeal are great choices to keep you going without gaining weight.
3. Carbs at the right time
Take in your carbs for breakfast and after your workout. Too many carbs aren't great for you, but too few can also slow your metabolism. Aim to get most of your carbs first thing in the morning, to give you energy and right after a workout to refuel your body. Oatmeal, grains, potatoes, veggies and fruits are great to take in during these times.
4. Don't starve
Eating every few hours may seem counterproductive, but I promise it's just the opposite. Eating every 2-3 hours will give your metabolism something to do, so you'll constantly have a revved metabolism instead of slowing it. (A slow metabolism leads to increased storage of fat) Just snack right, see #5
5. Snack time
For breakfast and post workout we chose a fast acting carb to give us quick energy. Snacks throughout the day is the opposite. Slow acting carbs are slowly let into your bloodstream, therefore giving you lasting energy and don't cause blood sugar spikes. For your snacks chose right- cheese sticks, cottage cheese, nuts, protein bars (I love Zone bars).
You should be taking in at least half your weight in ounces a day. So, if you're 150 pounds you should aim to take in 75 ounces of water. Take in even more if you had a sweaty workout or it's humid out.
Protein is extremely important for weight loss, weight management and getting a toned look. Eat some protein with every meal. Hard boiled eggs, TBS of peanut butter, almonds, chicken, fish, protein bar or powder. Take your pick and try to incorporate it into each meal of the day
8. Drink green tea
Green tea has amazing fat burning antioxidants. Brew some green or black tea and enjoy during your day. One of my favorites is Bigelow Green Tea with Pomegranate or Blueberry
9. Sweets are a must
Every now and then you need to treat yourself to something yummy. My guilty pleasure is trail mix with M&Ms. It's delicious and it's just a little bit of chocolate. If you don't give in to your guilty pleasure you'll eventually binge eat sweets and feel bad about it. So, my cure is to eat just a little sweet every now and then.
10. Get back on track
Most people like to start something on the first day of the week or the first day of the month. Don't give in to that. If you have a bad day of eating, perhaps a birthday party, holiday, or just feel like eating everything in sight start your healthy eating the next day. Don't wait, the more days you wait for the more days you'll eat bad and be further off track.
Getting into the habit of eating healthy takes time. Trust me, it does not come easily and it's not easy to keep up with but once you start doing a few of these ideas you'll start to see a difference in your body and your energy levels.
Keep up with it.
Jen is a Certified Personal Trainer/Weight Loss Specialist. She is dedicated to helping everyone achieve their goals as well as sharing her journey throughout her own goals.