At FITLIFE we understand that the food you intake is just as important, if not more important, than the work you do in and out of the gym. There are a few basic principles that we suggest all our clients or anyone seeking to improve their physical activity follow.
Eat Less, Eat Often & Eat Variety
Eating every few hours is very important for a total of 5-6 small to moderately sized meals per day. Incorporating lean proteins, vegetables and/or fruit at every meal will help you feel full and satisfied, curbing appetite throughout the day. Ensure that the majority of your carb intake comes from fruits and vegetables. Save starches for after training or breakfast on non-training days. Ensure that 1/3rd of your calories come from fat. Split your fat intake equally between saturates (animal fat, dairy), monounsaturated (olive oil, almonds, avocado), and polyunsaturated (walnuts, mixed flax seed, fish oil). Eat as wide of variety of real, whole foods as possible. Planning ahead and preparing meals in advance and in bulk will help you be successful.
Eat mostly real, whole foods. No processed foods. No food products (if it comes in a box, it’s probably not good for you). Doing this regularly will help to minimize supplementation. Supplements should only be used to enhance, not replace, a balanced diet. Likewise, only drink single ingredient, calorie free beverages. The best are water, tea (green/white/black), and black coffee (1-2 cups/day).
Chew Your Food Completely Before Swallowing
This will not only help you slow down during your busy day, but will help prevent over-eating. It takes about 20 minutes for your body to feel full from eating, so give it time respond.
Turn Off Your Screens
Another good tip to prevent over-eating is to turn off your screens (phone, TV, computer, etc.) while you are eating. It keeps you aware of how much food you’ve actually eaten during a meal instead of mindlessly snacking throughout a 30 minute to hour long show.
Plan to break the rules 10% of the time. Use these tips the other 90% of the time. This means have fun with 4 meals out of an average 42 meals a week.
Adapted from Berardi, 2003.