These are just some basics that have to do with healthy living. The reason I am writing about it is because you can use it to incorporate into your diet plans, to understand how just the basics can help you gain muscle, lose fat or maintain a physique. Sometimes nutrition is the most complicated part of weight training and becoming fit, because like mentioned in my previous article, we’re living on a budget. We don’t always have the luxury to spend money we don’t have, on the foods that we need. It’s unfortunate that the foods most affordable, are the ones that are the tastiest and bad for us.
If you’re interested in learning the 9 steps to a healthy diet, that I am going to break down to help make you understand how doing these things can eliminate fats from your diets, and simple sugars, then keep reading!
1) Eating a balance diet.
Now, I am sure you have heard this over and over again, to eat a balance diet. I think we’ve been hearing this since we’re little kids, to make sure to drink our milk, eat our vegetables, etc. But what’s really a balanced diet? You can look at a balanced diet by the perception of eating in portions. The thing with our eating habits, is we over consume too often. We as people, always want more and if we can’t have more we’re not satisfied even when in reality, we are. Stop eating when you feel full. There is no reason to keep eating excessively. I know you must have heard someone tell you, to gain muscle you must eat, eat, eat. Yes, I am sure if you got the appetite of a mouse, this wouldn’t really pertain to you but if you provide yourself dense foods rich with protein, fats and carbohydrates, you’re going to have a food that exceeds 600 calories per serving.
Unless you’re a hardgainer that even if you are 3000 calories per day, you’re never going to gain weight, then this wouldn’t be for you. But for the average person, a balanced diet with all the nutrient groups included, would be sufficient.
2) Include more fiber in your diet
Including more fiber in your diet is another good way of keeping your cholesterol levels in check and it actually helps scrape your colon! There’s nothing worst than a backed up colon, for health and wellness purposes. So for your cholesterol levels, focus on your soluble fibers like fruits, veggies, oats, etc. Your insoluble fibers are the ones that scrap your colon, so imagine the hard stuff like whole grain, brans, etc. The skin of the fruits and lentils, are also insoluble fibers, so while you’re having an apple, you’re getting both!
If you’ve noticed, high carbohydrate foods, are your fiber sources, and what is carbohydrates good for? That’s right, it’s good for energy! Your body’s primary source of energy is carbohydrates. So if you want to build muscle, you need energy and if you don’t want the energy to come from proteins, then give your body the source it loves the most; CARBOHYDRATES!
3) Reduce the amount of fats in your diet
We know there are good fats and bad fats but this point is more on giving you tips of reducing fat in your diet. Try to use low-fat products (make sure to read the labels to see how much calories come from fat, don’t just look at the fat content). Low fat dressings, low fat butter, low fat mayo, if you have to use the two latter ones, low fat is the way to go.
Next, don’t fry your stuff, bake it, steam it or grill it! I mean who here doesn’t love grilled foods? I know I do. Grill chicken breast is fricking delicious. If you want fried chicken so badly, bake it! There are awesome baked fried chicken recipes online that reduce the amount of fat significantly.
Another suggestion, skin your poultry. You don’t need the skin of your chicken to enjoy the meat. So just skin it, clean it of it’s fatty sources.
Stay away from foods that have hidden fat sources! Example, your pastries. Those suckers feel like they ain’t got much going on in them but think about how much fat is involved in the crust and the inner meats!
4) Pay attention to the types of fats you’re consuming
So like I mentioned, there are good fats and there are bad fats. If you want fats in your diet, choose the good ones. The bad ones include: saturated and trans fatty acids. These include; butter, some diaries, generally anything solid at room temperature is a saturated fatty acid. The trans fatty acids include your same pastries, your margarine and your shortenings.
Your good fats include your monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and omega-3-polyunsaturated fatty acids. Your monounsaturated includes your canola oil, peanut oil and almond oil. You can fry your veggies using this or add some olive oil onto your salads. Next is your polyunsaturated fatty acids like your vegetable oil. Finally omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids come from your tuna, salmon and your flax seed oil. You can actually get the latter at any pharmacy and use it as a supplement.
5) Reduce the amount of simple sugars in your diet
I know we love our sweets, cakes sodas but they’re really not good for us. They peak our glucose levels immediately and can lead to long term problems like type II diabetes or give us precursor disorders like impaired glucose disorder. If we’re in the latter stage, we can prevent ourselves from getting type II diabetes by just staying away from the fats and the glucose! Diabetes isn’t just about the sugar, it’s an abnormality in the metabolism of your proteins, carbohydrates and lipids (fats). So don’t just think if you stay away from the sugars, that would be it. This is a good deterrent to bad foods and stick to good food choices.
Your complex carbohydrates, are the ones you want to focus on. They help with slow digestion and don’t peak your glucose levels. So remember your oats, brans, whole wheat and whole grain products.
6) Reduce the amount of sodium in your diet
I am not sure how much fitness experts really keep track on this one because of the small amount of sodium a day, is allowed for adequate sodium intake for body functions. It’s recommended we consume between 1100 mg to 2300 mg of sodium. How much is that? Well 1 teaspoon is 2300 mg. Gives you an idea of how much sodium we’re suppose to have and how much we’re actually consuming from adding seasonings to our foods, salts to our meals, etc. Stay away from your high sodium processed foods. Chinese food? Filled with sodium galore. Try to eat foods that naturally contain sodium, like your breads.
This one is a hard one but it’s more to help with decreasing blood pressure and other ailments that stem from over consumption of sodium.
7) Reduce the amount of alcohol you consume
I stay away from alcohol, 100%. I see no need for it, but there are some levels you can follow to keep yourself on track. Your body after 3 drinks, blood pressure starts peaking. You want to drink 20 oz of beer max, 8 oz of wine max and 3 oz of whiskey max. Alcohol can replace the required nutrients you need in your body and it also adds calories! Some people don’t realize the reason they aren’t losing weight, is because they’re still consuming alcohol which will contribute to your overall calorie intake for the day. If you ever familiarized yourself with the calorie counter located under the Useful Links section, at the bottom of the website, alcohol is included in the percentage calculations of the day. So it’s not just empty nothingness being consumed.
8) Increase your water consumption
A little biology; 70% of your body fluid, is made up of water. Water helps with hydration, it helps with the pH levels of your body, it helps transfer nutrients throughout your body, it helps with replenishing the water loss through respiration and sweating. I am sure you didn’t know that every time you breathe, you’re losing water! It helps with elimination of waste. I mean, it does so much in our body that we’re so commonly unaware of. So replenishing it and adding more if you’re a person who exercises, is required. You have to replace the water that is loss.
Some people say you should drink 1 oz of water for every lb that you weigh, especially if you’re into exercising. Regular folks it’s 8 glasses of water. If you just get yourself bottles of water, and drink that throughout the day and drink some after you’ve eaten, it’s not that hard to consume how much you need. Sometimes you’re going to be off but just try to drink more than you’re drinking now.
Hell yeah! This one always excites me because I am already doing at least 1 step to a healthy lifestyle, if I wasn’t focused on the others of course! 🙂
The recommended amount of times one should train per week is 3 to 5 times. 4 to 5 times is a better option but this is just basic exercising, it’s not a bodybuilder’s level of exercising. Just doing some kind of exercise for over 35 minutes, is a way to help keeping yourself in a window of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise helps maintain appropriate body weight, for some it helps loss body weight, it helps with appearance and toning, it helps with psychological perceptions, while giving us the feeling of confidence and self-esteem.
All of these things assist a person in a healthy lifestyle, if their confidence and self-esteem is at a good level. It allows you to want to do things in life that are is healthy, and preventative for long term chronic illnesses.
Doing some of these things or preferably all of it, can be used in your meal plans and daily living, to help keep body fat down and build or maintain muscle. If you ate properly, and become conscious of these things, you will reach your physical goal, no matter what.
Remember, the keyword is consistency. Without it, we’ll never get anywhere.Read More »