Nutrition is a very important part of weight training. I could speak about training with the weights, different exercises, strength training, hypertrophy and supplements but if you don’t have your diet down, then you aren’t going to go anywhere.
This is ultimately, the most damaging part of beginner’s when it comes to training properly. They think it all has to do with the gym but a lot of people believe that it’s about 5% training and 95% everything else, which includes sleep and optimum recovery time.
Just a quick run through on the basics I have talked before, about nutrition. We know our protein needs to be about 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight to build muscle mass, 2 to 2.5 or even more, grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight, to gain muscles mass as it’s the body’s main source of energy and finally, we have that fats should be around 100 to 150 grams. All these numbers obviously pertain only to the individual, based on their desired goals, their weight, their height, etc. Point being, they are essential and they are needed for the body to function and recover. We all can say, if we haven’t eaten properly for the day, we feel lethargic and exhausted or if we haven’t had enough carbohydrates, the same unfortunate symptoms occur. This just proves how eating helps us function.
But, the trick is eating properly because just eating can actually make you feel bad because of the types of foods you consume. Simple sugars, high fatty foods, lack of water intake or not getting all your essential vitamins and minerals can cause you to start feeling down and depressed, tired, weak, etc.
So now that we are familiar with how food affects us, and how some types of food can affect us negatively more than others, as weight trainers, we want to consume the right foods.
Some time in the past, I wrote an article talking about the 9 steps to a healthy lifestyle, through healthy food consumptions but that is always easier said than done.
I have had my own personal experience in coming in contact with temptation and still eating foods I am not suppose to, but there are ways to get around it and their is a timeline. You aren’t expected to go cold turkey from eating all the junk food you like, to suddenly being a vegan or competition mode like a bodybuilder. Unfortunately, a lot of people think this to be true and don’t realize, it takes time. Fortunately for you, I am going to explain to you how to do it, and how to keep on it. That’s if you keep reading, of course 🙂
To start eating properly, you can start off with including a healthy food item into your daily calorie intake. Say for example, you don’t really care for vegetables, pick one that you wouldn’t be so disgusted in consuming, say corn? Maybe add tomatoes and green peppers to your breakfast eggs, or switch to whole wheat bread instead of going straight for whole grain. Even though whole grain is very healthy, nothing is wrong with eating whole wheat bread.
If you’re accustom to eating a lot of snacks throughout the day, replace one of those snacks with a fruity cup, or your own made fruit salad. Get yourself a protein bar, as they have been improving on the ingredients recently, that they taste absolutely delicious.
Read the labels of the items you purchase, you may end up still getting something you like but that has less calories in it or less calories coming from fat. Look at how much saturated fats are in that item, and if it’s high, put it back down and find an alternative.
Like drinking sodas? If you drink a lot of sodas every time you eat, replace some of those consumptions with water or 100% juice products.
What about fast food, are those your temptations? Reduce the amount of times you go to the fast food restaurants gradually and make them at home. Bake your fries instead of frying them in oil.
If you so much have to go to a fast food joint, as much as I am against it, you should become aware of how much calories and their nutritional value information when it comes to the items you consume. Check out the websites of the fast food joints, they generally have their nutrition information available to their consumers. Or, you can use a calorie counter and include it in there, which will display how much it’s generally given in a grade value and it’s nutritional break down. If you can’t find your fast food joint nutrition information on their website, well, I suggest not buying there anymore 🙂
If you like your fried stuff, bake them instead like I mentioned about the fries. Or, remove the skin and that’s a reduction of fat right there. Make sure to include it in your overall diet, so you don’t fall off the wagon for your macros and nutritional intake for the day. This is another way as I have mentioned time and time again in other posts, to eat what you want but still keep on track.
Another method is serving size. Look at the serving size of these foods you like so much, and stick to the appropriate serving size on the package, or even just eat less. This allows you to sample the things you like, but not over consume them which causes the overall problems in the long run.
For me personally, this whole eating properly crept up on me. It’s a gradual thing and it’s a constant temptation every day. But, if you keep with the idea of fitting it into your daily intake, replacing one bad food item with a good one, and constantly doing this throughout the weeks and months you’re weight training, your end goal is what will keep you going.
Remember, I am going to talk about cheat meals and cheat days some time in the future. The only reason I haven’t spoken of it recently, but hinted on how it works, is because I believe we all need to know the basics, and how to turn our backs against temptation, when it comes to food. By having this basic knowledge, we can then allow ourselves these cheat meals or cheat days but if you don’t know how to control your food desires, you definitely wouldn’t be able to handle cheat meals or cheat days.
Finally, eating properly like I said before, takes time. As one bad food is replaced with a good one, this will continue to occur. You may even become turned off by bad foods, and may indulge in it, on a minimum rather than in the big consumptions you are accustom to.
In time, you wouldn’t even miss those bad foods anymore and start enjoying the good foods more.Read More »