5 Simple Diet Tips
1) Eat Towards Your Goals
All of us at one point were faced with the same question when we thought about nutrition. “Well, what do I eat?’ The first thing to think about when you ask yourself this question is to think about your current fitness goals. Do you want to put on size and strength? Or do you want to lose weight and get cut? You have to eat big to get big. The key is to slowly increase calories in order to minimize fat gain. It is not optimal to go to a fast food place because you’re bulking. On the contrary, when you decide you want to lose weight, slowly decrease your calories in order to minimize muscle loss.
Everybody wants to be the ripped person but you must have a lot of muscle in order to show muscle. If you believe that you can lose weight and build muscle at the same time…you are wrong. If you believe that you can tone your muscles (muscles either get bigger or smaller)…you’re wrong. If you think that you can turn fat into muscle (lol)…you are wrong. I won’t lie, at one point or another I have believed some of these nutrition myths.
2) Don’t fall for extremes
If you follow many fitness gurus, you will see a lot of them going to extreme measure’s when it comes to nutrition. Meal bags that carry 6-8 meals, only eating “clean” foods, and eating every 2 hours so they don’t enter a catabolic state (lol). They then talk about how serious they are about their nutrition and try to present this hardcore image that in order to be an athlete or a bodybuilder, you have to take extreme measures. Please do not fall for any of these. You don’t have to do anything extreme. Unless you plan on not being home for a significant amount of time, there is no need to carry around a meal bag with 6 meals in it. If anything, bring your meal in a cooler bag and eat it at work, school, etc. There is also no such thing as a “clean” food. Are there better options? YES, but you do not have to eat chicken breast and broccoli at every meal. Do not believe that eating “clean” will automatically result in weight loss. Calories are calories.
3) Enjoy Eating
Do not become a social outcast because you’re afraid to go to the diner with friends or miss out on a friend’s birthday because they are going for sushi. We are trying to develop healthy habits that will last us a lifetime. If you can’t picture yourself eating a certain way for an extended period of time, it might not be the best nutrition plan for you. The key is flexible dieting but also understanding the boundaries. Are there days when we overindulge? Don’t hit our calories? Of course; it is inevitable but we should not beat ourselves up over it, just keep it to a minimum.
Another way to enjoy eating is to get creative with your recipe’s. Maybe try making some Protein Pancakes or a healthy meatball recipe. I like to think of food that I’m craving and create a healthier version. For example, if I’m craving pizza then I might decide to make one with low-fat mozzarella, low sugar tomato sauce, and whole wheat dough. Then you can top it with whatever you like. It sure beats heading to the pizza shop.
4) Hit Your Macro’s
Your macronutrient’s consist of protein, fat, and carbs. Protein and carbs have 4 calories per gram while fat has 9 calories per gram. As a general guideline, try to eat at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight and no more than 30% of you daily calories from fat. The rest of your calories should come from carbs. One of my favorite websites to use in order to determine my calorie intake and macro’s depending on my goal is IIFYM.com. Try to hit these numbers daily and train effectively in order to reach your fitness goals. You can check out the complete guide to tracking your macros right here.
5) Keep it Simple!
Don’t over think nutrition. Yes, it is a vital part of reaching your fitness goals but don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be. Do the work in the gym and then feed your body the fuel it needs. Don’t go on a starvation diet and don’t go on the ultimate bulk. Find a common ground between all the extremes and most importantly, do what works for you. Follow these 5 basic tips and you will become much more healthier and much more happier.