Eating “right” can be tough. Even for a guy like me, surrounded by CrossFit and fitness for 12 hours a day, I tend to slip up and catch myself eating less than desirable foods throughout the day, week and pretty soon an entire month. To make sure we are getting the most out of our training, and pointing ourselves in the right direction in terms of health and fitness, eating properly is key. It´s not easy at first, but it is one of the single most important things you can do to get in shape, other than showing up to the gym consistently. If you struggle with food selections, like many people do, remember a few things to help you get back on track:
1. Food is fuel. Sure, it can taste great for the seconds that we spend chewing it. But once its in our stomachs, it acts as an energy source, and that is all. Food tells our body what to do. Certain types of foods tell our bodies to repair muscle, other foods tell our bodies to store fat in its cells. Change the way you view the function of food, and it will be easier to seek out the better options.
2. You cannot overeat vegetables. Make it a goal, make it a challenge to eat as many vegetables as you can throughout the day. Vegetables are PACKED with micronutrients and vitamins. Every time you make yourself a meal, put as many vegetables on your plate as possible, and then a palm size piece of meat and a finally a half cup size of “starchy” carbohydrates (if you even have room for it!)
3. Focus on small changes first. I like to tell people, start with breakfast. Make every breakfast you eat for the next two weeks as healthy as possible. Learn what you like to eat, learn what portion sizes make you feel full, etc. After two weeks of dialing in on breakfast, change your lunch. Spend the next two weeks eating that perfect breakfast that you feel comfortable with and learn what you like to eat for lunch. After that, move on to dinner. After that, move on to snacks. In about 2 months you will have changed your diet completely and it won´t be overwhelming. If you make too many changes, too fast, it is likely that you will drop off after about a month.
4. You are a human. Don´t be a weird human. If you go out with a bunch of friends and you want to drink a beer…drink a beer. You are at a birthday party and everyone is eating cake…have a slice of cake. Avoid being the guy or girl who turns down a slice of cake at his or her moms birthday party because you only eat “paleo.” If you make healthy eating decisions 80% of the time (5.5 days per week, or 17 out of 21 weekly meals), you will be healthier than 80% of the population.
– Coach Doug