The next topic we will discuss on being successful at the gym is nutrition...the most vital portion of any fitness program. There a 2 different mentalities when people join the local gym/fitness center:
- I am working out, I can eat whatever I want.
- I am working out, I can’t eat anything and must restrict my diet.
These two trains of thought are both wrong. First it is not strictly about calories, it is about the right calories. Not all calories are created equal. For example, a piece of cake is not going to have the same effect on the body as a piece of grilled chicken or cup of broccoli. So, it is not simply about “counting calories” as much as it is about “eating clean”, as we in the fitness industry like to put it.
What does that mean exactly?
For starters, take all refined sugars out of your body, it is the enemy. Refined sugars are simply wasted empty calories that the body will turn into fat. They will make you feel sluggish, unfocused, and unmotivated.
Second, make sure to take out all of the saturated fats in your diet. What that means is stop frying your foods and, instead, bake them, broil them, grill them. Just don’t fry them!!! It also means getting leaner meats and not as much red meat. Add more fish and chicken, which are low in saturated fat. Fish have a lot of omega-3 fatty acids that will aid in your fat loss.
Also, that means we need to eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Be careful with the fruits though, they still have sugar in them, just not refined sugars. Eat as many veggies as you can stomach!! Remember, you are what you eat from your head down to your feet. Remember that one, it is true!!!
Last but not least, leave all of the processed food alone. If it is processed, it is full of sodium and artificial chemicals that help with the preservation and increase the shelf life. Have you ever been to France? Have you noticed there are a lot of smaller people, not a lot of overweight individuals and all they do is eat pasta and drink wine?! How can this be? There food is not processed like the food in the good ole USA!!! So stay away from it and you will see your fitness goals approach faster then you ever thought possible!!!
I almost forgot. Drink your H2O (water) ladies and gentlemen!!!! If you do not drink enough water, your liver will not metabolize fat as efficiently as it should because it will be taking on some of the function of the kidneys. So, you are not letting the liver do its job (fat metabolism) because it is doing the job of the kidneys. In fact, most people will retain 5-15lbs. of fluid because 95% of America is walking around dehydrated. Don’t forget your caffeine intake. For every 8 oz. of caffeine you consume, you will need to take in 16 oz. of water to replenish the fluids you lose through dehydration because caffeine is a diuretic. To calculate the amount of water you need per day, simply take your body weight and multiply it by 0.66. Remember, this does not take into account your caffeine intake throughout the day!!!
Stay tuned for "Part 5"! If you need assistance with tackling your nutritional habits, schedule an appointment with our nutrition specialist here at PROMATx Health Club. We will help get you on the right track!!