It's a good Tuesday everyone! Thanks for stopping back in to check out part II, otherwise known as deux to some, of my How to Get Started series.
Part II: Food and Eating
Weâve got our workout routine nailed down, and even if itâs not 100% down, weâll get there. Now, if you only did weight training and light cardio, ignored what goes on to your plate (literally...wait no...yup, literally), you would absolutely see results, but they would hit a big ole brick wall in the not too distant future. Depending on what youâre currently eating, would determine if that wall the wall arrives sooner or later, but youâre still going to arrive at it. That means that we canât just ignore this elephant, as it were. Fair warning, this is probably the thing that most people find to be the toughest when it comes to fitness (*raises hand*), so you are not the only one, I promise. There are others going through it too and we all understand, but letâs try to set some basics so you donât lose that mind of yours and can keep this journey sustainable.
Letâs start with the simple thing, eat food, yeah actual food, it sounds silly, but seriously real food. Supplements take a back seat to eating actual food. The less processed a food is, the better itâs going to be. Think of where you usually find the good stuff for food, on the outside edges of the grocery store.
I want you all to keep this in mind, because people often get confused because of things like this. Whatever diet (keto, vegan, paleo, atkins) your neighbor is doing or your friends brotherâs boyfriend is doing, if itâs working for them, awesome, itâs working FOR THEM. It may not work for you, and thatâs ok, donât get intimidated if they get preachy and borderline psycho they get about their diet. It is not the only way to lose body fat.
âTake a look at the graphic posted recently by the amazing people at Precision Nutrition and you'll notice there's a few ways that people find success, so which is the best way comes down to the person.
The basics of most of the diets out there are; lean protein, a colorful array of vegetables, minimal added sugars, lower calorie sauces & dressings and 0 calorie beverages. Letâs be real we are chronically dehydrated as a society so stick to water. Also, remember that fat is not a bad thing necessarily, it just depends on which type.
I want you to keep in mind, you are in this for the long game, as in, for life! So in order to sustain it, you need to keep your brain from going haywire. Start with finding good foods that you like, at least. If you can't find some fruits, veggies and protein dishes that you really enjoy, to make a crux of your new eating habits, then it won't last. That also means, in the event that you have this issue, time to branch out and try different things. You might be surprised by what new things you like.
Here's another part of making this thing sustainable, you are going to go off track, but it will not be the end of your universe or your journey. If you have a day where you donât eat the good stuff, itâs ok, don't just throw your hands up in the air and say screw it Iâm going to smash a carton of ice cream to my face for the next 2 weeks (though weâd all like to do that some days). Itâs going to be OK, just keep plugging away. The only way you lose is if you give in and you give up completely. As long as you donât quit, good things will happen. Super restrictive diets have been shown to lead to binge eating, so instead, just give yourself some slack. Unless you want to be a dungeon troll and not to be social with friends & family, you'll need some wiggle room. Just be mindful of it and then get yourself back on track the next day.
Finally, donât be beholden to the number on the scale, on the tape measure or what the tags on your clothes say. Thatâs just all information, but it doesnât make you any less or more successful, focus on how you are feeling. Come back tomorrow for part III, something less talked about in this healthy living journey, rest and sleep. Until next time Team First XV, go out there and get after it.
Jarrod Dyke, CSCS