At fitness ablaze we understand the importance of educating our members about nutrition. The issue with nutrition when it comes to the general population is the confusion individuals have because of the overload of information in our society. There are tons of nutrition plans that promise xyz weight loss, muscle gain, fat loss, and other outcomes. There is a huge list to choose from such as tracking macros, paleo, vegan, intermittent fasting, low fat, low carbs, eat anything, and list goes on and on. As a coach I am always looking at the big picture. I want to guide my members on the path to create a habitual lifestyle change, meaning I want them to have something they can stick to for a lifetime. With that in mind I want to share some simple rules/guidelines that I would advise people to stick to before getting into tracking calorie intake or macro-nutrient ratios or any other more advanced nutrition protocol.
EAT COMPLETE, LEAN PROTEINS AT EACH MEAL
It is great that people are becoming aware of the importance of proper protein consumption, especially when it comes to improving body composition. This will be more difficult for vegetarians to apply but it is definitely possible Protein should basically be a staple in your diet.
EAT VEGETABLES AT EVERY MEAL
Vegetables and fruits are full of essential minerals, vitamins, fiber, and more.
I love fruit but it is important to have vegetables more often than fruit.
Typically a daily ratio should be at 4:1 (vegetables : fruits).
EAT EVERY 2-3 HOURS
Yes it is a classic myth that eating every 2-3 hours will improve your metabolism. It doesn’t matter if you eat every 2 hours or 8 hours your body will use the food in the same way. But I believe that in order to build healthy eating habits eating every 2-3 hours can be beneficial. It will allow an individual to ensure they will not overindulge, meet the necessary daily food intake, and get them used to eating and building a healthy relationship with food.
EARN YOUR STARCHY AND SUGARY CARBS
I love me some starchy (breads, pastas, rice’s) and even more so the sugary treats (candy, ice cream, list goes on) and I am sure a lot of others do as wellJ Unfortunately they have been linked with many dietary related diseases. So the first step for many individuals is to skip out on the above carb sources until AFTER your training because our bodies seem to tolerate carbs better post training.
EAT HEALTHY FATS
Yes you need a proper amount of fat in your diet to lose fat and improve your health through nutrition. There are 3 types of fats and you should be consuming a balanced amount of each. Saturated fat sources should be from animal products and also cooking oil such as coconut oil or grass fed butter. Monounsaturated fat sources include mixed tree nuts and olives/olive oils. Polyunsaturated fats should be from sources such as flax-seed oil, fish oil, and more mixed tree nuts.
NO NEED TO DRINK UNNECESSARY CALORIES OR AT LEAST LIMIT THEM
This is HUGE, as many people tend to drink large amounts of beverages including soda, fruit juices, mochas, and alcohol. The amount of extra sugar, calories, and other unnecessary ingredients within these beverages is detrimental towards your diet and results. Ideally you should stick to water, green teas, and black coffee
FILL YOUR NUTRITION WITH WHOLE REAL FOODS
We should try and stick with whole nutritionally dense foods the majority of the time. Shakes are good substitutes if you are running low on time and need something quick. Other than that stick to those whole real foods
PREPARE AND USE VARIETY
Consistency is key to building long term habit changes. We want to make everything as simple as possible. A great way is to plan out your meals. Have a day where you prepare meals in advance so you limit your chances of “falling off the wagon”. Also, we never want people to think they are on a “diet” and/or experience boredom, so it is important to incorporate variety and experiment with different recipes, spices, and hot sauces.
INCROPORATE THE 90/10 RULE
This is my favorite part. Basically this just means 90% of the time you should be following the above guidelines and 10% of the time you should indulge in your favorite meals, treats, drinks, and whatever you are craving. You should be enjoying social activates with friends and reward yourself with your favorite treats. This is extremely important for long term success with your nutrition. If you follow a plan 100% of the time with never breaking the rules there is a higher probability that you will fall of the wagon”, develop a negative relationship with food, or go on food binges. Basically it may cause more damage compared to a little rule breaking 10% of the timeJ
Before I begin to talk about the advanced calorie tracking and/or macro ratios I always advise people to keep it simple and demonstrate adherence to the above guidelines. Once they show compliance to the above rules they will then be ready for the more advanced macro and calorie programs to take it to the next level. Building a solid nutrition FOUNDATION will ensure you are on your way to a more healthier and fit version of yourselfJ