Healthy Eating in 8 Steps

Healhy Eating in 8 Steps

The personal trainer comes out in me any time I get questions about what someone should eat in order to reach their fitness goals.  Most people don’t want to hear what they need to give up in order to get that dream body they’ve been working for.  Others already have a basic idea as to what to eat but don’t have the will-power to eat the right foods and avoid the wrong ones.  Follow the tips below and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier you.

  1. Throw out your junk food.  Before you clean up your nutrition, you need to remove all temptation from your surroundings.  You need to decide if your goals are more important that the tempting junk food you may encounter.
  2. Replace sugary drinks with water, a lot of water.  Sugars and carbs in your drinks add up very quickly if you don’t pay attention.  By switching to water, you improve many functions in the body, not to mention, you save on many unnecessary sugars that convert very readily to body fat.  Water is essential to keep the metabolism active all day.  If you tend to overeat, water can help keep you full between meals.  Drinking the right amount of water depends on several variables (such as age, gender, activity level, etc) but to keep things simple, just try to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water.  For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, drink at least 75 ounces of water.
  3. Replace carb loaded, processed snack foods with fresh fruits and veggies.  Nearly everything you find at a grocery store is designed to sit on the shelf for days before customers purchase it.  Do you really want something that can sit for days without changing, in your body?  By sticking with the fresh, whole foods, your body will process, digest, and use it more naturally.
  4. Take healthy snacks with you on the run.  Missing meals can be downright detrimental to your success. Once the body misses a regular meal, it triggers starvation mechanisms, which store food as body fat in order to survive. At the same time, your body’s metabolism slows down in order to save energy. This lends to potentially overeating in later meals. To avoid this problem, eating consistently throughout the day will actually allow the body to utilize the food you eat efficiently, rather than store it.
  5. Switch from SIMPLE CARBS to COMPLEX and FIBROUS CARBS.  Complex and fibrous carbs will keep you feeling full longer and are an excellent source of extended energy for the day.  Simple carbs on the other hand, convert into body fat. 

Simple Carbs Complex Carbs Fibrous Carbs

White Rice Brown Rice Vegetables (leafy green)

White Breads Wheat Breads Cauliflower, Celery

White Pastas Whole Wheat Pasta Bell Peppers

Sweet Potatoes

  1. Avoid fried foods and sugar.  Fried foods and sugar raise your chances for heart disease and obesity.  By eliminating these things, you’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll look and feel.
  2. Every meal should have a source of protein. Having protein will help you feel full longer, reducing the chance of eating too many empty calories found in carb-loaded snacks. This protein will build lean muscle, which will help you burn body fat and keep if off by accelerating your metabolic rate. 
  3. Cut back on the Alcohol.  I know, this one’s tough for a lot of you.  Just remember, when you drink alcohol, you essentially shut off your metabolism and consume extra calories that are easily stored as body fat.  And if you eat when you drink, the problem is compounded.

By following these simple steps, you’ll give yourself a much better chance at seeing the results you’ve been working for.  Keep in mind, however, that it will take consistent effort to reveal the true benefit.  Stay committed for at least 30 days and you just might amaze yourself. 

Nick offers custom workout and nutrition programs.  For more information, you can contact him at nick@ilivenorth.com or visit www.firehousefitnesskc.com

Twitter: @NickBoltonFit