July 11, 2012 by Imprint Fitness
1. Rule number one: Buy fresh food! There is no simpler, no easier, no plainer measure of the healthiness of your food than whether it comes in boxes and cans or is fresh from the farm or the fields. If more than half your groceries are prepared foods, then you need to evolve your cooking and eating habits back to the healthy side by picking up more fresh vegetables, fruits, seafood, juices, and dairy.
2. Shop the perimeter of the store. That’s where all the fresh foods are. The less you find yourself in the central aisles of the grocery store, the healthier your shopping trip will be. Make it a habit — work the perimeter of the store for the bulk of your groceries, then dip into the aisles for staples that you know you need.
3. Think of the departments (dairy, produce, meat, and so on) as separate stores within the supermarket. You wouldn’t shop at every store at a mall the same way, would you? You know better than to idly browse through a jewelry store, don’t you? So apply the same approach to the grocery store. Target the sections that are safe to browse through — the produce section, primarily — and steer clear of the dangerous sections (the candy, ice cream, and potato chip aisles).
4. Shop with a list. Organize your shopping list based on the tip above — that is, by the sections of the store. This will have you out of the supermarket at the speed of light. By lashing yourself to the discipline of a well-planned shopping list, you can resist the call of aisle upon aisle of junk food, thereby saving yourself from an overload of empty calories.
5. Food-shop with a full stomach. We’re sure you’ve heard this one before, but it’s worth repeating. Walking through the grocery store with your tummy growling can make you vulnerable to buying anything that isn’t moving.
6. Look for high monounsaturated fat. (like macadamia nut oil. It has more good-for-you monounsaturated fats than any other oil in the world and a higher smoke point than olive oil, so there’s no trans fatty acid formation when you cook) Monounsaturated fats make any dish you make heart-healthier.
7. Buy plain yogurt and flavor it at home. Pre-flavored yogurts have oodles of sugars that destroy any healthy benefits they once had. If you add a teaspoon of all-fruit jam at home, it’ll still taste yummy, you’ll consume far fewer useless calories, and you’ll save lots of money.
8. Consistency is key – Most people respond well to consistency. Make a plan and stick to it. Try to eat at around the same times daily and keep to the same portion size and caloric intake.. Your body will recognize this pattern and in turn keep your metabolism burning and your energy levels will stay high. You will feel better, and get in a healthy routine. It is easy to sabotage yourself by grabbing nasty snacks to meet uncontrolled cravings. The time you spend on planning and consistency is a true investment that will benefit you for the rest of your life. Remember, it’s a lifestyle, not a diet!
9. BUT, be flexible – Of course, even the best plans fall short at times. Life can sometimes get the best of all of us. Sometimes your eating routines need to change. Where you can, try to plan ahead for these events and have items on hand you can take with you when you’re in a rush or are eating out. Example: Bag of almonds, protein bars and shakes, fresh fruit. Also educate yourself on nutrition through the internet, books, and magazines.
10. Macronutrients – You get all of your daily calories from either fats, proteins, or carbs. The body needs all of these to function properly and when one of them is absent you’re going to crave it! The ideal diet incorporates all 3, while shredding fat and hanging onto muscle. Get at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight (up to 1.5g xlb). For fats and carbs, you need both! Add good fats, between .35g per lb up to .5g per lb. The rest of your calories should come from carbs. We recommend eating the majority of your carbs post workout, but honestly, the choice is up to you. Carbs can range between .25 g per pound and up to 2 g per pound, depending on your fitness goals.
11. Water, Water, Water – You’ve heard it a million times and I’m going to tell you again. Drink water throughout the entire day! Muscles are made of up of approximately 75% water and they don’t get hydrated through chicken breast and salad. Keeping hydration levels up has a number of benefits. If dieting, water is going to help keep your appetite in control and also have a positive effect on resting metabolism as your body works to process all that water. It’s also going to help hydrate your muscles and keep your muscles energy source levels high.
12. RELAX- Try and take some time out to relax… increased stress levels give rise to cortisol, and too much can slow your metabolism. Stress can also cause cravings, and you might find yourself wanting to eat fatty and sugary foods.
13. Consume fiber – Consuming food high in fiber helps keep blood sugar levels steady and can aid in your goals of leaning up. Fiber provides bulk to foods, therefore making you feel fuller longer.
14. Add whey protein – perfect to start the rebuilding process post training and making it simpler to hit your protein target for the day. Supplementing with a fast-acting protein source, like whey, will guarantee that your muscles get the muscle building nutrients they need.
Stay tuned for PART 2!