Nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated! Here’s a simple, effective nutrition plan that will help you learn how to eat well for life.
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Exercise is important, but nutrition is what will make you the happiest or most frustrated with your results. It’s just that essential! For most of us, starting a new nutrition program is the most difficult part of getting back to fit. One of the reasons it’s such a challenge is because our eating patterns are deeply engrained. When you look at how many years you’ve spent developing those patterns, it’s easy to see why nutrition can be such a battle.
Those who don’t get the results they want from a fitness program usually make one of two mistakes: they try to out-train a bad diet, or they try to starve themselves into shape. Neither of these tactics will provide you with the results you’re looking for.
If you’re constantly trying to burn off a cinnamon roll or a cupcake, you’re not going to make the progress you want. It’s just much faster and easier to put calories into your body than it is to burn them off.
An extreme diet won’t work, either. If you eat much, much less than your body needs, you’ll just become a smaller person with more body fat. You trade the health risks of being overweight for health risks that occur from malnutrition, like loss of muscle and bone density. You have to learn how to eat, not how to starve.
The number one thing that will make you successful in your transformation is planning. You have to plan and prepare to eat properly. If you make a plan the night before and prepare yourself to eat healthy the next day, you don’t have any other choice than to do it. Make your plan and follow your plan. If you don’t do that, you’ll just fall back into your old habits.
You don’t have to go to extremes to get results. If you get it right 80 percent of the time, you’re going to love your results. Put all of your excuses aside and do your best. When you put yourself on a really good plan to eat for life, you’ll gain time, clarity, and a healthier perspective.
BACK TO FIT NUTRITION PLAN
The common denominator for those who stay in shape is that they have learned how to eat for life. And that’s what you’re going to do. You’re not going to diet, starve yourself, or try to “just get through” the next 12 weeks. You’re going to learn how to eat for life. You don’t have to do it perfectly, but you’re going to relearn how to shop, how to prepare healthy food, and how to eat the right amounts.
You have to learn to like healthy eating more than unhealthy gorging. If you want to look good, feel good, lose fat, build muscle, and live longer, you have to love food for the taste, nutrition, and results it brings. I’ll teach you how to do that.
For the next 12 weeks, you’ll practice preparing your food and eating wholesome, nutrient-rich food 80 percent of the time. If you can eat healthy for six days out of the week, then you can use Sunday as a free day to eat whatever you want.
That includes cookies, pizza, and french fries! Yes, this may seem more relaxed than some other plans you’ve looked at, but that’s what makes it sustainable for life.
GET THE “FACT”S
The bedrock for the nutrition plan you’ll follow is created from what I call the “Right FACTs.” If you can continuously adhere to these simple ideas, you will enjoy excellent results.
Foods: The most important nutrition decisions you’ll make on a daily basis are what types of food to eat. For protein, eat eggs, chicken, salmon, lean beef, low-fat cottage cheese, and protein shakes. For carbs, eat baked potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal, apples, oranges, strawberries, and vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and green beans. You can get your healthy fats from extra virgin olive oil, avocados, and nuts.
Amounts: The next key to a solid lifetime nutrition plan is to eat the right amounts of food. There’s no need to count calories; instead, keep track of your portion size. A good portion of protein is about the size of your palm. A portion of healthy carbs is about equal to the size of your fist.
If they’re cooked without a lot of oil and butter, you can pretty much have as many vegetables as you want. To measure the amount of healthy fats you eat, use your thumb as a guide.
Combinations: I combine a portion of protein, healthy carbs, and fat in each meal. For breakfast, try having 2-3 scrambled eggs, 1/4 of an avocado, and some oatmeal. It’s important that each meal has a balance of each macronutrient. The trouble comes when you eat carbs and fat by themselves.
Times: I’ve had great success eating about six meals each day. So, every 3 hours or so, I eat a meal. Usually, this works out to three full meals and three snacks. Eating often helps manage your appetite and ensure that your body has a constant supply of healthy nutrients. Eating frequently will also aid your digestion and increase your energy.