Nutrition is often portrayed as a very complicated subject. While it's true that nutrition science IS a vast and ever-evolving topic, healthy eating is simple when you make small changes to your diet.
Of course, simple doesn't mean easy – especially when you believe every nutrition myth you see in the media. Cut through the BS and put the following 4 nutrition tips into action ASAP – like, yesterday! If you do, you will start noticing changes to your overall health and energy in no time.
#1 EAT YOUR VEGETABLES!
Vegetables are the best source of vitamins and minerals, and they also contain fiber. Your body needs these nutrients to function at its best. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can affect how your body functions, including your energy levels, immune system, and your ability to focus and concentrate. Fiber keeps your digestive system working correctly.
Try to eat three different vegetables at your main meals, and snack on a veggie or two whenever you can. Choose a range of different colored veggies to ensure you get a variety of nutrients. Eat the rainbow, and we don’t mean Skittles!
#2 DRINK MORE WATER!
Your body is made up of around 70% water. Your blood is 90%+ water, your muscles are close to 30%, and even your eyes and bones contain water. Water is essential for life. You can go for several weeks without food, but only a couple of days without water.
Your body uses water for lubrication, temperature control, to move substances around your body, and as a medium for many chemical reactions.
Despite the obvious importance of water, a lot of people are chronically dehydrated. They aren’t dehydrated enough to drop dead, but they are low enough in water that it affects their health and the way their bodies work.
Fix this problem by drinking around 64 ounces of water per day.
The simplest way to get this done is to purchase a stainless steel 32-ounce bottle, fill it with filtered water and drink 2 of these throughout the day. If working out, add an extra 16 ounces for every 30 minutes of exercise you do per day. Do not count coffee, teas, soda, etc. toward your total water intake. These drinks often only dehydrate you more.
If you don't usually drink this much water, increase your intake gradually. If you up your water intake too fast, you'll overwhelm your urinary system and end up peeing like the proverbial racehorse. Start off with about 32 ounces of water per day and increase gradually after that.
#3 INCREASE PROTEIN INTAKE
Sedentary people do not need a lot of protein. However, if you train hard, you need to increase your intake of this vital food group. Intense exercise causes muscle breakdown, a process called catabolism. Muscle repair and recovery, properly called anabolism, requires amino acids and your body gets these aminos from the protein you eat.
Easily make sure you are getting enough protein by including protein-rich foods in all your main meals, e.g., eggs for breakfast, tuna for lunch, and chicken for dinner.
Too little protein can impair your recovery and undermine muscle growth and strength development. Protein is also useful for fat loss because eating it increases your metabolic rate, and keeps you feeling full.
#4 REMOVE SUGAR FROM YOUR DIET
Sugar tastes good and is a fast-acting source of energy, but it can do your body more harm than good when consumed to excess. Sugar contains no vitamins or minerals but requires a lot of these substances for digestion. Unused sugar is quickly and easily converted to body fat and stored for later use. It’s also very bad for your teeth.
Worst of all, sugar triggers an inflammatory response within your body. Inflammation can cause a host of problems, from joint pain to heart disease.
The occasional sugary treat is no problem; you probably deserve it. However, you should limit your sugar intake if you care about your health and your performance. Cut down on soda, candy, and processed foods that contain a lot of "white death." Replace processed sugars with natural sugars, i.e., fruit.
I can guarantee if you start implementing these steps, then it won't be long before you notice the positive effects on your body. All of our 8-week training plans include a nutrition & supplement guide that goes into more detail about what you should eat, calculating your macros, important supplements, meal examples, etc.