Tag Archive: healthy fats

Fix your Nutrition: Basic tips and techniques you can use NOW

A big part of performing well with high intensity workout routines is nutrition. Many people are warriors when it comes to working out, but still eat anything they can get their hands on. This may work when you’re younger, but as you get older, these bad nutritional habits can come back to bite you.

The following are some foods that you should absolutely incorporate in your diet:

Green Vegetables – Green leafy vegetables are full of antioxidants. Americans actually spend billion of dollars each year to get antioxidants in pill form. However, you could probably do better with just eating more vegetables.

Antioxidants are vital to the human body, as they’ve been linked to preventing cancer, heart disease, and boosting the immune system. If you get sick a lot, then start eating more vegetables. This is because antioxidants are like a layer of protection for the cells and tissues.

Protein Powder – Protein is extremely important to help you build muscle mass and recovery from your intense workouts. But frankly speaking, not all of us get enough protein just from food. Especially if you’re an athlete and are working out at an extremely high intensity level.

Protein powder simply helps you get some extra protein. I like to mix mine with milk. Take it right after your workouts, and you’re good to go. Based on your size, you may need to take more than one protein shakes per day.

Olive Oil – Olive oil is a type of good fat. And good fat burns fat! But olive oil in particular is extremely beneficial for your body. Studies have shown that olive oil helps control LDL (bad) cholesterol by raising HDL (good) cholesterol.

Natural Oatmeal – One of the best things you can do is replace your regular cereal with natural oatmeal. Oatmeal has tons of great vitamins and nutrients you need to start your day off right. It also provides your body with lots of fiber, which is an essential nutrient in helping your body carry out daily metabolic functions

The Bridge Between Nutrition and Training (or, What do eat right after working out)

As mentioned earlier, the best thing to consume immediately after a tough training session is protein. Mix yourself a nice protein shake, chug it down, and start preparing your meal. You should wait at least a half hour after your workout to eat.

Depending on your workout, you may  need to consume different things. For example, after an intense bodyweight workout, you probably want to consume more protein then carbs, especially if your goal is to minimize fat gain.

But honestly speaking, the main thing is to eat healthy. Don’t go out and eat a slice of pizza. Your post workout meal should be your most nutritious meal of the day. Keep the junk off the plate, and you should be fine.

Here are some ideas for great post workout meals:

  • Glass of milk with protein powder
  • Turkey or Chicken sandwich on wheat bread
  • Natural Peanut butter and Low sugar jelly on wheat bread
  • Tuna fish on wheat bread
  • Protein bar with natural peanut butter on top and milk

Foods to Avoid

Unfortunately, there are probably more foods that we should be avoiding then consuming. That’s just the way out society is nowadays. People are choosing tastier options rather than healthier options, although with the right cooking techniques, you can make almost any food taste great.

Your biggest step to a more healthier diet should be to reduce your consumption of sugar. Start by cutting down the amount of sugary beverages that you drink. Bottled juices, soda, and sugary lattes can be killer diet destroying foods.

Next step would be to eliminate fried foods. Next time you go into a restaurant, avoid the sides of french fries, onion rings and curly fries. Try to understand how food is made. Don’t be afraid to ask the waiter at a restaurant how the food is prepared.

This third step is probably the most difficult. Eliminate or reduce your consumption of white flour. You can easily just switch to whole wheat bread and pasta, and still enjoy the same great (or even better) taste. I’m a huge pasta fanatic, and switching to whole wheat options has made a huge positive difference.

While you’re trying to cut down on sugar, you should start avoiding desserts. Just don’t buy them anymore from the grocery store. The less temptations you have at home, the better. I don’t care if you have little children. Get them started on a healthy diet early on.

Alcohol, especially beer, can be a physique killer. Once in a while, it’s not a bad thing. But at the end of the day, it’s just more empty calories being ingested into your body. On top of that, alcohol is a poison. So you should be controlling your consumption anyways.

Meal Frequency and Timing

Here’s something that a lot of people talk about: 3 meals a day or 6 meals a day? There are even people out there that only eat once a day and are still incredibly strong, ripped, and athletic. The truth is that it depends on you.

If you can get all your nutrients and calories with just one meal a day, then good luck to you. But most people will need to eat 3 complete meals a day, with a few snacks along the way. The majority of people probably eat 6 meals a day without even realizing it.

The best advice I can give you is to find your natural eating rhythm and stick to it. Fasting once in a while doesn’t hurt. Sometimes when I feel to sluggish or out of shape, I’ll fast for a few hours, and I’ll feel much better. Fasting also helps you improve your immune system and releases human growth hormone.

These were just a few basic tips to help you get started on a better nutrition plan. If you want to learn how to optimize both your bodyweight training and nutrition plan for a healthier lifestyle, then check out the Average Joe Fitness Program.

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An Alternative to the USDA Food Pyramid

If you haven’t figured it out already, the USDA Food Pyramid will not help you achieve your goals. As health enthusiasts we know that the amount of carbs (6-11 servings of grains) that they recommend are just too many. If you are not convinced that the USDA food pyramid is unhealthy, then please take some time to read this post.

For the rest of us, I have developed an alternative to the food pyramid. My version of the pyramid does not talk about specific servings. Instead, it’s a step by step method in developing your own unique diet that works for you.

Eat 90% Healthy

The base of the pyramid tells you to eat 90% healthy. When people come up to me and ask me how many calories they should be eating or how much protein to consume, I ask them what they are eating. Many times they say they are eating healthy, but are unable to name all the foods they consume. Some people are actually able to name all their foods. You know these are the people that are in some way tracking their foods.

  • I like to use a service such as theDailyplate.com to track my food. Online services help you manage your dietary intake better then just simply writing everything down on a notepad, then manually researching the foods.
  • For beginners, it is crucial that you track your foods for the first three months, but as you begin to understand the nature of nutrition itself, you can lighten up a little with all the measuring and analysis.
  • I personally choose three to five days per month to make sure that 90% of my calories are coming from healthy sources. If something is awry, then I adjust.

Adjust Calories

Once you have a strong understanding of how exactly to eat healthy, and are able to do it on a regular basis without putting much thought into the process, it’s time to see whether or not your caloric intake fits your goals.

Macro-nutrient Ratios

Now we get to the nitty gritty. Macro-nutrient ratios are the percentage of protein, carbs, and fat that you consume in your diet.

  • For example, if you are consuming a total of 2000 calories with 150 grams of protein, then 30% of your calories are coming from protein (150 x 4 = 600, 600/2000 = .3).
  • The media has hounded macros as being the number one concern when it comes to being healthy. The truth is, there is no set percentage that you should follow.
  • I personally follow a moderate carbohydrate, moderate protein, and moderate fat diet. So technically, I eat in moderation. If at one meal I consumed too many carbs, then I know I need to balance it out with some protein and healthy fats in my next meal.
  • I have found that on some days that I cheat on my diet, I am actually leaner the day after. Your body cannot live on just one magic vitamin, mineral, or nutrient. Keep things balanced.

Supplements

I am not abhorrently against supplements, although I do think that people need to take less of them. I think that most people follow a reverse pyramid, in that they rely on supplements to cover their bad eating habits.

  • Supplements should be used as a last resort and are often better used by athletes who are training hard for an event or competition.
  • Bodybuilders should use fat burners during their pre-contest phase. UFC fighters can take BCAA’s and other recovery products to help their bodies recover during intense training.
  • The regular gym goer does not need a suitcase full of drugs. Forget about the green tea extract and the super powerful Hydroxyfluf if you’re eating pizza and booze on the weekends with your buddies over a game of poker.

An architect knows that without a strong foundation, a building will not stand. Develop a strong base of healthy eating, and you’ll be successful in your nutrition.

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How to Eat for Fat Loss

In the past few months, my diet has gone through an immense amount of changes. I’ve moved towards eating more natural foods, and have dramatically reduced my consumption of dairy and wheat.

My body has responded very well. I have more energy then ever. I weigh less. My workouts are better…and I think my testosterone levels are up (if you know what I mean).

I showed my diet to my bodybuilder friend, and he exclaimed “How do you have energy for your workouts if your carbs are so low?” Well, fruit gives you love of energy. And, my carbs aren’t really low, they’re moderate.

Here’s what I ate yesterday:

8am – Grapes, Green Tea, Handful of Almonds
10:30am – 4 Egg Omellete w/ Hummus and 2 Slices Sprouted Bread, Apple
2:00 pm – Shake
3:15 pm – Bowl of Tindora, Dal, Rice w/ Tea
5:30 pm – Orange, Apple
7:00 pm – Handful of Almonds
8:30 pm – Bowl of Mungbeans and Rice

I start the day off with some fat burning green tea to wake up my system. Then it’s onto a piece of fruit and some almonds to jump start my metabolic rate. I actually get a lot of work done between 8 and 10:30.

10:30 is my big breakfast. I will eat anywhere between 2-4 eggs, with 2 slices of sprouted bread. Sprouted bread is organically sprouted, and doesnt’ have all the added sugar and chemicals of regular bread.

But it must be frozen since it has a shorter shelf life. Then, I’ll usually eat some more fruit after the meal, or a few hours after.

Mid-day is when I make a shake from Craig Ballantyne’s Blender Recipes (Part of TT Simple Nutrition). When my sister comes home from school, it’s lunch time. I usually eat whatever veggies my mom made the night before, minus the chapati (wheat bread).

I have started to eat rice again, but in small quantities. It’s usually brown rice, but yesterday there was only white rice in the house. Then it’s time to share a cup of tea with my sister. We both like different kinds of tea.

I prefer Masala tea, and my sister likes plain black tea or green tea. Right now I’m having something called Prince of Whales tea. A flavor from China. Not bad. Remember, no milk in the tea!

I’ll have some more fruit to keep me going until dinner time. I usually have some almonds before my evening workout. Nuts also give you a ton of energy. No need to grab a Red Bull.

Finally, I’ll end the day with whatever my mom made. Sometimes it’s veggies with Dal (lentl soup). Sometimes it’s mung beans, or some other lentil.

As you can see, my diet is balanced with lots of protein, a moderate amount of carbs, and loads of healthy fats.

Need some help with your diet? Then I recommend grabbing a copy of TT Simple Nutrition. Click here for more information.

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