I will start off by saying this: nutrition is 70% of your weight loss results, followed with 20% from exercise and 10% from genetics. You cannot out-train a bad diet. If you aren’t eating fresh, healthy foods to fuel your body, then your time spent exercising is wasted. Nutrition is key to getting the body you have always wanted – I cannot stress that enough.
Living a healthy lifestyle is all about eating fresh, healthy foods while also eating the foods that you enjoy. Remember, this is not a ‘diet’, this is a lifestyle change. Something you will do for the rest of your life. Most diets can make you feel restricted in what you can eat which can lead to unhealthy binges and ultimately weight gain. You want to change your way of eating so that you can enjoy eating healthy foods and stick to it – for life. This doesn’t mean that you can never have the foods you love – it is all about moderation! You want to eat a combination of lean protein, complex carbohydrates (yes you can eat carbs!) and healthy fats which will help you to shed unwanted pounds and tone your body.
Healthy Eating Guidelines
When losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle there are some important guidelines that you must follow to start
seeing the results you want.
- Eat 5-6 small meals a day, every 2.5-3 hours.
- Eat breakfast every morning within 1 hour of waking.
- Eat a combination of lean protein and carbohydrate at each meal, with a few servings of healthy fats daily.
- Drink at least 2 litres (68 oz) of water a day.
- Make sure to eat at least two servings of fruit and 3-5 servings of vegetables a day.
- Purchase foods in their naturalist form ie all natural peanut butter with 100% peanuts (no vegetable oil added!)
- You want 80% of your daily foods to come from ‘clean’ foods ie fruits,veggies, salads, lean meats, nuts etc.
- Always read nutrition labels and ingredient lists! If your grandmother wouldn’t know what an ingredients is then don’t eat it!
Things you shouldn’t do!
- Skip Meals
- Consume processed & packaged foods, especially takeaways.
- Eat foods containing artificial sweeteners or high-fructose corn syrup.
- Consume trans and saturated fats.
- Drink high-sugar juice, soda or coffee.
- Eat sugar, instead replace it with natural sugar like stevia.
- Consume foods high in sodium (keep sodium under 2000mg a day).
- Drink alcohol (except for special occasions).
Please note: This doesn’t mean you can’t ever have these foods. But these are not foods you should be eating on a daily basis. It is all about moderation! I try to limit these things to 1-2 times per week.
If you are reading the list above and thinking ‘that is just too strict for me’, that is fine! Start by changing one or two things per week. For example cut soda from 4 cans per week to 2 or start by adding more vegetables to your lunches. You will not be able to change your eating habits overnight, and that’s okay. It has taken me 3 years to completely transform my eating habits – this is a lifestyle, take it one day at a time, one meal at a time and one pound at a time.
A day of healthy meals may look something like this (depending where you are in your journey):
Breakfast: ½ cup uncooked oats made with ½ cup almond milk with 1 tsp stevia, 1 tsp cinnamon and 2 scrambled egg whites.
Snack: 1 medium apple & 1 tbsp natural peanut butter.
Lunch: Palm size portion of grilled fish, ½ cup wholemeal pasta mixed with 1 tbsp avocado & 1 cup raw vegetables (carrot, peas & salad).
Snack: 1 small banana & a whey protein shake (post workout).
Dinner: Palm size portion of chicken, ½ cup sweet potato & 1 cup steamed vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower & zucchini).
Snack: Two brown rice rice cakes with 1 tbsp low fat cottage cheese.
Below I have included a downloadable chart which will help you to determine when, how much and how often to take in protein, carbs and fats. Use the chart to help you with correct portion sizes and timing of each macro nutrient group.
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