The fitness journey is a long road with many paths; you will hear countless voices telling you to do this or do that, but one that has stuck with me is the phrase “Eat clean and train dirty.” Although I would like to have both aspects in check for optimal performance, that phrase helps remind me just how important proper nutrition is to achieving your overall fitness goals.
Let me state it bluntly, if your diet/nutrition is not in check, you will be setting yourself up for failure in the gym. This article will help one identify their dietary goals/needs, and I’ll add a list of my favorite foods I use to maintain my weekly nutrition along with advice to keep you motivated!
Developing a healthy lifestyle
One of the most important tips I can give one about life is to create a goal, then from there, identify the tools you’ll need to achieve it. I sincerely believe that these steps are required when we speak about diet/nutrition and how to achieve your desired body composition. For the sake of this article I will assume we all want a lean, muscular body with great definition.
Before I get into the “gritty” of this I must also stress how one must have a motivation to stick to your “diet” and turn it from a “diet” into a lifestyle. I define dieting has a short term tool used to prepare for a contest- where as a healthy life style over the course of weeks, months, years and a life time will produce a way of living that will allow one to reap many benefits.
All Jack3d Food Posts:
Partial list of my weekly food sources:
- Oats (natural and when budget allows Gluten Free Oats)
- Greek yogurt (no fat, low carb and high protein)
- Skim/fat free milk (seldom used)
- Ezekiel bread (one of, if not, the best bread out there. They also make muffins, hamburger buns, ect. )
- Sweet potatoes
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat pasta
- Mass gainer made of complex carb sources (used when bulking)
- Chicken, chicken and more chicken. Diced, grilled, breasts, full chickens. (Try to avoid chicken loaded with sodium and breaded chicken)
- Albacore tuna
- Salmon/trout (dad fishes)
- Lean steak
- Extra learn ground beef
- Tilapia (great source and very cheap)
- Eggs/egg whites
- High protein Greek yogurt
- Protein powders (Whey, casein)
- Turkey (check sodium content)
Fats pay a critical part in achieving your dream body. They have been overlooked for far too long. Take the time to read this article written by Dexterium from the USPlabs forums. Here are my main fat sources:
- Almonds (raw, unsalted; you can also try almond butter)
- All natural peanut butter
- Avocados (very yummy)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Flax seed
- I often take a salmon/fish oil pill if I can’t get it through my whole food sources. Animal Omega is a great pack to take.
You will notice ice cream, chocolates, white/bleached foods, fast foods and others are absent from the list. I won’t tell you I don’t eat them, for I do- but in moderation– few and far between. Once you know how to manipulate your cells and work with your body’s natural chemistry you can reap the benefits and time certain “cheat foods” into your diet- but that is a topic for another day.
Principles that guide my lifestyle
I am still in the learning stage of creating the ‘perfect’ diet for my goals- for they are constantly changing and my dietary needs are also changing. I have moved up 17lbs (from the 181-198lbs) since my last meet. These gains were not made overnight but by a slow, gradual change, increasing my caloric intake weekly and incrementally. I had to let my body rest and grow, adding learn mass and not a lot of fluff. The same principle applies to leaning out.
Start by figuring out your basal caloric needs; identify immediate areas in your diet you can change; for example, cutting out sodas, syrupy coffees, ALCOHOL and unhealthy snacking. Create a plan, prepare meals ahead of time. No one is perfect, so don’t beat yourself up when you stumble. Every day I seek to become a better version of who I was the day before, slowly improving and learning. I also try to find new healthy foods, combinations to experiment with so that I don’t give in and binge.
Follow these steps and keep an eye out for future articles, read up on posts suggesting healthy foods for a leaner body and make sure you set yourself up for success so you can fuel your body with the energy you need to have a Jack3d body!