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If athletes eat and train, why does everyone else diet and exercise?
Even though we are not all “athletes”, we can take the philosophy “eat and train” to live a healthier and more balanced life.
An athlete will focus on their end goal and eat and train to reach that goal. Depending on the sport, the ways they get there will be totally different.
Same goes for the rest of us. Figure out what your end goal is and implement small manageable steps to get there. To figure out the right steps for you will take some research, patience and some trial and error. DON’T GIVE UP!!!
Shifting the way you view weight loss and your health is the first step.
I see people “exercising” more but not changing anything else. Doing this is the fastest way to become frustrated and using a line like “I paid for this body”, “this is just me” or “take it or leave it”.
If that is how you truly feel, then go with it. Trying to look different for someone else is not going to make you happy and you will resent every second of it.
However, if you are doing it for yourself, you need to make a plan and follow it. This is where most people fall off the wagon, myself included.
Going to the gym 5 days a week and not changing what you are eating is not going to get you the results you want.
What will get you better results is changing what you are eating and going to the gym 2 to 3 times a week.
The Gym (for the average person)
The most effective weight loss results are from HIIT (high intensity interval training) and resistance training.
Both need minimal equipment and can be done anywhere. The beauty of these two types are that they continue to burn calories after you are done your workout!!
Low intensity workouts like yoga and Pilates are fantastic for building flexibility and strength without as much stress on the joints. I have noticed a huge difference in my posture since starting yoga as well as better sleep.
Cardio is called cardio because it gets your cardiovascular system pumping. Are you out of breath climbing a flight of stairs? Cardio may be for you. There are all different levels to build up to, just get your heart rate up.
So, if athletes eat and train, what are they eating? Same things we should be eating. Nutrient dense food that feeds our organs, digestive system and repairs and rebuilds what we depleted at the gym. This is how we get strong!
We need carbs, fats and protein in every meal to feed every part of the body so they can work together. The body is a wonderful and powerful machine. You need to treat it like one.
Would you put unleaded gas in a Ferrari?
That is exactly what you are doing when you fill your plate with processed, fat-free, calorie reduced foods. They will still have calories but are missing vital nutrients needed for your body to function efficiently.
These are a few examples of nutrient dense foods to incorporate into every meal. Pick at least one thing from every category to give your body what it needs.
Guideline for a 300 calorie meal. These numbers are reference only and trial and error is needed. Find what works for you.
- 20g protein
- 15g fats
- 20g carbs
Whole eggs chicken lean beef plain Greek yogurt lean deli meat (uncured) cottage cheese fish protein powder
Beans/lentils old-fashioned oats black/wild rice plain yogurt potatoes/sweet whole grain/sprouted pasta barley
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (cooking or dressings) nuts(cashews, almonds, brazil nuts etc.) Natural nut butters coconut
Seeds (chia, pumpkin, sesame, flax) *flax seeds need to be ground in order to absorb nutrients well
*I am adding a disclaimer here as some athletes may disagree with this list. For those of us that are looking more to weight loss and health, this is a good starting point.
GET FIT IN THE GYM, LOSE WEIGHT IN THE KITCHEN
Until next time.