I am 100% guilty of trying to out-train a bad diet. I am guilty of working out like crazy with the thought process that if I am killing it in the gym I can therefore eat and drink whatever I want, right? Well, this is simply not true…so sad, I know! I recently listened to an amazing podcast, The Model Health Show, (which you should really check out, it is amazing!) and the host of the show Shawn Stevenson discusses how important our diet really is. Stating over and over again, “You cannot out train a bad diet”. As a fitness enthusiast you really would think I should know this already…but plain and simple I love food and I would like to believe my time in the gym gives me the okay to eat pizza and drink beer. So, I am sadly here to tell you that this is not true…you are doing your body a great disservice by killing your workout, and then putting junk into your body. I can speak first hand to this, as I have struggled with being active and eating the right foods.
Here are some simple tips that may help you make more gains by avoiding a bad diet:
Stick to Natural Whole Foods
Your diet should primarily consist of natural whole foods. Well, what does that mean? It is exactly what it sounds like, fruits, veggies, lean meat, and natural carbs like sweet potatoes. Check out our article on the Whole Food Diet to learn more.
We hear all the time that breakfast is the most important meal of the day or that in order to keep your metabolism fired up you need to be eating small meals/snacks all day long. These are some of the biggest nutrition myths for the average person. We do not need to be eating all the time. Fasting is actually one the most natural things in the entire world and it goes back centuries. Meaning, our ancestors (think caveman days) would fast on a regular basis. It is natural to fast and it can be extremely good for the body. Learn more about intermittent fasting here.
The Reward System
Many of us opt to “treat” ourselves after a hard workout with food and/or drinks. I am a huge supporter of the reward system, as it gives you a reason to push yourself harder or to stay consistent with your workouts. However, instead of choosing to reward yourself with that hot fudge sundae, treat yourself to a new pair of compression leggings or a new sports bra.
Avoid the temptation of swinging through a drive-thru on your way home from work because you are simply too tired to cook by planning ahead. Pick one day a week to meal prep your healthy meals for the week. One of my favorites is cooking off some free-range organic grilled chicken and using it throughout the week to make lettuce wraps, salads, or even enjoying it with a side of sweet potatoes. Check out more information on meal prepping.