3 Beginner Steps to Cleaning up Your Diet
You hear it over and over again- “the importance of nutrition”, “eat this, don’t eat that”, “proper fuel for your workouts”, etc., etc. There is so much information out there that it can become incredibly overwhelming and you may not even know where to start when it comes to nutrition and eating healthy. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated and difficult, maybe to fine tune your results and hit very specific body goals it can be, but we’re here to break it down for you with 3 simple steps to get you started. Follow these and you’ll see progress in the gym, changes in your overall body composition, and a boost in your energy level and overall wellbeing.
- Eat protein at every meal and at least 1 snack per day. This can be as simple as grilled chicken breast or a protein shake to pork, beef, fish, eggs, etc. Mix it up or keep it simple, but make sure there is a serving of protein (roughly the size of your palm, no smaller) on your plate at every meal.
- Include vegetables at every meal– even breakfast! Not only are they filled with all sorts of great vitamins and minerals but they also fill you up and help you stay full longer. Focus on leafy green veggies and those with a lot of color. Limit the starchier ones- sweet potatoes, squash, etc- to post workout meals. If that becomes easy work on replacing grains, bread, starchy and processed foods with vegetables, as well. Eat ’em raw, eat ’em cooked, but eat your veggies!
- Begin to limit and eventually eliminate processed and added sugar. This one definitely doesn’t happen overnight but think about the places you add sugar- coffee creamer, most packaged goods, the occasional juice or soda, maybe a small but indulgent treat every night. Figure out what is the easiest to limit or eliminate and start there. Most likely you aren’t ready to give it up for good, and that’s okay, but sugar really does act like a drug in that the more you take in the more your body thinks it needs. So practice replacing added/processed sugar with natural sugar (honey) and then slowly getting away from those. Pay attention to labels and watch what you are eating, sometimes you don’t even know a food item has sugar!
These steps may seem fairly basic and obvious to some people, but not to others, and even if you know what you should be doing, are you really doing it? Keep a food log for a few days, go back and check how you did in these three categories and let us know! Mastered these steps? We can get more specific, but this is a great place to start taking charge of your diet and making steps towards improving your overall health and mindset. I promise you won’t regret it!