3 not-so-common nutrition tips to staying lean
You’d think you would have heard of these before
1) Eat a lot of the same things
In your quest to figure out nutrition once and for all, many aim to be a perfectionist, when you really should aim for efficiency-ist. There’s a rare bird every now and then that goes from unhealthy to whack-job health nut. The problem with people like this, is it’s all or nothing. They live on both ends of extremes, and quite frankly this is a problem in many topics in our world. You’re either on the extreme east end of the spectrum or the extreme west end, when in reality, you should fall somewhere in between. This is how it should be with one’s nutrition.
Now if you follow Doctor “so and so,” who is an extreme naturopath and everything that isn’t “natural,” a marketing term by the way, will get you a ticket to cancer-city and die, then you’ll probably create a strong, yet illogical fear of food, water, or actually living a human existence. Additionally, you’ll likely create an unwanted amount of stress in your life trying to be perfect by eating this rare fruit and that rare vegetable, all of which you can’t find at your regular ‘ol grocery store. Oh, don’t forget you need to eat 18 servings of them per day. This may work for a week or two when you’re “motivated” or until you realize that you’re not a celebrity with millions of dollars to have someone else do all this food prep and shopping for you. This then leads to you “effenheimer it” as you dive head first into your secret pale of haagen-daaz.
It doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, it can be way simpler, efficient, and free up more brain power for other important things in your life. So here’s my first tip all the Perfectionist Peggys and Type A Teddies in the world. You ready for it? Here it is, eat a lot of the same things. Yep, I said it. Don’t miss it. Find 3 breakfast meals you like, 3 lunch meals you like, 3 dinner meals you like, and 3 snacks that you like. That can give you something like 27 different meal-plans (I think anyway, maybe it’s only 9, but either case, you’re good to go). Make sure to plug these into your MyFitnessPal app, or whatever you use, to make sure they fit your caloric and macronutrient needs for your goals. Seriously, do this.
2) Eat Calorie Controlled Foods
What in the world is a “calorie controlled food” you may be asking yourself. Well guess what, dear reader, I’m going to tell you. And as I drag out the suspense in another sentence of nutritional simplicity, you’re going to walk away with a “why hasn’t anyone told me this before a-ha moment.”
Calorie controlled foods are foods or even entire meals that contain the same number of calories every single time you eat them. Whether it’s Monday’s breakfast, Saturday’s lunch, or Wednesday’s snack, the caloric load of the meal is the same. In case you’re not picking up the profoundness of this simple tip, it means when you have a goal of either losing fat (most likely) or gaining muscle you have to make sure that your calories align with your goal, and you also have to get your macronutrients to fit into that also. This is already a difficult task for the average person to undertake, but if they eat a lot of the same things, and if some of those things are calorie controlled, then perhaps we could start to really control the intake and make it a constant variable in the experiment that is YOU REACHING YOUR GOALS!
So, what are some examples of calorie controlled foods? Here’s a short list, and there’s many more!
- Protein Supplements
- Individually packaged nuts
- Healthy protein bars
- Fruit (apples, oranges, bananas, etc….of similar size)
- Individually packaged greek yogurt or cottage cheese
3) Use Supplements
I don’t care whose supplements you take, so long as they’re quality. Quality supplements have these qualities:
- Made in certified GMP Facilities (This is an FDA certification)
- 3rd party tested for contaminants, banned substances, and accuracy of labeling.
- Must be formulated well and taste good
Here’s one of the secrets that nobody ever shares with you about quality supplementation. Oftentimes they greatly enhance your nutrition, they can help you recover from intense training, they can help optimize your immune health, and they can do some or all of these things without adding a single calorie to your nutrition intake. That’s right folks, many quality supplements are calorie-less, meaning you can enhance your nutrition status without adding a single calorie. This is done through vitamins, minerals, herbal extracts, botanicals, caffeine, BCAAs, creatine, other amino acids, and many other ingredients.
This is why when you use them when getting in shape and losing fat or building muscle, it always feels a little bit easier. This doesn’t mean that it’s easy, it just means that quality supplements can give you a slight edge in your battle for optimal health and fitness. There’s a good chance, when you choose the right supplements, that you’ll feel more energetic, you will recover better from your workouts, and you’ll sleep better.
- Eat a lot of the same things
- Eat calorie controlled foods
- Use supplements
Here lies the lesson for the day.