When it comes to health and fitness, what you eat plays a very important role. Many can find the discipline and dedication to wake up at 5AM and train 5 days a week BUT they cannot seem to control what they put on their plate. While it is wonderful that you may have taken the initiative to start hitting the gym more frequently, in order to see more dramatic results in your body composition, watching what you eat, in combination with your gym sessions, can accelerate this process.
Every "Body" Is Different…
When it comes to finding a meal plan that is right for you, time and time again, you will find diet plans that are “simply” outlined and seem easy enough for you to follow. In the beginning, you may follow this plan 100% and easy turn your head to tempting sweets at the office or at get togethers. However, as the time passes, you may begin to lose focus and start to add a little “extra”. A few almonds here, an extra rice cake, a cookie or five there and BAM! after a few weeks you have an excess of calories you do not burn off during daily activity.
Another aspect when finding a meal plan to follow, sure it may be nice that someone has taken the time to create a meal plan for you to utilize BUT this meal plan does not take into account your current weight, goals or activity level. Each person is different when it comes to daily calorie needs and energy expenditure.
In the Fast Track to Fittest, I will not provide you with a “cookie-cutter” diet that is the “be-all-end-all” of nutrition- because that simply does not exist! We all have different body types, goals and levels of activity, so everyone’s meals and caloric intake are going to vary slightly. But for the most part, they will be centered on good old fashioned “clean eating”.
While there is a lot of controversy over what exactly clean eating consists of, I refer to clean eating as getting the majority of your diet from natural sources, AKA- If you can’t pronounce it…then maybe we shouldn't eat it. When I refer to clean eating, I am talking about fruit, vegetables, nuts and lean protein in their simplest forms, not covered in syrups, sauces and salt after being deep fried.
Prepare Meals You Enjoy And Fit Them Into Your Meal Plan
In the Fast Track to Fittest I WILL outline a sample meal plan (male and female versions) as well as provide a list of some of my favorite clean options to help you go grocery shopping. This is simply for you to gather an idea of what a well balanced meal plan may look like for you. But heck, if the meals listed sound delicious, then by all means tailor the calories and meals to fit your specific goals. However, the sample plans and recipes are simply there to be a guide to allow you to cook meals that you enjoy and fit them into your daily meal plan.
I will also provide you with some of the tools that I use when personalizing meal plans such as a Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) calculator that will give you a rough estimate of the amount of calories you need a day to maintain your current weight, lose weight or add lean muscle. From there you can tailor the amount of Protein, Fats and Carbohydrates you need to consume daily in order to reach your goals.
By eating well balanced meals frequently, you will be satisfied after each meal and even though you are “dieting” in a sense, you will not feel like you are “starving” as you may have in the past. This is because you will be eating to fuel your body and not depriving yourself as many fad diets tend to do. The results will not be immediate and drastic, but doing it slowly and correctly will ensure that you get results that will LAST!
Look At Your Nutrition As A Choice
By looking at your nutrition as a CHOICE, you will be able to avoid the aggravation that comes with traditional dieting. Remember that you have to get out of your comfort zone a bit in order to see change, so it will not always be easy, but by making the healthier choice you will be happier in the long run and it will become easier over time.
I prefer to look at what I eat when getting into contest shape as a “meal plan” as opposed to a diet. To me a diet sounds very strict, regimented and honestly boring. Your meal plan should be something you can see yourself doing long term, not just until you hit a goal weight or begin to see your abs. Reaching your goals does not mean taking a nose dive into chocolate cake.
Consistency Is Key…
How can you expect to eat lean and grilled protein for 3 months and once you reach your goal go back to eating fried chicken like you had in the past? If you expect to see the same changes… -You won’t! You need to be consistent with your training and meal plans in order to obtain and maintain your physique.
Nutrition Tip: Rather than reaching for a soda at lunch, I drink a carbonated Celsius (usually Sparkling Cola). Celsius burns 100 calories or more per serving and is proven to boost metabolism and reduce body fat. This is especially important when I am trying to lean down. In fact, Celsius is perfect for any type of diet or weight management program. Since Celsius is full of vitamins and good for you ingredients, you can feel confident that you are making a healthy choice. Celsius is a satisfying treat- without all of the guilt!
In the comments section below, let me know what type of diet you have used in the past and/or what type of diet restrictions you may be working with. I will be sure to provide you with a unique way that Celsius will be able to supplement your nutrition and help you reach your goals.By leaving a comment you will be entered to win a Celsius cooler. Perfect for helping you stay on track while at work or on the go!