7 Tips on Ruling Your Diet!
Written by Bryce Smith
Here are my seven rules on how to keep you in the game and off the injured list – not only for the short term, but for seasons on end. Chow down while following these simple rules and be well on your way to your most healthy you!
Rule 1: Eat the way we were evolved to eat. If it can go bad, then it’s good for you. If it can’t go bad, then it’s probably not very good for you. When food cannot go bad, it is usually full of preservatives and processed sugars that are man-made and cause digestive distress, among tons of other problems. I often hear people say, “But eating healthy is so expensive!” Well, so are doctors visits, and over the counter medicines and remedies to ease your stomach pain or chronic inflammation as a result of a poor diet. Cavemen did not evolve eating what was easy and convenient, they had to work for their food.
Rule 2: Eat to nourish your body, not to fill an empty space. Often times, people eat to be full. This idea of full has our country’s obesity rate on the rise and our medical costs soaring through the roof. We must not treat our body like a trash can, shoving sugars and processed carbohydrates down our throats to achieve this feeling of being full. Think about it – what is “full”? Is being full going to nourish your body to perform at optimal function for life? I highly doubt it. It is simply overeating and causing a spike in insulin, followed by a crash that is going to leave you exhausted and craving the ever so popular energy drinks (dietary disasters) on the market now. Food is meant to provide us with energy; use it for its purpose and not for a guilty pleasure that will leave you feeling sorry in the long run.
Rule 3: Drink a glass of water before every meal. Often when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually dehydrated. Drinking a glass of water can help curb cravings and will help you feel more full before eating; it also helps the body get rid of toxins. Do not chug a bunch of water and dilute the nutrients from your upcoming meal, but one glass should help differentiate between eating with your eyes and eating with your stomach.
Rule 4: Eat breakfast. Skipping breakfast doesn’t help you lose weight! Remember, your body has been fasting all night long and in order to control cortisol levels, it is important to eat breakfast. Eating first thing in the morning helps to get nutrients in your body to prepare you for the day. Focus on getting fiber, complex carbohydrates, and protein from sources like berries, eggs, animal meats with a face and veggies. Personally, my favorite foods for breakfast are omelets and shakes. Both are great high protein meals that are extremely nutrient dense. My shakes are great to drink while on the go in the early mornings. I recommend packing the blender with as much spinach as you can, cracking a couple whole eggs (yes, the WHOLE egg, which has a high amount of nutrients and B vitamins) in there, a handful of frozen mixed berries, 20 grams of vanilla 100% whey protein, with a bit of cinnamon. You want this shake to be very nutrient dense as it is the first meal of your day. For high performing athletes, consider adding a nut butter of your choice to up the calorie and fat content of the shake. For athletes with weight loss or body composition goals, drinking calories is not recommended, however, it is better than no breakfast at all so feel free to modify this shake to keep the calorie content on the low end and still be packed with tons of nutrients.
Rule 5: Eat protein at every meal. Protein helps you feel fuller longer. My favorite sources of protein are eggs, steak, salmon, chicken, and tilapia. A high protein diet will help you recover from brutal workouts, or help you replenish a variety of vitamins and minerals lost during the course of the day, and will not give you a spike in insulin the way starchy carbohydrates do (like rice, pasta, and the world’s worst food: bread).
Rule 6: Eat your vegetables. Not only are they nutritious and high in fiber, you can eat as many as you want and you don’t have to count calories (for most vegetables). Find new spices and ways to prepare vegetables; I love frying my vegetables over the stove in some coconut oil with grilled onions, garlic powder, and a little bit of balsamic vinegar. Remember though, you can always sneak veggies in to your meals, like tossing spinach in your shakes, or in omelets.
Rule 7: Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. The best thing you can do for your body is EAT REAL FOOD! Lucky for you, grocery shopping just got that much easier. On the outskirts of the grocery store are the meat and seafood departments, the produce section, and the dairy section. This is where you should purchase the majority of your groceries which will help you optimize the nutrient density of your food and eliminate the processed food full of fillers and manmade products. If you eat the way we evolved to eat, you will be well on your way to a better quality of life with better body composition, less chronic inflammation, healthy hormone levels, but most importantly, off the injured list and ready for action in this game of life.
For all you fitness fanatics out there, you can either heal yourself through food or hurt yourself through food. You can’t out-exercise a bad diet! Eat Clean, Train Mean, and Live Lean!