If any of you know me, you've probably heard me say that your diet counts for 70% of your health, which is a huge chunk! That means you could go to the gym every week, working vigorously to achieve that sexy body you've always wanted, and it'll only count for 30% of your success!! What you eat matters, big time. So, what do you eat?
First of all we need to understand that the body works at its best when it's given "fuel" or "food" at regular intervals throughout the day- every 2-3 hours to be exact! Going any longer without feeding your body and your metabolism will slow down. This is your body's survival mode! If you cause your body to think it's starving it won't burn calories the way you want it to. So, keep your metabolism fired up and on "burn" mode by eating 6x each day- 3 small meals and 3 snacks! Each meal should be made up of 3-4 food groups, and each snack should be made up of 2 to ensure proper nutrition.
Below I have copied what I typically eat during the day. Hopefully it will give you some ideas! Don't feel that you have to eat what I eat, because we're all different and require different amounts of proteins and carbs based on our sex, activity level, and fitness goals. Instead try some new things on your own and let me know how you make out! It may seem like a lot of work, or a lot of food, but once you get use to it, your body will LOVE you for it! Not only will it stay in a calorie-burning mode, but you will also keep your blood sugar levels in check which will prevent sluggish feelings during the day.
One poached egg and 2 pieces of toast (Sobey's low-sodium whole wheat bread) with decaf green tea or water, and a banana or apple. I usually put a little bit of Becel on the toast.
Couple handfuls of baby carrots and a small amount of hummus
One Dempster's whole grain bagel (or whole wheat pita bread) with hummus, romaine lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and low fat Armstrong cheddar cheese
Chicken breast sandwich on low-sodium whole wheat bread, with Our Compliments whipped dressing, chopped walnuts or almonds, low-fat Our Compliments Havarti cheese, sliced pear, alfalfa sprouts, and romaine lettuce
Apple and yogurt and water
Baked chicken breast topped with Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy seasoning (and occasionally VH Spicy Thai Chili sauce! YUM! But don't use a lot, because it's not the healthiest *wink*), brown rice, and some steamed broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots and a glass of water
small bowl of popcorn (air-popped or "100 calorie" type)
So, hopefully that will give you some meal ideas or snack options! That's not what I have every day, but it's pretty typical! Sometimes if I know I'm going to have a heavy supper, I'll have just 1 piece of toast with breakfast, or will opt for the pita bread instead of the bagel (less carbs) for lunch. Or if I know I'm going to land at Beanz between classes and won't be able to resist their healthy/organic granola nut and fruit bars, I'll have have less carbs with my next meal. It's all about a little give and take! And you don't have to kill yourself thinking about it! All you have to do is eat mostly fruit and veggies, and eat often. If you're working out you'll need to make extra sure that you're getting good quality carbs and proteins at every meal and snack. Carbs will give you energy, and protein will help with muscle repair and recovery.
I hope you found some of this information useful! Try keeping a food journal on your own and it will help you keep on track and stay accountable! It will help you find clues to your successes and failures when it comes to achieving your fitness goals as well! If you notice on a particular day you're feeling to fatigued to do your workout, take a look at your food journal to see if it's something to do with what you had, or didn't have, to eat. Or if you feel really good and are noticing a difference in your energy level during your workout, pay attention to how you ate that day and repeat it! Also, if you feel sick after eating on occasion, your food journal can help pin-point any potential food allergies.
Let me know how you make out :)