Tip 1: Eat 5-6 meals a day
If you’ve been following the typical nutritional advice of cutting back on calories and consuming no more than “three square meals” a day in the hope of shifting your fat-burning efforts into high gear, you may actually be throwing the whole process into reverse. According to scientists at Georgia State University, active folks who skimp on calories and eat infrequently (only three times a day) may be training their bodies to get by on less energy and therefore more readily storing unburned calories as body fat. Instead, these researchers and many others advise active people to eat frequently (about every four hours) to accelerate metabolism and maintain steady energy levels throughout the day. We have provided you with a sample seven day meal plan for you to look at.
Tip 2: Combine carbohydrates and protein at every meal
The simple fact is, our bodies work better with a balance of carbohydrates and protein. Not only is protein essential for building healthy muscle and maintaining a strong immune system, it stabilizes insulin levels, which leads to steady energy throughout the day. One more benefit: eating protein has been shown to reduce your appetite. So, avoid high-carbohydrate nutrition plans and instead balance your protein and carbohydrate intake.
Tip 3: Choose “appropriate” portion sizes
USDA statistics show that because of increased portion sizes, the average total daily calorie intake has risen from 1,854 calories to 2,002 calories over the last 20 years. That increase—148 calories per day—theoretically works out to an extra 15 lbs. every year. Portion size is important to weight management. Employ a common sense approach, such as using the palm of your hand or your clenched fist for gauging the portion sizes of food.
Tip 4: Plan meals ahead of time
You may even want to try different recipes and decide what works for you before you begin your training program. Experiment with different seasonings, try a variety of vegetables, and find which microwave settings work best for preheating food. By the time you’re ready to start, you’ll have the supplies you need and the confidence that you know what you’re doing. Then, fix your meals in advance and freeze them. It’s important to shop at least once a week. If you forget, you’ll run out of good food and be tempted to cheat on your diet.
Tip 5: Get containers to store your food
Purchase plastic storage containers, sports bottles, a water jug and a cooler to store and carry your food. Having nutritious meals within reach during a hectic day can keep you on track.
Tip 6: Drink 10 glasses of totalfit alkaline water every day
It’s especially important to stay well hydrated when following a comprehensive training, nutrition, and supplementation program. Drink at least one glass of totalfit alkaline water with each of your six meals, (totalfitalkalinewater.com) and four more throughout the day. If you have an occasional diet soda, coffee, or tea, you’ll need to drink an additional glass to compensate for the diuretic effect of these beverages.
Tip 7: Consume a nutrient rich meal replacement drink within 30 minutes of exercise
Your muscles are primed for nutrients immediately after an intense workout, but within two hours, your body's ability to refuel decreases. Taken within 30 minutes of your workout, the high-quality protein in your meal replacement drink helps you refuel and build muscle.
Tip 8: Use high-quality supplements
Supplements can help make up for any nutritional deficiencies and enhance performance. When purchasing supplements, look for companies that invest heavily in research to maximize the effectiveness of their products.
Tip 9: Find your “emotional reason” for staying on track
Researchers at George Washington University discovered that people who successfully transform their bodies are set in action by some sort of “emotional trigger” that helps to clarify their reasons for deciding to make change. In the study, researchers found that any event which elicited strong emotions such as alarm, embarrassment, shame, and/or fear actually inspired people to transform their bodies for the better. Take a moment to consider your “emotional trigger” and use it to stay committed to your nutrition program.
Tip 10: Strive for consistency, not perfection
You can be sure there will be the occasional meal or snack that’s not on the recommended food list. When you get off track in this way, don’t allow it to slow you down. Enjoy the divergence, recommit to your goal, and get back on track with your next meal.
Use the following lists to put together your meals (1 protein and 1 veggie OR carb)
Lean ground turkey
Top round steak
Top sirloin steak
Lean ground beef
Egg whites or substitutes
Low-fat cottage cheese
Almond peanut butter
Olives and olive oil
Flax seed oil
Steamed brown rice
Greek Organic yogurt
15 Grain bread