When it comes to any fitness journey, food is by far the biggest variable.
Let’s be clear: you simply cannot out-train a poor diet. You can offset its effects, but you won’t be able to prevail long-term. It’s one thing to maintain a healthy looking exterior, but what goes on inside with regards to cells and organs can be an entirely different thing altogether.
With that in mind, doesn’t it make sense to get a handle on this whole subject of nutrition?
Knowledge Influences Choice:
If all you ever do is take the easy option or follow cravings, then you’ll never stop to consider whether the food you ingest is supporting you or holding you back.
We all know that protein fuels muscle growth, yet it never ceases to amaze me how many people under-eat this life-supporting macro.
But wait, we know carbohydrates are needed for energy, right? Actually, it’s not that simple. Yes, our body does metabolise carbs this way, turning it into glucose. However, the devil is in the detail; or in this case the quantity and quality.
It’s estimated that the average person ingests between 225-335 grams of carbs a day. That’s one hell of a lot of energy! Does the average person really need that? Are they active enough to warrant it? I think we all know the answer to that.
Why is it then, that we consume so damn much?
Let’s be clear, carbohydrates are not evil! Except when they come from overly processed sources; in which case you may as well swallow pure sugar. And there you have it: that sweet reason why we’re drawn to poor-quality carbs.
When we recognise how detrimental highly-processed carbohydrates are to our overall well-being, it becomes imperative that we look for better alternatives.
Let Ambition Be Your Guide:
We all want to be the best version of ourselves, don’t we? A bit leaner, stronger, healthier? Or perhaps those ambitions are grander; and why shouldn’t they be?
This won’t happen by accident; especially given the overwhelming array of low-quality food-choices we must navigate on a daily basis.
Given how easy it is to eat poorly: surely we owe it to ourselves to become educated about what’s in our food? Personally, I never buy anything unless I’ve scoured the ingredient list. If I can’t pronounce something, I’m sure as hell not going to put it in my body.
Do I begrudge this extra effort? No, not at all. Because I love the control that this extra layer of knowledge gives me. It informs my choices to the greatest degree, and ensures I have the fullest understanding as to what I’m doing to my body.
I use the word doing because everything we ingest has a consequence. It could be good and positive for our overall well-being, or it could cause inflammation, indigestion and fat-gain.
I know which one I’m going for; every single time!
When it comes to your body: don’t ever be afraid to have ambition. In fact, dare to dream, and then use food as the fuel to get you there.
Counting Calories is Unnecessary:
Initially, there is much to be gained by tracking, as we gain feedback from new food choices – how good we feel, how much energy we have, how body-composition is changing.
However, it doesn’t take long for an intuition to build; a relationship, if you will, between food/fuel and our bodies. When that point is reached, this relationship becomes effortless.
Control Brings Freedom:
It’s incredibly upsetting to feel as though you have no influence over your health; a slave to cravings and gaining weight without any clue as to how to reverse the process.
Fortunately, when you make conscious, informed choices about you eat, you have an enormous degree of influence over your health, and control over your body-composition.
The consequence of informed choice is freedom. Freedom from self-doubt, freedom from frustration, freedom from unhappiness with oneself.
All this from just a little thought and extra effort; that within a very short time, becomes nothing more than a habit you no longer notice.
I believe, that in life, it’s important to have a reason for everything we do. It’s good practise, ensuring that mistakes aren’t easily made.
Therefore, make sure you can answer these questions before to consume anything:
- Will this food provide protein to repair muscles and cells?
- Do I need the amount of energy this portion of carbs contains?
- Am I hungry?
- Can I eat this food without expecting indigestion and/or heartburn?
- Do I know what all the ingredients are?
- Is this the best choice I can make?
- Will this food-choice support my health and fitness ambitions?
Don’t ever neglect yourself by not having a good reason for everything you eat.
Read More: How Stress Can Make You Fat