by Landon Smith
Today, I want to continue to talk about the nutrition-side of fitness. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about “How much should you be eating?” Now, I want to tackle: “What should I be eating?” The great part about this question is how simple the answer is: FOOD! Whole, real food. Unfortunately, this has been increasingly over-complicated by food makers and less-than-healthy diet trends over the years.
I know it isn’t always easy; I once thought that frozen yogurt was good for me and that eating an entire box of “Reduced Fat” Cheez-its was okay because they were the “healthy choice.” But I’ve learned that reduced fat usually isn’t better for you and whole, natural food is always the better choice.
It is very hard to overeat when you are eating real foods. You’re probably thinking, “isn’t all food real?” What I mean by real is natural food like chicken, these weird things called vegetables, fish, steak, fruits, rice and potatoes. Have you ever heard the saying “shop the perimeter of the grocery store”? This is where you find a majority of real, whole foods. Keep this in mind when shopping and eating: If what you are eating doesn’t look like what you are eating, then don’t eat it. Huh? Let me explain: if you’re eating chicken nuggets and what is inside doesn’t at all resemble chicken, then don’t eat it. If you are getting something packaged and the ingredients look like college-level chemistry tests, don’t eat it. Real food is more filling, more nutrient dense, less caloric and all around better for you.
I know a lot of you are thinking “I don’t have time to cook every meal!” Well, you’re in luck because I have you covered there, too! You have to make food preparation part of grocery shopping and weekly planning (food prep, anyone?!). Here is a basic food prep planning guide:
- Primarily shop the perimeter of the grocery store
- Once home, wash and prep fruit and vegetables. Cut it up, store in containers or baggies in the fridge. You can cook some veggies ahead of time or just cut into whatever way you plan to cook them for a particular meal so all you have to do is a quick cook for your dinner.
- Bake/grill your chicken and brown your meat. Store in a large container in the fridge to use in various ways throughout the week*. You could divide it into each container for the day to be used.
- Cook rice, pasta, potatoes, etc., and store in containers*.
Cook as much as you can on Sunday so that each meal throughout the week is already complete – all you have to do is grab it! There is less chance of you making an unhealthy choice when the food is ready to go for you.
So let’s review:
- EAT REAL, WHOLE FOODS
- Eat nothing that has ingredients that aren’t what should be in it (the less ingredients, the better!)
- FOOD PREP! This will help ease the stress that can come along with cooking after a long day
Every single one of you reading is capable of this! If you truly want to reach your goals, eating the right foods (food prep!) is a huge factor in that.
Stay tuned for some extra info in the VLOG and thanks for reading. Until next time!
Landon Smith is a personal trainer at Alloy Personal Training Center in Roswell, GA