My clients sometimes wonder why they aren’t seeing the results they are looking for in their workouts. “I am just not seeing my body change that much, and I’m working out almost every day!” they say. Here’s the secret that most people just aren’t willing to accept–getting optimum physical results from your exercise regime comes from the kitchen. In other words, the food we are eating, or not eating, will to a large degree, determine our success.
One of my clients, Hailey, who has achieved a remarkable degree of fitness and a sculpted body said, “I was working out for years, but it wasn’t until I changed my eating habits that I got the results I wanted.” “I don’t calorie count, I don’t really measure my portions, I just eat clean,” she said.
What does it mean to “eat clean?” Eating clean means eating less processed food, less sugar, less fast food, fewer preservatives, while still allowing yourself a splurge day, or “cheat day” each week. It also means incorporating fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats in our diet. Other helpful tips include eating a small snack before you work out and eating a healthy snack before bed, preferably with protein.
We also must look at portion control. Some of my clients are eating clean and still don’t see the physical changes they would like. When we eat a meal, we should slow down and be mindful of our stomachs and our level of “fullness” as we eat. Eat until you feel comfortable, not until you feel “full.” I’m sure this is not a surprise, but many of us just generally eat too much. Typically, the older we get, the less food we need, yet some of us keep eating like we’re in our twenties.
Let’s also talk about the importance of protein. Our bodies create muscle as we consume protein, so if we are not eating protein throughout the day, out bodies aren’t able to produce lean muscle. Those who have the most success with a fitness regimen usually eat five to six times a day. Each time we eat small well-balanced protein and carbohydrate meals, along with drinking a lot of water, our body burns fat and adds muscle. It’s like keeping our engine running at optimum RPMs.
In addition to a clean diet, include a workout routine combining strength and cardiovascular training, and you’ll achieve long term fitness and the attractive body composition you’ve worked hard to achieve.
Kenny Knight is available for personal training and nutrition coaching. He can be reached at (801) 358-2089, or firstname.lastname@example.org.