There are rules saying 80 % of fitness is created by nutrition, 20 % in the gym or by moving yourself – and I can only agree!
In this post I want to introduce you quickly to the topic and let you know how I personally came into this conclusion.
First of all, I warmly recommend to know this amazing infographic by Precision Nutrition and to think what is actually fit for you, and what kind of trade offs you are ready to do for it.
The absolute rules
There is one absolute rule: You can not outrain a bad diet.
Been training like (in your opinion) crazy and nothing really happens? Oh well, been there, done that. Quite unmotivating, isn’t it?
The second one is, that all the magic happens in the kitchen.
The third one is, that the 90% of what and how you eat matters as long as you really mind the 90%.
What is normal eating?
When talking about getting lean and fitter, people often concentrate on going to the gym, jogging regularly or doing yoga. All good, but… In case you want to see results and really get long term fit, check and even drastic change of the eating habits might be well needed.
What do I mean with check? Normally people are talking that modesty, indulging every now and then, lots of vegetables and just “normal food” are the key of success.
This kind of weak advices have their problems
What is modesty? What does indulging mean? How often is every now and then? How much? How much exactly is “lots of vegetables”? What is normal food?
Check, evaluate, change, check, evaluate, change, check…
When I joined my friend’s new year’s resolution to get fit for the summer, I did not exactly start with baby steps. Why? Because quick results keep you motivated! For someone big changes might be too big, but if you keep doing the same stuff you always did, you get the same results you used to have so it is the cost of getting lean.
I started with limiting my “clearly unhealthy food” to one day per week. That was already a very eye-opening experience: I noticed I had eaten candy and other sugar-stuffed foods basially on a daily basis.
Now I limited them to Saturdays. I might have gone to the gym in the morning with a light breakfast, gotten home visiting a backery and maybe grocery shop and then stuffing myself and “suddenly” feeling so ill that I needed to curl for a nap on the sofa. Lesson learned… Unhealthy foods can actually make you feel sick and very unenergized. Maybe I had felt bad every time after eating unhealthy also earlier, but during those times I just never felt so great that I would have noticed any real difference.
I kept doing this, but for April and May decided to get even more on track to get a grasp about what I was eating. I scaled almost all the food I was eating and aimed to a helthy balance of carbs, protein and fats limiting my calorie intake below the actual need. The results were even quicker than I expected, and I learned many valuable lessons: Healthy eating doesnt need to mean starving, you need to really keep an eye on your fat intake and extra treats are really extra. And when you quit sugar, it is easier to resist it.
Takeaway: Nutrition is the key!
To follow up: What to eat, when to eat, how to resist cravings, and how to become a relaxed everyday eater!