The following four simple strategies can help you become leaner, stronger and increase your energy.
Strategy #1: Eat Clean
Eating “clean” isn’t just about washing your veggies. It’s about choosing to eat whole foods. These are foods that are typically on the perimeter of the grocery store or located at the Farmer’s Market. Produce, dairy, meat and seafood are good examples of fresh, less-processed items.
Eat foods that are pure in the sense that they have been processed or refined as little as possible and are free from additives or other artificial substances. Whole foods typically do not contain added sugar, fat or salt.
Quick tip: Choose foods with your nutritional mind in charge, not your stomach. Eat lean protein, fruits and vegetables with every meal.
Strategy #2: Eat Early, Often and Balanced
Eat something when you start your day and especially before your workout to jumpstart your metabolism and keep it running on high throughout the day. Easy fixes, such as half an apple or a slice of whole-wheat toast with almond butter, can rev up the metabolism and give you the boost of energy you need. Another easy option is a scoop of protein powder with a small glass of juice, almond milk or water.
Eat Often: Portion your calories over five or six small meals per day (approximately 250-400 calories each, eating approximately every three hours. This keeps your body fueled and helps avoid any energy crashes during the day.
Eat Balanced: It’s unrealistic to assume you’re going to stick 100 percent to your nutrition approach. It’s better to set the rule to eat right 85 percent of the time and not beat yourself up about the other 15 percent of the time.
Quick tip: Choose foods that are nutrient dense with as much fiber, nutrients and antioxidants as possible.
Strategy #3: Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Hydrating properly with water can give you a 25 percent boost in energy while avoiding the calories that come from sports drinks, juices, alcohol and soda.
Drinking plenty of water on a daily basis is the easiest way to maintain consistent energy levels, keep appetite in check, boost sports performance and improve overall health.
Quick tip: Drink a large 8-ounce glass of water as soon as you wake up to get the body on the fast track to hydration. Hydrate throughout the day and especially after working out. Drink at least 1/2 to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day.
Strategy #4: Eat for Recovery
Post-workout nutrition is essential to give the body what it needs to heighten the repairing process and to maximize lean muscle growth. Look for food or a shake that will provide 10 to 25 grams of protein and 30 to 75 grams of carbohydrates. It will improve your energy, speed your recovery and keep you at optimized performance consistently day after day.
Proper nutrition supports not only recovery from workouts, but also reduces the strain of stress and speeds up the healing process of injuries. Keep in mind that everything you put into your body affects your insides and most likely shows on the outside.
Quick tip: Boost your immune system with good food choices. By boosting the immune system, you will prevent inflammation and premature aging and increase your energy.
By implementing these simple strategies, you will jolt your metabolism to burn strong on a daily basis and keep you balanced and energized to make the most of each day.
Note: Always consult your physician before starting any program.