Today’s Topic: Training your ass off and screwing it up with your dietGoal: Get you to make better food choicesHow: Mindset shifts, informed decisions, and a damn Crockpot
Training Hard And Not Eating Well
I see this all the time:
- Athletes work their ass off in the gym (some everyday)
- They get stronger and fitter
- But they never reach the body results they SHOULD
My box—The Training Box—has over 350+ active members. I have observed many of these athletes train multiple days a week for long periods of time. What I see more than I would like to are plateaus. And it’s always the same body-comp culprits: lack of sleep, drinking too much, and a shitty diet. Diet comprises approximately 80% (or more) of what determines your body composition and health (granted you aren’t doing crack or smoking cigarettes).
People will usually listen when you give them nutrition advice, but very few of them will ever act on that advice. There are many factors why this is so: confusion, false food beliefs, not actually caring, not knowing where to start, skepticism, etc.
In my experience, it usually boils down to two types of people:
- Those that seek answers, absorb information, and make changes
- Everyone else
I’m hoping to reach the “everyone else" with this article. I want to motivate you, nudge you, scare you, do ANYTHING to get you to take action; small action, large action, any action.
I want you to understand how important your food choices are. I want every bite, sip, or nibble of your favorite junk food to elicit a pang of guilt. Then, with enough guilt and knowledge, you will start making changes.
Mindset is everything
If you can start viewing your food through new eyes, you can start making real changes. It’s all rooted in your belief system. Start thinking of food as a drug. Just like a drug, it should be consumed in moderation. If you take too much of a drug, you will overdose. Like any pill, your food should contain a warning and dosage label. Drugs and food both stimulate a hormonal response in the body.
For better or worse, hormones control everything in our lives:
- Sex drive
- Weight loss
- Weight gain
Do you see how food could be pretty damn important? This list comprises just about everything you do in your life and your hormones are at the root of them all. Your food can improve your life or take away from it. It’s as simple as that.
Training is important but diet is where you see body composition results[/caption]
Food is everything
We all want to look better, that's a given right? Well, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret grasshopper...you ready for this?
Food determines your body
I don’t care if you have amazing genetics and can look ripped on a cupcake diet, you will pay for your poor food choices one way or another.
Sure, you hear stories of NFL stars eating fried chicken all day and performing like machines; they are the exception, not the rule. And being jacked doesn't mean one is healthy.
Your body is a machine that requires a certain level of maintenance, fuel, and loving care. And just like a machine, if you abuse it or neglect it’s maintenance, it will break down and end up in the junkyard (aka graveyard).
We all know the type of people that have the ‘skinny gene’ and regularly eat junk like it’s going out of fashion. Well, unfortunately for them, they are destroying their bodies and promoting cancer and disease and it’s going to catch up to them eventually. Think back to those girls that were perfect in high school. We all can know the type. I bet you can go on Facebook right now and find that many of them are now overweight. That is a diet that didn’t adapt to match an aging and deteriorating body. Your body eventually breaks down from misuse; it’s inevitable.
You are what you eat. You’ve heard this a thousand times, so why then are you still eating goddamn pop tarts? You want your ass or stomach to look and feel like gooey cherry-red filling?]
Colin’s “Three Most Important Food Rules”
(yes I referred to myself in the 3rd person, what of it?)
1. Eat Real Food
2. Cook something damn it
3. Utilize slow cooking
1. Eat Real Food
- It shouldn't include chemicals or synthetic alterations
- It shouldn't last weeks, months, or years
- It should be prepared well and respected
- It should have been alive recently
- It should be unprocessed
- It should go bad if it sits on the counter
What this looks like:
Animals, Seafood, Tubers, Sweet Taters, Veggies, Fruits, Nuts, Seeds, *Pastured/Grass-Fed dairy products
What this doesn't look like:
Grains, Beans, Lentils, Bread, Processed sweets, cookies, cake, juice, soda, artificial sweeteners, margarine, seed oils, refined sugar/salt
Eat Real Food That is Unprocessed Or Altered
Real home-cooked food[/caption]
2. Cook something damn it
If you want to control what food you are eating (and you freaking should) then you need to do most of your eating at home where you have the control. Restaurants use cheap crap ingredients to save on food costs. They inflate meals with unnecessary calories and junk to make the food taste better and become more addictive (sugar, salt, msg, etc.).
Listen, I’m not demonizing all restaurant food. I love to eat out, but it’s best to choose places that serve local ingredients and focus on the food quality because the fact is: Most restaurants suck and most "eating out" food is extremely unhealthy.
Let’s compare the two:
- Pros: Relatively quick (depends), no clean up or prep
- Cons: expensive, processed, terrible for you, makes you gassy, makes you fat
Home cooked food:
- Pros: Cost effective, healthy, clean/unprocessed, tastes way better if done right, the key to a six-pack
- Cons: Shopping, Clean up, Prep
Reaching a high level in anything requires consistent action steps. You key is turning these steps into habits and staying consistent with them long enough to reach your goals. You want to build these habits into your being so that they are a part of who you are and what you do—they should become part of your identity.
With enough effort, you will eventually build a lifestyle, health, and body that you are proud of. And the first and foremost way to get there is to focus on your food. Never underestimate its importance.
3. Utilize Slow Cooking
A complaint I hear often about eating clean is the amount of time it takes and I do agree with this to an extent. This is why we must use techniques such as slow cooking, batch cooking, and leftover-saving to make our diet easier to maintain.With any new endeavor, simplicity is king.You want to focus on getting food to your table the easiest way possible.
Enter slow cooking
Slow cooking is easy, can produce amazing meals, and requires minimal shopping, prep, and clean up. Buy a slow cooker and start using it. It may be the missing ingredient in your food program.
1. Eat Real Food2. Cook something damn it3. Utilize slow cooking
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to go “all or nothing”. It all starts with one step, one change, one habit, one meal, one dish, one anything.
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" -Chinese proverb
Start making changes immediately:
- Eat out less often
- Start cooking more often
- Slow cook ONE MEAL (and then another and another)
- Skip dessert one time, then two times, etc
No one develops a new habit overnight. It takes time, and sometimes a lot of it. The key is to get the importance of the ingredients ingrained into your brain. After that, you will start making better decisions and your results will creep in.
Don’t procrastinate: you either start today or you never will. Telling yourself that you will start your diet tomorrow is nonsense; you are lying to yourself. There is no tomorrow, next year, or later. There is only now. Get your ass in gear and make your food important now and forever.