Here are some of my Nutritional Musts:
1. Eat protein.
Every meal and most snacks. Most women I meet are not consuming enough protein to feel full, feel energetic, or re-build muscle once they begin lifting weights. Consuming protein, even protein shakes, won’t “bulk women up” – a myth that still lingers.
2. Eat carbs.
Fruits and vegetables are good for you. (I don’t know a single person who got too fat from eating too many fruits). Starches have their place, too. They aren’t evil (straight up sugar on the other hand, might be!). Starches are a little trickier. I recommend you keep them around your workout. Whole food starches like pumpkin, butternut squash, or yams are a great place to start. Rice and corn work for some people. Stay away from bagels, cereals and donuts. 😉 Those are not high quality foods. The quantity of carbs you eat is not cut and dry and can vary a lot from person to person.
3. Eat fat.
Don’t eat fried fat like a piece of fried chicken. Eat small amounts that come from sources like olive oil, coconut, avocado, grass fed butter or ghee, and chia seeds. Don’t get your “required” fat from donuts and pastries. They don’t count. The amount of fat that is required varies from person to person. If you eat a meal that doesn’t contain any fat in it (like a protein shake with raspberries) and in an hour or two, you are starving, you probably need a little fat in that meal next time.
4. Drink water.
Drink throughout the day. Start your day with a big glass of water. Try some lemon, your favorite water bottle and a straw; these things help me drink more water. A rough rule is 1/2 your body weight in ounces (or more). If you are dehydrated, you won’t be able to metabolize fat as well. Additionally, dehydration is just another form of stress on your body. No one needs added stress.
5. Stay away from food that doesn’t agree with you.
Eating foods that you are intolerant to can rev up your immune system and ultimately weaken it. The inflammation it creates is systemic and a stress on your body. This can not only prevent you from losing unwanted body fat, it can lead to autoimmune conditions. If you aren’t sure, check with a nutritionist who can order or recommend some tests for you.
Those are my basic rules, and yes, sometimes I break them. ( I have carbs when I didn’t work out! haha)