Eating more healthily is something almost everyone could do to improve their physical and mental well being. Although good nutrition is extremely important in the prevention of illness and the promotion of wellness, it is overlooked by many who neglect their bodies then seek prescription drugs to fix the damage that a sub-par diet has had on their body over long periods of time.
Those who want to lose fat and/or increase their muscle mass often appreciate the benefits of healthy diet, but can’t quite differentiate between a diet that’s just ‘healthy’ and a diet that gets you a great physique. Well luckily I’ve done the hard work for you…
How to Eat Healthy
A lot of people ask me ‘is [insert food] healthy? Nine out of ten times, I’ll say yes. Why? All food is healthy (with the exception of trans fats), the definition of eating healthy is eating a huge variety of different foods so you get a broad spectrum of macronutrients in your diet.
The problem is, when people say ‘healthy’ what they really mean is ‘will it make me thin?’, or more generally ‘will it get me a great body?’. In this case, my answer would often be ‘no’.
Healthy foods are not always foods that will get you a great body.
The great thing about eating healthy is you are encouraged to eat a wide variety of food, and yes that does include things you actually like, the occasional or even semi regular piece of dark chocolate or glass of red wine which are both indeed beneficial to your health.
The core of your diet should still be based around lean protein, complex carbohydrates fibrous vegetables and good fats, but veering off course or eating too much (so long as it’s not at every meal) won’t do you any harm.
Even saturated fats aren’t out of the question; want butter on your toast? Don’t sweat it. Nutrient rich foods that are often restricted on a hardcore diet like fruit and milk get the green light too, after all you’re not too bothered what you look like, right? You just want to be healthy and maintain a reasonable weight…
If you’re reading this blog, which you clearly are, the chances are that last statement isn’t true… You want to be muscular, ripped, AND healthy. Here’s how…
How to Eat for A Great Physique
Firstly, we must define what a great physique is. 99% of people want to get ‘toned’ – that means low levels of body fat with a degree of muscular development. To attain this, some degree of training, probably resistance and cardio vascular is required, but this is all about the food…
As I said before, lean protein, complex carbs, vegetables and good fats are the focus, but if you want an impressive physique, veering away from these foods is not advisable, and doing so on any grand scale will mean reaching your goal a lot more slowly, or indeed never reaching it.
So what exactly should you be eating?
Lean protein: Chicken breasts, tuna, egg whites, lean steak cuts, cottage cheese
Complex carbs: Oats, sweet potatoes, brown rice, whole-wheat bread, beans, quinoa
Good Fats: Olive oil, avocado, salmon, mackerel, nuts
This isn’t an extensive list but these foods, in various combinations, should form the basis of most of your meals.
The timing of your nutrition is almost as important as what you eat. Eat small, regular portions, so you’re consuming 4-6 meals per day. Cycle your carbs daily and weekly, i.e. if you have a rest day from the gym, reduce your carbs on that day.
If losing fat is your goal, eat less carbs as the day goes on, and preferably no carbs before bed.
That’s why so many people never reach their ultimate goal. Eating for a great physique is hard work, but if you have the willpower and the desire, the rewards will be endless.