I wrote this post quite a while ago, but did not manage to post it till now. More often than not, people ask me what should they eat or drink. I wrote this post to cater to that audience, so have a read, and consume what you think is useful.
Go all natural.
This applies very much to training as well as eating. I don’t go to the gym at all (except that one time during the haze period), everything that I do in the gym, I can do better out of it. As far as eating goes, I try to avoid anything that comes in powder or pills. Isotonic drinks are as far as I go.
First of all, you don’t know how or what goes on in the process of making these powder or pills. Call me a hippy, but I like to see where my food comes from. So instead of taking protein powder, eat protein. By protein, I mean chicken, meat, fish, beans, eggs, yogurt, milk, nuts, cheese.
Secondly, anything that comes out of a can is no-go. Processed food is plain bad for your body. At the supermarket, try to stick with shopping at the fresh foods area only, you don’t really have to go to the other aisles (except when you are getting cereal, peanut butter or toilet rolls). Or even better, accompany your mom to the wet market on the weekend, guaranteed everything is fresh, & it could be great bonding time.
Lastly, for recovery after a long hard race, I evade powdered products, & just go straight up for a chocolate milk off the shelf from the nearest supermarket.
Never get hungry.
Eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day to keep yourself from getting hungry. By eating in this manner, you keep your metabolism high, and consequently, burn food faster. So even if you appear to be eating much more than you normally would, your high metabolism will actually burn it off.
But the ultimate goal is never get hungry. Once you get hungry, your body metabolism slows down, hence, you’ll start to burn food slower. Having said that, never being hungry, doesn’t give you the right to start binge eating.
Remember to constantly hydrate yourself. Water is your body’s best friend. Exactly how much to drink? I don’t recommend following the general guide of using cups to measure, because everyone has different sized cups! Instead, monitor your urine colour, & ensure it remains clear throughout the day.
Keeping your body hydrated pre-workout ensures you to have a better workout. It allows the optimum level of testosterone to be pumping throughout the body, giving you better performance during the workout.
Drinking a lot of water has many benefits towards the body & best of all, its not that expensive!
Cheat one day per week.
Give yourself one “Cheat Day” every week when you can eat anything you want. I mean anything. No holds barred, no guilt, fast food, deep fried stuff, you name it. You’ve been craving something all week long? Go get it, you’ve earned it. Treat it as a reward after the handwork you’ve put in that week. But remember, don’t binge!
I’ve realised that having a cheat day is better than completely banning yourself from something. If you completely ban yourself from something, you are creating a forbidden fruit, that will become very tempting, & when you eventually break & succumb to the food, you’ll have a guilt fest.
The problem with keep a diet like this is that it does not do well in a Social setting. Often, I schedule my Cheat day on the weekends when I meet up with my friends, so I don’t have to feel guilty or left out when they are eating.
But the trouble comes on the week days. Sometimes people laugh at me for packing my own meals, & not having supper with them. People will question your intent & motivation. That’s normal, if you stand up against the flow, people will resist.
These are sacrifices you have to make if you really want it. I’m not saying to sacrifice your friend. What I’m saying is its okay to get laughed at, after all, its your life, you can choose how you want to live it. Don’t make choices based on what other people think, you are better than that.
Try to create positive reinforcement, whether it be a simple “Like” on Facebook or Instagram, or tracking your progress through photos you take over the weeks.
Constantly surround yourself with positive influences, it could be that active colleague in the office, or the people in your running club. These people will make it so much easier as they are going through the same thing everyday.
Take time to tell people what you are trying to do, announce it to the world if you must. Your true friends will support & encourage you.
The following is a summary of my typical day:
6 x Small meals a day:
0700hrs: If i’m up for a workout, I just have half a banana & a few sips of Isotonic drink. Otherwise, I’ll have breakfast.
0800hrs: Breakfast – Freshly cut fruits like bananas, berries, etc, home-made bircher muesli, blueberries, carmelised apples, topped off with cereal & low-fat milk.
1000hrs: Morning Tea – A slice of Toast w/ Avocado
1200hrs: Lunch – Carb heavy meal (like pasta, rice or sweet potatoes) for the evening workout session + Green Tea after to fight the Z monster.
1500hrs: Afternoon Coffee – A slice of Toast w/ Peanut Butter & Jelly + Slice Bananas + Coffee. Perfect if you are heading for training after work, caffeine works wonders too. (Delay till 1600-1700hrs if you have training scheduled at 1900hrs)
1900hrs: Dinner – Carb light, Protein Heavy meal (buckwheat soba or brown rice + chicken, meat, fish or tofu) You’ll just need enough carbs to compensate what you’ve used up earlier in your workout session, & you’ll need a lot of protein to help in the recovery process.
2100hrs: Last meal – 2 options: 1. Fruits – Kiwi, apple, oranges, etc or 2. Small cup of Oats or Cereal with low-fat milk. Helps you keep the hunger pangs away in the night.
– Drink up! when you wake up, to start your engine. After a long night, your organs have went to sleep & your body is dehydrated, drink a glass of water to kick start your system.
-Drink up! drink 30mins before every meal to help you feel fuller.
– Drink up! 30mins before you shower, to reduce blood pressure
– Drink up! 2hrs before you head to bed, so you won’t dehydrate so much in the night.
I know it will be hard at first to keep track of the time, but once you’ve got used to it, it will be like second nature.
Remember, You are what you eat. Go all natural. Never get hungry. Drink up! Cheat one day per week.