The modern diets of Western populations are becoming disturbingly poor. This has, of course, been a problem that's dramatically became worse over recent years, but as fitness and performance athletes, it's no excuse for us.
The problem with most modern diets is they're leading to adverse cardiovascular health, heart disease, diabetes, sluggishness, obesity, and poor mood and energy, despite the substantial increase in calories!
Rectifying these problems is surprisingly pretty easy. By returning to a diet that mimics our ancestors evolutionary ways, we can supercharge our health and performance. Here are 8 ways to do exactly that.
And, remember, when all else fails, follow this motto: If you can catch it, kill it, or its found in nature, then its probably good for you to eat!
1) Scrap fruit juices and smoothies
Fruit juices and smoothies are enormously overrated. Their liquidising process removes most of the benefits found naturally occurring in whole fruits, such as the fiber content and the extensive vitamins, and condenses it down into nothing much more than a sugary treat.
Theres an easy way to avoid this: simply dont include them in your diet. Theyre needless calories you can easily live without, and the perceived benefits of including them are negligent considering they dont provide you with quality nutrients like real fruit does.
2) Eat more fruit
With that being said, the quickest way to bring up an unhealthy diet is to incorporate more fruit in all forms. As a general rule, the more variety in colours and shapes, the better! Fruit is that awesome.
Including foods such as berries, bananas, apples and watermelons into your diet on a daily basis will fight against your instincts to cheat on sweet garbage, whilst still providing an array of benefits from both a health and body composition perspective.
And for those people who say to avoid fruit because they contain sugar? One of the most futile, pathetic arguments I have ever heard. Eat your fruit, folks.
3) Incorporate moderate amounts of coffee
Coffee drinkers are more resistant to diabetes and other diseases. The science behind coffee now is truly exciting for addicts such as myself, and they provide a myriad of benefits that should get us springing out of bed every morning just to reach for a cup of Joe.
Including a moderate amount of coffee on a daily basis can also increase your workout performance by increasing nervous system conductivity, amplifying the intensity of your workouts.
4) Eat your calories dont drink them
For those trying to restrict calories, the most prevalent mistake I observe is that individuals simply drink too many of their calories as opposed to chewing them. Not only is this incredibly less satiating, it also provides an influx of unwanted calories that are often devoid of any nutritional benefit.
If youre trying to become a beast and throwing down weight gainers or simply topping up your protein with a shake per day, then this point hardly applies to you. But for those individuals having to micromanage, eating your calories as opposed to drinking them is probably the best advice to make an immediate change in your body composition.
5) Eat vegetables everyday
This may seem like a kick in the nuts to many, but if youre ignoring the extensive health and body composition benefits that vegetables can provide you with, youre selling yourself short.
Vegetables are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and provide hardly any calories per portion.
Just like fruit, the key is to choose as many different varieties in all shapes and colours as possible: bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, leaves, I could be here all day. Just eat them!
6) Prioritise protein
One of the most obvious yet overlooked elements that will improve generally anyone's diet, is to prioritise protein at the beginning of every meal. As in, literally, focus your meals specifically around the protein source you're going to consume whether it's salmon, beef, eggs or chicken, you should generally compliment these with carbohydrates and fats, not the opposite way around.
Doing this achieves several positive things; mainly forcing you to increase your protein intake, which is undoubtedly good. Additionally, you'll consume less of the other two macronutrients which may lead to unwanted fat gain and are usually easy to consume sufficient amounts of anyway. How many individuals do you know who struggle to achieve their desired fat or carbohydrate intake on a daily basis? Now, compare this to those who struggle to achieve their protein intake, and you'll quickly see why this is an imperative strategy for everyone to follow irrespective of their goals.
7) Avoid processed garbage
This is something that's becoming increasingly difficult to do in modern society. In the age of processed, ready-to-go meals and toxic food-fillers, we're always seeking the most convenient, easy solution. This is a sorry situation: as individuals aspiring to look after our health, physical appearance and performance, we simply cannot allow ourselves to fall victim to these poisonous foods that wreak havoc on our bodies.
I like to follow this philosophy 80% of the time when planning my meals: if you can't catch it, kill it, or it's not found in nature, chances are, it's not too good to eat! I advise you to do implement the same perspective and watch your health and physique blossom.
$18) Plan in advance
Strategy, strategy, strategy, there are no shortcuts to the top, and several of the points already outlined in this article require planning in advance in relation to your goals. Ultimately, when you take fast measures to fill important decisions, you'll undermine your health and performance. This is especially true when taking into consideration your fitness goals.
Buy healthy foods, don't keep crap in the fridge or on the shelves at home, and use cheat meals to reward yourself for your hard work, not to compensate your lack of preparation. If you adhere to this the majority of the time, you'll be successful and achieve your goals.
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