Posted by personaltrainersscottsdale.com | Posted in Fitness, Health & Wellness | Posted on 13-07-2010
Who doesn’t want to look better?
How about you?
Maybe even just a little bit?
If you’re totally happy with your body looking just like it does now, then I’m impressed. Good for you. In case you were wondering though, you’re kinda an exception to the rule…
For the rest of us there is probably a thing or two we’d like to improve about our appearance. While I can’t extol the virtues of facelifts (or even how to improve the appearance of your mug through simpler, non-surgical means) I can help you improve your physique. Male or female, young or old, beefy or skinny you are probably doing things that you shouldn’t be doing (or not doing things that you should) that can help you transform your body from what it is now into what you would like it to be. Getting hip to even a few of those things can make all the difference…
Five Diet Rules for a Swimsuit Body
1. If it had a face (or would have grown up to have a face) you can eat it
- For the science geeks out there (and anyone who graduated from elementary school) this one should be pretty easy to figure out. It’s all about protein! Most high quality protein comes from animal sources. And, despite what vegetarians may think, we need animal protein. Getting protein from vegetables is a tall order and it probably doesn’t matter if you eat legumes all day, you simple won’t get the quantity nor the variety of protein that you need to maintain muscle and keep your metabolism revving. Protein from animal sources will also provide just the right amount of fat in your diet to promote a feeling of fullness that will help you limit excess carb consumption.
2. Keep your fat intake pretty high
- This one might be a little harder for people to get so let me explain. When most people think about “fat” they think about foods like donuts or chips. Sure these foods have high amounts of fat, but I’m not suggesting you gorge yourself on dunkin donuts or dorritos. The key is to have balance in your diet. Most people add that extra flab by consuming all sorts of processed carbs, high amounts of fats and sugars, and, well, never burning off any of the calories they consume. On top of this, people rarely get enough protein to build – let alone maintain – their muscle mass. The idea (counterintuitive as it seems) is that the body does need fats. They help with everything from cell protection, reneweal, and hormone production to regulating body fat (that’s right, helping the body burn fat) and body temperature. Obsessing about which types of fats to consume isn’t hugely important – at least when it comes to burning fat. Even though essential fatty acids like fish oil are great and have made headlines by being a “cure all” of sorts, mono and polyunsaturated fats like almonds may be just as good. While all of these types of fats may potentially lower cholesterol, there has been new research going on for a while that shows saturated fat (the stuff found in animal meats – think eggs, steak and other “artery cloggers”) may not raise cholesterol or “clog arteries” – at least by themselves. The other benefit to keeping fat intake moderately high when following these rules is that it will keep you feeling full which will help with carb cravings.
3. If it is a vegetable you can eat it
- This rule is pretty simple. Following it can be a little harder. Ever since we were children, most of us have hated brocoli. Trouble is, many of us haven’t grown up. We rush through our lives without much time or discipline and it results in us consuming gourmet coffee, fast food, processed carbs and meats, as well as plenty of alcohol. We rarely stop to think about how bad this is for us. For a lot of people though, having the goal of looking better in skimpy attire may be just what the doctor ordered. That’s because, fortunately, looking good and being healthy usually go hand in hand. So ditching the processed carbs (cereals, white pasta and bread, crackers and cookies) and replacing them with vegetables is the way to go. Not only does kicking the starchy carbs rid our bodies of a food source that may cause gastrointestinal problems and undiagnosed food allergies, but adding the vegetables improves the bodies digestion via their fiber content. One added benefit: when you’re eating mainly vegetables you don’t have to count calories. You won’t get fat overdosing on brocoli. It just doesn’t happen.
4. A little fruit is ok
- People tend to generalize. A lot. Sometimes that’s ok. Other times the consequences can be disastrous. While fruit can be good, a lot of times people overdo it. They think that more is better. And it some cases it becomes an issue of “too much of a good thing”. Here’s the deal: fruit tends to be high in fiber, antioxidants and polyphenols while also containing some good digestive enzymes. A lot of it has a high water content. What fruit also has (which makes it sweet) is fructose. Fructose is a simple monosaccharide. It’s the sweetest of all carbohydrates. In fact, it’s almost two times as sweet as sucrose. This shouldn’t surprise people when you think about the fact that most soda is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. Most people know how metabolically damaging high fructose corn syrup is so it’s easy to see that just because something is made from fruit doesn’t mean it’s good for you.
As for specific recommendations? The best time to eat fruit is in the morning with breakfast or before your workout. This is because fruit must bypass the small intestines and instead be metabolized by the liver. The result is a carbohydrate source that is “longer acting”. That’s why having fruit in the morning can provide you with energy throughout the day and having it before workouts can give you the stamina to power through that last set.
5. Step away the processed carbs for good (but take your time)
- Smart people know big changes don’t happen overnight. They take time. When it comes to getting rid of old habits this is especially true. Most people also aren’t already eating a picture perfect diet. This means that it might take a little while to eliminate processed carbs. The idea though is to work towards it though. As for other carbs such as healthier whole grains and other not-so-bad starchy complex carbs? Once you get rid of the stuff that you’re eating that is found in boxes, i.e. crackers, cookies, etc. it makes sense to move to limit the healthier, albeit heavy (and bloat inducing) complex carbs as well. The first key with this is to cut down on when you consume them. Start to eat them only in the morning with breakfast and before and after your workouts. Once you’ve done this, you can try to eliminate them entirely – at least for short periods. This is possible only if you follow Rule #1 above though.
Keep in mind these rules go hand in hand. You can’t maximize your results by just following one recommendation. Change your diet over time though and you will see results!