Even if you’re new to weight training you will have probably come across or at least seen the type of products on offer for those wanting to optimise their training. Even if you have been training for some time, the vast amount of products available can be very overwhelming and a lot of people (even if they won’t admit it) don’t actually know what they are for.
Whether you are weight training to gain muscle, lose fat or simply be more active the most important thing you need to concentrate on is your diet. You can buy all the supplements around but if your general diet is rubbish then you will simply be throwing money away. So first lets take a closer look at a good diet.
Firstly, when we say ‘diet’ we don’t mean you should be eating the kind of foods you’d feed to your rabbit, nor do we mean that you should be starving yourself. Unless you are working up to a bodybuilding competition, your diet should be one that you can maintain day in day out indefinitely. Why? Because whatever people may want you to think, healthy eating, ‘toning up’, gaining muscle and losing weight are all long term goals. Yes you may notice some changes in the short term but they all require hard work and dedication to really get to where you want to be.
Before you stop reading, thinking this article is one that is going to order you to throw all calorie laden snacks into the bin and go out and buy only organic, fat free, protein rich food and never touch a carbohydrate again, that is not what we’re going to do. We just wanted to start off with a reality check, which is that there is no magic powder or shake that will make you skinny or toned without you putting in the work too.
So, the ‘diet’. We aren’t going to set out what you should be eating on a daily basis as everyone is different. There are people out there who would be happy to take your vital statistics and work out the number of calories you should be consuming each day. If you want them to they could also work out your calories for a workout day compared to a non-workout day. If you really want to get into it they could work out your macronutrients for you. But we’ll come back to those in a bit.
If you don’t really want to splash out on a meal plan then there are websites you can use to work out your calories for yourself.
After you have an idea as to your daily calories then you just need to try and stick to that the majority of the time. If you fancy a treat, then have one (providing it’s not happening every day!) The trick to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not denying yourself things but simply limiting them. That being said, if you want to include a bar of chocolate in your diet every day then go right ahead, you just probably won’t see results as quickly as you might if you limit that chocolate to once a week.
One thing we will say about how you manage your calories is that lean protein is really the key. Protein is important for repairing muscles but also takes longer to be broken down so will leave you feeling fuller for longer. Don’t be scared of fats. Although too much fat will be detrimental to your fitness goals, your body needs some fat to be healthy. Just think more oily fish and nuts than deep fried sausages. Carbohydrates are also important but again, try to reign these in a bit as protein should be your main food group each day.
Another thing to remember is the good old moto “failing to plan is planning to fail”. If you can prep some of your meals for the week then that will really help you stick to your goals. Try prepping your lunches so you aren’t tempted to go to the cafeteria at work and have something unhealthy for lunch. When you make your tea, make an extra portion or two that you can put in the freezer and have as a ready meal if you just can’t be bothered to cook one night. Keep some healthy snacks handy so you can reach for those instead of a packet of crisps or a chocolate bar when you get the munchies. All of these things will really help you stick to your healthy eating plan. As we’ve said before though, that isn’t to say that you shouldn’t have treats. Just try to keep them to once or twice a week and whatever you do, if you do have a bad day just put it behind you. Don’t wallow and let everything got to pot – just as one day of healthy eating isn’t going to make you thin, one day of unhealthy eating isn’t going to make you fat. Just try and really focus the following few days to get you back on track.
We have compiled some pages that look at foods and supplements we believe will really help you on your fitness journey. From fresh produce to supplements and protein powders, these pages should have everything you need. There’s even a few offers that are exclusive to our page so get them while you can!