In my last post I talked about training like we used to when playing sports. Focusing on the basics and attacking them with a competitor’s mindset.
Today we’re going to talk about what you need to do differently from when you played sports in order to get yourself fit: NUTRITION.
In high school I ate anything I wanted and lots of it. I’m constantly amazed at the conditions the human body can survive, the diet of high schoolers being one of the most extreme. College was pretty much the same. But then what happened after college? Sports end, which means your activity level dropped significantly. You get older, so your metabolism slows down. But did your food choices change? I’m guessing not as quickly as your waistline.
If you want to look and train like the athlete that I know you are, you need to start fueling your body like it. I’m not saying you need to do anything drastic. I’m not taking away your favorite foods. All I’m saying is that you need to make simple, common sense choices.
We all know what to eat. You don’t need a TV doctor, a meal plan, or some fad shake company to explain it to you. If I put a plate of pizza and a plate of meat and veggies in front of you, you know which one is the better choice. The challenge is actually DOING what you know you should. But there are strategies to make it happen.
TREAT EVERY DAY LIKE GAME DAY. On days you workout, you want to eat well before your workout so you perform at your best and you want to eat well after so you recover quickly. Days you don’t workout are recovery days. Ask yourself, “What should I eat today to help me recover from yesterday and prepare me for tomorrow?” Start thinking like an athlete. Like every day is game day.
MAKE THE DECISION AT THE STORE, NOT AT THE FRIDGE. You can’t eat garbage that you don’t have. If you never buy it you’ll never eat it. Go to the store with a plan. Know what you are there to buy and avoid the crap that doesn’t align with your goals. As a rule of thumb, stay to the outside of the store. That’s where the produce and meat are. That’s pretty much all you need. (Be sure to hustle past the bakery)
SUPPORT. Surround yourself with people who support your goals instead of those people who try to drag you back down to their level so they don’t feel so bad scarfing doughnuts. Find family or friends who want to make similar changes. Even an online community like the Beards, Barbells, and Bibles group can give you the support you need.
A COACH. Even though we all know what to eat, it isn't easy to change eating habits that you’ve been developing for your entire life. Having someone to go to who can guide you through the mountains of crappy info out there and simplify the steps you need to take is invaluable. If you are ready to work with a coach, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I don’t deal in fad diets or sell you shakes. I give you common sense principles and practical steps to build healthy habits for a lifetime.
Living an athletic life isn't just a young man's game. It's something we should all aspire/return to. But to live an athletic lifestyle, you need to fuel an athletic lifestyle. Train like you did in school, but don’t eat like it.