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I believe many of us make the process of changing our bodies into efficient, healthy machines far more complicated than it needs to be. This is especially true when it comes to nutrition.
As I strive to become increasingly more effective as a fitness professional, one of my goals is to simplify the dieting process by understanding how food affects your body.
Most people don't want to "diet". They would much rather someone give them a magic pill or topical cream to just "melt the fat away".
It doesn't matter what level of experience, number of accomplishments, individual circumstances, or what personal beliefs that a particular person may have, when it comes to nutrition, our patterns of thinking and the obstacles encountered are basically the same.
The bottom line is that in order to reach the "body beautiful" that everyone seems to strive for; there must be some sacrifices and hard work.
In order to achieve these goals, we must do a couple of things:
- Build muscle.
- Lose body fat.
- Or a combination of building muscle and losing body fat.
- And most importantly - CHANGE OUR EATING HABBITS!
We want to do so in the most efficient ways and in the shortest period of time. This is the reason billions of dollars are made every year through the sales of "fad" diets and their supportive products.
In this series, I hope to dispel some of the myths from the facts, give you a solid understanding of nutrients and their respective functions in the body, and provide you with tasty muscle building recipes outside of the normal, boring, "bodybuilding and fitness" diets that you can sink your teeth into!
If you follow the nutrition strategies outlined in this ongoing series, you'll find a simple path to losing body fat and building a leaner, more muscular physique. Notice I used the word simple, not the word easy. Nothing about this process is easy.
It requires hard work and commitment in order for you to be successful. This series will help "simplify" the process of losing body fat and gaining muscle tissue.
The Importance Of Good Nutrition
If you want to lose or maintain lower body fat levels, you must feed yourself properly. All the time and effort you invest in weight training and cardio do not have nearly the effect on the development of your physique as do your nutritional habits.
Many experts feel the way that you eat accounts for as much as 80% of the way your physique looks. If you want the "body to die for", you're going to have to pay close attention to what you're eating.
In order to have good eating habits you must build upon a solid foundation of motivation. Let's be honest, is the difficulty in actually understanding nutrition or is it actually following through with eating the way we already know we should?
Consuming delicious foods is one of life's simplest and greatest pleasures. Sometimes it's extremely difficult to stay away from food that doesn't support our efforts. Great tasting but unhealthy food becomes too much of a temptation for us. Even when we are committed to eating properly, it is sometimes too difficult to break away from our busy schedules and eat healthy meals.
The key to healthy eating comes down to being motivated to do so. Simply by taking the time to read this nutritional advice, I can assume that you are fairly motivated. Now's the time to take the next step in your journey and earn the physique that you really want. Now is the time to determine exactly why today is the day you'll make that ultimate commitment. If you know why you want to do something, with figuring out how becomes much easier.
Here are a couple of recipe ideas to get you started:
Chicken Salad Roll-ups
- 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken, cooked
- 2 tbsp. sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp. dried fruit bits
- 1/8 cup celery, diced
- 1/3 cup nonfat yogurt
- Fresh Leaf Lettuce
- Diced chicken, and place in mixing bowl. Combine with sunflower seeds, fruit bits, celery, and yogurt.
- Spread a little chicken mixture on lettuce leaf and roll up tightly. Repeat until mixture is used up.
- Serve immediately, or wrap roll-ups in plastic wrap for later use.
Serving Size (1) Recipe yields 2
Chicken Salad Roll-ups PDF (116 KB)
Fish in Foil
- 1/2 lb halibut, cut in two pieces
- 1 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 4 small zucchini, julienne
- 1 carrot, julienne
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 tsp. each fresh dill and parsley
- Dash of freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut 2 12 in. square pieces of foil.
- Place a piece of fish on each square of foil. Top in each piece of fish with tomato, green onion, zucchini, and carrot.
- Sprinkle each with my and, herbs, and pepper. Fold foil edges together, sealing with a pleat.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
Serving Size (1) Recipe yields 2
Fish in Foil PDF (113 KB)
In The Next Issue
In the next installment of Muscle Meals In Minutes, I'll discuss macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients and what they do for you. I encourage you to make the investment in yourself - in your quality of life - by hiring a qualified professional to educate you and help you get started. The hardest part is just getting started and sustaining your motivation until fitness becomes habitual. Once you develop the habit, which can take as little as thirty days, your whole life will change for the better.