I’ve put myself through trial and error, test after test, and have essentially experimented with every exercise program and method you can imagine so that you don’t have to. When learning about fitness the process needs to be simplified but also must produce results. With so much information (some good, some not so much) it can be overwhelming and paralyzing.
You end up on your ass trying to figure out exactly how to exercise correctly more than you end up exercising. Then, when you do find something that seems to be right, a new study comes out about why it’s not. Geezy-peezy, give me a break!
Fitness is actually pretty simple believe it or not. You just have to tune out the bullsh*t and turn up the good-sh*t!
- Just eat real food (JERF): Food Chart
- Lift heavy things repeatedly, with good form.
- Run fast for short periods of time and repeat.
- MOVE! Walk, take stairs, go hiking… just move!
- Make it fun!
This whole fitness thing shouldn’t feel like a chore. It should be enjoyable, a way to connect with yourself and with others, and not only benefit yourself but those around you.
WHAT’S YOUR DEFINITION OF FITNESS or HEALTH?
What does being “FIT” or “HEALTHY” mean to you?
- Is it 6-pack abs?
- Lower cholesterol?
- Reduced risk for diabetes?
- Dead- lifting 500 pounds?
- Or being able to spend the day with your kids and not run out of breath?
Go ahead…. answer the question. Take out a notebook and write how you define being healthy. I’ll wait.
FOOD: FIT FAST NUTRITION TIPS
Please be on the lookout for the Limitless365 Fitness Program (it’s live now here), which will your in-depth guide to building healthy habits for busy people. This section is a quick start guide to help you get your food game right.
The Golden Rule
Before we go any further let’s get one thing straight. You can exercise as much as you want, lift tons of weight, and run many miles but all of this will be for nothing if you eat like crap.
The L365 FREE Guides offer some useful tools that will enable you to develop healthy eating habits, choose the right foods that accelerate fat loss and lean muscle gain, and a habit tracker that holds you accountable.
Now I don’t know about you but I hate counting calories, weighing and measuring food, and trying to schedule 6 meals into my day. I’m busy and I am sure you are too. Let’s commit to eating real food, when we’re hungry, as often as possible.
Whenever you sit down to eat ask yourself these questions (refer to Food Chart):
- Do I have a protein source?
- Do I have a healthy fat?
- Can I switch out any grains with greens/veggies?
- Did I stop eating when I was 80% full?
- Am I actually hungry or am I eating as an emotional response?
- Am I fully enjoying this meal and chewing slowly?
Nutrition does not need to be complicated. There is no reason you need to calculate macronutrients (carbs, fat, and protein), count calories, or weigh and measure everything. Practice eating real food as often as possible.
Here is a good way to tell if food is real or not.
- 3 ingredients on the label: Ok
- 2 ingredients on the label: Good
- 1 ingredient on the label: Yes!
- No label? Even better!
If there are any words on the package you cannot pronounce that is a bad sign. Here are a few ingredients to look out for when looking at food labels.
- Refined sugars: Glucose, dextrose, fructose, and galactose. They offer no nutritional value, promote fat storage and wreak havoc on your insulin levels and immune system. High fructose corn syrup especially. It’s in everything from ketchup to pancake syrup.
- Partially hydrogenated, hydrogenated, or industrial seed oils: These oils are cheap for food manufacturers to use and help extend the shelf life of food. There is a high correlation between them and obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, birth defects, allergies, and cancer. Choose healthy fats and oils instead.
- Artificial Sweeteners: Aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, and phenylalkaline have to go. Some of them are known to contribute to cancer, headaches, nausea, diarrhea, and kidney or liver inflammation. The most common culprit is zero calorie-flavored beverages. Instead, add some lemon to your ice-cold water or green tea.
- Gluten: Most often found in wheat, rye, and barley. Most people do not even know they have gluten intolerance until they actually remove it from their diet. We have eaten so much of it that we think it’s normal or blame other things for feeling bloated, fatigued, skin problems, constipation, and irritability, depression, and weight fluctuations. READ THIS NOW
EXAMPLE DAY OF EATING REAL FOOD
Use this as a template for building your own meals and feel free to mix and match foods based on those given in the real food chart. For example, if the protein source is ground beef but you just don’t feel like eating that then sub in another protein source from the real food chart (ex: lamb).
The same goes for your carbohydrate. If the meal calls for spinach but you are not really in the mood than sub it out and enjoy some artichoke instead.
If you are really looking to build a healthy habit I would suggest eating roughly every 4 hours. You’ll most likely find that you end up eating around 3-4 meals a day and possibly a small snack. The following is an example day’s nutrition.
- Protein: 3-4 scrambled eggs
- Carbohydrate: Spinach & mushroom
- Fat: 1/2 avocado – 1 full avocado
- Big ass salad (recipe)
- Protein: Salmon (roughly the size of your hand for men and palm for women)
- Carbohydrate: Grilled asparagus spears
- Fat: Olive oil or grass-fed butter
- 1 handful of berries +1-2 handfuls of macadamia nuts
The example given is just that. An example of what I consider to be a nutritional day of eating. The approach to nutrition at Limitless365 is to get you healthy from the inside out. Feel free to use this as a starting point for yourself but pay special attention to how you feel eating this way.
If you are a bigger guy, or are exercising fairly intensely 5 days a week you most likely are going to need more calories than this. If you are a very petite woman and are not active at all you may need a little less. The idea is to monitor how you feel. If you are tired, weak, losing weight too fast (or sometimes not losing weight due to metabolism slowing down) you may need to eat more calories.
If you need to add calories to the example given, I suggest doing it with your protein and fats first and then carbohydrates. Fats are our bodies best source of energy, so simply adding in a tablespoon of coconut oil (140 calories) and 4 more ounces of grass fed beef (roughly 200) will add some much needed calories if necessary.
You can also try fattier cuts of meat. Instead of 93/7 beef try 85/15. Another option is to add in a starchy carb from the real food chart like a sweet potato.
If cutting calories from the example is something you need to do, simply do the same. First take a look at your carbohydrate consumption. If you are eating more than 2 pieces of fruit a day try eliminating one serving (80-100 calories). Cut back by a teaspoon or two of oils or take away an ounce from your protein source.
Make small changes and do so very slowly. Wait about 2-4 weeks to assess your progress with any changes to see if you need to make anymore.
Here are a couple awesome resources for tracking your progress, nutritional information, and ways to hold you accountable. Take advantage of them. They’re FREE!
PROTEIN, CARBS, AND FAT… OH MY
Let’s discuss what exactly we’re putting in our bodies as we strive for better health. Understanding what exactly protein, carbs, and fat are and do within our body might come in handy as you strive for better health and wellness.
Helps to repair muscle tissue that is broken down from strenuous exercise. Extremely important if you are following a fat loss diet that is lower in
calories than you are used to. It also is extremely satisfying. Excellent for keeping hunger under control. It can also be converted to glucose just like carbohydrates, which means you can use it for energy!
If you are wondering how much to eat a good starting point is about one gram per pound of body weight. So if you are a 150 pound male you would try to consume about 150 grams of protein throughout the day. If you eat four meals per day, that is roughly 37.5 grams of protein per meal. Or about the same found in 6-8 ounces of chicken breast. This is roughly the size of your palm to hand.
Carbohydrates: (Definitive guide to carbohydrates)
You can Google carbohydrate and find a million and one theories on how much to eat, and if they are good or bad. It’s a little overwhelming. I’ll try my best to simplify it here.
Yes, you definitely should eat carbohydrates. But remember that vegetables are carbohydrates too. If fat loss is your goal a good rule of thumb is to include vegetables every time you eat. They are extremely nutrient dense, full of fiber, and very satisfying.
Starchy carbohydrates should be saved for post exercise meals. This would include sweet potato, and if you do eat rice, or oatmeal this is when you would eat those as well. I highly recommend sticking with the foods found on the Real Food Chart and to try your best to cut grains, wheat, and legumes as they contain gluten and lecithin which inhibit the uptake of vitamins and minerals and can even damage the lining of your gut… YIKES!
For fat loss: 1-2 pieces of fruit per day should do you just fine. Try and stick to berries for the most part as they usually contain less fructose and are more nutrient dense. If we are talking about exactly how much; a sweet spot for fat loss is usually around 100 grams per day of mostly vegetable carbohydrates and 1-2 pieces of low glycemic fruit like berries.
If weight gain is a priority: You may be able to get in upwards of 150-200 grams of carbohydrates. Simply watch your weight gain and if you are putting on too much excess body fat, think about dialing that back a bit. This is where those starchy carbs post exercise may come in handy.
Let’s get it out there right now. Fat does not make you fat and saturated fat does not give you high cholesterol. Please visit this website about the Framingham heart study.
Great, now that we cleared that up, please remember that fat is our friend. It is the best energy source we can provide our bodies with. It’s true that intense exercise requires carbohydrates to perform well but unless you are a world-class athlete you are probably only training hard 30-60 minutes a few times per week. The rest of the day is spent walking around, sitting down, or engaging in low impact activities. All of which prefer fat as their primary source of fuel.
Make sure to take advantage of the Real Food Chart. Focus on the fats listed and for Pete’s sake include a little bit with each meal.
EASY TO UNDERSTAND SERVING SIZES
Weighing and measuring food to get exact nutrients and calorie counts is a beneficial method to determine if you are eating just enough, too little, or too much. But sometimes weighing and measuring can be a tedious measure… (get it :D). Well, I think I’m hilarious.
There is a much easier way to approximate food quantities that won’t drive you crazy.
- Protein sources: For your grass-fed beef, poultry, fish, and various other sources a good serving size is roughly the size of your hand for men and palm for women
- Carbohydrate sources: If you are eating mostly veggies then about two fists worth of veggies is a good start. If it is a piece of fruit, berries, or starchy carb like sweet potato than a good serving size is about the size of one clenched fist.
- Fat sources: This is a bit tricky. For the most part I would actually just use 1-4 tablespoons of oil per meal, half an avocado, or a small handful of raw nuts.
WHEN EATING OUT?
You would simply follow the same serving size guidelines. Restaurants are notorious for bringing extraordinary amounts of food, way too many servings. Just because it is on the plate does not mean you have to eat it.
Tip #1: When the meal is brought to you, ask for a box right away. Carefully distribute some of the food into the container until you have the serving sizes you are looking for on your plate. Don’t be shy about asking for this. Restaurants are more than accommodating.
Tip #2: Same goes for food substitutions. 86 the loaded potato and ask for a second serving of veggies instead.
If you get tired of eating similar items day-to-day and are not sure how to shake it up. Visit these sites for phenomenal recipe ideas for any occasion.
Getting healthy and fit isn’t something that needs to be complicated. Get clear on your definition of what health and fitness means to you and take an honest look at whether you are displaying the behaviors that help deliver that definition. If not, I hope that you’ll find some of the above information helpful.
WHAT ARE SOME CHANGES YOU’VE IMPLEMENTED RECENTLY TO HELP YOU REACH YOUR DEFINITION OF HEALTH AND FITNESS? COMMENT BELOW.