Maximize Your Gains and Fitness Progress: Nutrition
You know what they say, “you are what you eat.”
And before you ask – no, you’re not a walking pizza just because you order a pepperoni with no pineapples every Saturday night.
“You are what you eat.” You’ve probably heard this phrase hundreds of times, but is it true?
If it weren’t true then food wouldn’t change your mood, brain function, GI tract, and communication between cells.
What about physical attributes like body composition, thicker hair, stronger and longer nails, smoother skin, and whiter eyes?
Well, the difference between all of us is the food we eat, as strange as it may sound. In order to build or replenish our body, we need food, water, and air. There are no other sources to make something (anything) grow.
Food can make you either fat or lean. Sick or healthy. Happy or depressed.
The key to discovering your body and seeing fitness progress is food. But not just any food. Proper nutrition.
Wait, What’s Proper Nutrition?
Good question. Here’s a brief outline of what makes nutrition proper:
- supplying your body with what it needs;
- eating healthy foods;
- moderating “bad foods.”
Sounds kind of vague, don’t you think? That’s why I decided to describe each of the three components in detail.
Supplying Your Body With What It Needs
It’s as simple as that: if you stop supplying your body with what it needs, you stop seeing fitness progress.
Want to put on lean muscles? Train hard and eat lots of healthy foods – proteins, carbs and fats – and track your macros to make sure you create a calorie surplus (more about it later).
There are quite a few vital nutrients that your body needs: amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and, last but not least, water.
What about the carbs?! You may be shocked to hear this, but your body does not need carbohydrates to survive. It just prefers them as its primary source of fuel.
We’ll touch more on carbs in a future blog.
Eating Healthy Foods
While we’ve established that eating vital nutrients is what you need to survive, there are also the not so vital nutrients – the ones you can survive without – but are great for living healthy and maximizing your gains and fitness results.
Think oily fish, dairy, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Why are they so good for you? You’ll find out the answer in our in-depth article about healthy foods for fitness.
Moderating “Bad Foods”
What’s a bad food anyway? Think junk food, sugary foods, pizzas, white bread, cookies, pastries, French fries, potato chips, ice cream, processed foods…
Wait, aren’t those the good foods?! Don’t worry! You don’t have to completely eliminate these foods, but you should learn moderation. While we’ll discuss these types of foods in-depth in our article about bad foods for fitness, there are also poisonous foods that you should be aware of.
Poisonous foods are, for example, foods that expired or were over-roast. If you ever burn your food, do keep in mind that not only is it stripped of healthy nutrients, but is also full of cancerogenic and toxic substances.
In our next article about things that help you maximize your gains and fitness progress, we’ll talk about supplements. Are they really that important in maximizing your fitness goals?