Eat to train, do not train to eat

Eating and nutrition, once understood, are quite simple. You just eat what you were designed to eat; eat to perform and eat to function.

Unfortunately, diet and nutrition has been made so complicated, conflicted and contorted that the average human is confused and is forced to consider or try a different diet every phase of the moon. Media, celebrity and trainer endorsements have utterly blurred the whole diet picture.

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All diets are conflicting

This has been done deliberately, but you can change it. You can change it because you are a machine designed to perform and a machine needs the right fuel to perform optimally. A car needs one type of oil, one type of fuel. It does not need one million types.

From here on in, let us remove the words ‘diet’ and ‘nutrition’ from our vocabulary and replace it with ‘fuel’. Let’s make things simple, simple to understand and simple to follow. As they say, let’s trim the fat (even though healthy fat is awesome) from all of the bullshit.

We want to perform at our best. We want to have the energy needed to stay focused mentally through our daily routines, to be physically able to perform particular actions and look bloody awesome doing it. All it takes is a bit of knowledge and planning.

Investment takes time but comes with longevity. Fads are quick and they do not last. Once you view your physical and mental health as an investment, the rest is easy.

Below is a list of ‘Fuel Rules’ (take note, as these are essential):

  1. Learn how to read a label
  2. Sugar is the enemy, NOT fat
  3. Does it have a face and move? Eat it
  4. Did it grow from the ground, a bush or a tree? Eat it
  5. Was it made in a machine? Avoid it
  6. Does it have a shelf life longer than one week? Avoid it
  7. Is it in a container with an outrageously long shelf life? Avoid it
  8. Do the ingredients require a dictionary to understand or use numbered codes? Avoid it
  9. Does it say ‘diet’ or ‘low fat’? Avoid it (if you think sugar is bad, its substitute is far, far worse)
  10. Eat clean 80% of the time, all of time

Question what you eat 

Every time you eat something, you must ask yourself:

  • What will this food do for me?
  • How will it improve my health?
  • Will it provide me with sustainable energy and goodness?
  • Is it going to help achieve my fueling goals?

Question everything you eat and make yourself accountable. We thrive on whole, natural foods that nature provides for us. High healthy-fat, high vegetable, high protein fuels are what benefit us best.

We do not thrive on processed foods because they are detrimental to our health. It is no coincidence that illness and disease have increased exponentially since the popularisation of fast processed foods. You just have to be smarter with what you eat and being smarter means planning your meals and shopping list for the week ahead. That is all it takes, like anything worthwhile – planning.

The five groups you need to focus on

While preparing your shopping list, there are five food groups to keep in mind:

  1. Meat (source from the butcher)
  2. Vegetables (green, leafy, etc.)
  3. Fats (fish, avocado, eggs, nuts, seeds)
  4. Complex carbs (kumara, pumpkin, beetroot)
  5. Fruit 1-2 serves per day

You also need to get as much variety from these groups and cover as much colour as possible.

Now think of the meals you are going to have during the week. The variety of the foods helps here. Once you plan the meals for the week, everything falls into place. Do not over-complicate things; just master the basics first. Get your essentials in order.

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You must make healthy eating a priority in your life

If you do not eat correctly, you fuel incorrectly. If you fuel incorrectly, you cannot live optimally. Become accountable and question what you eat. Eating clean is easy.

If you eat healthy 80% of the time all the time, all year round, the results will be mind-blowing. No more fads. Make healthy eating a habit. You are creating a healthy lifestyle and you are investing in yourself.