He impressed upon you the importance of building good habits to achieve whatever size goal you set (even the HUGE ones). I wanted to share with you guys my 5 best habits for healthy living so you can start the New Year off right!
Maybe you knew this one, and maybe you didn't. Vegetables are composed of mostly carbohydrates and usually a little protein. You're most nutritious sources of carbs are always going to be vegetables -- Broccoli, Cauliflower, Peas, Carrots, Yams, Potatoes, etc.
If you're trying to gain muscle you can spend more time making buddies with the starchy veggies like potatoes and sweet potatoes, throw some squash in there for good measure too. If your goal is weight loss save those starchy carbs for your post workout meal and stick to greens and other non-starchy carbs like good ol' peas and carrots.
There are a lot of good reasons to limit your grain intake, if you want to read more about the Elite approach to both carbs and grains read either of these posts HERE or HERE. Eating most of your carbs as veggies is going to ensure your diet is full in nutrients and less calorically dense -- a great recipe for weight loss.
The asterisk on this one is if your goal in the New Year is to put on muscle. In this case you want to be including healthy grain sources in to your diet to ensure optimal energy levels for your high intensity work outs and the necessary fuel for muscle repair. White Rice and Quinoa are two of my favorite healthy grains!
Eat protein at every meal
Your body is constantly breaking down and rebuilding it's structural proteins (the ones that makes up things like our muscles, bones, organs, etc.). In order to fuel this your body needs a constant supply of amino acids. Our body can build a lot of these on their own but there are 8 essential amino acids you have to get from food.
Protein is also a great 'filler-upper'. It keeps you feeling full for longer than other food choices. That makes it a great diet food! If you're following the habit of getting most of your carbs from veggies, chances are you can afford to intake a bit more fat to help your body reach it's energy balance, so don't feel bad about eating a fattier protein source like pork shoulder, ground beef or salmon -- you can afford it.
Don't forget that there are lots of places to find protein. It's hidden in small bits in your veggies, you can get it from dairy sources and of course animal proteins are a great place to find it.
It's New Years Eve, so I have no doubt that you will have no problem living up to this particular healthy habit tonight. You just might be ingesting a little less aqua and little more libation than I'd recommend.
Keeping your fluids up is so important to healthy living, we are made up of more than 55% water after all. We also lose a lot of sweat through the day due to general movement, exercise and sleep. Did you know the average person loses between a lb and a lb and a half of water weight during the night!?
Water does some amazing things for your body. It allows for nutrients to be transported in your blood stream, it helps regulate temperature through sweating and perspiration, lubricates joints, forms saliva, helps us flush out toxins from our body.
All food has some water content to it, veggies are fruits are your best bet if you want to 'eat your water'. HERE is a great little article on the highest water content foods.
Get Your Sleep
I harp on this one because it's one that I struggle with the most. I've got a 18 month at home so the hours Tiff and I get to ourselves are after he goes to sleep. I like to spend that time catching up with Tiff and doing something to let her relax after a long day of taking care of Dax.
That means that if I want to do anything for myself it either means cutting in to my time with my wife or else staying up late or getting up early. I've been trying to build a habit of earlier start times to take advantage of the most productive hours of the day. But there are only so much time in the day
Sleep is like magic, you fill up your sleep stores and you feel more energetic, you've got an extra skip in your step, you've got a little more patience. Everything works better with sleep -- from muscle output to your libido, so try not to shirk it. You'll thank me later, or like Drizzy would say, you can thank me now.
Did you know that digestion of carbs and certain fats start in your mouth? The enzymes in your saliva can help to start breaking down food as your chewing it up. But it only works if you spend time chewing and it mixes with your saliva.
Breaking food down into smaller chunks in your mouth helps every other step of your digestive process. You're more likely to extract the nutrients from your foods, you're going to have a happier stomach (read less bloating and erm -- flatulence) and you're going to eat more consciously -- Chewing is also a calorie burner, a little more time spent 'at the trough' means you're going to burn a few extra calories as well.
To me, the biggest advantage of chewing your food more thoroughly is the process of eating consciously. We so often just scarf down our food while we're watching TV or running out the door to some other event. If you have the luxury, spend time chewing and enjoying your food, especially if it's a 'less than healthy option'. Savour your food and you'll find you'll reach a point of satisfaction a little bit sooner -- and that's an especially good thing if it's a piece of cake or cinnamon bun.
There you have it, 5 healthy habits to start your New Year with. If you find five too daunting a number then start with just one. Once you've built that habit, start implementing another, and so on and so on. These are five of my top recommendations for strong nutrition habits. Now go and make the most out of the last day of 2014. I'll catch you guys all in the New Year!
Live Your Best Life!