Stop overcomplicating your goals, and employ these 5 hacks to jumpstart your fat loss and muscle growth.
- Intermittent Fasting
- Check the “Stats”
- Optimize Breakfast
- Outside of the Grocery Store
- Cheat Codes for Cheat Meals
Do you find yourself lost, looking for the philosopher’s stone of diet and nutrition within the overwhelming surplus of zealous diet advice? Everywhere around us diet gurus spout their beliefs like religion. Hell, I’m surprised there hasn’t been some random Holy War yet.
Nutrition is the fitness culture’s dogma.
I’ve been there. I believe there are typically two types of people in fitness.
- Those who gravitate toward their lifts and excel in working hard,
- Those that naturally do better with diet.
I fall heavily into the first group.
I used to have friends that would stake the claim “you can’t outwork bad diet” to which I often disagreed, and even to this day, I think hard work in the gym makes up for a diet that isn’t perfect.
But I do believe a diet needs to be at least better. While I do have a good solid diet (finally), I’ve learned that for someone that doesn’t have the time, energy, or prioritization I do, there’s still simple ways to optimize your gains without stressing, so long as, of course, your work ethic in the gym is in tact.
But don’t worry, it’s all actually a lot easier to get started than people make it out to be. Here are my 5 simple hacks to jumpstart your fitness
1. Intermittent Fasting (IF):
IF is an umbrella term for various diets that cycle between periods of fasting and non-fasting. The most common would be a 16:8 ratio, so you’d fast for 16 hours then plan your meals within an 8 hour window. The reason I say this as a number one hack for anyone is that it’s easier than switching right over to a more strict diet, and even more importantly, IF is the only ‘diet’ out there that will produce IMMEDIATE results, whether your goals be fat loss or muscle growth. Check out Thomas Delauer’s video on YouTube about IF
2. Optimize Breakfast:
We’ve all heard the saying; “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” That’s true. If you look at the etymology of the word breakfast, you can see it essentially means to ‘break’ your ‘fast’. Doesn’t matter when you do it, how you break your fast is always important. Some reasons why:
- Your body is most sensitive to hormonal changes
- Making the right nutritional decision for your first meal sets you up for success with each following meal
- Your breakfast dictates how your body runs the rest of the day
Optimize your breakfast with the right foods for your specific goals and you will be stoked on the results to follow.
3. Check the “Stats”:
When I say stats, I’m referring to the macronutrient profiles of any given food; primarily, Protein, Carbs, Fats, and Fiber. It doesn’t matter if you’re following a specific diet or just trying to clean up your current diet, checking the stats will help you reach your goals. This can be done by checking the Nutrition Label on the back of most food you buy, or if you’re looking at vegetables, doing a quick google search for that food’s macronutrient profile (stats).
4. When in doubt, stick to the outside of the grocery store:
This is beyond easy as any chain grocery store is set up the same way. On the outside of the grocery store is where you’ll find meats, vegetables, and fruit. On the inside is typically where you’ll find candy, sugar cereals, and ice cream.
Bonus: while looking around the outside of the grocery store (and checking stats) think about getting as many colors into your diet as you can. And no, I don’t mean skittles. Unless, of course, it’s either intra or post-workout, which brings me to my next point.
5. Optimize your “cheat” meals:
Some people out there will tell you to never eat a “cheat” meal. You should stop talking to them, you don’t need that sort of negative energy in your life. While I don’t believe anyone should be cheating very often (and certainly not binging), if you’re human, you’re going to have a cheat meal at some point.
If you cheat, time it correctly! Not at breakfast, and not in the middle of the day. Do it around your workout. Typically, I’d recommend post-workout because there are some awesome benefits for muscle growth that way.
Keep it simple.
Eating better doesn’t have to be complicated and you don’t have to change your entire diet to see results. Start small with these hacks and you’ll be sure to see positive changes in your body, and your brain.