- EAT EVERY FEW (3-4) HOURS.
Now, before we go any further, it is important to know that we are not necessarily talking about eating a full meal every few hours – some of them can be smaller snacks or even just a shake. But you should be feeding the body every three to four hours. This would usually equate to about six small meals per day. And you could play around this to see what suits you best. For instance, you may prefer to go for six small meals of about the same size or maybe three medium-sized meals and three shakes might go down more easily.
- INCLUDE HIGH PROTEIN FOODS IN EACH MEAL OR SNACK.
Animal-based sources like chicken, beef, lamb, pork, fish, and dairy are the most protein-dense foods with the highest biological value. For vegetarians and vegans, your main sources are peas, beans, nuts, and nut butters, quinoa, tempeh and tofu, and hemp. So ask yourself: Am I eating enough protein? If not, make the change.
- DON’T FORGET YOUR VEGETABLES.
There are far too many health benefits to increasing your vegetable intake to go into here, but just make sure you consume some vegetables, especially those of the green leafy variety with each meal or snack.
- SAVE YOUR CARBS FOR AFTER EXERCISE.
You can get away with eating foods like rice, pasta, bread, potatoes, etc. if you eat them after you’ve exercised. Plenty of research shows that the body is better able to process carbohydrates in the 3 hour period following a bout of intense exercise. If you are gluten intolerant, avoid the pasta and bread.
- INCLUDE A GOOD BALANCE OF HEALTHY FAT IN YOUR DIET.
I know you may have been told to avoid fats in the past but, the truth is that dietary fat is absolutely essential to the proper functioning of our bodies. There are 3 types of fat: saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated. Eating all three kinds in a healthy balance can dramatically improve your health, and actually, help you lose fat. Most foods containing protein also contain some saturated fat and are also found in butter, avocados and coconut oil. Your monounsaturated fat can be found in mixed nuts, olives, and olive oil and you will find polyunsaturated fat in flaxseed oil, fish oil, and mixed nuts.
Following these basic guidelines can go a long way towards transforming the way you look, feel and perform.