These basic principles of eating clean and maintaining health and fitness with confidence are called MY Rules* because they are ones that align with my lifestyle and goals. They are pretty general, but if one of them doesn’t seem applicable to your life then don’t feel as if you need to rearrange everything just to stick to these. That being said, you won’t see changes in yourself without altering your daily life. You’ll do anything to look like a Victoria Secret model huh? ANYTHING, except eat healthy and exercise.
1. Food is FUEL
Want to gain muscle? EAT. Want to lose fat? EAT. Okay so it’s not as simple as that, but the point is that in order to be a healthy and active person, you need to eat! It’s really easy to have a bad relationship with food in general. Before learning about clean eating, I felt like I was the Bachelorette and food kind of just hung around for most of the season because it was hot and had a cool job, but I didn’t really want it on my journey.Food is energy so that when you’re lifting big and tearing your muscles, you have the nutrients to build them back even bigger! Eating a balanced, CLEAN diet is what is really going to give you that six-pack. As annoying as it is, abs really are “made in the kitchen” with success being 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. I love eating and lifting, so if I’d could just sit around with a bowl of buttercream frosting all day or, even better, do some curls with the massive bowl I would be one happy camper. Since that isn’t really the best option, I’ve decided to live my life according to a few simple guidelines regarding food (okay more than a few, but I can’t share all of my secrets yet).
-Eat every 2-3 hours, six times a day, and include a protein, complex carb, and a healthy fat.
-Have a pre- and post-workout meal! You want to fuel that workout right? I’d just LOVE to see you drive a car on empty. (You’re not a hybrid)
-Don’t skip meals! Depriving your body of nutrients is just going to piss it off, and there will be no mercy.
-Follow the “5 ingredient or less” rule. Choose whole foods instead of over-processed junk, and if you can’t pronounce the ingredients then it probably isn’t the best choice (unless it’s keen-wah 😉 ).
-Go organic! I’ll admit that I don’t always buy organic when I should, I’m just a bit too cheap still being a struggling college student and all.
Here are some awesome websites if you want to learn more about Eating Clean:
http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/what-is-clean-eating/ <–a real person who successfully makes clean, delicious meals for her family!
2.Plan, Plan, Plan!
Living the fit life isn’t the easiest thing to do. It takes a lot of time, effort, and preparation to be ready to eat six meals with enough calories to get you through the day. I have a love/mostly hate relationship with inspirational quotes, but one that runs through my mind every day is:
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
Cheesy, but when you’re starving at 3pm wondering what to eat, you won’t be laughing at my little sayings! I try to prepare all my meals for the week on Sunday night, and then have everything ready the nights before weekdays so I don’t have to think about putting it all together. So what if you’re the weirdo whipping out a Tupperware (or worse, Ziploc as I’ve been known to do) of chicken and sweet potatoes? At least you’re prepared! I ALWAYS carry a bag of almonds in my purse or backpack, just in just in case of a healthy fat emergency.
3. Exercise Smart
If you are one of those people who walks in to the gym, hits the recumbent bike for 40 minutes, uses the hip abductor/adductor machines, busts out some crunches, and leaves without wiping off any of those often unused machines then I am shaking my head at you. Hard. Of course, this is a judgment-free environment so go ahead with your “plan” if you want to continue not seeing results. If you’re serious about being a fit and healthy person then make sure you are actually exercising in a way that helps your body, not just being active in a way that tires you out and makes you sore. Training smarter, not harder is the key to a strong body. If weight training isn’t your thing, then try something different! You wouldn’t expect to get a good workout from doing yoga if you didn’t know any sun salutations, so why would you walk in to a gym if you didn’t know any exercises? Educate yourself on what YOU need and stick with it!
I realize that this is a lot of info that I’ve hurled at you, but hopefully you find a way to do something with it and start planning for tomorrow:)
*I’m not a professional and this is all information that I’ve gathered on my own and through my experiences so far.