Nutrition Basics

nutrition basicsIf you’re just starting a new program it can be hard enough to get the workouts down and to make sure you’re getting them in every day.  On top of that, the nutrition can be confusing as well.  How much should you be eating?  What should you be eating?  Where do you start?  These are all common questions and I know it can be overwhelming.  Believe me, I was there.  My first month doing Insanity I didn’t focus much on the nutrition, and guess what, I didn’t lose a single pound!  I knew then that I had to get my nutrition dialed in if I wanted to reach my goals.  So for those of you just starting out or just looking for some basic tips, I wanted to write up a post on nutrition basics.

Nutrition Basics – Getting Started

If you’re just getting started, there are some important steps that you need to take if you want to get things started on the right foot.  I didn’t follow these nutrition basics and I paid for it.  So don’t make the same mistakes I did.

1) Throw out the junk!  This is a non-negotiable.  If you’re serious about reaching your goals, then throw out the junk.  Get rid of the chips, candy, sweets, pop, cookies, ice cream, etc.  I don’t need to list everything, you know what I mean.  Those foods don’t really have any nutritional value and they’re only going to hold you back from reaching your goals.  Don’t let them tempt you, throw them away!

2) Read your nutrition guide.  Your nutrition guide might just be the most important piece of the package that you get when you order a Beachbody program.  It’s crucial to your success, but so many people over look it or don’t even read it.  I know it can be complicated, but it’s important to at least read it over.  Then as you have questions, shoot them my way or post them in our Facebook group and we can help you out.  For example, if you’re doing P90X, check out this post on the P90X Nutrition Guide.

3) Start tracking what you eat.  I say it a lot, and I know not everyone follows this advice.  But the people who do are the ones getting great results.  So if you’re serious about your nutrition and you’re just starting out, you absolutely need to do this.  Most people have their eyes opened a bit when they start tracking.  It’s easy for little things to add up and not realize that you’re sabotaging yourself with small little treats or snacks that aren’t good for you.  For more details on this, check out how to track your nutrition with myfitnesspal.

How Much And What To Eat – Nutrition Basics

Again, when it comes to nutrition basics, these questions are top on the list.  How much should I eat?  What should I eat?  Do I need to make the meals from the guide?  These are all very common questions and there important to ask.

1) Figuring out your calorie goal.  This is a very important aspect of your nutrition, figuring out how many calories you should be eating.  This is going to differ for everyone, but your nutrition guide should give you a great starting point to figure this out.  If you’re looking to lose weight, you need to eat at a calorie deficit.  In other words, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn in a day.  If you want to gain weight, then you need to eat at a calorie surplus, meaning you eat more calories than you burn in a day.  To help figure out your number, check out this post on figuring out how many calories you should eat.

2) Meals you should make.  I’m a huge fan of simplicity.  If you have simple meals that consist of healthy food that allow you to reach your calorie and protein/carb/fat goals, then go ahead and use those recipes.  The recipes in the guides are great and are fun to try, but by no means are they the only options you have for food.  The important part is eating nutritious meals that fit into your plan.  I personally like to try out new recipes so I don’t always stick to the exact meals from the guides, but I’m always making sure I’m sticking within my plan.  To check out some of my favorite recipes, check out my recipes tab up above.

3) Meal timing and size.  This is somewhat of a debated topic, like many things in nutritional research.  But I find it very beneficial when you’re starting out to eat smaller meals, more frequently.  So that could look like 3 meals and 2 snacks or 5 evenly spread out meals.  The reason for doing this is that I think it helps curb your cravings and you’re less likely to binge or slip up.  Some people say it boosts your metabolism some say it doesn’t, but I think it does have benefits no matter how you do it because it can really help you to avoid overeating.  Right away I ate 3 bigger meals and 3 smaller snacks.  You can see what I ate here: my 1900 calorie diet.

Nutrition Basics – Grocery Shopping

Do you get anxiety just thinking about going to the grocery store?  Do you have trouble figuring out what to buy?  You’re not alone.  But here are some basic tips that should help.

1) The fewer the ingredients the better.  Basically, if it has a bunch of things in it that you can’t pronounce, it’s probably not great for you.  You want to stay with whole, natural foods.  The closer it is to it’s whole state, the better.  Think produce.  Bananas, apples, etc don’t have a huge ingredient list.

2) Stay on the outside of the store.  When you start venturing into the inner isles of a grocery store is when you’re going to find the over-processed, nutritionally deficient foods for the most part.  The outside of the store is where you want to stay.  Buy fresh produce, lean meats, whole grains, etc.  Those are the foods that you want to be eating most of the time.

3) Make a list!  It seems basic, but it’s easy not to do.  If you just go to the store, you’re probably going to buy more than you planned.  But if you make a list, you can ensure that only healthy things make it into your cart and it helps you stick with a budget too.  So make the list before hand.  It really helps avoid impulse buys.

So hopefully these 9 tips help you understand some nutrition basics.  I know it can be confusing but this is where you should start.  Leave a comment here if you have a question or other tips to share!

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  1. […] those of you just getting started, or if you’ve been at it a while I did post some Nutrition Basics that I think are essential for everyone pretty much.  They’re simple tips that can really […]

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