My friends, nutrition is no joke. Sure, it's not as sexy of a topic as training, but it is equally as—if not more—important. If you want to look and feel your best, you gotta commit to clean eating.
Before we jump in the weeds, I want to make one thing clear: I'm not perfect with my nutrition, nor should you be. Rather than uber-restrictive eating, simply strive for greatness by following these tips.
Here are the fundamentals of GREAT nutrition. You won't get anywhere without 'em!
*View my Facebook LIVE on this topic — including Q&A — HERE.*
1. Start Your Day With Breakfast
Begin the day with a good, healthy breakfast complete with complex carbs and protein. Oatmeal, eggs, whole-grain toast or Ezekiel bread and avocado are excellent options. My go-to breakfast? Eggs, avocado and KETCHUP (yup, my fellow east coasters know how I roll; I love ketchup on my eggs!)
P.S., Many of you have a thing for oats. Here's a little "and then some" hack: Upgrade your oatmeal with a sprinkle of cinnamon. It's a great anti-inflammatory agent to battle arthritis, knee pain, back pain and more.
2. Eat Every 3-4 Hours
Constantly fueling your body will ensure your metabolism is always running. Despite popular belief, if you want to lose weight and blast fat, you gotta eat more frequently. Commit to frequent, small meals and you'll be shedding fat! #Stoked
Just make sure those meals are healthy. Keep reading for more on that!
3. Stop With the Sugar
Sugar makes you soft physically, mentally and emotionally, and corrupts your entire system. It's TOXIC. That white stuff is bad news! In fact, sugar takes the top spot on my list of foods to AVOID.
If you're battling sugar cravings, curb them with a protein shake and a little extra H2O.
4. Eliminate Alcohol
Booze does you no good. It slows recovery and impedes transformation. #JustSayNo.
Great nutrition requires the discipline to give up what you don't need, and you definitely do NOT need booze.
Think of it like this: For every glass of beer or shot of liquor you consume, your soft tissue needs one full day of recovery.
5. Keep It Clean
Stay lean by eating clean. Replace fried food, junk food and soda with fish, chicken, veggies and good fats like avocados, nuts and olive oil. Things like salmon, chicken, broccoli, salad and brown rice should be staples of your diet. My motto is: "the fewer legs, the better."
Pro-Tip: If you're going with fish (great choice, by the way :)), make sure it's wild. That farm-raised junk is chock full of hormones.
6. Fuel Up 1-2 Hours Before You Work Out
You gotta gas up if you want to go! I suggest a 50/50 split of protein and carbs, and possibly a little bit of healthy fats before training.
I also like a little pre-workout cocktail complete with CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine. More on that later.
7. Hydration Is Crucial
Drink one half of your body weight in fluid ounces of water DAILY. And no, you can't swap the H2O for sugary sports drinks.
P.S., Beyond water's endless benefits, an added bonus is it satiates sugar cravings.
8. Follow the 90/10 Rule With Supplements
90% of your nutrition should be great, clean eating. 10% can be "supplemented" to boost performance. I suggest the following ingredients pre-workout: Caffeine, Niacin, Taurine and CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine. When you're searching for #TheEdge, the extra 10% of success can come from a solid supplement routine.
That said, if you don't eat right, none of this matters. Supplements are simply an extra spark.
9. Get Your Protein Post-Workout
A whey protein shake 15-30 minutes after your workout is a must for recovery. I like Ascent Protein because it aligns with my previous points of lean, clean and quality eating.
Speaking of protein, I suggest 1 gram per pound of body weight a day. #PoundTheProtein
You gotta get good at doing these simple things and you must be disciplined with your nutrition choices. Your food and supplement routine is critical for your health and fitness!
Here are a few of the top questions I received during my Facebook LIVE session devoted to nutrition.
Do you take supplements on rest days?
Yes. Here's why: Rest days are often the hardest days for me. I don't feel the same without my workout, so I try to stick to all the other components of my routine. Thus, I keep my nutrition and supplement routine dialed-in all the time, whether training or resting. That means BCAA's, protein, CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine, and high-quality foods fuel me daily!
What's your favorite cheat meal and dessert?
Like many of you, my favorite cheat meal is pizza. And I'm not talking a slice or two. I'm talking so many slices that your digestive system goes into overload and you're so stuffed from that delicious 'za, you're officially motivated to get back on track and eat healthy again :).
As for dessert, I like a little something called Ky's Pie (shoutout to my fellow competitor on NBC STRONG). Mix 3 tablespoons of Greek yogurt (I like vanilla), 1 tablespoon of almond butter, 2 scoops of whey protein powder, a handful of slivered almonds, and enjoy! While I do consider this dessert, I can promise you one thing: You WON'T be craving sugar after a lil' Ky's Pie.
What's your morning routine look like?
Here's the simplified version of my most common practices:
- Wake up between 4 and 5 a.m. I like to beat the sun up to DOMINATE the day.
- Chug 16 ounces of water and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (it's good for the gut).
- Spend some time getting my mind right via journaling and/or prayer. #GetUrMindRight
- 20-25 minutes of fasted cardio to lean out (I typically take CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine and BCAA's pre-cardio).
- Post-workout protein shake and breakfast.
- Take a shower, grab a greens drink and conquer the day!
I hope these tips motivate you to take your training up a notch. As always, train hard, eat right and live inspired! If you liked this, you gotta read the the best nutrition advice I tell my athletes, plus my best tips for superior recovery! If you can dial in your training, your nutrition and your recovery, you'll be near unbeatable.
This post first appeared on ToddDurkin.com
Photo Credit: NikonShutterman/iStock