These 10 habits form the foundation of this program and that of most of our staff. Doc Peters follows these, as do Ryan, Brighid and Jeanne. So let’s review these 10 habits for now.
1) Eat every 3-4 hours.
Are you doing this – no matter what? Now, you don’t need to eat a full meal every 3-4 hours but you do need to eat 4-7 meals and snacks that conform to the other rules below.
2) Ingest complete, lean protein each time you eat.
Are you eating something this is an animal or comes from an animal – every time you feed yourself? If not, make the change. Note: If you’re a vegetarian, this rule still applies – you need complete protein and need to find non-animal sources.
3) Ingest vegetables and/or fruits with each feeding, for a total of around 7-8 servings per day.
That’s right, every time you eat (every 3-4 hours, right), in addition to a complete, lean protein source, you need to eat some vegetables. You can toss in a piece of fruit here and there as well. But don’t skip the veggies.
4) Based on your body type and goals, use appropriate carbohydrate timing.
Reward yourself for a good workout with a good carbohydrate meal right after (your body best tolerates these carbohydrates after exercise). For the rest of the day, eat your lean protein and a delicious selection of fruits, legumes, veggies, and other lower carbohydrate meals.
5) A good percentage of your diet must come from fat. Just be sure it’s the right kind.
Your saturated fat should come from your animal products and you can even toss in some butter or coconut oil for cooking. Your monounsaturated fat should come from mixed nuts, olives, and olive oil. And your polyunsaturated fat should from flaxseed oil, fish oil, and mixed nuts.
6) Ditch the calorie containing drinks (including fruit juice).
In fact, all of your drinks should come from non-calorie containing beverages. Fruit juice and sodas – these are all to be removed from your daily fare. Your absolute best choices are water, green and herbal teas and a glass of wine or beer ( 3- 4 glasses/week)
7) Focus on whole, unprocessed foods first.
Most of your dietary intake should come from whole foods. There are a few times where supplement drinks and shakes are useful. But most of the time, you’ll do best with whole, largely unprocessed foods.
8) Eat whatever else you want 10% of the time.
I know you cringed at a few of the rules above – perhaps #6 in particular. But here’s a bit of a reprieve. 10% foods are foods that don’t necessarily follow the rules above – but food’s you’re still allowed to eat (or drink) 10% of the time.
9) In most cases, prepare/pack your food in advance.
The hardest part about eating well is making sure you can follow the 8 rules above consistently. And this is where preparation comes in. You might know what to eat, but if isn’t available, you’ll blow it when it’s time for a meal. So shop effectively. Order effectively at restaurants. And bring snacks and other foods with you for the times you’re not by your own fridge.
10) Incorporate lots of healthy variety, don’t fall into a food rut.
Let’s face it; during the week –when you’re busy – you’re not going to be spending a ton of time whipping up gourmet meals. During these times you’re going to need a set of tasty, easy to make foods that you can eat day in and day out. However, once every day or a few times a week – you need to eat something different – something unique.