Your kettlebell workouts will never be completely effective if you aren’t eating properly. Your body is only is only going to function well if you are fueling it with premium fuel. There is a great saying that “You can’t outwork a bad diet”. No matter what you might think, this is true.
It can be tough living in our current society where there is often a negative association with eating healthy. A lot of people out there might actually think that it isn’t cool to eat properly, and we can often be peer pressured into eating unhealthy foods. The reality of the situation is that nutrition does matter. If you want to lose weight, get healthy, and improve the performance in your workouts, you must pay attention to what you put in your body. Those people out there that make fun of your healthy eating only do so because they are self-conscious about their own poor diet, so they try to drag you down with them. You found this site because you want to be healthier and you want to get in better shape, so don’t let those around you impact the success that I know you can have.
First, let’s redefine the word “diet”. Diet refers to everything you eat; it is not something you do for a few weeks to lose a few pounds. It is simply “what you eat”. Food is fuel, meaning, it functions like fuel to keep your body performing. Following a proper diet for a month will give you good results and weight loss for a month. But what you really need is to establish is some sort of sustainable relationship with food that you can maintain on an ongoing basis. In general, you should try to maintain a consistent diet if you want to be successful.
You should get back to the basics. Go shopping to learn and experience food rather than as a chore. Plan out your meals before you go shopping so you know what you are looking for. Learn a little more about cooking, types of food, and preparing food. Try new foods and new recipes. Make food a part of your life! Think about the food you eat and ENJOY it, rather than just shoveling it into your face as fast as you can.
The benefits of maintaining a healthy diet will manifest themselves in many ways…you will recover faster from workouts; you will have improved focus, more energy, better sleep, and you will find yourself in better moods.
If you have a tough workout you don’t “earn” a bowl of ice cream or a whole pizza…this is when it is most important to eat healthy foods, so your body can properly recover.
I’m just going to touch on some basics here, but I will have some follow-up posts with more detail about nutrition, as well as posts on how that nutrition impacts your kettlebell workouts.
- Eat real food. Get back to foods that are fresh from the produce section (vegetables, fruits, spices, meats, and cheeses), meat department or fish section (steak, ground beef, turkey, salmon, white fish). Frozen vegetables and meat are also okay (because of convenience) but generally fresh foods retain more of their nutrition and they taste a little better!
- When buying packaged foods, take a look at the ingredients. If there are ingredients on the label that you have never heard of or that sound like they were created in a chemistry lab, don’t buy the product!
- Eat somewhere between 3-5 meals per day. Some of these meals can be more like snacks, but keep it varied – three square meals one day, two big meals and three snacks the next…keep it varied!
- Do not eat too much before you sleep. You do not want to go to bed with a full stomach because it will disturb your sleep and your body won’t be as effective processing the food.
- Vary your calorie intake by day. If you (and your doctor/trainer/nutritionist) determine you need 2,500 calories in a day. That doesn’t mean you need to hit that number exactly every day. Eat 2,500 one day, 2,800 the next, then 2,100, then 2,400…just try to average your days over the long term so they come out to around 2,500 per day (try not to have any days that are too extreme in either direction though!).
- Avoid alcohol, fried foods, processed foods, refined carbs (white bread, regular pasta, regular potatoes, white rice), and sweets
Nutrition is VERY individualized, so you always have to make sure you are listening to your body. These are basics, but we are going to build on this with information on Protein, Fat, and Carbs…as well as info on vitamins, minerals, and supplements.