Something I get asked on a regular basis from people, students, and other instructors is how do I get rid of this?? (Grabs belly and gives it a shake). It’s normally just before a grading or a training camp or a holiday. The problem with that is the time frame. Weight loss, fat loss, building muscle! It all takes time and there is no quick fix to solve it. People looking for a quick fix in my opinion are not ready for a lifestyle change; they lack the commitment and the drive to adopt a healthier lifestyle and will ultimately fall off the wagon time and time again. This is the reason you rarely see people on weight watchers, Herbalife and those crap juice diets actually transforming their bodies. The idea of replacing meals with Juice or shakes is ridiculous and in my opinion promotes issues with eating real food which can have dire consequences. How often do you hear people saying oh i need to get back to weight watchers I’m at minus 600 Points, I’m definitely going on the cabbage diet….Face Palm.
Too many people spend the majority of their time eating packaged processed foods and take away’s. I’ve heard of some people going through their day on chocolate and red bull alone. The only wings that will give you are of the bingo variety. This type of eating does nothing to nourish the body, the body is a complex machine that requires basic nutrients to survive and function optimally on a day to day basis. Eating foods lacking in nutrients will lead you to crave more of these foods in order to get energy to function through the day. This is the reason people reach for quick acting stimulants like coffee and energy drinks because they give you an immediate boost. This can then lead to an almighty crash and so the vicious circle continues. This way of eating is bad enough for the sedentary person who sits at a desk all day until they get home to the couch but it is even worse for the person who exercises. Your body uses up nutrients and energy more rapidly when doing exercise and needs to be replenished after wards to be able to recover for the next session.
If you are training quite hard 2-3 times a week and not giving your body the nutrients and nourishment it needs then it won’t run the way you want it to. It will try to adapt and run on what it is given but it will only do this for so long. This is important for Krav Maga gradings and workshops or 3 day updates as you are working for 5-7 hours at a time for up to 3 days in a row. Your body takes an absolute beating due to the intensity especially if it is a grading and you are going balls to the wall, a good recovery will stall if the right nutrients aren’t provided.
The most important thing you can do is to develop a good relationship with eating real nutritious foods. It’s about developing lifestyle habits and getting out of the whole diet stigma. The body needs the 3 basic Macronutrients which are proteins (meat, fish, eggs, dairy) Fats (butter, nuts, oils, animal meat) and Carbohydrates (Potatoes, rice, grains). It also needs micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. It wouldn’t benefit anyone for me to say eat this and this in that quantity because everyone is different. We all have different body types, different health issues, different lifestyles and different levels of activity. But what everyone can benefit from is buying, cooking and eating real nutritious foods.
The best place to start regardless of if you try to eat healthily or not is to look at what you currently eat and see how you can improve it. Once it is written down in black and white it can be quite easy to see where things can be changed and improved up on. From there look to include more drinking water, try to cut out the fizzy juice yes even the diet stuff. Hydration is a massive aspect of a healthy lifestyle. Start looking for healthy recipes to try and get back in the kitchen and prepare a healthy meal. Regaining these important habits again or even just learning how to prepare and cook a healthy meal for the first time can make a massive difference in changing your lifestyle for the better. These habits are even more important if you have kids, teach them as you go and give them the start they need to enhance their development. Try to include more fruit and veg in the diet, the more colours on your plate the better (Veg i mean not skittles). Aim to get a portion of protein in every meal, protein helps to build and repair muscle, cartilage and bone which is very important when training. It also helps with satiety i.e. you stay fuller for longer.
When it comes to fats and carbs neither are your enemy. The body needs both of these macronutrients to run optimally. Fats are important and have a host of benefits for health. These include assisting in the health of various body tissues, assist in hormone production and help with the absorption of vital nutrients. The best fats to consume are a mix of poly, mono and saturated fats. Fats to avoid are trans fats and hydrogenated fats as they are more industrial produced so things like vegetable oils, corn oils and margarine.
Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy and can be classed as simple or complex, meaning how quickly they are broken down and digested. All carbohydrates are broken down into sugars and absorbed by the body. Some are stored in the liver and the rest enter the blood stream. Remember there is no one fits all when it comes to nutrition and everyone tolerates carbs differently so it is about getting the daily amounts right for you and the only way to do that is to listen to your body. It is important to start gauging how you feel after you eat a meal; from there you can find out what works for you and what doesn’t. If you eat something and an hour or 2 later you feel terrible or bloated or tired, chances are that something you ate or the amount you ate didn’t agree with you. This is why it is important to track what you eat and drink.
You are not supposed to feel like shit on a daily basis, you shouldn’t need to rely on artificial stimulants to get you through the day or to even fuel your workouts. We are supposed to feel awesome, energized and healthy and guess what the right nutrition can helps us achieve that. If you give your body what it needs to run optimally you will feel a lot better which will have a carry over into your work and training with a better recovery.