“Your coaches at Balance Point Fitness & Athletics understand that we all live different lives and have different demands. We don’t see this as an excuse to let your nutrition “go” however. This is the whole reason we are “Balance Point”. Each of us must find balance between our lives and our health. Each of us must find our own individual “Balance Point”.”
– Coach Justin Cascarina
One of the most frequent misunderstandings that we get from our clients at Balance Point Fitness & Athletics is they think that exercise is the most important component required to reach their goals. Please don’t get me wrong here – I categorize exercise as one of the top 4 factors that plays into your health, fitness and longevity as it is paramount in obtaining your performance/health goals, however, exercise alone will only get you so far. Among several other factors, your nutrition must be dialed in to get the most out of your efforts and the results that you want.
Oftentimes, when you hear us talk about the way we eat and the way we propose that you eat, you’ll notice that we immediately jump to the things that you don’t want to do or shouldn’t be doing. Let’s get away from that for a moment and talk about what you should be doing.
So here are four simple, general guidelines to start with when it comes to fueling your body. Please keep in mind that these guidelines are not suitable for every goal but are great starting points to developing healthy, long-lasting habits.
#1. You MUST eat proteins, carbohydrates and fats with EVERY meal and snack.
– There are important chemical and hormonal responses that occur in your body every time you eat and these three macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbs). Each play an integral role when consumed with one another and without one of them you’re sabotaging your body’s desired function. Here is a very short list of a few of the most favorable forms of these macronutrients.
PROTEINS: Lean Meats and Eggs
Turkey, Chicken, Lean cuts of Beef, Game Meats, Fish, Eggs
CARBOHYDRATES: Vegetables, Fruits and a few Root Vegetables (popular choices include…)
Broccoli, Onion, Bell Pepper, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Cucumber, Celery, Asparagus, Squash, Zucchini, Strawberries, Oranges, Apples, Blueberries, Grapes, Pear, Raspberries, Peaches, Yams, Sweet Potato, Turnips
FATS: Healthy Oils and a few Nuts and Seeds
Avocado, Olives, Coconut, Almonds, Pecans, Pistachios, Macadamias, Red Palm Oil, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds
#2. Eat within the hour you wake up.
If you provide yourself with a high QUALITY meal shortly after waking you’ll set the tone for the rest of the day and give yourself the best sources of energy to stave off the dreaded “energy crash munchies”.
#3. Eat 3-6 times per day (3 meals and 2-3 snacks).
Honestly, two of the biggest problems that I see most frequently when it comes to nutrition is quality of food and inadequate amounts of food. More often than not I hear people say that they skip breakfast, sometimes they have lunch and then they make up for all of it with dinner. Don’t let this be you. Prioritize your eating and plan ahead. Cooking large quantities and having leftovers is one of the best ways to ensure healthy eating habits.
#4. Drink plenty of water each day.
Notice I didn’t say the typical 8-8oz glasses per day. This is sufficient for some but not for others. Many of us will need more or less depending on how our bodies currently feel and the demands we place upon ourselves throughout our day. Generally speaking, I recommend people drink when they are thirsty and don’t when they are not. A caveat with this might be that if you notice you are not drinking hardly any water throughout your day (easiest to do during colder months), set a goal or a schedule each day to make sure you are consuming adequate amounts of water. Maybe 8-8oz glasses is a good starting point to develop the habit of getting some water into your system.
Keep an open mind and don’t forget that these recommendations are simply a starting point. There are always ways to fine-tune and tweak your nutritional intake to meet your changing goals, the demands of your life or day, or just to make your diet healthier for the same goal. Be flexible and be open to trying new things. Once you’ve made these recommendations a habit in your daily life you can then discuss the next steps to success with the expert coaches at Balance Point Fitness & Athletics.
WHAT YOUR FOOD PYRAMID SHOULD LOOK LIKE…