Sick of trying to figure out exactly how to eat for optimal health AND physical performance?
By following these principles, you can expect to achieve…
- Faster and easier fat loss
- Lean muscle gains with less added body fat
- More energy during the day
- More focus and mental clarity
- Better digestion
- Enhanced immune system functioning
- Higher sex drive
- Less aches and pains
- Better moods
1) Eat Real, Whole Foods 90% of the Time
Any nutrition plan aimed at physique transformation or increased performance has to be healthy.
For some reason, people either forget or completely ignore that concept. So, they start eating several pounds of meat every day, drinking sugary workout drinks, and ordering cheese fries with their salmon because they’re in bulk mode.
You have to be smarter than that. As an adult you have to take responsibility for your health. You can’t drink soda or complain about not “liking the taste of water.”
Your diet must focus on optimizing your well-being and quality of life.
The healthiest diet consists of a wide variety of whole foods. Things that grew in the ground.
The foundation of your diet should contain lots of the following:
- Potatoes of all kinds, squashes, and other roots or tubers
- Grains like rice and oats
- Vegetables of every color
- Fruits of all varieties
These foods will load you up with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Plus, they provide the carbohydrates that fuel your training and energy throughout the day.
After this foundation of plant foods, you need to add in some animal products, like meat and eggs, which will provide…
Protein – This is an essential nutrient for building muscle and improving your performance. Aim for one gram per pound of bodyweight per day. No one needs more than that.
Healthy Fats – These are critical for avoiding heart disease, diabetes, and chronic illness. They also keep your hormonal health up. That’s especially important for you guys who need to keep your testosterone up (i.e. every man who reads this article).
Essential Vitamins and Minerals – There are some things your body needs that it can’t efficiently get from plants.
And a nutrient dense diet means you will have everything you need to perform at your peak every day.
2) Eat Whatever You Want 10% of the Time
If you’re smart with your diet and track your macros, you will have plenty of leeway to eat tasty, delicious foods every day. And sometimes they will be foods that are widely considered unhealthy like having a few slices of pizza or a burger when you’re out for a social occasion. As long as you are not exceeding your daily allotment of carbs or fat, you’ll be totally fine.
A flexible dieting plan like this is the only one that will work long term and allow you to stick with it for life.
3) Eat Enough to Feel Energized
A healthy diet shouldn’t only make you look good, but it should make you FEEL good.
Most diets you see in magazines or on the internet do just the opposite.
They require you to cut out all carbohydrates and calories which just give you cravings and brain fog. And, you have zero energy for workouts.
Sure, you might lose a ton of weight in those first couple months. But after that, you’re so sick of the plan that you go back to your old habits and put the weight right back on.
Instead of going with an extreme approach, you need to find a diet that you can stick to.
And the diet you can stick to is one that gives you enough calories to maintain focus, and motivation.
How Much Do You Need To Eat?
Here are your starting calorie recommendations:
Fat Loss: 12 cals per lb bodyweight
Maintenance: 14 cals per lb bodyweight
Muscle Building: 16 cals per lb bodyweight
4) Eat Carbs on a Daily Basis
Cutting carbs is both unnecessary and counterproductive for your physique goals. You’ll lose fat faster and look a lot harder and fuller with carbs in your diet on a regular basis. Carbs are an essential component to a good muscle building diet that simultaneously burns fat.
The key is timing them properly and balancing them out with your protein and fats.
If you’re hitting workouts that build strength and lean muscle, you need carbs.
They are the single best fuel for that type of exercise. And you will always feel, look, and perform better by keeping some in your diet. So, in the meal you eat 60-90 minutes before your workout; have 25-50 grams of carbs from one of the following:
- A small bowl of oatmeal
- A small sweet potato
- A fist sized portion of white rice
5) Learn How Foods Make You Feel
Here’s your 3-step plan to figuring out what foods you should and should not eat.
Step 1: Eat some food
Step 2: Take note of the foods in the meal
Step 3: Think about how you feel after the meal.
- Are you tired or full of energy?
- Did it digest well or leave you gassy?
- Did you get a weird headache or feel sharper than ever?
- You’ll also want to take note of how you feel the day after eating something.
Eventually, after a couple weeks, you’ll realize which foods make you feel best.
6) Don’t Fear Fruit
Fruit is one of the healthiest things you can eat. Add to your diet 2-4 servings per day if you want to stay healthy.
7) Avoid the High Fat Bandwagon
Almost every physique athlete in history has followed a moderate fat diet.
Remember this: You should always eat based on your activity levels.
There are 3 main macronutrients- protein, carbs, and fat. Each one plays a specific role in providing energy and fuel for activity.
Protein: Supports muscle growth and recovery.
Carbs: Helps fuel high intensity activity. Things like sprinting, lifting weights, or do anything beyond moving at a very low pace.
Fat: Supports hormone levels and overall health. They also fuel low intensity activity like walking.
You can apply this knowledge to your diet.
Read the full article here: Onnit Academy