At this point I don’t remember where I heard that “abs are made in the kitchen,” but it is amazing how accurate it really is (I wish I could take credit for it). It goes right along with the idea that you cannot out-train a bad diet. It does not make sense to train hard and ruin it when you get home.
Very often I hear about people who want to lose weight, drink heavily during the week, and falsely justify poor eating habits. Something has to give. I am not saying to be a hermit but you need to moderate what you take in.
This is the point where most people will give up on their goals because it is too hard. That to me is a load of crap since there are plenty of ways to clean up your diet.
1. Know what you are eating
This should be simple because when you think about eating real food, you should know where it came from.
Apples grow on trees, meat is from animals, and coffee comes from a bean. On the other hand, I could not tell you what types of meat or preservatives go into making various sausages and deli meats. A good guess could be taken but that does not mean it is correct.
If you do not know an ingredient, you should minimize eating it. The safest way to create new eating habits (not a diet) is to know what you are eating and brings me to point number 2.
2. Learn how to cook
Learning how to cook is not as intimidating as people make it sound. Some food will be overcooked, undercooked, and may occasionally stick you your cookware but practice will make perfect.
Go online, find recipes, and follow them- there is no point in reinventing the wheel if someone has done the work for you. This is where you can start to filter out unhealthy foods from your diet.
You don’t have to be a dietitian to know that a stick of butter in anything is a lot.
If you say you don’t have time to cook, it is an excuse without much substance. Eliminate a half hour of wasted time (TV reruns?) and use it to practice cooking. Make the time and start taking care of yourself.
3. Fat doesn’t make you fat
So I could beat the dead horse of low fat diets or just give simple facts. Your body needs about 25-35% of your total calories to come from fat. Fat is necessary for many simple bodily functions. Fat tastes good.
Fat in the form of a process is not good for you. So sorry but mayo, margarine, chips, etc still are bad for you. Olive oil, coconut, avocados, fish, meat (even red!), eggs all have redeeming qualities as a good source of fat. Fish oil supplementation can also be a good option.
Now that you are thinking and choosing good foods to cook, you are making progress towards that goal. This is a bare bones summary of nutrition, but can be combined with exercise to start progressing towards a healthier lifestyle. I’m sure you will also be satisfied with the way you will look too.
If you really want to be an all star, combine the three strategies above. Find a recipe with only known ingredients that incorporates healthy fat and start making progress towards weight loss.
See if you can cook 3 new meals for yourself next week. Are you up for the challenge?