One of the most frequent questions people ask me about my training is ‘what do I have to do to get into shape like that?’ and I always say that diet is probably THE most important thing that you need to get right. I only hit the gym 3 times a week for 45 minutes to do weights and then I’ll do 2-3 cardio sessions a week – either after my workout on the treadmill or maybe a run at the weekend. People seem to be amazed that I don’t go to the gym every day or spend my whole life working out!
The reason I was able to make a transformation to my physique was by fundamentally changing what I ate and when I ate it by eating clean. I now eat literally twice the amount I did before. BUT what I’m putting in my body is much better for me.
I’ve never been a fan of ‘diets’. They’re too short term, they create unrealistic expectations and they are never sustainable. You need to forget the concept of dieting and think instead about getting your ‘nutrition’ right. By eating clean you’re creating a totally tried and tested, sustainable way of eating that will help you lose weight or build your physique.
If you want to know my top tips for kick starting your diet then check out this page but otherwise read on.
What is Eating Clean?
So what does that mean in practice?
It doesn’t get much simpler than this great summary about the basic principles of eating clean:
Eat whole foods: Vegetables, whole grains, free-range meats, unsalted nuts etc.
Avoid processed foods: You don’t have to eliminate all processed foods, but anything like ready meals or stuff that has a load of random ingredients is off the menu.
Eliminate refined sugar. Refined sugar provides nothing but calories that will turn to fat unless you use them straight away.
Eat five or six small meals a day. By eating smaller meals throughout the day you can help rev up your metabolism and also continually fuel your body to help it repair and grow – great for building tone and muscle.
Cook your own meals. Ok so I know this can be hard/nearly impossible when you are working but you have to be dedicated. Prep your meals the night before and then put them in plastic containers you can take to work. Or buy stuff during the day from the supermarket which you can easily prepare like ready cooked chicken or tinned tuna.
Eat balanced meals. Every meal should be giving you the right balance of protein, carbs and fats. Calculate your macros to find out how much you should be eating – the basic rule is 2g of protein per kg of body weight for someone looking to gain muscle.
Why should I do it?
I don’t look at eating clean as part of some temporary diet, I think about it as being the way we all ‘should’ eat our food – focusing on good fresh ingredients where possible and foods without fatty or sugary additives. As long as you are eating the right amount of macros each day for your body this will bring a whole bunch of benefits for you like:
- Providing your body with more vitamins and minerals
- Making you feel healthier with more energy
- Keeping you feeling fuller for longer and avoiding the temptation to snack
- Helps your body to build muscle mass
- Helps you to get leaner and reduces the build-up of excess fat
So what are you waiting for?!