Wednesday, February 16, 2011
The Importance of Paying attention to your Diet
First off, there a numerous diets out there, many work great and many don't. The truth is some diets work for some people and from my experience that often has more to do with the psychology of the diet than the physiology of it, so to speak. Meaning, a diet that has worked for you in the past may not work now since your physical and psychological state may have changed.
It is in no way my intent to give you "a diet". Rather, I intend to provide you with one simple tool to make the diet of your choice work better.
All I can do is provide you with anecdotal advice on what has worked for me and others I have observed.
Once of the biggest mistakes we make, especially as individuals that train a lot, is not paying enough attention to our diets, our intake. We love to train and to push our limits and often fall into the trap of believing we can "out-train" what we eat. We train hard and want to be rewarded by being able to eat whatever we want.
Now, to a certain extent that may be true. Blessed with a high metabolism through my teens and twenties I could eat (and drink) pretty much whatever I wanted an remain extremely lean. Through those years, I never went above 8% body fat.
However, as we age the metabolism slows and face it, you may not have started out that lean to begin with. Additionally, trying to "out-train" our consumption is just doesn't sound like a good idea.
"Out-train" is conspicuously similar sounding, and in intention, to over-training. Over-training can lead to a slew of problems including injuries, a weakened immune system, and diminished hormone levels. We are all training to look better, perform better, and feel better. Over-training is NOT the way to reach those ends.
We need to recognize that there are many pieces to being healthy.
Health is not merely a physical state.
So, what is the tool?
Simple, you need to pay attention to your diet. How do you do that? You must write down or record your intake. The simple act of recording what you eat will affect you mentally, emotionally, psychologically.
Two weeks ago, I began journaling my daily meals and snacks. I had no specific diet in mind or even specific dietary/weight loss goals in mind. I just started writing stuff down. That's all. To me it is amazing what happened. I found myself eating more vegetables, less starches, and even a little less overall. I don't have a specific mechanism for this, but by merely recording my food intake, it seemed to auto-correct. Consider this, how can you correct your intake if you don't REALLY know what it is? The only way to really know is to record it.
In just two weeks, I went from 176 lbs to 170 lbs without any significant change in training load. That is about 3.4% of my body weight and by my calculations, mostly fat. Thusly, I rather easily dropped back into the single digits of body fat percentage.
Now, couple the act of recording your intake with specific dietary goals. Your results will astonish you.
You need a food journal to ensure that you make attain the results you desire. Visit the Dragon Gym eBook Page and download the Food and Accountability Journal. This one simple tool will make the difference in your training.