How The Angry Trainer Stays In Shape…
With the holiday season and all of its temptations in full swing, even I’ve succumbed to a bit of festive excess and made some bad food choices. Most of the time I eat very well, but recent obligations and last minute schedule changes have disrupted my diet mojo. So I’m going to get a head start on making a New Years resolution by beginning my Angry Diet now.
As you know my lifestyle and passion for life revolves around fitness, and my quest to have my body look and perform optimally led me to trying many diet plans over the last 20 years. I’ve tried the Atkins, South Beach and Zone diets and even some underground bodybuilding diets like Body Opus. The truth is that all diets operate around one very simple principle – they all raise awareness of the amount of calories you consume. And for the most part these diets also involve eating fewer calories than you were previously, and slightly less then your metabolism needs to burn fat. Usually people are clueless as to how many calories they consume daily and that’s their biggest problem. Often it’s simply having a plan, rather than the particular plan itself, that brings results.
I formed my fitness philosophies by training and learning many different styles over the years. I’ve taken from each what I believe to be valid and useful and disregarded all the fluff. Well, I’ve also done the same with the my preferred diet plan which I call (drum-roll please!) The Angry Diet…
The Angry Diet is based on tried and true eating philosophies that are healthy, nutritious, satisfying, and productive for a fitness driven lifestyle. For me WHAT you eat, HOW you eat, and WHEN you eat are key to success.
My lifestyle leaves little time for food preparation, so I have found ways to eat extremely healthy food with minimal prep. I believe in eating natural food selections, like vegetables, meats, poultry, fish, beans, grains and occasionally fruit. I tend to minimally eat dairy products and virtually no flour based products of any kind. In my opinion they are just worthless empty calories. I eat most of my vegetables from a can – the no salt, only water added varieties.
In my bodybuilding days, I used to spend hours cooking pounds of chicken, beef, rice, potatoes, and various vegetables for later use. But in addition to this being time consuming, I almost always ended up wasting a fair amount of food. Now, I buy grilled chicken breasts, seasoned beef and turkey breast – all cooked, seasoned, and ready to eat at local natural food markets. I simply buy it, take it with me and open it up when it’s time to eat. The real advantage to this is that the cost is comparable, and sometimes even cheaper than buying and cooking it yourself, and you save precious time.
I know fruit is healthy and nutritious but it’s nature’s candy and is full of sugar. My way of thinking is to eat food that meets the body’s needs. As an example, I wouldn’t eat a banana and sit behind a desk. Why eat simple sugars to sit around and do nothing? The supply of simple sugared fuel doesn’t equal the demand. For the most part I limit fruits to either right before a workout, or just after. Although I must admit I do snack on an apple or strawberries here and there. The rest of the time my carbohydrates come from vegetable and grain sources. They are processed more slowly and deliver energy to the body in a similar manner to how it’s being used – slow and steady. I eat portions of various beans, vegetables, nuts, sweet potatoes, and proteins throughout the day. What’s really shocking is I’ve tallied the cost and I can make 5 healthy, tasty meals for about $6! That’s pretty darn good.
I also try not to cook food whenever possible as I believe I eat less that way (although of course I cook all meats thoroughly!) For example, I eat raw sweet potatoes, sliced like French fries and seasoned in olive oil and spices. You have to think our ancestors didn’t have ovens; they just pulled potatoes out of the ground and ate them. Thinking of eating without ovens, microwaves, and other preparation methods helps to keep the calorie content lower and the quality of food higher. Just like other species on the planet, Earth has provided the necessary foods needed for survival.
The Angry Diet is very simple to follow; Eat 5 – 6 minimally processed, calorie appropriate small meals per day that include lean proteins, healthy fats, fiber, and complex carbohydrates at each meal. And when appropriate – due to an increased immediate energy demand, I eat simple sugars for a quick, readily available energy source. I don’t drink fruit juices at all as they are loaded with sugar and calories.
I think most people fail to see food for what it is – FUEL that powers the machine the same as the gas in your car. If you put high octane in (quality food), you get better performance, increased mileage and longevity. If you put bad gas in or run on fumes you get the exact opposite, namely poor performance. And your body is the same; it’s a machine that requires quality fuel to run optimally. You can’t demand super performance from your body when you give it sub par fuel no more than you’d expect to win a race at the track with fumes in the tank.
Once you understand that the food you eat directly correlates to not just how you look, but how you “run”, making smarter choices becomes that much easier. It all starts with just one better choice, one smarter decision, one step at a time.
But what do you think of The Angry Diet? Do you have a recipe suggestion or a different point of view? Start commenting!