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The Diet To Exercise Ratio For Peak Performance! - Part One

Balance Is Key!
How many times have you completed a great training session, just to sit down to dinner and eat a huge gooey cheeseburger? It’s likely that we all have, and hey, everyone needs a “diet-cheat!” Poor quality of health does not come from allowing yourself to splurge every once in awhile, it comes from lack of balance! Maintaining a good diet to exercise ratio is the foundation of living a healthy lifestyle!

What You Eat
Sometimes when we hear the word “diet,” negative words like “restriction” or “fasting” begin to flood our minds when actually, the term in its most basic form simply means “the types of foods a person consumes.” What you eat has a huge impact on how you feel, your exercise performance, mental focus, and a TON of other factors. Below are a few healthy food choices as well as a few foods to stay away from!

Foods To Try:

  • Lemons: Each lemon contains over 100% of your daily Vitamin C requirement. Try squeezing a quarter of a lemon, or more, into your water for flavor and nutrients!

  • Broccoli: One medium stalk contains over 100% of your daily Vitamin K requirement and nearly 200% of your daily dose of vitamin C.

  • Salmon: A great source of Omega-3 fatty acids and a 3oz. serving contains almost 50% of your daily dose of niacin.

  • Avocados: One contains more than 50% of fiber and 40% of the folate you need daily.

  • Spinach: Contains lutein and zeaxanthin - two immune-boosting antioxidants.


Foods to Avoid:

  • Sugars - Decreases energy and increases the risk of high blood pressure. 

  • Energy Drinks - Some of the ingredients aren’t FDA approved and contain large amounts of sugar, caffeine, and other harmful elements.

  • Hydrogenated Oils - Affects the nervous system and blocks good cholesterol while allowing in bad cholesterol. 

  • Fried Foods - Contains huge amounts of various fats which can clog arteries, many extra calories, many also contain MSG.

  • Candy - Contains too much added sugar, has no nutritional value, and causes insulin resistance. 


Portion Size
Aside from making the right food choices, perhaps the second most important part of food intake is portion size. Remember that phrase “too much of a good thing?” The same applies to food preparation. A general guideline to stick to next time you’re cooking is: 

  • Meat and fish should be 3-4 ounces per serving.

  • Side dishes should be about as large as your own fist.

  • Oils and spreads: about a tablespoon.


Cheats
Now, the most exciting part - diet cheats! About once a week, it’s okay to enjoy some of your favorite not so healthy foods, just to give you a much needed break! That being said, there are several acceptable methods of utilizing diet cheats that allow you to enjoy some of your favorite foods, just remember to be mindful of the ingredients and portion sizes you’re using. 

Here are some delicious ideas to try along your journey:

  • Cheat Day: Try setting a goal for yourself and once you reach it, treat yourself by freezing greek yogurt and adding some fruit on top which is a great alternative to ice cream!

  • Cheat Meals: Sticking to the basics of your healthy eating plan, but incorporating meals where you get to eat the things you crave like that cheeseburger, but add veggies instead of cheese!

  • Cheat Snacks: Consuming healthy meals all day, but finally getting that after dinner dessert that you’ve had your eye on all week like chocolate dipped strawberries!



You Got This!
Sometimes we feel like we have failed our entire health and fitness lifestyle if we eat something that we shouldn’t, but what would do more damage: accepting that you made a mistake and moving on with your balanced program or just throwing the entire thing out the window? Mindful eating may become difficult at times, but don’t give up, remember that one indulgence isn’t enough to take away all of your effort to date!

 


Resources:
http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/superfoods/the-10-healthiest-foods-on-the-planet/?page=1 

 




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