8 Dieting Secrets Revealed by Men Who Are in Shape
Maintaining good eating habits can be tricky, especially with busy schedules and temptation around every corner. We’ve rounded up some helpful healthy eating tips from men who are in shape. Incorporating these simple methods into your daily routine could be beneficial for your overall health and well-being.
1. Substitute and read labels
“I am a big fan of substitution. I really don’t deny myself anything, instead I use the great selections we have available today to use foods that are made better and less caloric, sugary, fatty, etc. than traditional foods. And I read labels like a librarian,” says Dr. John Mayer, clinical psychologist.
2. Eat based on what you do
Philip Mandel says, “I eat according to my activity. I’ve been told, ‘You can’t outrun your fork.’ How true is that! On non-cardio days, I eat modestly (around 1800 calories). When I crank it up, I eat enough to fuel the exercise – and then STOP. That’s the part a lot of people miss, I think – they don’t stop eating, using the exercise as an excuse to consume more calories than they expended.”
3. Eat clean to curb cravings
Andrew Buerger, founder and CEO of B’more Organic, says, “First of all, I find that if I eat clean — stick to lean protein, complex carbs, and good fats while avoiding white flour/sugar and bad fats — I tend to be fuller longer and don’t crave bad food all day long. I’m able to pass by donuts at the office or not raid the candy machine at 3 p.m. Don’t leave the house in the morning without a solid breakfast to stabilize your blood sugar. That will prevent craving the junk waiting for you at work — like the muffins some nice co-worker brought in.”
4. Surround yourself with the right foods
“Many people equate healthy eating with flavorless food and small portions. I eat food literally all day long, but I surround myself with the right foods so I never have to feel guilty about snacking. Having fresh produce, nuts, yogurt, and other snacks available makes it easy to feel satisfied and feel confident in your diet. The other major tip I have is the 80/20 principle,” said Tanner Agar, founder and CEO of The Chef Shelf.
“Restricting yourself from incredible food is a terrible way to live. Food should make you happy and sometimes a porterhouse is what makes you happy. If you eat diligently 80% of the time, then who cares about having a dessert when you go out? You’ll be happier and it will make it easier to stick to your goals. Just try and make sure that the ‘cheater’ foods are always natural, high-quality foods,” Agar adds.
5. Eat healthy 90% of the time
Brandon Hensinger, founder, guide, and trainer at Ascent Adventure Institute, says:
I firmly believe that if you want to perform at the highest level, and feel the best you can, that food is what will make or break you. However, mental happiness is also important. I find that if I stick to healthy eating 90% of the time, I feel, perform, and think the best! On days where I know it will be harder to eat healthy (the 10%), I try to get in some strength training so my muscles will absorb excess glucose/carbs. A typical day of healthy eating consists of eating a high protein/low carb breakfast (3 eggs, 1/2 cup rice, 1 avocado) post exercise.
Note I said LOW carb, not no carb. Carbs are needed if you are an athlete, just maybe not as much as you think. I will try to stick to vegetables and protein for lunch, and for dinner I will eat a higher fat and protein dinner, with 1/2 cup of rice or quinoa. During training sessions that last longer than an hour, in which I am pushing my training threshold, I will eat an energy gel to refuel my muscles. Rock climbing is my sport of choice, so when I am out climbing for the day, I try to stick to electrolyte drinks and energy gels every hour, and after 4 hours, I will eat a protein dense food.
6. Avoid starchy carbs and sugar
Shane Allen, a certified weight loss specialist, personal trainer, and sports nutritionist with PersonalTrainerFood.com, says, “My easiest hack for eating healthy during the week is focusing on eating meats, vegetables, eggs, cheeses and nuts. I try to avoid anything with starchy carbs or sugars in it. If I’m at an Italian restaurant, for instance, I’ll usually ask the chef to substitute pasta with zucchini ribbons or spaghetti squash. If I’m craving breaded chicken breast, I’ll do an almond crusted chicken instead.”
7. Drink plenty of water, and never skip breakfast
Nick Brennan, founder and CEO at Unbeaten Fitness, offers some healthy eating tips, including: “Drink a least a gallon of water a day. This sounds like a lot, but you can easily put down 32 to 64 ounces of water during your workout. So getting another 64 ounces in during the rest of the day should be a breeze. Keep a 32-ounce Nalgene with you at all times to do this. Cut soda (pop) out of your diet. A common denominator in virtually all weight loss/fitness journeys is cutting out excess calories consumed in drinks.”
“Along the same lines, switch to black coffee if you’re a coffee drinker. Don’t skip breakfast. Go to the gym in the AM and get a protein rich breakfast in you after your workout. Don’t lean on supplements too heavily. They’re meant to supplement a solid diet, not enrich a poor one. Aim to get the majority of your protein in via lean sources of meat and not shakes.”
8. Prepare for food emergencies
Alex Fergus, personal trainer, online coach, and lifetime natural athlete, reminds us of a simple tip we can use daily. Fergus says that you should prepare for food emergencies. Be prepared for times when quality food is hard to come by while traveling, and keep healthy, high-fat snack options with you.