1. Food should be natural, fresh, pure, and whole.
I only recommend eating whole foods that are left in their natural, un-altered state because these foods are the highest in nutritional value. I try to avoid all processed foods, (especially white flour pasta, white bread, and white rice) but also bad fats, high fructose corn syrup and sugar at all times. Refined foods like white flour and sugar provide no nutritional value and are full of empty calories. PLUS, eating these foods also makes your liver have to work super hard to process it all, which can cause your fat loss efforts to slow down. If the stress on your liver wasn’t bad enough, these “dead foods” (dead because they aren’t living or grow) contain few if any nutrients, and if your diet contains too much of these food types you are at a high risk of being overfed, overweight, and undernourished. So always be sure to eat foods that are “alive” and unaltered by man. Your body can use the natural antioxidants, phytonutrients, fiber, vitamins, and minerals found in unaltered foods to keep you healthy as well as keep your body functioning at its peak. If your body isn’t functioning at peak capacity, your training efforts will suffer.
2. Always try to eat every 2-4 hours and be sure to eat 5-7 small meals daily.
By eating smaller meals more frequently you will give your metabolism a boost and essentially burn more fat. This is also a surefire way to increase muscle mass. Of course the macronutrients will vary from person to person.
3. Always eat before you are starving.
This just re-emphasizes rule number 2. If you wait until you are absolutely starving to eat, you will most likely end up overeating, or hitting up a corner store or drive through joint and regretting it later. I also never, ever ever buy foods that are tempting. If you keep foods like cookies, cakes, and chips out of the house and office you will be less likely to cheat and blow your diet.
4. Always prepare your meals in advance.
Eating 5-7 meals daily every 2-4 hours is not easy, especially if you have a busy schedule. If you plan your meals in advance though, you will have prepared healthy food to eat throughout the day and be less likely to eat something unhealthy if you get a food craving. I usually take one day out of the week (typically on the weekend) and prepare all of my meals for the week ahead.
5. Keep variety in your diet.
Any diet is boring without variety, but even more importantly, when we lack nutritional variety we can’t supply the body with all of the nutrients that it needs to remain in optimal health. Most diseases are associated with a nutritional deficiency of some sort so it is very important that we add variety to our diet so that we get the full spectrum nutrients that we need to remain healthy, grow, and improve our physiques. In order to make progress and remain healthy it is important to eat enough protein, carbohydrates, and fats daily. However, each macronutrient should be eaten in the correct amount at each meal, and you should not eat the same foods everyday. Eating the same foods in excess can cause nutritional deficiencies because this means that other foods are not used in sufficient variety in the diet. Many bodybuilders and amateur lifters fall into the chicken, broccoli, and sweet potato every day trap. Your body will never recover and grow if it is lacking the essential nutrients that it needs, and the best way to get the full spectrum of nutrients is by mixing up your diet.
6. Never fry foods or use heated oils to cook food.
Foods that are cooked in oils and/or fried are cooked at high heat. This high heat food preparation process is dangerous because it lowers nutritional value and makes food almost impossible to digest. Cooking using heated oils and frying is also a contributing factor to heart disease, hardening of the arteries, and high cholesterol. This means you should also avoid heated healthy oils as well.
7. Eat plenty of fiber.
If you want to remain healthy and improve your physique, you cannot underestimate the importance of dietary fiber. Fiber improves digestion, keeps bad cholesterol levels down, and provides satiety which will keep you feeling fuller longer. I cannot emphasize the importance of dietary fiber enough. 20-25 grams daily is recommended.
8. Let nature work it’s magic to help you heal and recover.
We tear our bodies down when we train. In order to recover and keep our bodies steadily improving we must eat properly, get enough sleep, and supply the body with the nutrients that it needs to repair tissue.
9. Maintain an 80% alkaline and 20% acid ratio.
Proteins and starches are acid, most vegetables and fruits are alkaline. Just about all of the metabolic wastes of the body are acids so we need to eat alkaline forming foods like fruits and vegetables to neutralize these acid wastes. Acid wastes are especially dangerous because they are believed to cause a variety of health problems and chronic diseases.
10. Drink plenty of water.
Because our bodies are over 70% water, drinking enough water is very important. Water helps prime the body for fat loss, as well as flush out harmful toxins. Not drinking enough can lead to a water imbalance in the body, which can increase your risk of disease and dehydration. Be sure to drink between 64 and 128 ounces of water daily.