Sweat, but don’t sweat the small stuff
When you first get started going back into the gym, it’s overwhelming.
You look around and there is so much going on. What the heck is that guy doing? Why the heck is she throwing that ball at that thing? Why is that guy grunting so loud? Should I grunt that loud? What am I missing?
The beginning of improving your nutrition can feel very similar and make you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. Where do I start? Why do people say to not have any red meat? Is fat bad for me? What is the healthiest sauce to buy? Eating better can also overwhelm the best of us. There is so much information out there that the percentage of bad information will proportionally grow too. Nutrition professionals and companies also are selling a product and that comes with lots of marketing and advertisement. Remember that last thing you bought? It’s no longer useful, so here is a new supplement that I have that will kick your last one in the pants.
My intent of this article is focused on discussing the mindset you have to have in order to set yourself up for success. The workout part is already taken care of with daily workouts on my instagram @AthleticAgain. But, this still leaves a huge gap in your nutrition. Most people know they need to sweat and exercise, so that part is not as difficult to get them on board. But, if you start taking away comfort foods and asking to add in non-sexy looking vegetables, that’s where a lot of people backflip off the boat and swim back to shore.
I know you want to make a change and I know you have aspirations to crush it at work and come home with tons of energy for your family. That is why when the nutrition part comes up, the positivity and the determination is there. A lot of players I’ve worked with will go on a two week focused diet where they are hell bent on losing body fat. After those two weeks, you see their face when they realize that all of the things they’ve read on fitness websites and diets they looked into are asking so much of them. They like ice cream, they enjoy drinking a few beers. That is not the way they want to live.
That is why my advice to you starting out, in order to make sure you are starting a change that you will continue to follow through with, is do not sweat the small stuff.
Brown Rice vs White: The great debate in line at your favorite tex-mex
If I had a nickel for every time I heard this question, I would have like four or five nickels. You’re in line and the person behind the counter asks, “Would you like the white or brown rice?” Chances are, you’ve heard someone either in your family, at work, or in line at a restaurant say they picked the brown rice because it’s healthier. You wonder, what makes the brown rice healthier? This is a prime example of “word of mouth” nutrition. So, let’s do a quick review.
First of all, white rice is just a stripped down form of brown rice. Initially, brown rice looks better because the process of stripping off the brown layer to make white rice loses some nutrients. But in the last year, more information being put out shows that white rice might actually have better bioavailability than brown, bringing it to about even on a “pros vs. cons” scale. White rice is higher in the glycemic index, but when paired with other important macros (which you almost always will be), it negates the GI argument. Plus, brown rice causes more digestion issues and bloating giving white rice another bump up. Also, brown rice is higher in arsenic, although all rices have levels of arsenic. So, really the point is that white rice and brown rice are very similar and definitely not supposed to be viewed as one healthier than another.
This is one of the things where someone said it once from some research article they saw and things just snowball. If the news puts out something where someone important said to eat more apples, soon you will see more people eating apples and swearing that they helped them lose 15 pounds. My point isn’t that diets don’t work or not to try them. My point is that when someone believes what he or she is eating is healthy; they are more likely to stick to it. The brown rice that they believe to be healthier makes them feel good about what they are doing and that positivity breeds more motivation to work hard and stick to a routine. What kind of salt you put into your food is not nearly as important as the bigger things you still have not fixed like drinking a 12 pack of beer on Saturdays.
Rice is just an example, but there are many things just like it. You are focusing on the minors and overlooking the majors. Building a routine around healthier options and making better decisions that set you up for greater success is what it boils down to. Your type of potato chips might not be the problem as much as the choices you are making on a regular basis. If you keep doing happy hour twice a week with your colleagues at work, you are asking to drink more alcohol. If you meet your friends for pizza every week, it’s going to be tough to say no to a large slice. Don’t get bogged down by all these videos and articles about whether you should be using olive oil or coconut oil and keep your focus on eating three solid meals a day with good quality food sources. If you’re crushing your nutrition and have been at it for six months, then you can start to talk about whether sweet potatoes are better than russet. You can do it if you keep pushing the sled, no matter how slow it moves, keep your legs driving and it will start to gain momentum.
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