What You Put In: The Other 23 Hours
by Corey Doggett
The last upper body workout Marko concocted for us had so many push-ups that I literally could not do the last ten without placing one knee on the ground; my arms were jelly. You could have waived a $100 bill in front of me and demanded one more full push-up… it physically wasn’t going to happen. The thing is, as tough as those one-hour workouts can get, the greater challenge is controlling what goes on your plate during those other waking hours.
Unless the circumstances apply to you, such as prepping for an upcoming physique competition, I don’t recommend any hardcore diets. There is no quick fix; you need to develop a lifestyle to live by for years and years. More importantly, life is meant to be lived; enjoy the things you love! Plus when you avoid short-term diets such as 30-day fixes, you also avoid that higher chance of relapse and constant feelings of guilt. I don’t feel guilty when I meet up with friends for beer and pizza because my meals before that and my meals coming up are wholesome and nutritious. Moderation really is everything. Rather than thinking of food as “good or bad,” treat it as either efficient for your goals or inefficient. Your body is a machine and efficient fuel will enhance performance when exercising, make post-workout recovery quicker, and help get you those results.
My advice is this: grocery shop healthy, cook healthy, and occasionally order from the healthier side of the menu at a restaurant… outside of that, enjoy life. This means save those inefficient foods for the right occasion, such as when that coworker brings in donuts or the BBQ you were invited to has chips, soda, and cupcakes. If you shop and cook healthy then a majority of your meals will consist of efficient foods, such as lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and veggies. If you dine out often, bump up the number of healthy options you order. But if you rarely go out to eat, that would be a good time to enjoy your favorite menu item. Efficient foods should make up a good 80-90% of your week, with those inefficient foods occasionally sneaking in. When a craving hits, remind yourself of those plans you have this weekend, or that movie night coming up… then head to the kitchen and eat something efficient.