To succeed in any serious athletic endeavor, whether it’s to build an immaculate physique or perform at a high level, we need to develop proper habits and stick to them religiously! Whether it deals with our weight training, cardio, or diet, we need to develop our game plans and execute them with perfection if we really want to unlock our fullest potential. As simple as this all sounds, it becomes very tempting to sit down in front of the television with some pizza and beer (yes, we have all been here before so let’s stop pretending like we haven’t). It’s ephemeral pleasures such as these that create the struggle of enjoying certain carbohydrates, even though these carbohydrates may be detrimental towards our goals inside and outside of the gym. Don’t get me wrong; carbohydrates are fantastic. I love carbohydrates. I NEED carbohydrates to grow, get shredded, and throw around heavy weights in the gym, but it’s important to recognize that there are many different types of carbohydrates. High glycemic carbohydrates have their place in athletics; bananas and apples are nutritious and provide a very healthy source of clean energy for an athlete seeking fuel for an intense training session However, that pizza I mentioned earlier also falls into this high glycemic carb index and can completely derail progress if it’s abused. Here are certain foods to carefully monitor if you want to keep your progress in the gym rolling!
We really tend to overlook this food. When most people hear the word “fruit”, they instantly think that the product that they are consuming is very healthy. However, canned fruit products and dried out fruits contain a great deal of added sugar. To add insult to injury, they essentially have all of their fiber content removed; fiber is one of the reasons that fruit is healthy to begin with! Please do not fall for this charade.
Sugary beverages are tasty and certainly have their place in any diet when consumed in moderation. However, next time you’re choosing your drink, understand that even a fraction of the calories in these drinks (coming from carbohydrates), help to keep fat on the body. Water is a much healthier alternative. Try to incorporate an ice-cold glass of the clear stuff as often as possible!
Rice. Pastas. Potatoes. Cereals. These are all sources of refined grains that can be very high in calories and carbohydrates. Certain types of refined grains can heighten blood sugar and keep stubborn fat deposits on the body (especially for those athletes that have the endomorph body type). Be smart about the grains you consume and look for healthy sources that can provide fiber and regulate blood sugar. Healthy sources of grains have their place in a sound diet and will provide energy throughout even the toughest training sessions! What does that translate to? You got it. Strength, muscle gains, and fat loss.