Dieting Nutrition Tips

Your body is the baggage you must carry through life. The more excess the baggage, the shorter the trip. (SO TRUE!!)

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Dieting Nutrition TipsThis page is LOADED with tips, secrets, and advice for ANYONE and EVERYONE that is currently trying to lose weight, burn fat, and sexify through basic dieting, eating healthy foods, & focusing on proper nutrition. For fitness advice, please check out my Dieting Fitness Tips page. As I said in my Nutrition & Diet section, all of the exercise in the world cannot overpower a terrible diet. Anybody that has been on multiple diet & exercise programs and is STILL overweight definitely knows that. I have been on 8-10 diets throughout my lifetime where I have lost over 30lbs. After each diet though, upon getting to my goal weight, I always let myself go again & went back to the foods that I loved to eat. Eventually, usually sooner than later, I found myself back at my original starting weight. This constant increasing & decreasing in weight is called yo-yo dieting, and it happens to A LOT of people. Going on diets may help you lose weight temporarily, but the only way to maintain your new weight is by changing your lifestyle habits!! You cannot eat healthy for a month, and then go back to eating burgers, pizza, wings, & dessert almost every day. Remember Anthony Robbins famous quote, "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten." If you do go back to eating unhealthy food a lot, you better not be upset after you gain all your weight back!! You need to change your lifestyle habits so that you don't get what you've always gotten... your weight back!! The definition of insanity is "repeating the same action over and over again, hoping to achieve different results." Don't be a victim of yo-yo dieting & don't be insane!! Change your daily nutrition habits!!

After going on MANY diets throughout my life, I have changed my nutrition habits so that I am able to maintain my weight, while being a professional eater and eating thousands of calories at a time on weekends. Sometimes, I attempt multiple food challenges & eating contests per weekend!! When not "working" I have to be very strict with my diet and all the calories that I consume. Otherwise, I would definitely gain A LOT of weight and FAST!! With nutrition, it does not always matter just what you eat. It also matters when you eat!! The foods & drinks that you consume have a direct effect on every process in your body. Food provides your body with materials for growing & repairing tissues, and also it provides your body with energy to do everything that you need to do during your day. Like a machine, your body only runs as good as the fuel that you put in it. To live an active, healthy lifestyle free from illnesses, you need to adapt proper nutrtion habits. Here is a great list to get you started :)

5 General Diet Guidelines To Think About!!

Every person is unique and every person's diet is unique!! - Ultimately, the best nutrition plan for you is the one that will help you lose weight (or keep it off!!), and most importantly it's the one you will stick to & maintain!! You may like foods that other people don't. You may only want to eat 3 meals, while other people choose to eat between 4-6. You may even only eat 2 meals per day!! Also, your body reacts differently to different foods than other people. Just like the title says, no two people are the same and no two diet plans should be the same. Also, every person has different caloric needs based on body type, height, weight, activity level, goals, and other factors. Nobody knows your body better than you, and nobody can make you eat a certain way, so your diet & nutrition plan is ultimately up to you. Pick what is best for your schedule & lifestyle.

Listen to CREDIBLE sources (most of the time)!! - I did not talk about this in my Dieting Fitness Tips page because I did not want to make it redundant. The information you are following is only as good as the source you got it from!! It's always better to get the information from the original source than to hear it from somebody who heard it from somebody else. There is a funny saying that you should never trust a skinny chef. Why eat the food cooked by a guy that does not even eat much of his own food? Use this same principle when judging the credibility of your fitness & nutrition information sources. Why would you listen to bodybuilding tips from a person that looks like a runner? Why would you accept weight loss tips from a guy that is overweight? Would you let a poor person manage your retirement fund? NO!! At the same time, you should not listen to somebody just because he or she is ripped & fit. Before you accept information, you need to think about it and maybe even do a little extra research. Follow the wrong health & fitness advice, & you may not just be wasting your time. You may even be hurting your body!!

A diet is like bowling!! - When is the last time that you went bowling? How did you do? If you have 10 perfect frames, including getting 3 strikes in the 10th frame, you will get a 300 which is a perfect score. If you get mostly strikes but you also get a few spares, you will still have a really high score!! Now, what happens if you have a lot of open frames and only a few spares & strikes? Your score will not be that great. Now compare bowling to your weight loss plan. If you are strict on your diet every day & exercise, without having any "cheat days" (open frames) in between, you will do very good on your diet & you will lose weight. If you have some days when you do great (strikes), and you have some days where you just do pretty good (spares), your diet will still go fine. It will just take longer to reach your goal. If you eat a crappy meal every 3 days and you skip working out often, your diet will not be good at all. (As far as I know, this is my idea that I thought of one day while bowling. I need to copyright it!!) Think of this idea next time you want pizza ;)

Is it worth it? - My old roommate & I developed this genius idea together, and it works very well for me!! Unless you have been living under a rock, you know whether something is good for you or if it is completely unhealthy. Yes there are many foods that are in the grey area, but if you have to think about it, it's probably not that great for you. Before you eat it or drink it, ask yourself, "Is it worth it?" Does that particular item taste good enough, and is it worth setting you progress back just a little bit? More often than not, your answer should be no. You can't worry about every single calorie that you consume. You will go crazy if you do!! As an example, I love donuts!! Is there anything healthy about a donut? Nope, but they are extra awesome!! Is it worth breaking my diet just for a glazed donut? Hell no!! The donut that would make me think about breaking my diet is a BIG & DELICIOUS donut covered in chocolate, peanut butter, and nuts!! I would also consider a really good warm cinnamon swirl donut. Other than those two, its not worth the calories. I would rather just enjoy it some other time. Try this next time you are offered a cookie. Is an old, stale cookie worth all the extra exercise?

You can enjoy it later at a different time!! - A "cheat meal" is a smaller, typically unhealthy meal that you plan in advance as a reward for your great work. A "cheat meal" is not spur of the moment!! If your friend offers you a brownie, or your friends want to go to Taco Bell at 2am after the bars are closed, remember that you can enjoy those foods at a later time!! Look around you... Taco Bell & McDonalds are definitely not going out of business anytime soon!! Also, that is not the last brownie that you will ever be offered. Before you eat something that is spur of the moment, remember that it will not be your last opportunity to eat that!! If your grandma is in town for her yearly visit & she made your favorite dessert, then just ask yourself if it's worth it. Try this before eating fast food ;)

3 Daily Nutrition Habits To Practice!!

DRINK WATER!! - The single most essential food or liquid for a person trying to lose weight is to drink water. Put down your can of diet soda, and pick up a glass of water!! The human body is over 60% water and your brain & muscles are over 70% water. Water keeps your body temperature normal, lubricates & cushions your joints, and it protects your spinal cord & other sensitive tissues such as your brain. Most importantly for your diet, water gets rid of wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements. Water plays a key role in digestion. I drink 2-2.5 gallons of water per day, not even counting the water that I get in the foods I consume. 8-10 glasses of water are recommended daily by most people. I recommend even more than that. As you consume more water, you will notice that your body becomes thirsty for water more often. There is no other liquid that is healthier for you than water, especially carbonated drinks and beverages with added sugars. If you don't like drinking a ton of water, try adding Crystal Light or another low calorie sweetener. There is a large variety of flavors. For an article about the importance of water, please click here.

Wake up  and drink water!! - I decided to make this a separate item from the one above. Your body typically goes about 7-8 hours without consuming any water while you are sleeping. Therefore, you want to drink 16-32 ounces of water within 20 minutes of waking up. I always wake up, go to the bathroom, and then drink a 32oz quart of water. This gets your body's metabolism going & it jumpstarts the process of getting your body hydrated. I am a 6'5" 235lb male so I drink a full quart of water. If you are smaller or a female, shoot for around 20 ounces. Headaches sometimes occur because you are not hydrated enough. Water also helps your immune system. Most importantly, your body can't perform very well at work if it is dehydrated. Your brain can't function well either. Get your body jumpstarted & running full speed by immediately getting it filled with water!! For an article about water & weight loss, click here.

Wake up and eat breakfast!! - Like I said above, your body goes a long time without getting any calories at night while you are sleeping. Wake up & get some healthy calories in your system, especially protein and a few complex carbohydrates. You don't have to eat a full breakfast right away, but eat something within 30 minutes of waking up. I typically have a banana & a protein shake. Then I eat my breakfast a little later. Eat something after you drink your water. This will jump-start your metabolism even further and give you the energy to get your day going strong. It will also help keep you from gorging later. Some people think it's ok to skip breakfast and that research does not prove you need it, but I think they are idiots!! Personally, if I don't eat breakfast, food is all I think about, and I am not very productive at work. For a great article about the importance of breakfast to your body and losing weight, click here. Eat breakfast & you'll have a lot more productive day :)

16 Nutrition & Diet Tips For Everyone!!

Limit liquid calories!! - Many people drink way too many calories and they don't even realize it, not even including alcohol. Soda, juices, sweet tea, and other sweetened drinks can ruin your weight loss if you don't limit yourself. If you want to ruin your weight loss for the day, just go buy a 44oz regular soda at the gas station. Water is the best option. If you don't want water though, choose diet drinks & other low calorie options. Milk & 100% juices can be good for you, but remember moderation. A 1/2 gallon of skim milk is 640 calories!!

Think about what you CAN eat, & not what you can't!! - Look at the glass half full and not half empty. There are A LOT of foods that you can eat while on a diet. There are so many vegetables that you can add to you food that taste great. There are many healthy snacks available. There are so many fruits you can have too. Stay positive on your diet and don't go around sad because you can't have this & you can't have that. You'll be more likely to stick to the diet.

Are you actually hungry? - Only eat when you are hungry!! Make sure that you are not eating just because you are bored. Don't eat because its something to do while watching a movie. Don't eat because you are emotionally stressed. Eat only when your body is hungry and craving fuel. When you're done eating, you should feel better. If you feel stuffed, bloated, or tired afterwards, you did not really need to eat. Remember this before making popcorn ;)

Choose nighttime snacks wisely!! - Before you eat a snack late at night, remember that you are going to bed soon and your body does not have time to burn the calories other than while you are sleeping. First, ask yourself if you are really hungry. If you are, choose something nutritious like fruit or dip a few vegetables in some healthy hummus. If you have a sweet tooth, have a 100-calorie pack of cookies or a half-cup scoop of low-fat ice cream. Sometimes late at night, I have some fat-free cottage cheese. If you are hungry late at night, you may want to try having just a little more at dinner.

Enjoy your treats away from home!! - If you are really craving a little ice cream, it's better to just go to an ice cream place rather than buying a 1/2 gallon bucket at the grocery store. Keep that out of your house, because you will end up eating more than you had planned. Go for a walk up to the ice cream stand or take your family for a drive. If you want a cookie or donut, go get one. Don't buy a dozen at the store. By making yourself have to actually leave your house to go get it, you have to ask yourself if it's worth all the trouble. More times that not, that craving is not worth the trouble.

Don't buy unhealthy foods at the store!! - This is common sense. If you buy it and bring it home, you have to either eat it or throw it out when it goes bad. Have you ever thrown away a box of Twinkies or Nutty Bars? Have you thrown away a $3 frozen pizza? What about that box of mozzarella sticks? Nope, they always get eaten!! Don't buy it & you won't be tempted to eat it. If you have a roommate that eats like crap, that is a tough situation. Have him or her put all the crappy food into a particular drawer or shelf. Stay out of it!! If you have a family, your kids probably don't need to be eating it if you can't. Keep all the unhealthy food out, & don't set yourself up to fail.

Stock your kitchen with healthy convenience foods!! - Many people eat fast food because its fast and convenient. They don't have to make or prepare anything at all, and they just have to eat it. Stock your pantry & refrigerator with healthy foods that are convenient to make. Then you can find these foods when you need a snack or quick meal. Get some foods that you can take with you on your trip. It's better to eat a bag of snap peas while driving than to stop at the gas station to buy a bag of chips. Get a few packs of frozen mixed vegetables that you just have to microwave. Get a box of really healthy popcorn without all the butter. Make that before watching your movie if you need to. There are many healhy options that are easy to make. Pick the ones that you like. Please note that some foods like pre-cooked chicken breasts may be more expensive.

If you are starting your diet, clear out the pantry!! - Like I said above, keep unhealthy foods out of your kitchen by not buying them. If you have decided to go on a diet, first get all the unhealthy food that you had... OUT!! Don't throw everything away though. Hopefully you are not getting rid of most of the food you had!! Donate what you can to the closest charity if you can. Also, see if your neighbors or friends want anything. Then stock your kitchen with healthy stuff.

Eat protein at every meal!! - Protein is more satisfying than carbohydrates or fats, and thus may be the secret weapon in weight control. Getting enough protein helps preserve muscle mass and encourages fat burning while keeping you feeling full. Be sure to include healthy protein sources in your diet such as lean meats, fat-free yogurt, reduced-fat cheese, almonds, and eggs. Try to avoid the protein sources full of unhealthy fats. There are better options.

Add some spice to your meal!! - Add spices or chiles to your food for a flavor boost that can help you feel satisfied. Food that is loaded with flavor will stimulate your taste buds and be more satisfying so you won't eat as much. Spicy food also helps to stimulate your metabolism. Try adding jalapenos or spicy salsa to your next salad. If you need something sweet, suck on a red-hot fireball for a long-lasting burst of sweetness with just a few calories.

Control your portions!! - This is common sense too. If you have a lot of food in front of you, you are probably going to eat more than you should. When you are eating out, try ordering smaller portions. It takes a lot of willpower to bring home leftovers, and you can still overeat AND bring home leftovers. I can honestly say I can't remember the last time I brought food home!! Plus, if you are using that as a "cheat meal" then you don't need leftovers anyway. If you are cooking at home, only cook what is going to be eaten, especially if it goes bad quickly. Try using smaller plates. This helps your portions look like more food, and if your mind is satisfied, your stomach will be too. Why do you think restaurants use BIG plates??

Make your meals the main event!! - You are way more likely to overeat if your mind is focused on other things and not on your food. That is why I listen to music during my food challenges, so that I can eat more. Turn the TV off while you are eating. You don't need to have a television in your kitchen. Focus on the delicious food and the friends & family that you are eating with. If you are eating by yourself like I usually do, just enjoy the nice silence. Eating dinner together is a very positive thing for families to do together. See how everybody is doing & how their day went. Also, sit down while you eat. You are more likely to overeat if you are standing up and moving around not thinking about what you are consuming. Eat slow & enjoy the meal. Nobody will steal it!! You'll be satisfied easier too.

Choose sauces, dips, toppings, & salad dressings wisely!! - If you are eating a healthy salad with a lot of vegetables, but you smother it all in ranch, please don't fool yourself into thinking that you are being healthy. You might as well just eat a burger!! Most salad dressings are not that good for you at all. Check the nutrition facts. Even fat-free dressings just add more sugar & salt to replace the fat for flavoring. Barbecue sauces contain a ton of sugar, and ketchup even has some too!! How many calories are in that veggie-dip that you are sticking your carrots in? How much fat is in that butter & cheese covering your asparagus? If you need a sauce or topping, try a healthy salsa, mustard, hot sauce, or low-fat sour cream. It's also okay to use healthy dressings with extra-virgin olive oil. Balsamic vinaigrettes are okay too. Have you tried dipping your broccoli in a low-calorie hummus? All of your favorite sauces, dips, & dressings have a healthier, low-calorie alternative. If you really want ranch, settle for low-calorie ranch!! Ranch and butter will ALWAYS be available, but you will not always be on a strict low-calorie diet ;)

Have a light snack before your actual meal!! - Try drinking a full glass of water and eating a handful of almonds 15-20 minutes before you actually eat. The mass of the water & the dense calories from the almonds will start sending signals to the brain that you have started eating. Therefore, you will get full & satisfied faster while eating your meal. Generally, you will consume less calories. I keep a bag of raw, unsalted almonds at my house to snack on if I need to.

Chew sugarless gum!! - After finishing your next meal, try eating a piece of your favorite sugarless gum. Not only can it freshen your breath & help your teath, it can also help you lose weight by eating less!! Chewing gum helps control food cravings, manage hunger, and promote weight loss. There are so many flavors of sugarless gum now!! Do you like mint chocolate chip ice cream? What about apple pie, strawberry shortcake, or key lime pie? Well EXTRA makes those flavors of gum!! They are part of the newer Dessert Delights line of gum flavors. Instead of having a big piece of key lime pie, eat a stick of gum!! If you are not in the mood for dessert, especially during other parts of the day, chew on a piece of regular gum. It will help you resist the urge to snack on high-calorie temptations. For an article relating chewing sugarless gum & losing weight, click here.

Conquer the grocery store!! - Most of the money you pay for food products at the grocery store goes towards the marketing, packaging, and everything else other than the actual food product. This applies to liquids & drinks too!! Companies are doing everything they can to make their products seem healthy to ignorant consumers. Many of their attempts work on many unknowing people. Some products are advertised with 0 trans fats!! Other products are fat-free or made with 100% whole grains. Then there are some products advertised as organic and other products that are natural. You have to be careful in every isle you go down, especially if you bring your children with you. Many marketing ploys are directed towards kids!! Some companies even mislead you through the nutrition facts. For a great list of the top 10 ways that food labels try to fool you, click here. For an even better article about the top 9 most misleading food labels, click here!! For another short article about 10 misleading food labels, click here. Finally, for tips to conquer the grocery store so that you save money, eat well, & eat healthy foods, click here!!

6 Quick Tips From Randy Santel!!

Don't stress out over your diet!! - Your diet & nutrition plan needs to become part of your lifestyle, and not just a diet. There is a difference between losing weight and maintaining weight when it comes to eating, but don't be too hard on yourself. Healthy eating needs to become a healthy way of life. Don't turn down going to a big event just because you might break your diet. Eat before the event or bring snacks so that you are not snacking on unhealthy food the whole time. If you break down and have a cookie, it's only a big deal if you make it one. Just workout a little harder later. Let that cookie give you some extra motivation to continue on your plan even stronger. A friend once told me that he asked a guy to try a food challenge with him like 3 weeks in advance. The guy immediately said no because of his diet. My buddy & I both agreed that his diet probobably won't be too successful. Plan ahead for rewards like that. One fun meal will not kill you, especially if you are just maintaining!! Just don't make rewarding yourself normal every week.

Limit your alcohol consumption!! - Hopefully this does not come as a surprise to you!! I wanted to talk about this here instead of up above. While there is alcohol in your system, your body is focusing on breaking down the alcohol and it sets all the fat, protein, & carbohydrates you consume over to the side for later. On top of that, almost all of the calories in your favorite beverages are pretty useless empty calories. If you drink alcoholic beverages everyday, don't plan on losing much weight. It's possible to lose weight & I have seen it done, but you have to eat less to allow for the extra calories. Light beers have over 95 calories in them. There is no such thing as a beer with 64 calories... that is just beer flavored water!! Margaritas & "girly drinks" have even more calories because all of the additional sugar. Add energy drinks to your liquor and that is even worse!! I typically only consume alcohol 1 or 2 nights per week, typically after my contests & challenges. If I just ate 3,000 calories, lol a few hundred more don't matter much to me. I get my cravings out all at once. If you are going to drink during the week, how about 1 simple glass of red wine? For articles about alcohol, click here & click here.

Don't eat while you are drunk!! - This sometimes for me is a bigger problem than the actual calories in the alcohol I drink. My buddy & I spent $26 one night after drinking all day at Jack In The Box, and everything we ordered was off the dollar menu!! Another friend & I one time in college actually paid a cab to pick us up in the parking lot of Taco Bell, take us through the drive-thru, and we got right back out because the drive-thru was the only part open that late!! They would not just let us order by walking up to the window. Lol that was fat!! Haha so don't tell me that alcohol does not make you want to eat more. Friends & I have raided a lot of pantries late at night over the years. This is terrible for a person on a diet!! If you are out with a friend that is also losing weight, make an agreement that you both won't let the other person eat like crap later!! If you are going home to your own pantry, hopefully you don't have anything unhealthy to eat!! One time I let a friend stay over at my place, & he had to settle for tuna!! Haha drinking is bad enough for your diet. Don't add to your problems by eating a lot late at night.

Real food is better than supplements!! - I feel that way too many people put way too much emphasis on dietary & sports nutrition supplements. There are special protein shakes, amino acids, fat burners, and everything else you can think of. There are some people that get more calories from supplements than they do from actual food. Supplements are meant to be in addition to your daily food & beverage intake. Why do you always see supplement advertisements on every health website and magazine? These companies make so much money off you buying their products that they have a lot of money to advertise even more. Paid advertisements is the money that many magazines & websites run on!! Of course there will be a lot of advertisements. They may sound like the secret to changing your life, but supplements don't beat real food. If you have a perfect diet, you really don't need many supplements. People that are absolutely huge are big because of steroids, & not because of some "natural" product. If a product does not contain illegal substances banned by the NCAA and other competitive organizations, it probably does not work very well. Remember that next time you're at GNC. For more information about the supplements that I use, click here.

Eat like you are the weight that you want to be!! - This means exactly what the title says. As you increase in weight, your body needs additional calories to run it's daily processes (basal metabolic rate). A person that weighs 250lbs generally requires more calories than a person that weighs 200lbs. If you weigh 215lbs and you want to be 185lbs, eat like you are 185lbs. You will be at a caloric deficit, and you will lose weight. Use common sense though. If you are 300lbs and you want to be 200lbs, definitely DO NOT eat like you are 200lbs!! You will be starving yourself and that is not good at all. You can't stick to that. Eat like you are 275lbs first. Then when you get near 275lbs, eat like you are 250lbs. Then continually decrease your calories slowly. The key to a successful diet plan is to lose weight gradually. By cutting calories too much, only bad things will happen.

Keep up-to-date with nutrition news!! - Stay alert for additional news & information regarding nutrition & diet tips. Do you have Twitter? I enjoy following Eat This, Not That! There are many other great accounts to follow too. That is just one of my favorites. Yahoo, Google, MSN, and hundreds of other websites constantly link articles and videos related to fitness & nutrition that they get from sources like the ones mentioned in my Dieting Fitness Tips page. Also feel free to check out magazines & books. The one thing I hate about magazines though is that there are way too many ads. Keep yourself up to date about what is going on in the health & fitness world!!

My Conclusion

Hopefully you learned a few things after reading all the information up above!! I definitely hope that it was not all new to you though. I have done a lot of research throughout writing this page, in addition to including all the things that I have learned over the years of dieting. Maintaining my weight while being a professional eater is definitely not easy!! These are a lot of the ideas and tips that I use to stay lean. I definitely don't want to go back to being over 300lbs!!

Please keep in mind that these nutrition tips are mainly for normal people wanting to begin a fitness & diet program, or wanting to maintain their healthy weight through regular diet & exercise. That is basically the audience that I am aiming at throughout my entire Fitness & Nutrition Advice section. If you are an actual bodybuilder or advanced athlete hopefully most of this stuff is beginner-level for you. There are many other websites to check out such as the ones I listed in my Dieting Fitness Tips page. Guys can also check out Leangains.com and Wannabebig.com. Those two websites have some GREAT advanced articles to read & learn from. Most people trying to lose weight don't really care how much protein they need to consume per pound of bodyweight. Also, if they had to be that strict, they would most likely get burnt out, quit, and go back to eating like crap. If you are advanced, you may disagree with some of the things I mentioned above. If you really do think I am wrong, please contact me & give a few sources to support your reasoning. I don't claim to know everything, & I would be happy to correct it. I don't want any inaccurate information up on my site. Like I said in my Health Disclaimer, I have a Construction Management degree & not a Health & Fitness Degree. I just know from experience ;)

If you liked the tips on this nutrition page, please definitely check out my Dieting Fitness Tips page!! Also check out my Nutrition & Diet section to see what my diet is like now as a professional eater, and also what my diet was like when I won the national 2010 Men's Health / Spartacus Challenge!! Also feel free to check out my great Fitness Training section. I appreciate you checking out all of my pages & good luck with your diet!! Contact me with questions :)
 

 

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