You’re not going to believe me when I tell you this. The number one thing you can do to start seeing tone and definition in your body is to eat.
All too often, clients tell me they want to build muscle and expect that lifting weights and sweating their asses off is going to do it. But it won’t. You can’t out-exercise a shitty diet. And I don’t mean eating ice cream and pizza (although, come on, you can do better than ice cream and pizza) — even my clients who under-eat, limiting themselves to a daily regimen of kale salads are doing their bodies a disservice. The primary force that feeds your muscle is the food you eat.
There’s a common mantra among personal trainers that “abs start in the kitchen.” Lean proteins, healthy complex carbohydrates and green vegetables are the holy trinity if you’re working on a six-pack. It’s important to eat small meals throughout the day so that your muscles are constantly fed, keeping your metabolism running smoothly and consistantly, rather than dealing with the spikes and drops in blood sugar that happen when you go too long between meals.
If you want to look like an athlete, you have to eat like one. — Joe Johnson
Unfortuantely, we live in a culture that’s obsessed with working out, but addicted to eating out. That’s why I’m constantly preaching to my clients to plan ahead. If you make time to exercise, you can make time to eat right. In fact, making time to eat right is MORE IMPORTANT than making time for the gym.
As a trainer, sometimes I miss my own chance to workout because I’m constantly helping other people get their workout in. But that’s okay. I know that if I’m eating correctly, it won’t be a problem. I’m nearly 54 years old and still have a six pack. Do you think it’s because I do 1,000 crunches a day? Hell no. It’s because I eat—the right foods, multiple times during the day.
The long and short of it is this: if you want to look like an athlete, you have to eat like one. You will feel better and see results faster with a change in your food habits than a change in your exercise routine.
It’s a change in mindset, but it’s a necessary change if you want real results. Food keeps you fit like nothing else can.