The awesome folks over at Harder.Faster.Better.Stronger have put up a great blog post about transitioning into eating clean. Some folks have a hard time knowing where to start, what to cut out, what to add in etc. This article is a nice guide to getting there! Check out the article here:
This is a great interview on T-Nation with nutrition and fitness guru Robb Wolf. While we're not training to be bodybuilders we need to be using our nutrition to improve how we train, feel and look. Spend a few minutes and check out the article here: http://www.t-nation.com/testosterone-magazine-641?s=indexTitle#the-paleo-diet
Do Better - Feel Better - Look Better
by Dan Tirabassi, owner/trainer Granite State Kettlebells
From my own experience and many other peoples experience this seems to be the progression for our bodies to look the way we want them to. If you do better, then you’ll feel better then you’ll look better! Let me elaborate a bit.
Do Better - First you have to start doing something then improve at it (I know, kind of obvious). The most effective and efficient way to workout to reach the end goal of looking better is by performing multi-joint, compound exercises like squats, dead lifts and presses. Using compound exercises increases your fat loss by working several muscles groups at one time, increasing your metabolic rate higher than if you did isolation exercises like leg extensions or bicep curls. What “doing better” at compound exercises means is that you start by learning proper form for the exercises, then you continually try to improve in several ways, by continually perfecting your form, how much weight you move, how many times you can move a weight, how fast you can perform exercises with proper form etc. The great thing about doing better at compound exercises is there’s no end to the ability to improve, you are constantly meeting your goals then setting new ones to achieve. At the same time you’re learning and improving at compound exercises you need to look into your nutrition, part of doing better is eating better. When it comes to losing weight and getting fit no amount of training can overcome bad nutrition! There is NO way to achieve the end goal of looking better without proper nutrition! You have to start eating clean, whole foods, that means lean proteins, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats.
Feel Better - After you’ve started doing better at performing at your workouts and eating better, you’ll find that you’re more confident about lots of things you might not have been confident about previously. For example when you progress your pushups either from a beginner pushup to a more advanced pushup or just doing more pushups in a row. You’ll feel better working at your job, around the house, performing in your sport, you’ll be able to do things faster, do them for longer and you won’t be as wiped out after you’ve accomplished them. Things that looked like daunting tasks previously, will be far less challenging. Your health markers will be better.
Look Better - While this is the reason nearly everyone works out, to look good, it is the part that usually happens last in the fitness progression. The funny thing about looking better is that it is an accidental by-product of doing better. While most of us aren’t ever going to be professional athletes, we can take a page from their book, those athletes look incredible but they’re don’t train to look good, they train to be excellent at their sport and look good by accident. Your body will decide where it wants to look better first, it takes fat from where it chooses when it can’t take any more from there it gets it from somewhere else(so all the TV commercials that say you can lose belly fat by doing some form of abdominal exercise are 100% shams). All of a sudden clothes that you normally wear start to feel baggy and while I don’t recommend it, if you weigh yourself then you’ll see those numbers go down. Then you’ll look at the clothes you want to fit into and realize that the work you’re doing is paying off and a crazy cycle begins, you’ll continue to want to do better because you feel better and look better!
So a lot of folks like to hear the 'sciency' reasoning behind why eating lean meats, lots of veggies and fruits and healthy fats (Paleo) are better for you than a grain based diet. This article from Harder.Faster.Better.Stronger provides a convincing numerical comparison. The article is called Let's talk numbers. It's a great read.