Food glorious food, we all need to have it but most of the things we consume are probably working against our goals of being fit and looking our best. Whatever we eat, we will have to burn off one way or another, so eating and drinking smart should always be first priority before exercise planning (prevention before cure!). Some food is good for keeping you full and building lean muscle whilst others reverse this and can even bring on unwanted fat.
This article however, is not a diet plan where you eliminate carbs, sugar and time your 6 meals a day down to a tee. It’s just simple tips and suggestions on what you can swap when eating and drinking when you go about your daily life. Sure you could do a hectic diet straight off the bat, but for most of us this isn’t sustainable so small progressive steps are much more manageable, appealing and every bit counts – trust me!
Some of these swaps are listing the obvious, but following them is a different story. It’s a tough, strict road when it comes to getting lean, ripped and packing muscle, but in the end it’s truly worth it!
The common theme here is swapping over to foods that are lower in fat, have a lower GI rating and high in protein.
- Fast Food burger/Asian takeaway lunch to Grilled Fish/Chicken with Salad or Self made Ham/Turkey sandwich on Wholemeal bread.
- Pizza/Lasagne/Pasta dinner to Steamed/Pan Fried Chicken Breast and Veggies
- Cheap Asian takeaway dinner to Home cooked Beef stir fry with Veggies (broccoli, snow peas & carrot)
- Chicken Parmigiana/Schnitzel to Rump/Eye Fillet/Sirloin steak with salad/veggies
- Beef kebab to Charcoal Chicken roll (El Jannah anyone?)
- Macca’s Big Mac/Angus Burger to Fish Fillet burger (if you must)
- White Bread to Wholemeal Bread
- White Rice to Brown Rice
It’s fine to snack, but snack on the right things! You’d be surprised if you look at the nutritional table and see how much energy you will get from a small portion of naughty snacks. Sugar and simple carbs are the prime culprits.
- Cinnamon Toast to Banana (the fruit not banana bread)
- Crackers/Cookies to Wholegrain crackers with Peanut Butter
- Potato Chips to Almonds/Cashews/Pistachio Nuts
- Potato Wedges/French Fries to Sweet Potato chips (small portion)
- Full Cream Latte/Flat white to Short Black/Macchiato
- Beer to Wine (in moderation of course)
- Fizzy Soft Drinks to Green Tea or Water
- Asian Milk Tea to Black Lychee Tea or Water!
Let’s also not forget those pesky situations like birthday/morning teas in the office or end of month drinks where various evil nibbles are always in abundance. Your best bet? Just mingle and let others enjoy them and if you really can’t hold off, then 1 or 2 won’t kill you. Just remember to push that last set harder next time you’re at the gym!
At the end of the day, it’s all about reducing (and even eliminating) the types of foods that won’t help you reach your fitness goals. Generally speaking, these are high carb foods/drinks and high in sugar food/drinks – less kilojoules can mean less fat, which equals to more ‘rippedness’! It’s a tough road and it does sound like you’re giving up a lot at first, but once you get used to it food becomes more about necessity and you realise that you really can live without all that degrading food!
Be fit and be awesome!
What are some of your food substitutions?