You Can’t Outwork Poor Nutrition!

Nutrition is our focus in the third installment of the All Gas & No Breaks series (Part 1 & Part 2 ).

In our experience pursuing health, fitness and nutrition as individuals and in encouraging and equipping Actualize clients, we (Blaine, Jenny & Cy – Co-Owners of Actualize) have found that if our members do not figure out their nutrition it is nearly impossible for us to guarantee results from the training we administer.

We often say, “You can’t outwork poor nutrition.” However, no matter how many times we share this maxim, a large percentage of people think the addition of training alone will move them toward their goals. The reality is, without proper nutrition, the addition of training alone will inhibit your ability to actualize your purposes and potential in health, fitness, nutrition and life. In contrast, when an effective training program is implemented alongside optimal nutrition habits the results can be life changing.

When creating the philosophy and supporting principles of the nutrition we encourage at Actualize we  considered the over 40 years of collective coaching experience between the three of us and and have extrapolated the time-tested principles and tactics we believe deliver results while embracing a spirit of sustainability and lifestyle-orientation.

Enter Actualize Nutrition Coaching.

Actualize Nutrition Coaching: Nutrition Principles

With the “All Gas & No Breaks” theme of this article, we are re-sharing the top principles promoted with every new member at Actualize in the hope you will truly catch the revelation that “you can’t outwork poor nutrition” AND you should not expect to have optimal health, energy to train,  ability to recover, your best mental abilities (and so much more!) without alignment with the majority of these principles.

1. Eliminate junk. You cannot have a house full of unhealthy foods and expect success. First, you need to eliminate anything that is likely to trigger poor nutrition choices. Everyone has trigger foods and the last place they should be is in your house. That’s right—throw out the bag of chips you’ve been working on, and that carton of ice cream that’s been calling your name. Get it out!

The following things need to be removed from your cupboards, fridge, freezer and the private hiding spot you may have stashed away some goodies:

  • Processed junk food: pretty much anything that is in a package and has more than a couple of ingredients you can’t read or pronounce, is not in the plan. This typically includes most wheat products such as cereals, breads, bagels and crackers.
  • Calorie containing beverages: this includes sodas and juices. We would rather you eat fruit rather than drink it.
  • Sugar: this includes sucrose, glucose and fructose. Anything ending in “ose” is a sugar. Also, Corn Syrup (High Fructose) is a sugar too.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol can increase your risk of metabolic syndrome, which means it increases your likelihood of gaining unsightly belly fat. Alcohol is a splurge and can be enjoyed during your 10% off plan each week (see #11 below).
  • Do you need a kitchen makeover?

2. Go shopping and stock up on whole foods. Shopping can feel complicated, or like a pain in the butt — if you don’t have a clear system and structure. It doesn’t have to be like that. With a shopping list full of foods that you like and will eat, you can hit the grocery store, get in and out quickly, and leave knowing you’ve bought all the things you need to make your meal plan happen.

3. Eat breakfast within 15 minutes of waking-up followed by a meal every 3-4 hours. You must keep fuel coming in all day to keep your blood sugar stable, starting first thing in the morning. Breakfast is the breaking of a fast. Your body is in a fasted state upon waking because you have not eaten for 6-12 hours. Being in a fasted state regularly is not ideal because it means your metabolism is in the gutter and you are not burning fat, supporting lean muscle and optimal health. Also, skipping meals increases your likelihood of metabolic syndrome which includes decreasing your good cholesterol, increasing blood pressure, and increasing belly fat. Why is this? Fasting decreases insulin sensitivity which means your body becomes insulin resistant, or it has trouble removing glucose from the blood, leading to metabolic syndrome. Do not skip meals!

4. Do not workout when running on empty! Have a meal or small snack before training. You cannot expect your body to perform when you have not given it some fuel. If you are training first thing in the morning, make yourself a shake (see #10 below) and drink half before training, and finish the rest when you finish. There is no point doing a workout on an empty stomach, you will not be able to push yourself to get the result you desire if you don’t have fuel in your tank.—not to mention you will become catabolic and actually eat the muscle you are trying to maintain or build. If consuming food before training disrupts your stomach, talk to your assigned Actualize Coach about the use of pre-workout supplementation.

5. Have a protein source at every meal (1-3 palm sizes per meal; your assigned Actualize Coach will help you determine portion sizing). Protein contains amino acids that your body needs to maintain and build muscle, and support several other important aspects of your health. Never eat carbohydrates alone. Carbohydrates raise your blood sugar, some faster than others, telling your body to go into fat storage mode. Protein blunts this increase in blood sugar and keeps you in a stable fat burning mode. At every meal have a source of protein with the healthy vegetables, carbohydrates and fat portion sizes your assigned Actualize coach suggests.

6. Have a vegetable source at every meal (2-5 fists per meal; your assigned Actualize Coach will help you determine portion sizing). Vegetables provide fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and much more your body needs for optimal health, digestion, performance and recovery. At every meal have a source of vegetables with the healthy protein, carbohydrates and fat portion sizes your assigned Actualize Coach suggests.

7. Eliminate all processed carbohydrates and have a whole carbohydrate source at every meal (2-5 cupped handful per meal; your assigned Actualize Coach will help you determine portion sizing). Some carbohydrates will raise your blood sugar faster than others. You want to completely avoid the carbohydrates that will shoot your blood sugar straight into fat storing mode; which includes processed foods such as breads, pasta, pastries, cereal and sugar. All of your carbohydrate sources should be from: whole grains, starchy tubers, legumes and fruits. At every meal have a source of carbohydrates with the healthy proteins, vegetables and fat portion sizes your assigned Actualize coach suggests.

8. Eat healthy fats throughout the day (2-5 thumbs per meal; your assigned Actualize Coach will help you determine portion sizing). Don’t be afraid of fats! You need fat for energy. No more fat free creamer, fat free peanut butter, etc. Most fat free products replace fat with sugar. At every meal have a source of fat with the healthy proteins, vegetables and carbohydrate portion sizes your assigned Actualize Coach suggests. Read your labels.

9. No more caloric beverages. Drink mostly water. Your goal is to drink 1⁄2 your bodyweight in ounces of water every day. Being dehydrated is a big “no no” when it comes to achieving a fit body and optimal health. Being dehydrated diminishes your exercise performance, leading to decreased results, causes fatigue and increases your cortisol levels—the stress hormone that breaks down muscle tissue (BAD!). Your urine should be clear. If your pee is not clear you are not drinking enough water. If you have a diet coke habit, it is time to cut it out. Sodas do nothing for your hydration and health. Stick with water. Tea and coffee are OK in moderation.

10. Take a multi-vitamin/mineral, omega-3 fish oil, antioxidants & probiotics as a foundational supplement to your nutrition. Actualize has a great option for these supplements if you are not taking a pharmaceutical grade product with therapeutic levels of these ingredients (FDA suggestions are not ideal for fitness enthusiasts). Actualize has partnered with a pharmaceutical grade supplement company to create what we call our Foundational Nutrition Pack. This product includes all the supplements listed above and a bunch more of the things research has suggested an adult fitness enthusiasts need. Consider the Foundational Nutrition Packs an insurance card to come alongside your training and nutrition plan to ensure you are firing on all cylinders and operating at optimal health. Talk to your assigned Actualize Coach about this great product.

11. Periodically utilize the 3-Day Dietary Record ( content/uploads/2017/01/Threedaydiet.pdf) to journal what you’re eating and share with your assigned Actualize Coach. Keeping a journal periodically will hold you accountable and help keep you on track, not to mentioned helping your assigned Actualize Coach stay in-the-know with where you’re at in your health, nutrition, training and life journey.

12. Implement the 90/10 Rule. Forget everything we just shared 10% of the time. Seriously! If you follow the Actualize Nutrition Principles 90% on a weekly basis you will actualize your health, fitness, nutrition and life goals. BUT, it’s important to be honest with yourself. This allows you 10% of the time to splurge, or otherwise known as a re-feed or cheat meal. Enjoy your splurges, it’s one of the things that makes pursuing your goals manageable and enjoyable.

What’s 10% splurge look like? For example, it you eat 4 meals per day, that’s 28 meals per week. 10% of 28 meals is 2.8 splurge meals—go ahead and round it up to 3. There is one important caveat. Everybody is working with a different body type, energy system, age, etc. If you’re not moving toward your goals at the pace you desire after quantifying your progress with a Inbody270 body composition test (offered at Actualize), it’s possible your assigned Actualize Coach may suggest less splurges per week.

Don’t feel bad about splurging! Live life to the fullest. When you splurge, just get back on track the next meal. You will find that because you have been eating healthy 90% of the time, you feel better and won’t have the cravings. Also, having a splurge is a great way to disrupt and trick your body’s metabolism to keep burning fat!

These recommendations are meant to improve your nutrition and lifestyle. They are not intended as treatment or prescription for any disease, or as a substitute for regular medical care. It is advised that you consult with your Doctor prior to following the advice laid out in this report.

We’re honored that you trust Actualize to help you explore, discover and actualize your purpose and potential in health, fitness, nutrition and life!

Coach Blaine

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Actualize Sports & Fitness is North Central Washington’s premier performance enhancement training, health and nutrition, and mental achievement coaching center. We exist to educate, encourage and empower Actualize Sports (competitive athletes, teams & coaches) & Actualize Fitness (fitness enthusiasts of all ages & abilities) clients to actualize their unique purpose and potential in athletics, fitness and life.


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