Becoming healthier is a choice and a habit. It's commonly mistaken that just working out will bring about a healthier, leaner, and stronger you but everything actually starts with what you eat and how you sleep. That being said, here are the 5 things you can do besides working out to increase your fitness and become a healthier you.
1. Eat More Protein
Most people can benefit from increasing the amount of protein they consume on a daily basis. A standard number to shoot for is 1.5 - 2.0 grams of protein per kilo of LEAN body mass. That means if you weigh 100 kilograms you should be eating around 150 - 200 grams of protein per day, assuming you’re not massively overweight. A quick google search will tell you how many grams of protein are in commonly consumed foods but here are five high protein foods that can be the backbone of your diet or quick snacks.
100g of chicken breast - 23 grams of protein
Natto packet - 6 grams of protein
Protein shake - 25-30 grams of protein
When trying to recover from intense workouts, gain mass or improve your body composition, eating quality protein is essential. Protein increases satiety after each meal leaving you less inclined to crunch those potato chips or reach for a candy bar to tide you over. When first trying to change your diet, a simple rule to follow is one source of lean protein during each meal.
2. Drink More Water
Just like getting enough protein, getting enough water is essential to one’s health and performance. Water regulates a myriad of bodily functions and dehydration is linked to grogginess in the morning, mental acuity issues in the afternoon, and an elevated heart rate. Drinking more water will also keep you feeling fuller for longer. A good place to start is to try to drink at least 2 liters of water per day depending on body weight, temperature, humidity, and physical exercise.
Drinking more water means drink more water. Juices are full of sugars and lack fiber which could otherwise be gained by eating fruits. Coffee is fine to drink (especially as a preworkout supplement) but is not a replacement for water. Although this should go without saying, alcohol is a liquid but is not effective for hydration (I know, bummer!). I like to start each day with a big glass of water before breakfast. It helps me set the tone for the day. Habits are the catalyst for change!
3. Cook your own meals
Next, let’s look at fat. Fat contains 9 calories per gram and it is very easy to overeat and hardest to measure. Although care must be taken when incorporating fat into your diet as it is the most calorically dense macronutrient “good” fats are essential for many bodily functions including hormonal production. Testosterone, in particular, is important for not only building muscle but also dropping weight. Moreover, fat keeps you satiated for longer, helps your body absorb certain nutrients from food, and is another one of your body's basic energy sources.
This means starting with raw, quality ingredients, and cooking them into delicious and nutritious meals. The food you consume becomes the fuel for your body and affects everything you do so it only makes sense to invest some time and energy into ensuring that you’re getting the good stuff.
There is a lot of conflicting opinions out there about nutrition but just know when it comes to nutrition simple is usually best. Eating meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar is a great prescription for someone looking to improve body composition. Focus first on the quality of your food (ie. what’s in it and where does it come from) and see if you notice a difference. It might be hard to give up all bad habits right away but just do the best you can and if you slip up just think of the next meal as your next starting point.
4. Track your food
Tracking your food is often seen as tedious; however, to know what you’re really eating, it is important to have a frame of reference. To start just write down the foods you eat - no weights, no sizes, nothing. Just the basics. For this there are a number of apps available, but a good old fashioned piece of paper works equally as well. This will help you become more mindful and just a heightened sense of awareness will help you start to make change!
5. Get More Quality Sleep
This isn’t a nutrition tip but it's a lifestyle piece that often goes overlooked. Getting more sleep is a super simple lifestyle change that can help all aspects of your health. It is pretty common knowledge that 7-8 hours of sleep per night is optimal I rarely run into anybody who actually hit that number on a regular basis, especially in Japan. Quantity, however, is not the only factor, the quality of your sleep is also hugely important. Two simple things you can do to help improve the quality of your sleep are: Turn off your computer/phone.
This is a huge problem in today’s society. Turning off your phone or computer at least one hour before you go to bed will keep your mind at ease and help you easily fall into a quality sleep. Creating a schedule and making it a habit will help out greatly with this. Just put your phone away 1 before bed every day for a week and see if you notice a difference. Another tip - charge your phone in a different room. This will keep you from wanting to peek at any screens in the middle of the night.
While sleep is important for your brain, it is also invaluable for your body. While you sleep, your body lowers certain hormones and raises others. This process is essential to recovering and feeling and looking better so be sure to get your z’s!
There you have it. Those are 5 things you can do everyday to help improve all aspects of your health without lifting a single weight. Implementing all of these strategies at once will be hard and, in some cases, may require huge lifestyle changes. My recommendation is that you pick one item you think may be easy to start with and once you’ve built good habits move on to the next.
Finally, if you’d like more information on what you can do to get even healthier or get some help sticking to these points, Fill Out Our Form to set up a consultation. We want to help you reach you feel, look, and move better!