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Tom’s Fitness & Paris Martial Arts

Eat Smart, Part 1

Posted: May 17, 2006

Last week, we looked at how to do Smart Cardio workouts, and the week before, Seven Tips for Smart Muscle workouts. This week, it’s time to look at How To Eat Smart.

First of all, it’s important to realize that we are what we eat. If we eat healthier foods, we’ll feel better. If we don’t, we won’t. The answer isn’t found in goofy diets, either. Eating Smart is a learned lifestyle. It’s something you can do wherever you are, if you know how to do it.

Eating Smart also starts first thing in the morning. I made the mistake of working out this morning without having any breakfast—boy was that a mistake! I ran out of gas halfway through, and had to go drink a quick energy shake to fuel back up. I not only didn’t eat smart, I didn’t eat—and that was dumb!

Remember, we’ve been fasting all night (that’s why they call it breakfast), and there’s usually nothing left in the blood stream to use for energy. It is alright to exercise on an empty stomach, if you’re doing light to moderate cardio. Research even shows we’ll burn more fat this way, but it can be tough.

You definitely shouldn’t try doing 20 minutes of high intensity cardio intervals, and then a serious muscle workout without eating though—lesson learned! Next time, I’ll do better.

Usually I’ll have a piece of Ezekiel Bread and some yogurt, first thing in the morning, or at least a Meal Replacement Shake (24grams protein/24 grams carbs). I just happened to get side-tracked and before I knew it, it was time to work out. 
And that leads to one of our main problems. Many people are missing breakfast, and that’s a shame. Of if they do have something, it isn’t enough, or it’s poor quality. You need more energy to start your day—especially if you’re doing intense exercise. A fire doesn’t start burning without some kindling, right?

Miss a meal, and then some snacks, and it’s no wonder you might have a train wreck with those donuts or ___________ (fill in the blank) in the office later. No wonder you’ll gobble the whole bag of chips.

You’ve got to start out right. Eat 3 smaller meals a day, with 2-3 snacks in between. You’ll be fueling up as you need it, and you’ll burn everything you eat. The average woman needs around 1500-1650 calories to lose weight, and the average man needs around 1800-2400.

That amounts to around 400 calorie meals and 100-150 calorie snacks for women, and around 500-600 calorie meals and 250-300 calorie snacks for men. 
Next time (after I’ve had my breakfast), we’ll talk about what healthy meals should look like. See you in the gym!