Most of those reading this have made a decision at one point or another to change their nutritional habits in an effort to lose weight, get ripped and improve performance. If you are looking for an “overnight solution” to this problem, stop reading this article as it will not provide that solution. On the other hand, I will discuss the importance of sticking with a plan and carrying it out over an extended period of time. Because in most cases it comes down to the “I’ll start next week” remark. Sound familiar?

Once this comment surfaces, healthy nutritional habits and decisions are delayed and frustration can occur – killing the excitement and purpose of following a template to form better eating habits. Nutrition plans should all share similar goals – feel better, look better, regulate blood sugar, improve lean body weight, increase energy and performance.

It is apparent that work and family along with other surrounding circumstance make it difficult to live a perfect and clean lifestyle full of balance, happiness and zero stress. However, this does not warrant the typical behavior seen in today’s society – lackadaisical behavior and poor nutritional habits.

I’ve heard the excuse “life happens” and I think it is bullshit. Yes, work can become extremely demanding and families continue to grow. But, having new responsibilities is no reason to put your health and fitness in jeopardy. After all, the goal is to create longevity so that we can optimize our health, be successful at work and maximize the time with our families.

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Below I have outlined six key points that I believe will help adopt healthy nutritional habits. I don’t like the word “diet” because to me it represents a quick and easy fix; a cookie-cutter program. Taking control of your nutritional habits requires effort, discipline and purpose. Moreover, everyone is different and therefore will also require a customized layout fit to appropriately meet needs accordingly. With that being said, check out the list below. It is simple, and can be applied to any lifestyle.

#1 Time Your Meals

The more nutrients that are absorbed into our body and bloodstream, the better we will operate as human beings. Nutrient consumption should take place at least 2-3 hours apart to keep our body in a high-metabolic state. This means more energy and better function both physically and mentally.

#2 Don’t Wait Until You’re Hungry to Eat

Make it a point to eat before that mad hunger feeling sets in. Applying this concept can drastically improve your mood, energy, sleep and overall well-being.

#3 Eat More Often

Metabolism slows with a physically and nutritionally dormant lifestyle. Food is our predominant source of energy. If you want to lose weight, eat more. If you want to build muscle, eat more. It’s science and there are studies that show a higher metabolism leads to faster recovery, better sleep, better workouts and better quality of life.

#4 Get In a Groove

When you find a few meals or foods that work best for you, then stick with them. For example, if it is easy to scramble 3 eggs and grab a bar for a mid-morning snack before you leave for work, then continue to do that. This way you can get into a pattern and create good habits.

#5 Snack Before Bed

I’ve heard a common myth get repeated by many people. “Don’t eat past 8:00pm.” If we don’t eat between 8pm and 6am, that’s 10 hours of depletion. Imagine going 10 hours mid-day without food. It makes you tired, groggy, grumpy and it is unhealthy for the body to function that way. But in most cases, this is what happens anyway. Then, we wonder why we wake up tired, groggy and grumpy. So, if you generally head to bed around 10-11pm, then a light snack before bed will do you good. In fact, you may find yourself energized in the AM.

#6 Drink Plenty of Water

Being hydrated helps our body breakdown and absorb nutrients. Our body composition is about 75% water. Depriving our body of water can be detrimental to its function and operation. I don’t have a magic combination or formula that has been backed by science, but I’ve personally found that consuming [at minimum] as much water as your body weight in kg is enough to positively affect mental alertness and function. If you weight 75 kg, then you should be drinking at least 75 ounces of water each day.  So get drinking people.

Hopefully, these six key points can help you jump start your healthy eating habits. Now, go eat.