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Apr
05
Favorite Nutrition Hacks - CFTNT Training Article

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Now that I have your attention I want to apologize for using the word hack. There are no hacks or tricks you can do to improve your fitness. Only hard work, sustainable habits, done over a very long time. With that said here are a few solutions I personally like to use to help facilitate better fitness.


The crockpot is used probably 3-5 days per week on average. It’s a personal favorite because of the quantity of food it cooks, how little you have to chop the stuff that goes in there, and how hands off the cooking process is. The current rotation is a ground turkey chili, chicken drumsticks, and a top of round beef & veggie mix with Italian seasoning.


Nutritious meals are usually pretty bland and boring. That’s just something you as an adult has to deal. If something is delicious it’s probably not that great for you. Luckily you can brighten up most meals with a good hot sauce. These are usually low in added sugar compared to other condiments such as barbeque sauce and ketchup.


Rice is a great carb source for physical activity, however, it’s fairly easy to overdo if you're not going through some serious training. For all recipes with rice, I usually use ½ rice and ½ cauliflower rice. Aldi sells a frozen bag of cauliflower rice that’s very versatile.


What happens when you tell a kid they can’t do something? That’s the only thing they obsess about and want to do. This is me with food. I personally don’t have any foods that I eliminate completely. This doesn't mean that I eat cookies every day, however, if I wanted to have one I can. It’s just a mental trick that keeps me on a decent path. Some people are abstainers and some people are moderators. I like to moderate. Know who you are and what the trigger foods can be.


Nothing is 100% off limits eating wise. That doesn’t mean that there is junk available in the pantry. If you have candy or similar treats at home it will be consumed at some point. There is a time and a place for an occasional treat, however, it should be a special occasion or require extra effort to obtain. Don’t put unnecessary stress on your willpower by having junk at home.


A lot of people stress out about small details, additives, and other trivial stuff in ingredient lists. Worrying about the stuff that’s at the very end of an ingredient list is not super necessary, however, hydrogenated oils should be avoided as much as possible. This stuff messes with your blood cholesterol. It has actually been banned from products but food manufacturers were given a 2 year period to remove it from their products. You will not consume any of this if you eat whole foods and produce. This stuff is found in cakes, pastries, lower quality frozen meals, cheap nut butter, and etc.


Figure out what your pitfalls are. Is it the candy bowl at work, bowling league on Friday’s, significant other that tries to drag you along with them, or maybe you sabotaging yourself. The time I struggle with cravings is usually sleep related. I’ll nap a few times a week and every time I wake up from a nap I feel like I can eat a horse. If I just wait a little bit this usually goes away and I feel a little better. Before snacking like crazy I’ll give myself 20 min to just have some coffee and then it usually goes away. Thursday nights is also the day I struggle with cravings the most. At this point during the week is when I notice the effects of running up some sleep debt. I’ll probably have a plate more for dinner than usual but still try to stick with decent food options.


Snacks are always available. Protein bars (low in sugar and with a whey protein source), fruits, pre-peeled hard boiled eggs, and dry roasted almonds are always close by. Getting ravenous can make anyone snap and have some junk. Embrace hunger, but don't take it too far.


Garlic is added to A LOT OF meals. It tastes great and it helps boost the immune system. Keep the colds away and your training will be much more consistent.


Water is boring and soda is terrible for you. Go with sparkling water instead. If you’ve been chugging soda for a while it takes a little getting used. You could potentially go overboard with the carbonation so don’t replace your entire water intake with bubbly water.


Most day’s the alarm goes off at 5:15am and the majority of dinners are after 7pm. This would be a long day of eating which isn’t the best for you. Personally, I prefer pushing back the breakfast so I’m usually up for a few hours before eating something. Most people would probably benefit from condensing their eating window slightly.
Oscar Isasson, CF-L3, M.S