Nutrition is 80% of what determines if you’ll be successful in recomposing your body.
Have you been choosing cereal as a “healthy” breakfast option? Think fruit is a great default snack? Avoiding red meat because it’s “heavy”? Completely eschewing fat? Picking like a bird at iceberg lettuce salads in hungry desperation?
A lot of “common knowledge” is completely wrong. Forget everything you’ve been taught about nutrition. This Nutrition Guide will teach you everything you need to know to put fat-burning, muscle-building choices on your plate each and every day.
You will learn how to use nutritional science to your advantage by discovering what the ideal portion size for you is, and what you need to eat, in order to lose weight. You will gain experience in composing a healthy plate, and confidence in knowing what to choose from a restaurant menu.
You will not spend zillions on mysterious diet products. You will not be limited to an extremely restricted daily plan. You will not eat tasteless food.You will not fail, because you are hungry and miserable.
We aren’t proposing a new diet, but rather a lifestyle change that will help you to lose fat and to feel comfortable in your body.
Get a nutrition plan
If you don’t have one, the 8fit app can produce a personalized menu according to your goals.
To help you build good habits, you will try your best to follow your meal plan. However, reaching your goal is not all about following a strict meal plan for your entire life. It is about building confidence in choosing the right options, and incorporating new habits into your lifestyle.
Bonus points: track your food
If you start tracking everything you eat, the mere act of logging will make you more aware of what you’re putting into your body. You’ll be far less likely to shovel absent-minded handfuls of m&ms into your gaping maw.
The 8fit app automatically tracks the meals that you have completed, and displays them on your main Habits screen.
Your caloric needs
Just like everything else in the universe, you are subject to the laws of thermodynamics. This means you’ll probably gain weight from creating a caloric surplus – eating more calories than you burn. You lose it through creating a caloric deficit – eating fewer calories than you burn.
It’s not all about Calories in vs Calories out though. If you have been eating irregularly or you’ve tried different restrictive diets, the metabolism can indeed be a little wonky. But this is no excuse, the right nutrition and exercise can boost it again. You are able to lose that stubborn fat! Your daily calorie goal will depend on whether you want to lose, maintain, or gain weight (NOTE: NOTE: the majority of this guide is written with the goal of shedding poundage rather than packing it on. Individuals with a different goal will still benefit from reading this guide, but need some further recommendations and guidelines).
If you’re using the 8fit app, the nutrition section will already be adapted to your goal.
Most diets are only successful in the short-term. You might be overwhelmingly lethargic while following them, constantly suffering from hunger pangs, and feeling undernourished. This is because the weight you will lose comes largely from muscle and water, not fat. In the end, your metabolism has slowed down and it’s likely that you’ll regain all the weight you’ve lost or weigh even more. Who wants that? Not you. Read on.
A calorie is not only a calorie. There are really only three building blocks of food that you need to pay attention to (apart from calories). These are the macronutrients: protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Your body processes each in a different way.
If you balance these three in the right way, you’ll metabolize fat, give your body what it needs to build muscle and you’ll be energized. It’s not all about the ratio, but rather about the right food combination.
Our meal plan makes sure you’ll get enough protein each day. This gives your muscles the material they need to grow. Yes, women too, and no, you won’t get bulky. Combining complex carbohydrates with enough protein will help you feel satisfied and energized.
The remainder of your calories should come from fat. Yes, fat – eating fat will not make you fat. Because you’ll have a constant blood sugar level from complex foods, your body will be optimized to use fat for energy. Eat fat and love it.
What to avoid completely
Like we said at the beginning, you can follow a diet and lose weight quickly, but it’s often unlikely that you’ll maintain it.
Eating carbohydrates without protein or fat makes it unlikely to burn fat. It will result in a high blood sugar level and insulin peaks which will stop you from burning fat and make you crave more food. It’s all about the right combination to make sure you burn fat and gain muscle at the same time.
There are some foods you should only eat in combination with protein or fat and never alone: carbohydrates like bread, pasta, rice, grains, oats, corn and potatoes. We encourage you to avoid the processed version completely and choose the wholesome version to provide your body with fiber, minerals and vitamins.
Limit fruit intake to 2-3 pieces a day. Fruit is nature’s candy, and fructose makes you hungrier. There are some low-calorie fruits worth including in your diet in limited amounts (see below). Be more than cautious with sugary fruits like bananas, dates, grapes, papayas, mangoes, and pineapples. Dehydrated fruit is especially dangerous as it concentrates the sugar. Juice is twice as bad – it eliminates all the benefits of fiber in whole fruit and leaves only sugar water.
Be careful with sugar and all its derivatives. Natural sweeteners like honey, agave nectar, molasses, maple syrup and unrefined sugars still remain sugars. So try to enjoy them in moderation. Aim to cut out soda and sugared drinks completely, even those with high-fructose corn syrup. Try sparkling water to get that hit of bubbles.
Eating fat won’t make you fat, but some fats aren’t friendly to fitness. Avoid corn oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, shortening, and absolutely anything containing refined/hydrogenated/trans fats. Your body doesn’t know how to deal with these kinds of fats, and they can throw your chemistry into chaos.
- Choose the wholemeal version of a food, avoid the “white version”
- Avoid eating carbohydrates alone (even fruits) and always combine them with protein or fat
- Limit fruit, especially sugary fruit like bananas, dates, grapes, papayas, mangoes, and pineapples
- Limit sugar and all derivatives, including honey, agave nectar, molasses, maple syrup, and unrefined sugars
- Avoid nasty processed fats, like hydrogenated and trans fats
What are good foods?
If you have to give up your daily deep-fried croissant, just what the hell are you going to eat? So glad you asked! There are loads of whole foods that fit very well into 8fit nutrition.
Great whole sources of protein
- Fish (whitefish, salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout, sardines, anchovies, tilapia, catfish, swordfish, halibut, herring)
- Shellfish (shrimps, prawns, crab, lobster, oysters, mussels)
- Poultry (chicken breast, turkey)
- Lean or organic meat (pork, goat, lamb, veal, rabbit, deer)
- Eggs (preferably organic)
- Low fat dairy (low fat cheese, cottage cheese, low fat yogurt, greek yogurt)
- Tofu and soy meat (minimally processed)
Legumes offer lots of protein. Though they’re high in carbohydrates, the glycemic load of legumes is rather low. This means, the blood sugar stays more constant and helps you to have well functioning fat metabolism.
It’s also possible to find processed products that have decent macronutrient ratios, but you’ll find it noticeably more difficult – this is because manufacturers of processed foods generally pump them full of salt, sugar, and fat in order to get you coming back for more.
Great sources of fats
- Fatty fish like salmon, herring, trout, mackerel, and anchovies – great sources of Omega-3
- Grass-fed beef
- Coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil
- Grass-fed organic butter
- Dairy from grass-fed organic animals
- Nuts such as: almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, and peanuts (which are actually a legume)
- Seeds: pumpkin, sesame, chia, flax
Again, for the intrepid: try marrow. It’s mineral dense and extraordinarily delicious.
If you don’t like fish, consider either eating more chia, walnuts, flax, or taking fish oil as a supplement to ensure you get enough Omega-3 fatty acids.
Great sources of carbohydrates
Most should be taken in moderation and combined with protein and fat.
- Quinoa, amaranth and millet
- Rice, whole grains and 100 % whole grain products
- Sweet potatoes, potatoes and yams
- Wild rice
- Legumes like lentils, beans and chickpeas
- Berries: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
- Most fruits such as apples, pears, and oranges
There are many more vegetables and fruits out there, of course. Look up their nutritional value before enjoying. Choose the ones with lots of fiber and less sugar. Any herb or spice is also a great addition to your arsenal.
Never go hungry
Follow the recommended tips each day, and you’ll feel satisfied and energized even while losing weight. The problem is that most carbs we consume nowadays are not the healthy whole grains, but the very processed ones which are absorbed quickly. They provide fast but short energy. Your body will demand more easy glucose, likely in the form of another candy bar.
If you balance complex carbohydrates with a good amount of protein and fat, you’ll quiet the rumbles. Protein sates the body over a long period and helps you not to crave sugar. It’s processed slowly, avoiding the insulin spike and crash. Dietary fat also aids in long term satiety.
Consider a toast with honey or marmalade. Ever note how you can eat slice after slice without feeling satisfied? Our food combinations fill you up and keep you full for longer than the simple carbs with colorful marshmallows.
Love and health,