Here are eight tips for those who need to lose weight, keep weight off and stay maximally fit for our martial art:
1. Stick to a six times a day, every two to three hours, protein and carb snack. A fist sized portion of protein three times a day with a fist sized portion of carbs (good carbs – low GI). Two servings of vegetables with carbs for the two snacks at which you miss the protein. Protein can be meat, fowl, fish, eggs, nuts, soya products or a protein drink. Top off each snack with a normal sized glass of water. Don’t fall for the idea of drinking ten glasses of water a day as promoted by some fitness “gurus”. You can over-hydrate and cause yourself serious electrolyte problems! However, you ought, on average drink two litres of liquids a day.
2. Eat fruit! Two or three pieces of fruit per day.
3. Simply don’t buy any bad food. Just don’t have any in your house, car, or office. Full stop. If you’re tempted to pop into a shop to buy junk repeat to yourself a mantra in your mind. “Don’t do it!”; “You’ll pay in sweat and pain”; “Next snack is only at 3, I can wait!” etc. Think of, and do, something else.
4. Whenever you get sugar cravings, chew a stick of low sugar gum.
5. Minimum – absolutely minimum intake of alcohol. It’s best avoided on health grounds. Avoid beer. Who needs to cart around a beer gut? Very unhealthy! Very unsightly! Who want to be a fat martial artist? I don’t think so!
6. If you’re bored or unhappy – address that with problem solving or counseling. Don’t try to eat your way out of stress or unhappiness. It never, ever works!
7. Treat yourself once in a while. Once a week is fine. Don’t be puritanical or a fanatic about eating perfectly. Don’t “pig out” on your day off – but do enjoy your food. Eat quality, not quantity.
8. Get into, and stay in, great shape. The better shape you’re in the less will power it will take to control your urge to sugar load or eat boredom/stress/unhappiness Your fit body will naturally want to reject junk food, fats and sugars. Also, the better shape you’re in the more junk you can get away with eating (now and then). Although it’ll be unlikely you’ll want to eat foods that aren’t good for you.