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Going Beyond Macronutrients & Calories: Eating Natural Foods to Build Your Ideal Body

  Oct 30th, 2012

Natural Foods for Better ResultsMy nutritional philosophies have continually progressed over the years. Like many others, I began my physique transformation counting calories.

 

Make no mistake. Counting calories works. If you’re overweight and want a simplistic method of dropping the pounds, monitoring your daily caloric intake will do the trick.

 

But, as I found out, once you get to within twenty or thirty pounds of your ideal body weight your weekly fat reductions slow to a snail’s pace – or will stop altogether – unless you curb your caloric allowance to an extreme degree.

 

Eating that few calories isn’t fun. You’re ravenously hungry all day and you struggle to focus on anything outside of the thought of your next meal.

 

To make matters worse, you quickly become irritable and your energy levels take a dive.

 

Monitoring Macronutrients

Once I finally came to my senses and realized that starving myself wasn’t a feasible means of developing my ideal body, my research led me to developing an appreciation for the three primary macronutrients in our foods: fats, carbohydrates and proteins.

 

There’s a lot of information out there concerning the proper portioning and timing of these primary macronutrients.

 

I experimented with a few different methods of macronutrient manipulation and ultimately determined that limiting fat intake, while timing the majority of my daily carb intake to be consumed before and after I trained, to be the best way for me to get rid of my final few percentage points of body fat.

 

There’s a little more to it than that, but that’s the gist of it.

 

I’m not one to be content after finding something that works well. So I continued to educate myself in search of nutritional strategies that would be even more effective at transforming the body.

 

My Shift to Eating Natural Foods

I’m only thirty, but I understand that my time on this earth is temporary. I’ll be sixty before I know it and the nutritional choices I make today are going to have a direct impact on my quality of life when that day comes.

 

Organic Foods for Faster ResultsMy long-term perspective motivated me to look into healthier ways to feed my body. This perspective, along with my recent experience using The Renegade Diet, led to my recent philosophy shift towards eating natural foods.

 

Interestingly, as I began shifting my diet to be more centered on natural foods, I found that my ability to improve my physique was enhanced.

 

While becoming a certified nutritionist I began putting everything together and understanding that calories in versus calories out is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to our food than that, particularly when it comes to the impact it has on our outward appearance and its impact on our hormonal profile.

 

I have since concluded that my regular, intense training and strict adherence to limiting my calories and monitoring my macronutrients allowed me to compensate for a sluggish metabolism that was being bogged down by the chemicals in the foods I was eating. My hard work and dedication also allowed me to somewhat compensate for the fact that my body was lacking in useable nutrition.

 

But my testosterone levels were suffering, precluding me from transforming my body as efficiently as possible and limiting my muscle building and fat loss potential.

 

In other words, I was working way too hard for the results I was getting and I was preventing myself from building my ideal physique and living with optimal health.

 

I still monitor my caloric intake, paying attention to the amounts of (and timing of) macronutrients as these elements are always important). But I now implement these strategies in conjunction with eating mostly natural foods.

 

Here are some examples of the foods that make up my diet:

 

  • Apples, bananas, pears
  • Broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, carrots
  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes
  • Free range eggs
  • Grass fed beef not treated with hormones or antibiotics
  • Poultry not treated with hormones or antibiotics
  • Wild caught fish

 

Admittedly, I’m not always able to eat grass fed beef and all organic fruits and vegetables. The nearest market that sells whole foods is a decent trek from my home.

 

Although, I found a few websites that will deliver frozen grass fed beef to my door and I’ll be giving them a try in the near future.

 

Eat Natural Even if You Can’t Eat Organic

Even when I can’t eat the organic or “clean” versions of the foods above, I still take measures to ensure they make up the majority of my diet, with processed foods and refined sugars being limited to a couple of cheat meals per week, at most.

 

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time educating myself on the benefits of eating natural foods and it really does make a world of difference.

 

Natural foods allow the liver to operate efficiently, speeding up the metabolism. Also, a high percentage of the calories they provide can actually be used by the body for nourishment – including nourishment for muscle growth – and recovery.

 

Conversely, processed foods and/or refined sugars usually contain more “junk” calories – that must be broken down and filtered out of the body – than calories that can actually be used by your body for anything productive.

 

These “junk” calories are also responsible for tanking testosterone levels. The last thing any of us need is to become more estrogenic! Especially those of us concerned with living lean, strong and healthy.

 

Finally, natural eating is the ideal scenario for long-term health.

 

Processed foods, meats and poultry treated with hormones and antibiotics, farm raised fish and wheat fed beef all contain contaminants and chemical additives that not only cause us to retain body fat, but have been conclusively proven to increase estrogen, decrease testosterone, cause high blood pressure, heart disease, the onset of cancer and develop a host of other diseases.

 

 Dangerous Chemicals in Our Foods

There are no guarantees in life and the Good Lord may have plans to take me “home” before I reach old age. But, I’m going to do everything in my power to ensure that if I am blessed enough to make it to sixty and beyond, I won’t have to spend the majority of my final years in the hospital or in a wheel chair because of a debilitating illness I could have prevented by making smarter dietary choices earlier in life.

 

Pragmatically speaking, eating natural foods is the most effective way to transform the composition of your body. If you’re limiting your calories and still struggling to reach your ideal weight and get ripped (or have the proper long-term perspective on your health and well-being in mind), it’s time to make the switch to mostly natural foods.

 

It’ll get your results moving in the right direction and may even prolong your life!

 

 

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