As modern diets catch up with executive lifestyle and the best-performing people of the world, they tend to focus more on brain performance while providing enough fuel for a few hours in the gym every week. High-fat and low-carb diets like the ketogenic diet have become extremely popular and made it to the new year’s resolution list of many but most people find it hard to be consistent with it. Here are a few tips to help you adapt your eating habits to a performance diet.
Plan a warm-up period
If you make radical changes in your diet, it is not just a small habit you have to get accustomed to. Your body takes time to get used to turning fat into muscle and brain power as opposed to considering carbs as its primary energy source. It might take a few weeks until you completely get used to it and during this time you will probably experience fatigue and feeling sluggish during the day. Allow yourself to adjust to your new lifestyle without giving up half-way and don’t start during the most demanding period of the year.
Adjust it to your gym schedule
Don’t just follow someone else’s diet word by word and expect the same results. It’s better to understand the main principles of it and then customize it here and there to your own lifestyle. Depending on how many times a week you workout and the intensity of your exercises you need to take a different amount of calories each day.
Your focus might also vary based on your primary goal, for example, to lose weight, to build stamina, or just to make your brain function at its best. These benefits are mostly interrelated but the details might differ to a certain extent. Do some research and pay more attention to the ratio of components on your plate than the actual quantity. The golden rule is to take everything in moderation without starving yourself.
A little cheat is better than giving up
If the new diet is fundamentally different from your current eating habits, it might seem overwhelming in the beginning and it can really challenge your willpower. You can define a cheat day during the week when you can eat anything you want so you don’t feel like to give up your favorite snacks forever. After a few weeks you might notice that you don’t even crave for them anymore, so you can eliminate the cheat day and keep up the good work!
You can also modify diets according to what feels right for you, after all, you don’t need to eat like an athlete to look fitter and do well at work. Just make sure you set your rules at the beginning and don’t give up on them later even if you’re tempted to.
No need to say goodbye to everything
Sometimes, our eating and drinking habits are also rituals in our lives which give us joy and the opportunity to share it with others. Instead of giving up drinking all together you can drink red wine or tequila with soda, which are probably the most low-carb drinks you find in bars. You might alter your morning caramel-cream frappuccino to a Bulletproof coffee which practically substitutes breakfast as well and gives you enough energy to do your maximum until lunch time. Change snacks for healthy ones like almond or cashew: They contain some carbs, but still give you a better option than sugary quick-fixes for hunger.
Be wise on-the-go
The most difficult part of eating healthy is probably when you have to spend time at airports or grab something quick during a cab drive. It’s better to plan your meals ahead so that when you have 2 seconds to decide between meal options you won’t fall for your instinct. Keep healthy snacks with you for instances when your choices are limited (like when you’re on a flight) and don’t try to save time on your lunch-break! Keeping your nutrition as a priority will allow you to be the best version of yourself and to have energy left even after a tough week.