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Nine Essential Steps to Perfect Nutrition

By: Ben Greenfield

I'm going to present you with nine simple nutritional steps that are absolutely essential to your wellness. These are not unattainable goals or fringe treatments, but rather, they are practical tips and tricks that you can automatically implement into your everyday life. READER BEWARE: If you scroll through these nine steps and realize that you have not yet implemented *any* of them, then you must be prepared to handle the drastic improvement in your body image, your mental clarity, your immune system, and your fat burning *if* you act upon and activate the exponential benefit of each of the steps.

1) Look at the clock. If it is 2 hours before you lay your head on the pillow to sleep, you should not be consuming any food. Period. You will shut down growth hormone release as you sleep, which is a compound essential to fat burning, immune health, and lean muscle formation. Instead, grab a water (or soda water), squeeze a lemon or lime, and sip away.

2) Treat yourself to a massive breakfast. That's right. Indulge. If you really want maximum benefit, go on a short, 20 minute walk or light jog prior to breakfast, then indulge. 250-400 calories for females, 300-500 calories for males - include a complex carbohydrate, a complete protein, a healthy fat, and a dose of fiber. Be full. Your metabolism, appetite, and waistline will thank you later.

3) Eat often. Every 1.5 hours if you can. Small meals. Graze like a squirrel or a bird. Cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, almonds, bits of sweet potato, turkey slices, half an apple. There is no better way to forming fat than "3 square meals". That is how sumo wrestlers eat, as a matter of fact.

4) Eat protein and fat later in the day. As soon as noon hits, you should be hitting the lean meats, the healthy fats like olive and avocado, and the low starch carbohydrates like broccoli and cauliflower. Get the denser, grain-based and fruit-based carbs primarily over with in the A.M. hours.

5) Get a diet diary and write it down. Yes, it sounds dumb, but it makes an enormous difference. You'll be amazed at the emerging patterns and the realization of your diet that you begin to possess. A simple notepad will suffice.

6) Drink like a fish. Indulge in the hippest water bottle you can find and keep it constantly full and by your side. Maximize fat burning and minimize appetite cravings by keeping your body constantly hydrated with clean, pure water.

7) Keep the fridge green. If you open your refrigerator and at least 50% of what you see is not vegetables, then you need help. Buy 'em, pick 'em, get 'em delivered, whatever it takes. Out of sight is out of mind, but in sight is in mind. If they are there, you'll eat them, and not the handful of "healthy" mixed nuts.

8) HFCS. It stand for High Fructose Corn Syrup. Look for it on the label of everything you eat it. If it's there, don't eat it. That's simple, right?

9) Stay accountable. Knowing that someone else will be looking at, analyzing, inspecting, and providing valuable information on every morsel that enters your mouth can be quite motivating - and also open your eyes to a whole new world of dietary information that you never knew existed. You can start by looking into a nutritional consultant or coach. Check it out at www.pacificfit.net/fitness.html. If you're local, come visit the Champions Sports Medicine facility on 730 N Hamilton in Spokane, WA. Either way, find a professional to guarantee you're doing things right.

Until next time, train smart,

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield holds bachelor's and master's degrees in sports science and exercise physiology (University of Idaho), and is certified as a National Strength and Conditioning Association personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach, a Serotta certified bicycle technician and an ISSN Sports Nutritionist. Ben is the owner of Pacific Elite Fitness www.pacificfit.net an online multi-sport coaching, nutrition and personal training service and is director of sports performance for Champions Sports Medicine www.champsportsmed.com He is also available as a private wellness coach or to speak at seminars and conferences. E-mail elite@pacificfit.net

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