If you search the internet for diets, nutrition advice, and the like, you will find an absolutely overwhelming amount of information. From celebrity diets to the newest weight loss secret, everyone seems to have their thoughts on nutrition and the best way to eat for the results you want.
Not this article… If you hate diets, this article is for you. In fact, this article is meant to serve as nutrition basics for anyone who wants to get in better shape for the purpose of being a better hunter and living a healthier, well-rounded lifestyle. If you want a beach body diet, you can find one anywhere online; if you want to be healthier and hunt better, there are only a few things you need to understand about nutrition.
A hunter needs to be lean so as no to have to carry a bunch of useless weight up the hill. A hunter also needs strength and lean muscle mass in order to carry a heavy pack and have the endurance to go as far as needed.
So here are some tips for eating right so that come early fall, you will be ready to tackle whatever challenge the backcountry has to throw at you.
Nutrition for Weight Loss
1. Snack on fruit and vegetables, not junk
Fruit has vitamins, potassium, and other essential nutrients. Vegetables are packed with nutrients and are filling due to being high in fiber, causing you to crave less food throughout the day. Eating fruit and vegetables will help you improve overall health and lose weight.
2. Fat is good; Bad fat is bad
Omega-3 fats from fish, fats from egg yolks, poly- and mono-unsaturated fats from nuts are all good fats that your body needs to properly absorb and transfer nutrients. Don’t avoid the word “Fat”; avoid the bad kinds of fat such as saturated fat.
3. Control your portions
Portion control is key to weight loss and fitness. Make a rule to never go back for seconds and take only the amount of food that you need. You should eat until you are satisfied, not until you are full. Eating until you are full will cause your body to hold on to excess fat; eating until you are satisfied will give your body what it needs and no more, allowing it to expend more energy on burning fat, not storing it up.
Nutrition for Muscle and Strength
1. Eat protein… lots and lots of protein
No, you don’t need to eat red meat all day. While red meat is an excellent source of protein, there are lots of sources of protein to choose from: yogurt, milk, eggs, beans, nuts, turkey, chicken, etc. You can also purchase protein supplements such as Wilderness Athlete’s Protein Plus in order to add more protein to your diet. This is a must if you lift weights regularly (which you should).
2. Eat good carbs
Carbohydrates are required for the assimilation of protein and nutrients into your body; they are also essential for recovery after exercise. If you totally cut out carbs, your body could not absorb the nutrients you put into it. Instead, eat food that are rich in quality carbs (grains, wheat, quinoa, etc.) and avoid processed carbs like white flour and processed sugar.
3. Take a multi-vitamin
While it is possible to get all our of your daily nutrients from food, taking a multi-vitamin will help fill in any gaps to ensure you are getting well-rounded nutrition. A great, affordable multi-vitamin can be found here.
In All Things… Moderation
It is okay to indulge every now and then; but be selective on how often. A cheat meal here and there is okay, but not every day. You can have cake and lose weight too, just don’t eat cake every day. Losing weight and getting into shape doesn’t mean being miserable because you can never eat anything tasty; it means being disciplined on when and how much you enjoy those tasty treats.
Eating in order to be a fit hunter means eating according to your goals. You need to fuel your body in order for your body to respond well to training. Feed it what it needs and it will repay you with results.