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Five Things to Cut Out of your Diet by Tony Horton

by David Samra

5 Things to Cut Out of your Diet

By Tony Horton, creator of P90X

This is so great – just had to share this from P90X creator Tony Horton.

When I begin training new clients, the first thing I do is ask them about their diets. Because if you want to get major results, you have to cut out what I call “food porn”—food that’s doing nothing to fuel your body, and in some cases is actually doing more harm than good. To keep things simple, I tell them there are 5 things that they absolutely, positively, MUST stop eating and drinking if they want to achieve their fitness goals:

  1. Processed sugars. I’m talking about white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, or pretty much any kind of sugar that came from a factory instead of a piece of fruit. Processed sugar negatively affects your metabolism, your insulin response, even your mood—and all for totally empty calories. Cutting sugar out of your diet means you’re going to have to read some labels, because it is by far the most common food additive in the U.S.
  2. Alcohol. Calories that are as empty as sugar, and at 7 calories a gram, booze can really pack it on. Alcohol also dehydrates your body, which compromises muscle growth. Plus it slows your metabolism, so you burn fewer calories. In short, drinking gives you less muscle and more fat—you’re just undoing everything you’re trying to achieve with your workout.
  3. Caffeine. I know there are a lot of people out there who say caffeine can give your workout a little extra “oomph.” Obviously, it can give you some extra energy to make you push harder, but the cost is that it increases cortisol levels in your body, which inhibits lean muscle growth. Plus it can negatively affect your sleep patterns, and you’re better off working out when you’re rested than when you’re juiced.
  4. Anything with a face. It used to be that you could find some decent lean meat sources, but in the last few decades, the hormones, antibiotics, and chemicals that have been used to process meat and fish make them pretty worthless as a source of protein. There are plenty of excellent vegetarian protein sources, like beans, tofu, and nuts, so you can eat clean while you get lean.
  5. WheatGluten. Gluten is a grain-derived protein found in lots of different foods, mostly wheat, rye, and barley products. The name comes from the Latin word for “glue.” You don’t need to eat glue. Even if you’re not one of the millions who are sensitive or allergic to gluten, you’ll be operating a much cleaner machine if you cut it out of your diet. There are plenty of other healthier gluten-free alternatives, like millet, amaranth, quinoa, and oats.

By eliminating these empty or harmful “foods” from your diet, you can start turning your body into the well-oiled machine nature intended it to be. By eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, you can give yourself the premium fuel to get into the best shape of your life.


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Click December 26, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Very interesting article. Some of the tips are no brainers but I have to admit the one about meat and fish is somewhat surprising.

avatar David August 23, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Agree with 1 and 5, going to ignore 2 and disagree with 3 and 4 . . . but, why would anyone listen to me over Tony? I wouldn’t.

Where’s my beer . . . oh, there it is, yum!

avatar Chris May 30, 2014 at 5:42 pm

Hi Tony,

You message that we should be eating foods that our great, great, great grandparents ate as a guide for our nutrition. Following this advice, I am not quite sure why you state gluten should be avoided. Certainly our forefathers ate wheat, bread, etc. that contained gluten.

If you do not have a medical reason to avoid it, why do so? I have read many articles stating the negatives of gluten, but these seem very minimal and I don’t see a big/direct benefit in improving overall health and well being by eliminating this from our diet.

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