Hi Atlanta Eats! I’m Fred Smith, one of the cycle instructors at Flywheel Buckhead here in Atlanta. As an instructor, I often get questions about nutrition, fitness, and where I like to eat, so I’m honored to share a few tips of what works for me with all of you.
As far as my diet goes, I really believe there isn’t a perfect diet. At least I haven’t found it yet. What’s important to me is to find something that’s sustainable and allows me to stay in shape while enjoying life. I’m always tweaking my diet to achieve that very balance. So far, what’s worked best for me is to stick to a pretty structured routine Monday through Friday and then give myself freedom to live a little on the weekends.
During the week, I’m always on the go. Between starting a business, traveling, and teaching Flywheel, I’m rarely at home long enough to prepare a full meal. That’s why it’s important for me to have a couple go-to spots to grab food and run. What’s great in my case, is I have very simple taste. I love chicken. That’s why you’re just about guaranteed to find me at Roasters on Lenox Rd. several times a week. Roasters has a wide selection of chicken – BBQ, pulled, grilled, rotisserie, on a salad, etc. I enjoy switching up my order on a regular basis to keep things interesting. When I’m not downing chicken at Roasters, my other go-to spot is Whole Foods. They also have a wide variety of chicken dishes, my favorite being the chicken cacciatore. I always have to watch the portion sizes at Whole Foods, which can get out of control with such a huge buffet.
On the weekends, I frequent restaurants with a lively vibe, good music, and good food. So far, my favorite restaurants with that combination are RA Sushi and STK in midtown. At RA, I like to grab a combo of sushi with tuna and chicken teriyaki. At STK, I love the 10oz filet with STK bold sauce.
My best piece of advice for those who are looking to eat healthier, regardless of whether you’re looking to lose weight, gain muscle, or maintain, is to track what you eat. I know it sounds simple, and you’ve probably heard it before, but stick to it for just 2 weeks you’ll be amazed at the results. I like to use the app MyFitnessPal to track my meals. I can pretty much input any meal from any restaurant or grocery store and it will have its nutritional value. MyFitnessPal also logs exercise and allows me to set a daily caloric intake.
When setting my nutritional goals for each day, I usually take into account what my exercise routine looks like and adjust accordingly. I’m a big guy, so my daily intake is around 2,500 to 3,000 calories when I’m maintaining my weight. I also adjust the mix between carbs and protein based on my workout. For example, Tuesdays I teach 2 Flywheel classes, so I know that my carb intake will be pretty high on that day to have enough energy to keep the class motivated. On days I lift, my protein intake is double what it is the other days.
My last piece of advice on dieting and nutrition is don’t be afraid to cheat. There are too many dishes and snacks I love and life is too short to not enjoy them every week. On the weekends, I let loose and eat dessert, rolls, nachos, pizza – basically whatever I’m craving at the moment. It’s a good reward for sticking to the plan Mon-Fri and it’s sustainable. At least it works for me.
Which brings me to my final point. Nutrition, dieting, fitness, exercise is all a lifelong journey. Your routine will evolve over time. What’s important is to learn what works for your body and find a routine that’s sustainable. And remember, if you fall off, don’t beat yourself up, just focus on fixing it the next day and don’t look back!!
Want to enter for your chance to win free Flywheel classes and other great giveaways from Atlanta Eats? Send us your absolute favorite restaurant cheat meal (be sure to include the restaurant!) to Healthyliving@atlantaeats.com and we’ll periodically pick a winner and post to our Facebook page!
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