To begin, I would describe myself as all three of the things in the title of this post. In the past I’ve struggled with weight and food cravings. The main problem isn’t usually overeating if you have a sedentary lifestyle, but rather the fact that you aren’t moving, exercising, or eating as well as many others do. If you’re active, you can usually eat a larger amount of food without gaining weight.
How does one become healthy as a gamer or programmer? Oftentimes we’re occupied killing the latest dragon or coding a new website and don’t have time to eat healthier or get in a half hour workout. It’s not easy when you don’t have or can’t make time. Here are a few steps to take in order to change.
Become your own nutritionist
Food knowledge is all over the map. Pick up some books and use Google Extensively. There are a variety of diets out there and most popular ones have bloggers that post detailed information related to each. For a low carb diet you’d probably read the Wheat Belly Blog and Mark’s Daily Apple. Keep in mind that the field of nutrition seems to be in constant flux as new findings are presented by scientific research and other intelligent health bloggers and writers on the Internet. Pick up some of the more interesting nutrition books out there. Some of my favorites are The Primal Blueprint and Wheat Belly. Amazon has an entire nutrition section, though, so get reading.
Learn how many carbs and calories are in the major foods you eat
This knowledge can go a long way in estimating your daily intake of calories and/or carbs. It doesn’t have to be hard. Make a spreadsheet and type in the values once you find them and then you’re set. You’d be surprised at the number of carbs in some of the food you eat! Did you know a Burger King milkshake has over 150 carbs? Yikes!
Lay off fast food and Mountain Dew
If your weight has spun out of control and these things are your favorite foods, it may be time to re-examine your eating habits before you get older. Fixing these problems early helps you live a lot longer and continue gaming and doing your job.
Learn to love vegetables, nuts, seeds, and cheese
All of these foods are healthy and low in carbohydrates assuming you don’t cover them in sugar. They’re also delicious and filling. There are many varieties of each, so have at it! My favorite part about nuts is that they can be eaten quickly and pack an amazing amount of energy. Some of the best ones are Macadamias and Almonds. I like peanuts, myself.
Save time and eat simple foods
Eating healthy doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Make a quick salad, eat some raw nuts, slice a piece of cheese, or get fruit. These things take little time to prepare. For meat, try some canned fish like Tuna or Alaskan salmon. You won’t regret it, and you can even order tuna from Amazon.
Take important supplements
You probably have a Vitamin D deficiency if you’re a sedentary desk worker that doesn’t get outside much. Whey Protein can help you as well by replacing an unhealthy carb-laden breakfast or other meal. The other major supplements to consider would be a multivitamin like Opti-Men (or women) and Fish Oil. These supplements all include essential nutrients that your body needs and they’ll make you feel a lot better overall.
Set aside 30 minutes for workouts 3-5 times a week
This might sound hard, but it’s really not. You can even use a game like Dance Dance Revolution to make your workouts fun. I personally lost 65 pounds by playing DDR at a high level. The key is making your workout fun so you don’t stop after a week. Some exercises to get started on include pushups and jumping jacks. Keep it simple.