It is a fact - you can’t out-exercise a bad diet.
Regardless of how much you work out, the nutrition that you put on your plate has a greater impact on your health. You need to consume a balanced diet to complement your exercise routine, body hydration, nourishing your body, and fueling your daily activities.
However, healthy eating is not merely about choosing green, leafy vegetables over junk foods. In this post, we will crack the code on high-nutrition food that will boost your fitness.
Tips for Healthy Eating
Count Your Calorific Intake
You don’t need to be a nutritionist this basic tip: If your fitness goals revolve around losing or gaining weight, then watch your calories! Typically, the recommended calorie intake is 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men per day. Anything less than that, and you would be losing weight, and vice versa.
However, do bear in mind that not all calories are created equal. 100 calories from broccoli would still be healthier than 100 calories from candy!
Monitor Your Carbohydrate Intake
Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy. Pretty much like calories, not all carbohydrates are the same.
Between simple carbs and complex carbs, complex carbohydrates are your best friends. Healthy foods rich in complex carbs take longer to digest. As a result, a diet plan containing a greater amount of complex carbs will leave you feeling full for longer durations. As a result, you will be consuming fewer calories!
Importance of Protein
Protein plays a vital role in the growth, maintenance, and repair of your body. The daily recommended dietary intake of protein is at 0.8g of protein per kg of body weight. To meet this requirement, you can consume the following sources of protein:
- Red meat
While the above nutrition foods are sufficient to meet your daily requirements, those who are into bodybuilding resort to supplementation of protein.
Incorporating Fruits and Vegetables
No healthy diet could be complete without the inclusion of a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. These form the foundation of GM nutrition and are a natural source of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other bioactive compounds.
Fruits like bananas are low calories and high fiber and other essential minerals like potassium and magnesium. On the other hand, leafy greens like spinach and kale are one of the healthiest vegetables on this planet!
Switching to Healthy Fats
Healthy foods do not mean “fat-free” foods. Fat is the primary fuel in the case of aerobic exercise. Thus, a balanced diet must contain a moderate amount of healthy fats.
Healthy fat options include olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds. These are unsaturated fats, which can reduce inflammation and supply calories.
Water is one of the most vital nutrients for our bodies. It is a highly effective dehydration treatment, temperature regulator, and joint lubricant, amongst other things. Thus, it is the cornerstone of a healthy diet plan. Quite often, thirst manifests in the form of hunger!
It is often recommended that you drink about eight glasses of water. You can make use of a water drink reminder to ensure that your body is well-hydrated. Adding powdered electrolytes to prepare fortified hydration drinks is yet another way to enhance the potency of the humble beverage.
Best Pre-Workout Foods
Exercising burns the same amount of fat, whether you eat or don’t eat before a workout. However, exercising on an empty stomach could result in muscle loss! Plus, you are depriving your body of the fuel that is necessary for the workout. Hence, it is essential to have a pre-workout meal that is rich in complex carbs or proteins.
Here are a few pre-workout food inspirations:
- Plain Greek Yogurt with Berries and Granola
- Oats, Banana, and Peanut Butter Smoothie
- Fresh Fruit Juice (berries, grapes, and oranges)
- Electrolyte Drinks
- Brown rice and black beans
Best Post-Workout Foods
Upon the completion of your workout, you must replenish the glycogen reserves in your body by consuming protein and complex carb-rich foods after working out. A post-workout meal not only builds and repairs your muscles but also sustains your metabolism. Thus, eating after working out is as important as eating before a workout.
Check out these excellent post-workout foods:
- Chickpea salad
- Quinoa bowl
- Protein with steamed vegetables
- Sweet potato salad
Fitness is a rather subjective term. And a good, balanced diet is one of the first steps to achieving fitness and the goals related to it. Now that you have a clear picture of the foodstuffs you need to consume, we hope your fitness journey is blissful as ever.