Exercise Isn't Enough: Why a Healthy Diet is Critical for A Healthy Lifestyle
There is almost nothing as frustrating as having a regular exercise schedule, but not seeing any progress on your weight loss goals. Carrying around extra weight makes you feel lethargic and inhibits your ability to perform at your optimal levels. This is because your exercise regimen cannot compete with an excessive intake of empty calories. To get the most out of your training, you must begin your weight loss efforts in the kitchen.
Build Muscles With Protein
A diet high in protein is essential for cutting down on overall calorie intake. Protein helps you feel satiated between meals and dampens cravings for more available, but less healthy, foods. When you are training on a regular basis, good eating habits will aid in building muscle tissue. A heavy protein diet gives your body the necessary building blocks for muscle tissue. Try to include a range of lean proteins in every meal. Chicken, yogurt, and eggs are all excellent sources of protein that do not contain extra fat.
Keep Off Extra Water Weight
If your diet is high in sodium, it is likely you are retaining high amounts of water. This can make you feel heavy and bloated and slow down your athletic performance. An excess of water weight also tips the scale more towards the right than is comfortable for most people. Make sure you do not exceed your daily recommended sodium intake, and you will avoid water retention.
Excess Sugar Quickly Tanks a Diet
Refined sugars are the enemy of those trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight. Because diet accounts for at least 60% of weight loss results, trimming refined sugars out of your meals can significantly increase your progress. The simple sugars found in foods like soda, candy, condiments and breakfast cereals leave you feeling good for the moment, but they have a detrimental impact on your weight loss goals and any diet you are trying to maintain. Satisfy your sugar cravings with a piece of fruit, dark chocolate or yogurt.
You Need Proper Nutrients
When you are working out several times a week, your body is using more nutrients that need to be replaced. If you do not have a diet composed of nutrient-rich foods, you will need to eat more to maintain proper nutrient levels, which can quickly pack on the pounds. Plan your meals in advance to be sure everything you put in your body is done with the goal of contributing to your nutrient intake.
Complex Carbs are the Best Carbs
Those who are training on a regular basis should not give up carbohydrates entirely. Carbs are essential for sustaining energy levels throughout the day and helping you complete a tough workout. The key to carb intake is to eat complex carbohydrates that act as a slow release energy source. This means skipping sugar-laden foods and choosing foods that will stick with you all day. Whole grains, sweet potatoes, and legumes are all delicious carbohydrate-rich foods that give you the slow energy release you need for an intense workout.
Stick to Good Fats In Your Diet
When people are trying to keep the pounds off, they often think of fat as the enemy. It makes sense to avoid fats when you do not want to gain weight, but weight loss rules can be counterintuitive. There are many types of fats you should entirely avoid, like the saturated fats and trans fats found in most prepackaged foods. Your body needs a limited amount of fat in order to absorb nutrients and build muscles correctly. Fats can actually help you keep off excess weight. Be sure to include only heart-healthy fats in your diet that can be found in foods like avocados, olive oil, and nuts.
Replace Lost Electrolytes
Working out often and with intensity requires you to replace the electrolytes you lost through sweating. Replenishing your electrolytes adequately can make a huge difference in your diet. Resist the urge to reach for a bottled, unnaturally colored sports drink post workout. All you need is to throw a piece of fruit into your gym bag before you head out the door. An orange or banana is a delicious way to restore electrolytes, and the extra little snack will keep you from the temptation of hitting up a drive-through before dinner.
Your training can not progress without a healthy lifestyle. Following these diet tips will help you have more productive workouts while maintaining your desired weight. A proper diet reinforces excellent discipline habits that carry into every aspect of your life, including your training.