The way you eat can have a serious impact on your fitness outcomes. Let’s be honest up front: not everyone in the gym is looking to build mass. For those of you who are trying to slim down, increase definition or improve overall health, your nutritional needs will be different from a bodybuilder’s. Following a few basic tips will help you meet your needs and propel you closer to your goals.
1. Establish an Objective
If you aren’t working out to see muscle gains, you need to establish exactly why you are hitting the gym. For many people, that means focusing on their overall health. And that is a great place to start. Others are working to lose weight or change their appearance. There’s no shame in wanting to get back into those skinny jeans as long as you go about it in a smart way. Either way, decide on an ultimate objective and then work to set SMART goals to help you achieve it. These will be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
2. Eat To Fuel Workouts
The reality is, there isn’t one diet or exercise plan that will work for everyone. Instead, you have to work to find what is best for you. The right diet will depend on your overall goals and how your body processes foods. If you are trying to lose weight, it can be tempting to try fad diets. Be careful of eliminating entire food groups, however, since that can quickly lead to nutritional deficiencies. And remember, you are eating to increase energy and boost your metabolism. Supplements can help bridge gaps and support your efforts. Check out a few Bio X4 reviews to see how people are integrating them into their weight loss efforts. If your efforts are focused more or overall wellness, take a look at the DASH or Mediterranean diets. These plant-based plans are generally ranked as the best for healthy eating. They tend to be somewhat flexible, nutrient-dense and easy to follow.
3. Snack Wisely
Contrary to popular opinion, there is nothing wrong with snacking. Wise snacking can be a sustainable and healthy part of your diet. It is a great way to avoid overeating at meals or giving in to cravings for high-fat or sugary treats. There are plenty of healthy snacks that can help you achieve your fitness goals. The key is to look for foods that offer nutritional benefits without overloading your calorie intake. These are just a few examples to get you started.
- A handful of nuts
- Sliced cucumbers
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Apple slices with peanut butter
- Roasted sunflower seeds
4. Stay Hydrated
Water is an essential nutrient that you can’t do without. Most adults need to take in about 120 ounces of fluid every day. That includes fluids that are in the food you eat. Some foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, are primarily water and can help get you closer to that goal without chugging down glass after glass of water. That is not to negate the importance of drinking water throughout the day. Current research suggests drinking small amounts spread out over time is the best way to keep your body fully hydrated. Carry a reusable water bottle with you as you go about your day. It will remind you to keep sipping and serve as a handy measuring tool for how much you are drinking.
5. Watch Portion Sizes
This is one area where conventional dieting wisdom is actually spot-on. Portion size is a major factor in the current obesity epidemic. As portions served have grown larger and larger, the perception of what a serving is has become distorted. Start by learning the difference. It will help you navigate nutrition labels and restaurant menus going forward. Looking at a few examples of common foods is a great way to visualize how much to eat. Try to stick to recommended serving sizes as you portion out your food. If you are eating out, ask for a takeout box when your food is sent to the table and put the excess in it right away so you don’t accidentally overeat.
Food is an integral part of any wellness plan. Developing a healthy relationship with food by educating yourself about supplements, portion sizes and healthy choices will help you achieve your fitness goals.