To Improve Your Fitness, You Must Improve Your Nutrition!
It is likely that you may have heard it said many times before. Nevertheless, the fact is that we are what we eat. Unfortunately, all too often, what we eat amounts to an excessive quantity of poor-quality food. That said, there is no denying the pleasure of a hearty Christmas lunch followed up by all of those irresistible sweet treats that are a traditional part of the festive season. Who can be blamed for overindulging and picking up a few kilos in the process? Whether it’s purely seasonal flab or built up over a longer period, and you’ve resolved to put things right, it’s now time to start taking the connection between fitness and nutrition a lot more seriously.
Perhaps the first thing to accept is that a diet does not have to be a punishment and should not leave you feeling hungry. The tougher you make it, the greater the pressure to cheat. Furthermore, if you insist on sticking to the same old staples every day, it will be boredom that drives you to cheat. The key to fitness nutrition is eating wisely and is actually more about balance than omissions. If you can eat healthily for 80-90% of the time, dining on some of your favourites during the rest of the time will hardly do you any harm and will also help you overcome the temptation to cheat.
Keep in mind, that any fitness nutrition plan must take into account the simple fact that the body needs carbs and fats, as well as proteins. Your success lies in maintaining the right proportions and these will vary according to the intensity of your training regimen. Heavy lifts require energy, so you will need to load up on carbs accordingly. On the other hand, it is the amino acids from proteins that form the building materials of a healthy body. If you’re out to build muscles, you will need all you can get. It’s also worth noting that a protein-rich meal will leave you feeling more satisfied than one that is rich in carbs, so you will be less likely to want more. It doesn’t have to be steak – cottage cheese, yoghurt, and eggs are all good protein sources.
Some foods are just perfect for fitness nutrition. For example, red and blueberries, apples, broccoli, red peppers, oats, and onions are often referred to as superfoods because they are rich in minerals and vitamins and, in particular, anti-oxidants. The latter display many important properties of which the ability to increase the metabolism and reduce inflammation are especially valuable when engaging in strenuous exercise, improving performance, and aiding post-exercise recovery.