To achieve optimum fitness, there are two main things to consider: exercise and nutrition. Fitness and nutrition go hand in hand, without good nutrition you can not achieve the optimum fitness that you are aiming for.
What you put into your body as fuel is just as important as the effort you put in to your exercise plan to achieve the fitness level you desire. Good nutrition is a vital element in a healthy lifestyle and making the right food choices should become a natural thing for you to do.
However, your diet would be very different if you are embarking on a muscle building fitness plan than if you are aiming for a toned body whilst losing weight. For muscle building your diet would include lots of protein and a probable increase in calories of the right kind. For someone who is aiming for a lean, toned body your diet will, most likely, be more carbohydrates and reduce calories. So, when looking at fitness and nutrition, remember that you should consider your ultimate fitness aim before designing your diet. Different fitness goals require different diet plans.
Never, ever use a crash diet to lose weight fast. Not only is it counter productive, as your body will begin to store any extra fat that it can once you return to regular eating, plus a bit extra ‘just in case’, but it is dangerous to your health. You could become malnourished which would ultimately, affect your fitness. Malnutrition is not something that only happens in third world countries, it happens (to a lesser degree, obviously) to people who are on a restricted diet for whatever reason and fail to get the correct nutrients in their diet. So, when considering nutrition requirements to complement your fitness plan, make sure that your diet contains all the nutrients that are necessary for a healthy body.
Aiming for and achieving optimum fitness is impossible if you do not factor your diet into the equation. When you begin to plan your fitness routine, consider carefully what type of diet will help your to achieve your goal. Take expert advice if you are not sure about which types of foods to avoid and which types are essential for your body to function properly. Never guess if you are serious about your overall health.
The correct diet combined with the correct type of exercise plan will enhance the look of your body while at the same time, making sure that you stay healthy.
Restrict your fat and processed food intake, but make sure that you eat as many fresh, organic foods as you can. Have a look at the raw food diet; it is a great way to supply your body with the essential vitamins and minerals that are required to keep your body in tip top condition.
Fitness and nutrition must go hand in hand. That statement cannot be said often enough! Achieving optimum fitness would not be possible without correct nutrition. Conversely, correct nutrition alone will not achieve optimum health.
So these two subjects should always be considered together. In order to achieve the toned, healthy and fit body that you are searching for, you need to exercise regularly but you also need to know how and when to eat to help you to reach your goal. Here are a few suggestions to help you:
- Eat at least five small meals a day. Your body will not experience hunger pangs nor will you get the mid afternoon slump when your blood sugar levels drop and you begin to feel tired. By eating small meals at regular intervals it also helps to raise your metabolism which, in the long term, will help your body shed that extra fat.
- Don’t eat before bedtime. Your body will not be able to burn off the excess calories while you are sleeping so it will just get stored as fat. Try to leave at least four hours between your last meal and bedtime.
- Drink as much water as you possibly can. Water is the most essential element in our body makeup. We could go weeks without food but only a few days without water before our body begins to shut down. Water helps to flush unwanted toxins from our body and helps to regulate body temperature. Always try to keep a bottle of water with you and drink as often as you can.
- Always start your day with a good nutritious breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and skipping this meal will make you feel tired and listless as the morning goes on. Have some oatmeal or something that will release energy slowly throughout the morning.
- Protein is an essential part of your diet. Protein is necessary for muscle repair and growth. So if you work out regularly, you should include lots of protein in your diet in the form of lean meat and fish.
- Use a smaller dinner plate. This is an old but useful tip. If you always use a 12 inch dinner plate, buy a 9 inch one. You won’t notice that you aren’t eating as much. Eat slowly and chew your food well, it will give your body time to register when it beginning to feel full. Take notice of that feeling and stop eating.
- Don’t drink alcohol. Alcohol slows down the metabolism and makes you hungry – that’s why the drive-throughs stay open until the late night revelers have left the bars!
When you first embark on a fitness routine, always remember that nutrition plays a big part in achieving that perfectly toned body. Exercise alone will not be enough so you should try as best you can to combine regular effective exercise with good nutrition in order to get the best possible results