Everyday Healthy Eating
In order to get through your workouts with energy, build muscle, and feel energized throughout your entire day, it is important to fuel your body with what it needs. Below is a list of tips to help you accomplish fueling your body correctly.
~ Eat breakfast. This will boost up your metabolism early in your day so your body can burn more calories.
~ Eat a small meal or snack every three hours, equaling five to six small meals daily to keep your metabolism going, and to maintain higher energy levels throughout your entire day. Studies have shown that individuals who eat small, frequent meals throughout their day have a lower body fat percentage compared to those who eat three large meals per day.
~ When your goal is weight loss, avoid "diets." It is more efficient and effective to take on a lifestyle change consisting of healthier eating habits that you can maintain for the long hall in order to lose the weight, keep the weight off, and gain health benefits.
~Track the foods and liquids you consume every day for more successful weight loss at www.sparkspeople.com. Individuals are much more likely to consistently lose weight each week when calories per day are tracked and monitored. This is also a great way to make sure your eating habits are healthy. If you prefer a phone app for tracking, try Lose It, and add me as a friend for extra help.
~ Make at least half of your carbohydrates whole grains, such as 100% whole wheat breads, brown rice, and whole grain noodles. These 'good' carbs are rich in fiber and nutrients, and will keep you full longer than sugars and non-whole grain carbs.
~ Cut back on sugars, salt, and food additives/preservatives and your entire body will thank you.
~ Decrease your saturated fat intake, and cut out trans fats from your diet. These fats are associated with increased total blood cholesterol levels and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes. If you are unsure if your food contains trans fats, look for the word "partially hydrogenated" within the ingredient list, and that will mean trans fats are included.
~ Consume healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) daily. Some foods that are rich in these fats are olive oil, canola oil, salmon, almonds, walnuts, and flaxseed. These fats have been shown to improve blood cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease.
~ Consume lean meats such as chicken, and give ground turkey a try instead of ground beef. Be sure to drain any excess oil from the pan while cooking ground meats.
~ Eat five servings total of colorful fruits and vegetables every day to provide your body with essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that may protect your body from many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and stroke.
~ Consume three servings of calcium rich foods or liquids daily such as cheese, yogurt, and milk to increase bone density and enhance weight loss.
~ Strive to drink at least eight glasses of water throughout each day (64 fluid ounces) to keep your body hydrated, as your body is mostly comprised of water.
~ It is OK to have "snack" foods every once in a while, such as a cookie or chips, as long as you keep it within moderation and still stay within your recommended daily calorie intake.
Exercise and Nutrition
It is important to fuel your body before and after your workouts with the right kinds of foods to get the most out of every workout during and after. Below are helpful tips so you can do just that.
~ Before an exercise bout, be sure to fuel your body with slow digesting carbohydrates generally 1-3 hours before your workout to help you maintain energy during exercise, and to prevent feelings of lightheaded and sluggishness so you can get the most out of your workouts. Some good pre-exercise carbohydrates are whole grain cereals, brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread, whole grain granola bars, green lentils, chickpeas, split peas, and raw carrots. If you do not have time to eat at least an hour before your workout begins, consume liquid carbohydrates and/or fruit right before you workout begins for energy and ease on your stomach during your workout. Examples are sports drinks, skim milk, low fat yogurt, apples, oranges, cherries, and bananas.
~ Following an exercise bout, be sure to re-fuel your body with about 50-100 grams of carbohydrates and 10-20 grams of protein within a half hour of completing your workout. Doing so will help replenish muscle glycogen stores (a molecule provided by carbohydrates that gets stored within your muscle cells to be used for energy), and repair and build muscle with the help of protein. Avoid fatty foods directly after your workout since fats slow down the release of sugar (a carbohydrate) into your bloodstream. Some good recovery foods can include chocolate milk, a bagel or tortilla with egg whites and a side of fruit, chicken or any lean meat with pasta and raisins, a baked potato and fish, cheerios or shredded wheat with fruit, or beans with rice.