Whatever may be your exact fitness goals, the fact is that your daily diet will have a huge impact on how things go in the gym. "You are what you eat," and never is that so true as when you're working to implement a new fitness routine!
Eating wisely must be an integral part of your overall physical training plan if you want your efforts to yield maximum results in as little time as possible. Here are 5 key tips on what to eat or not eat when focusing on getting into (or staying in) shape:
1. Avoid Sugary, Carb-centric Breakfasts
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it's the moment you "break the fast" and fuel up your body for the day ahead. You need adequate blood-sugar levels to have the energy for a true workout, but sugary, carb-centric breakfasts will turn to fat on your body and leave you feeling hungry again before lunch arrives.
A better choice than coffee and a donut or "sugar flakes" would be high-fiber, whole grain cereals for carbs with milk added for protein. Or, choose an egg on whole wheat toast for the same general effect.
2. Get "Good Carbs" Not "No Carbs"
Unfortunately, carbohydrates have gotten a "bad rap" over the years due to "bad carbs" in junk foods and because of imbalanced, high-carb diet fads. But nonetheless, they remain your main source of energy.
Gravitate towards the complex carbs found in fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grain foods. These foods digest more slowly, keeping you full for longer, while delivering healthier, longer-lasting energy to your body.
3. Snack On Protein Instead Of Sugar
Refined sugars are counterproductive and will slow down your progress in the gym. Look for high-protein snack foods to take the place of high-sugar ones.
When working out, you are constantly breaking down muscle tissues, which need to be repaired. Proteins are the building blocks of your muscular system, and by maximizing protein intake, you maximize muscle growth and strengthening in the aftermath of a fitness session.
Smoked fish, yogurt, a boiled egg, peanut butter, nuts, beef/turkey jerky, trail mix, cheese sticks, roasted chickpeas, cottage cheese, protein bars, most granola bars, and protein shakes are examples of good protein snack options.
4. Boost Your Vitamin Intake
The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that abound naturally in fruits and vegetables should be a regular part of your diet. A low-vitamin diet will make you feel less ready to exercise and limit your body's ability to rejuvenate itself.
Fruits and vegetables should fill half your plate at meal times. You should also keep these natural "vitamin pills" ready to eat in your fridge and on your countertop and carry dried fruits with you to work, when traveling, and when heading to/from the gym.
5. Consume Healthy Fats
People are beginning to realize that too much sugar will make you fat faster than eating fat ever will. Still, minimizing fat intake from red meats is a good idea. But there are healthy fats you should seek to consume as much as possible to power your exercise routine.
Good fats are found in nuts, seeds, avocados, olives/olive oil, certain cheeses, dark chocolate, eggs, chia seeds, coconut, yogurts, and fatty fish like salmon, sardines, trout, mackerel, and herring.
At Amarillo Town Club, we can help you not only reach your workout goals, but live a healthy lifestyle that supports those goals, instead of hinders them. Let us help you get started, contact us today to learn more about our valuable gym memberships and fitness groups!