CARBS: Approximately 40% of your diet should come from carbs, mainly in the form of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. They supply you with energy and are also an important source of fibre which is needed to keep things moving along. To achieve weight loss but still have energy for training try to reduce your carb intake during the afternoon and evening hours and where possible later in the day substitute starchy carbs for veggies. Limit your portion sizes on starchy carbs (oatmeal, brown rice, bread) to 1/2 cup or 1 slice per serving.
PROTEIN: At least 30 % of your diet should come from protein. Focus on protein sources that are low in fat. Fish. Chicken. Turkey. Lean ground beef and steaks. Protein helps to repair your muscles and other cells and will increase your metabolism as it requires more time and energy than carbs and fats to digest. Protein also helps to regulate your blood sugar levels and helps maintain a feeling of fullness longer.
FATS: 15% of your diet should come from fats. You need healthy Fats.Good fats help to fight inflammation, lubricate the joints, keep your arteries healthy, skin smooth, hair strong and also help to burn fat! Good sources of healthy fats are fish, nuts, olives, avocadoes, coconut oil and olive oil. Sugar is the bad culprit for gaining or holding weight, not healthy Fat!!
VITAMINS: Vitamins are not where your energy comes from but they are still an important part of the diet. Exercise can produce compounds called free radicals which can damage your cells. Vitamins found in produce are anti-oxidants and can neutralize free radicals. Getting your vitamins from whole food is preferable to supplements so make sure that you eat a variety of foods and eat at least 8 servings of vegetables a day. Consider a supplement if your diet is incomplete.
MINERALS: Make sure you are eating lots of produce to ensure that you are getting enough trace minerals. Calcium does not need to come from milk, other good sources of calcium are: tinned fish with bones, dark leafy greens, almonds, dried apricots and almond milk. Ladies make sure you are getting enough iron. Good sources of iron are red meat, poultry, fish and dark leafy greens. Organic Produce will have your highest mineral content.
HYDRATION: Drink lots of water and do not be fooled by other drinks like powerade to re fuel. They are filled with sugar and are not necessary.
NUTRITION TIMING: Eat a small meal 2-3 hours prior to training. If this is not possible have a small low sugar carbohydrate snack 1.5 hours prior to exercise. Low fibre foods are generally better tolerated prior to working out. Remember to hydrate with water before, during and after exercise. Eat a well balanced meal with a carb, protein and fat, within an hour of a strenuous workout.
Avoid Sugar!! It has no Health Benefits to you at all. You can find sweetness in natural forms like fruit and you can use stevia to sweeten things. Sugar is disguised in many products so be aware!!
Try to eat foods that are closest to their natural state to get the most health benefits from them.
Coreen is a Personal Trainer and Lifestyle coach who loves to share Health and Wellenss information to help motivate others.