If you’re looking to get fit then you cannot ignore your diet. Yes, exercise is important but you can put all the hours in at the gym you like – if you pig out on the wrong foods then your work won’t be effective. Equally if you’re not someone who does much physical activity then there’s a lot to be gained from a balanced diet.
Getting a balanced diet is a two-pronged process. Think about the things you need to stop eating as well as the things you need to eat more of.
First, let’s get the ‘negatives’ out of the way. You need to temper that sweet tooth of yours. Yes, cakes, cookies and chocolates are tasty but you have to cut back and consider these to be treats that you enjoy once in a while rather than on a regular basis. As fitnessmagazine.com points out, refined sugars are addictive, devoid of virtually any nutrients and high in calories. They’re bad for your skin and weight and cutting back can make a big difference.
By the same token try to cut back on your fast food consumption. Takeaways are not only a high calorie option they’re also often difficult to weigh up when it comes to tracking exactly what’s in them. Part of the process of eating your way to fitness is tracking the content of your food closely. Try to stick to things that are well labelled to make this easier.
So what are the things you should eat? You should get plenty of so-called ‘superfoods’ in your diet. These are items that are packed with nutrients and goodness. Put them to the top of your shopping list and incorporate them into recipes and meals where you can. There’s a long list of superfoods to fit anyone’s tastes or dietary requirements but common ones include broccoli, oily fish such as salmon and tuna, blueberries, kale, brown rice and even dark chocolate.
These foods will help you increase your intake of fruit and vegetables – which is important – and will help you consume plenty of fibre, which will help you stay fuller for longer. Also make sure you are buying fresh, natural ingredients.
Don’t just focus on your food. It’s important to get a good balance of nutrients and it’s not always possible to do that with your food intake – especially if you’re someone with particular dietary requirements. Sensible use of supplements can provide your body with the right fuel it needs to achieve top fitness.
Part of the trick to eating your way to fitness comes in the planning process. We’ve already stressed the need to track what’s in your food and that is vital to making sure you have a balanced diet. Added to that, you’ll need to plan your shopping list sensibly to target the items you need and map out recipes that make the best use of the foods you should be consuming.
Planning is also important when it comes to dishing up. Make sure you are eating sensible portion sizes at every meal; that will contribute to a healthier diet and ultimately help you achieve the fitness you want.