Knowing what to eat in order to lose or maintain your weight is the hardest part of the fitness journey to many people. With so much false information available it’s hard to determine what is actually helpful. Your diet plays a huge role in you deteminig wheter or whether not you success on your journey. Below are some tips it down.
Why You Need to Learn What to Eat
We’ve all heard that fat loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise. Diet is not only big factor in your weight loss journey but also in your overall fitness journey. It doesn’t matter if you want to lose weight, get stronger, gain size or maintain a healthy lifestyle, your diet plays such a huge part.
Food is fuel
Food is what fuels our bodies, calories are simply a measurement of energy. Some foods give more energy depending on how the body processes them — carbohydrates give a burst of energy while protein releases more slowly.
If you are about to head to the gym, you’ll need to be properly fueled in order to get the best workout. This is where quick release energy is needed; bananas, oats, dried fruit and so on are all good sources of energy if you’re about to work out.
If you’re not going to work out straight away then you’ll need food that will take you through to the next meal (even if that meal is an 11 am snack). This is where protein and complex carbohydrates come in. Grilled bacon, poached eggs and a slice of wholemeal toast is a great breakfast for anyone who needs energy up until lunch time.
Food helps to repair the body
Let’s take strength training for example. Strength training of any kind will cause micro-tears in the muscle fibers, as these repair they get stronger. Knowing what to eat in your diet can help this process along. Foods such as quinoa, almonds, oysters, cottage cheese and lean minced beef can all help to repair your muscles. They contain all sorts of nutrients but the common factor is protein.
Fat is not your enemy
Even if you’re trying to lose weight fast, fat is not the enemy. The only reason fat has been labeled in this way over the years is because, per gram, it contains more calories than the other macronutrient (carbohydrates and protein). When trying to make food to aid weight loss, companies looked at this fact and decided low fat was the quickest way to cut calories from a meal.
The reality is that yes, an excess of saturated fat is bad for you but there are good fats out there and out body needs them.
Fish, meat, olive oil, eggs, avocados, nuts and similar wholefoods contain good fats that help the body to absorb other nutrients, provide storage spots for energy, play a role in brain development, and help to manage inflammation.
A serious lack of good fat can lead to vision problems, memory loss, mood swings and more, all of which are going to affect your fitness goals.
Balance is key
Losing weight, building muscle and maintaining a healthy lifestyle all boils down to a balanced diet and knowing what to eat. Have treats in moderation and don’t cut out things your body needs. The only thing you can get away with cutting out completely is processed foods but don’t deprive yourself, life’s too short for that.
If you include the right balance of carbohydrates, fats, proteins and other nutrients in your diet then you’re going to be more productive, will recover quicker after tough workouts and you’re bound to lose some weight too. (Don’t forget, though, it is possible to overeat on these good foods so if you are looking to lose weight, it’s worth tracking your calories too.)
Author bio: Maria Cumming Panadero is a Managing Director in El Olivo. She is committed to sharing her passion for delicious, high quality olive oils and fine food from her homeland Spain.