Fitness nutrition is all about eating organic, whole foods and avoiding processed foods as much as possible. It highlights the importance of choosing your nutrition sources wisely by picking lean protein, whole carbohydrates, and unprocessed monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats so that you can lose weight and build lean muscles efficiently.
To help you transition from your old and unhealthy diet to an effective fitness-focused diet, here are valuable tips and habits that you can start implementing in your lifestyle immediately.
Create Meal Plans for the Whole Week
Make it a habit of planning your meals ahead of time, so that you will not run out of meal ideas and end up eating unhealthy foods. Keep a notebook where you can start jotting down your weekly meal plans and create a template that will help keep your calories in check. It also helps to record all of your meal plans because you can use any set whenever you don’t have the time to create a new one.
It is important that you remain as prepared as possible in advance in order to remain on schedule every single day. When you are not prepared, you will be tempted to eat out; this will only harm your diet plan.
Another advantage of creating meal plans is that will encourage you to eat a wider variety of foods rather than just relying on what is already in your cupboards. If you come up with meal ideas ahead of time and go out and buy the necessary ingredients, you will be able to get more creative with your meal options.
With the greater variety in your diet, the more likely you are to get all of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs. It will also make you more likely to stick to the plan because you will not get bored as quickly or easily.
Hunt For Reliable Sources of Nutritious Whole and Organic Foods in Your Area
Oftentimes, there are cheap and easily accessible food stores and markets in your area that you have not explored yet. On a free weekend, go out on an adventure to search for places that sell affordable yet high-quality fresh cold-water fish, whole grains, and other carb sources and healthy fats.
Make sure to take note of the prices and availability of these ingredients; you will find these notes to be very useful as you create your meal plan.
Your local farmer’s market is a great place to start, as it will have a variety of foods for you to purchase and will also show you the local vendors from whom you can buy your food even when the farmer’s market is not open or available.
You might also want to consider local orchards and farms that often sell their products at their location or in local grocery stores.
In addition to helping you ensure that you are eating healthily and getting the necessary nutrients for your body, eating more locally will also benefit your community and the environment. It is a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Store Healthy, Whole Foods in Your Pantry and Throw Out Processed Foods Filled with Preservatives
At this very moment, open up a box, throw in all of the junk food and other processed meals in your home, and donate them to a local shelter. Next, create a list of your staple foods, including snacks, and then brainstorm for healthy alternatives to them. For instance, if you enjoy eating chocolate chip cookies every afternoon, you can replace them with whole wheat oatmeal cookies.
If you are obsessed with soft drinks, replace them with soda water. If you love potato chips, substitute them with a bag of kale chips or sweet potato crisps.
There will also be a healthier and more natural alternative to your favourite snacks, which will be better sources of the essential vitamins and minerals and will almost certainly be lower in fats, sugars, and salt.
Pre-packaged and commercially prepared foods are rarely the best option in terms of healthiness or nutrition, and the sooner that you remove these items from your pantry and your diet and start eating healthy and nutritious foods, the sooner that you will start to achieve your goal of increasing your lean muscle mass and being fit.
Be Conscious of the Calorie Content of Your Foods
Now that you know the impact of calories on your weight, you should start to become aware of the calorie content of the food that you eat. However, it might be inconvenient to whip out a calculator every time you have a meal, what you can do instead is to be more conscious of your portions and food choices.
Try to imagine the foods in grams, and then remind yourself that proteins and carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram, whereas fats have 9 calories per gram. In this sense, you are more likely to choose baked salmon with a side of vegetables instead of a cheeseburger and some fries whenever you eat out.
There are many applications and programs that will make it easy for you to keep track of the calories that you are consuming and how many you are burning.
These programs have databases that include the caloric content of most foods and the calories burned for different exercises, but you can also add the information manually most of the time.
Once you start to keep track of the calories that you are eating and which foods are better or worse in terms of calories, you will be more inherently able to assess foods and determine whether or not they fit into your diet.
Stay Away from Refined Oils, High Fructose, and Trans Fats No Matter What
Whenever a food product includes the words “hydrogenated,” “partially hydrogenated,” “trans fats,” and “fructose,” stay away from it whenever possible. Do your best to prepare meals at home, and pack them for lunch instead of buying from a store or restaurant, as these places tend to have foods containing unhealthy oils (they are more cost-effective, after all). For snacks on the go, keep an apple, an orange, a banana, or a small bag of trail mix in your bag, and you will never have to eat fast foods.
Making your foods from scratch and using fresh ingredients – including fruits, vegetables, meats, and grains – will automatically ensure that you are avoiding these items because you will be aware of what you are putting into the dishes that you make or the snacks that you prepare.
This will also allow you to be more accurate when you are keeping track of the calories that you ingest because you will be able to include the ingredients rather than guess at the calorie content of pre-packaged foods that do not always include a nutritional label.
This is another advantage of shopping at your local farmer’s market; often, even the pre-packaged products sold at this type of location are a healthier alternative than the store-bought kind. Plus, you will be able to speak directly to the producers of the food to find out what ingredients are included, which will give you a better idea of the caloric content.
Have One Cheat Day per Week
This must sound like a relief to many of you, but did you know that a cheat meal will actually help you with your weight loss goal?
While you do need to eat less than what you burn off every day in order to see significant weight loss, you will eventually hit a plateau wherein you cannot seem to drop any more weight.
Unfortunately, lowering your daily calorie intake, even more, will only cause you to lose the lean muscles that you have been working so hard to gain. This is caused by a hormone in the body called leptin. Low leptin levels will increase cortisol production and lead to muscle loss, a low metabolic rate, and an increase in appetite.
Now this is where your cheat day comes in. A “cheat day,” which is the layman’s term for infrequent overfeeding, is when you can eat whatever you want without counting calories. This will increase your leptin levels and bring them back to normal.
During a typical cheat day, it is recommended that you add approximately 1000 calories more to your usual daily calorie limit. For example, if you have limited yourself to 1500 calories a day for 6 days a week, your cheat day should have 2500 calories.
However, keep in mind that you should still stay away from soft drinks and other foods and beverages that are high in fructose because these pack a lot of calories without really giving you that satisfied feeling of eating.
You should also try and avoid eating trans fats on your cheat day as much as possible, because aside from the weight loss issue, trans fats can cause serious health problems.
The important part of a cheat day for weight loss and muscle development is that you are not worrying as much about the amount of calories that you are eating, but you should still be paying attention to the types and quality of food that you are consuming if you really want to give your body the best health benefits possible.
Drink Tea to Help You Lose Weight
Hot tea, especially green, white, and oolong teas, is known to help promote weight loss because of the presence of caffeine, catechins, and polyphenols in them. These are substances that stimulate thermogenesis, which is a bodily process that converts fat to heat. This triggers an increased metabolic rate, enabling you to burn even more fat as you undergo physical activity.
Furthermore, green and oolong teas help slow down the digestion of carbohydrates, thus keeping blood sugar levels stable and letting you absorb fewer calories with each meal. Include at least 3 cups of tea into your diet every day to maximize these benefits.
Always remember, though, that you need to keep track of anything that you are putting into your tea, either as a sweetener or in terms of milk products. If you are sweetening your tea with any kind of sugar, including honey, agave, or unrefined sugar, those do have a caloric content and will need to be included in your calorie count for the day.
The same goes when you happen to add milk to your tea – remember to include the calories in your daily count. Each individual cup of tea may add minimal calories, depending on how much milk and/or sweetener that you use, but the calories can add up if you are having several cups per day.
Note: If you require a little extra help to shed pounds, you might consider trying natural supplements that support weight loss.
Resurge is one of the most popular weight loss supplements that promise to help you shed pounds and sleep better. Because studies have shown that sleep deprivation is associated with deficiencies of growth hormone and elevated levels of cortisol, both of which contribute to obesity.
While other supplements promote nutritional factors, meal replacement forms, appetite suppression, or similar effects, Resurge boosts your body’s metabolism by increasing your core temperature. However, before making any purchases, you might want to read some Resurge reviews.
Besides, it should be noted that pills or supplements only work when combined with a healthy weight-loss diet and regular exercise. Supplements are ineffective on their own and are hardly a solution to obesity.
In any case, it’s always best to talk with your doctor before you start taking a supplement, especially if you are taking medications, pregnant or have any health concerns.