Have you ever joined a gym, only to stop going in a matter of months because you’ve been disappointed with your weight loss results–or should we say lack of results?
If this sounds familiar, it’s probably because to get fit takes an 80/20 balance. The 80% represents diet, and the 20% represents exercise. Are you surprised?
One of the reasons for this is that if you’re not eating the right foods, your body doesn’t really know what to do with the nutrients you have when you do exercise.
Take protein, for example. Over 40% of Americans don’t consume enough protein each day, which means they might be exercising but they won’t build muscle the same way they could if they ate enough protein.
(We’ll get more into the benefits of protein soon.)
How do you structure your diet so that you can get the most out of your workout and achieve your fitness goals?
That’s precisely what we’re going to show you. In this guide, we’ll cover:
- What you should eat
- What you shouldn’t do and what you shouldn’t eat
- Finding a balance
Let’s get to it so that you can start incorporating a get-fit diet into your lifestyle!
What Should You Eat to Get Fit?
Certain food groups and nutrients are crucial to promote both healthy and productive exercise.
Among those, the most prominent are:
- Unsaturated fats
At first glance, you might think, “What about fruits and vegetables?” You should eat those. However, they don’t usually comprise a large portion of caloric intake.
Let’s jump in and discover what you should eat to get fit!
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Make it your rallying cry. Hydration is crucial for the body. It helps literally every bodily process.
While water is the best hydration around, just about any type of liquid can hydrate you. We’ve come a long way from forcing ourselves to have an arbitrary eight glasses each day.
In fact, it’s recommended that women have 91 ounces of hydration, and men have 125 ounces each day.
Remember, that doesn’t have to be flat water. Your choices can even include caffeinated beverages–great if you enjoy tea or coffee.
Grains Are Good
Grains give us carbohydrates.
Before you rail against carbs, take a moment to consider some of the health benefits of these tasty and helpful foods.
- Carbohydrates are the body’s main energy source. What do you need to work out? Energy!
- Whole grains are awesome for cardiovascular health.
- Enriched grains contain important vitamins and minerals that help your body get fit and stay healthy.
You’re still thinking about how carbs are “bad,” aren’t you?
We’re not saying you should load up on pasta (an enriched pasta). In fact, we recommend that only half of your grains be enriched.
The rest should be whole.
What Makes a Grain a Whole Grain?
It’s simple; whole grains have bran and germ that would be taken out to make enriched grains. In addition to supplying your body with energy, whole grains are chock full of fiber.
Pros of Protein
Protein provides the building blocks for your body, which makes it a crucial macronutrient.
Specifically, protein can contribute to muscle and bone health, but that’s not all; it also regulates hunger. As if that weren’t enough, protein can also maintain the chemicals your body needs, like enzymes and hormones.
Those chemicals are especially important if you plan to exercise.
Protein is also a great source of energy, though it takes longer to metabolize than grains.
Unpacking Unsaturated Fats
We know what you’re probably thinking. How could fat be healthy?
There are actually multiple kinds of fat and not all of them are healthy. The type of fat that you want to incorporate into your diet is unsaturated fat.
Among other benefits, unsaturated fats are good for cardiovascular health.
Fatty fish, and oils like olive oil, are good examples of unsaturated fat.
Now that you know what you should include in your diet, we’ll shift gears and take you through what you should avoid.
Want to Get Fit? Don’t Do These Things!
We know that advising someone not to do something can be like saying, “Don’t push the red button.”
This is different because you have the motivation and power to make positive lifestyle changes that can impact your health and fitness in a real way.
Foods to Avoid
This list is actually pretty short, so we figured it’d be a great place to start.
To get your best results and get fit, avoid the following as much as possible:
- Foods with too much sugar
- Frozen, pre-prepared meals
Before we press on, we’d like to take a moment to address why we included cleanses on our list of foods to avoid.
Cleanses themselves aren’t necessarily bad for you (though some can be), but they don’t provide you with the nutrients your body needs to function at its highest potential.
Now, onto the next list of don’t’s, where we focus on habits that can be detrimental to your goals.
Habits to Avoid
If you want to get fit, dumping these habits can go a long way to helping.
- Steer clear of fad diets.
- Don’t eat out all the time.
- Don’t skimp on calories every day.
- Avoid the meal rut–don’t eat the same foods day in, day out.
- Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast.
This isn’t to say you can’t ever go out and eat. Enjoy life, or your dietary changes won’t last long. That’s why fad diets don’t always work–they work for a little while, but then people go crazy over a cookie and end up falling off the diet wagon. Look at something solid like I reviewed here called the Fat Diminisher.
Balance is key in so many aspects of life, including diet. Here are some tips to help you find yours.
- Instead of swearing off processed foods entirely, try to eat only 20% processed foods.
- Don’t miss out on dinner with your friends at your favorite restaurant–order salad with a side of dressing and dip your fork to avoid calorie dumping.
- Let yourself have a treat sometimes. A healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself.
If you want to get fit, devoting energy to your diet is crucial. If you have more questions about diet or exercise, please comment below; we’d love to hear from you!