“Kale vs. quinoa?” “Protein vs. carbs?” “Eat this, and your biceps will bulge!” “Eat that, and your metabolism will burn like the sun!” When did eating become so complicated? When did choosing a dinner start to feel like buying a used car? Here’s the deal: If a quick fix sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There is no “best” way to eat or one miracle “diet.” However, there might be a best way for you to fuel your active lifestyle.
Fuel Your Active Lifestyle
While you might notice some changes in your body from just increasing exercise intensity, most individuals won’t see lasting results unless some attention is paid to nutrition. Why? First, your body needs food to function. If you want a high octane workout, you’ve got to give your body top-of-the-line fuel. If you don’t, you could continue to foster a slow metabolism that stunts your body’s ability to build muscle or shed weight. Or, worse, ignoring nutrition can cause fatigue and result in an injury that stops you in your tracks.
It takes consistency over the course of weeks to establish the habit of setting your alarm clock for your daily workout. Mindful eating can become a regular habit too. Maybe it’s obvious that you’ll have to ditch the Twinkies and margaritas you eat during your nightly Netflix fix. Or maybe the changes need to be subtle substitutions. It might even mean you pay attention and eat a little more. Do some research to create your plan.
You might also like: Healthy Dessert: Chocolate Raspberry FroYo
If you’re human, chances are you have your own unique tastes and preferences when it comes to food. Fortunately, there are many nutritious edibles out there that also taste good! All of us share basic human structure and needs. But, we also appreciate the variety.
Look to science, not fads, to evaluate your nutritional needs. A varied, balanced diet that provides minerals, vitamins, carbs, proteins and more will keep your joints, muscles, organs and mind happy. So feed your body what it needs so it can perform the way you want.
Keep in mind, your body is made up of approximately 60% water. The best way to fill up your hydration tank is…WATER, not sugar-laden sports drinks or juice. Drink up before, during, and after your workouts.
As far as what and how much you should eat varies from person to person. However, the overconsumption of sugar among most people is well-documented, as is the under-consumption of vegetables. For many individuals, a well-rounded approach that includes “most everything in moderation” can work. However, it depends on your goals, preferences, and how active your lifestyle is.
If you want an individualized plan that will help you fuel your active lifestyle, ask a Nutritionist, Dietician or Personal Trainer to help you consider what, if any changes, you might want to make and what new habits are realistic for you to establish.