A healthy diet for fitness is a basic requirement if you want to reach your fitness goals. The adage says you are what you eat. What you eat is what makes up your body. When you eat junk food all the time, you can expect obesity and disease without doubt.
When you watch what you eat and eat healthy food, you will reap the benefits in terms of good health and a fantastic body outlook.
When you are exercising to get fit or lose weight, you must compliment the workouts by eating a healthy and balanced diet. The nutrient rich food you take in will be good for burning fat in your body. It will be good for lean muscle growth and muscle mass.
A healthy and balanced diet means you eat food containing all the necessary nutrients for your bodies’ sustenance.
What is a healthy and balanced diet
A healthy and balanced diet should include the following foods
These we get mainly from the starchy foods like potatoes and corn. We get carbs from the grains like wheat made into bread, rice and cereals.
We also get carbs from some fruits and dairy products. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the body. During digestion carbs are converted to glucose which is then used in the muscle tissue for energy. We need energy to perform many physical tasks.
Carbs in some cases come with Fiber which is very essential for aiding digestion in the stomach and assists with bowel movement. We get carbs with fiber from whole and semi processed grains and from raw fruits and vegetables.
We get proteins mainly from meats, fish, eggs and dairy products. We also get proteins from legumes, beans, nuts and some fruits and vegetables.
Proteins are essential in our bodies for building and repair of body tissue. Proteins are used to build bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, nails and even blood. Any cell development in our bodies requires proteins.
When you start strength training, you definitely need more protein to boost muscle growth and repair. When you don’t eat enough protein your body will find another source. It will break down muscle tissue as a source of protein for daily needs. You will lose muscles instead.
These are a good source of vitamins and minerals required by our bodies.
The vitamins found in fruits include Vitamin B’s and Vitamin C. Vitamin C is needed for the immune system to fight off infections.
The B Vitamins are necessary for cell metabolism, brain function, nerve functions and formation of red blood cells. Fruits are also a source of Fiber which is needed for digestion.
They provide us with Vitamins A, B, C, E and K. They give us Minerals like Sodium, Magnesium, Potassium and Calcium.
Minerals are essential for a lot of bodily functions including building bones, good function of the heart, brain and other body organs. Vegetables also give us Fiber and Antioxidants which help to prevent the damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants also help to prevent cancer.
5. Healthy Fats
Healthy fats include mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats which include vegetable oils and olive oils. They also include Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats found in oily fish.
These fats produce fatty acids that are needed for absorption of fat soluble Vitamins like Vitamins A, D, E and K. Fats are used for energy when the body runs out of blood sugar. It burns fat to produce energy for the muscles. Fats keep the body warm and promote cell growth.
More than 60% of the human body is water. Our blood is 90% water, our brain is more than 70% water, our lungs are more than 80% water an even the bones are more than 30% water.
Our bodies need to keep hydrated. We lose water from the body by sweating and urinating. We constantly need to replenish the lost water. Target to drink about 3.5 Liters of fluid per day. Fluid includes water, juices, drinks and any other healthy liquid substances.
The 6 Food Groups above make up a healthy diet for fitness. They make up a balanced diet which is essential for healthy nourishment of our bodies. Target to ensure you eat an item from each of the 6 groups every day for your daily living.
Ensure you eat your Carbs, Proteins, Fruits, Veges, Healthy Fats and get your Hydration on a daily basis for a balanced diet. It is very important to eat this balanced diet especially when you are working out.
Diet and Calories
A calorie is a unit used to measure the energy that we get from food. The amount of calories in your food determines how much energy your body will get from that food. Generally we must eat just enough calories for our bodies to get their daily needs.
On average a man needs to eat about 2500 calories a day and a woman needs to eat 2000 calories a day. This should be sufficient for the energy we need for daily chores and survival.
Excess calories per day are converted to fat. When you eat more calories than your body needs on a daily basis your body converts all the excess calories to fat deposits as storage for later use.
When you continue to eat more than you need to, the fat deposits will accumulate, you gain weight and become obese.
Diet and Weight Loss
When you are overweight and need to lose some kilos, for a man you must eat less than 2500 calories per day and for a woman you must eat less than 2000 calories per day.
You must however still eat all the six food groups mentioned above per day for a balanced diet as each food group is needed for the various different functions in the body.
Just eat fewer quantities, smaller portions and chose to eat more of the raw and unprocessed food items. Maintain your healthy and balanced diet but eating smaller portions for fewer calories.
Regular exercise will help your body to burn the stored fat deposits and make you lose weight faster. At the time of working out, your body needs a lot of calories to cover the immediate energy needs of the muscles.
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This is when it breaks down stored fat which is converted to energy. The end result is you have less fat in the body and you lose weight. Exercise will ensure you burn all the fat and gain lean muscle for more strength.
Foods to Limit or Avoid
- Fried foods
- Sugary fizzy drinks
- Candy, sweets, foods with a lot of sugar
- Foods with a lot of salt
- Baked foods – cake, cookies, pizza
- Refined grains – pasta, white rice, white bread
- Processed meats – salami, ham, polony
- Meat with a lot of fat – saturated fats
Please leave a comment in the comments section. If you have any questions or need to engage, do not hesitate to write in the comments section. I will definitely get back to you.
Until next time….
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