Friday, February 25, 2011

All about Nutrition

Nutrition – It’s that Important

Health and fitness is a spectrum of many different aspects. This article will discuss the importance of a good nutrition plan. Physical and mental well being can not be achieved by skipping meals and ignoring good nutrition. Good discipline with your nutritional habits can enhance your energy, stamina, vitality and overall well being. Use the advice below to assist you with your healthy journey:

1. Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals is telling your body that you want it to run slow. Your metabolism will shut down and you will store food as body fat. You will lack energy and you will have lack luster performance. This is a big mistake people make and this will put a road block on your results in a fitness program. Wake up and eat and then feed yourself every couple hours. This will increase your metabolism and give you energy throughout the day.

2. Nutrient Timing is critical. What you eat is important but WHEN you eat specific foods is more important. You should not be eating foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugars when you sit in your car or at the computer or when you know you are not going to be active. After eating these foods your blood sugars are spiked and if you are not active then this sugar will be stored as body fat. The best time to eat carbohydrates and sugars will be before or after working out or when you know you are going to be active. Read labels, know what is going in your body and understand how certain foods affect your blood sugars and energy.

3. Eat lean proteins, fresh vegetables and fruit and good fat. These foods should be the majority of what goes into your body. Stay away from foods that are processed, packaged and canned. If you need energy, grab a piece of fruit with a small handful of almonds. If you are starving in the middle of the morning then grab a couple slices of lean deli turkey meat and ½ cup of berries. Keep your foods fresh and lean and you will immediately see a difference in your everyday life.

4. Don’t Do Diets. I do not teach dieting. Diets are programs people get on and get off and it can become a vicious roller coaster of inconsistent eating habits and will lead to frustration. To me, good nutrition must become a lifestyle habit. Learn to change and learn to make good choices for the long term. This will create a healthy lifestyle and will aide in long term physical and mental well being.

5. You must eat your minimum. For every person this is different. We all have a base metabolic rate or BMR. This is how many calories we burn at rest with no activity. The simple way to approximate this number is to take your weight and add a zero to the end. So if you weigh 150 pounds your BMR will be approximately 1500 calories. This is the minimum number of calories you should be eating during the day. Then you take activity into account. On a scale of 1-10, rate your activity level. If you are moderately active then give yourself a 5 and add 500 calories to your BMR. Now your number is at 2000 calories. So if you wanted to maintain weight you should be eating around 2000 calories. If you wanted to lose weight you should eat 1500-1900 calories. But DO NOT go below your BMR. This will shut down your metabolism and create a fat storing process that will stagnate results.

6. “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” I give this quote to all my clients to teach them about preparation. If you do not prepare or have the healthy foods around, you will not succeed with good nutrition. Look in your fridge and cupboards on Sunday. If you need healthy foods then make a trip to the grocery store and pick up your necessities. Think about your schedule for the week and pick up foods that will easily mold into that schedule. If you are busy then you need quick healthy choices. Make a weekly food plan so you know what will be cooked and prepared for the upcoming week. This will dramatically assist you to a healthier lifestyle. Do not make the excuse of “I don’t have time”. Just be organized and have better time management.

7. Indulge once in awhile. Life is not about having perfect eating habits. If you have been doing good, eating healthy and working out and if you are craving a certain food, then eat it! Don’t feel guilty or convince yourself you did something bad. When you are working out and putting in the work you can indulge once in awhile. But that “once in awhile” can not turn into numerous times a week. Be disciplined and have self control. Enjoying life to the fullest is having your health and taking full advantage of everything around you. Go out and make it happen!

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