Whether you are focused on fat loss or building muscle and strength, fitness nutrition is the foundation for success. Eating clean, healthy meals throughout the day ensures that your body is getting the fuel it needs and that you are not left feeling hungry or low on energy.
Here are some tips that will keep you on the right track for your current fitness goals:
Eat Protein Every 3 Hours
Spreading your calories out into “mini” meals throughout the day will keep your metabolism burning fast, allow your body to utilize the nutrients you are consuming efficiently, and keep you feeling fuller longer so you are less likely to overeat.
You can split up your daily calorie intake in a number of ways, depending on your goals, but the important piece is to make sure that every 3 hours you are consuming a “mini” meal that includes a clean protein source. This ensures your body can sustain and even develop new lean muscle tissue. This is important because muscle constitutes a large part of your metabolism, the more muscle you have the faster and more efficient your metabolism will be.
Pair Complex Carbs with Lean Protein
One cornerstone of fitness nutrition is to pair a protein like eggs, seafood, and lean meats with a complex carb like rice, whole grains, or potatoes. The complex carb is slower digesting than a simple sugary carb, and the protein provides more long-term energy for your body.
The result is that you feel full for longer while getting only the fuel your body needs to keep your energy up. This allows you to burn fat without “crash” dieting or feeling like you are starving while building muscle and improving fitness performance!
Drop Carbs from Late Eating
As energy expenditure is generally lower at night, leave the carbohydrates out of your last 1-3 meals (again, depending on your goals). Many people have been taught to believe that the body has a magic clock, and after 6 or 7pm everything turns to fat. That is simply not true. You still need protein at night to make sure your body doesn’t start catabolizing its own muscle, but if you are concerned about gaining fat, then just leave the starchy carbs out of the equation and opt for green veggies to go with the chicken, fish, or egg whites instead.
Drink Water All Day
Staying hydrated is essential. Water is involved with virtually every process in the human body; from brain function to digestion, elimination of toxins to circulation, even to the production of energy on a cellular level. With a fitness nutrition eating routine, you should have a bottle of water nearby at all times. It is also common for thirst to be mistaken for hunger, so next time you are suddenly hungry, drink a glass of water instead of reaching for that muffin or piece of chocolate. Then get your next mini-meal ready and feel good from the inside out!
Thinking about how fitness nutrition can help you achieve your fitness goals? Let’s talk about your steps toward healthier eating.