Nutrition

When it comes to maintaining a healthy body and trimming your waistline, nutrition is simply the most important part of the equation. Both nutrition and exercise are essential for losing weight, maintaining a healthy body mass index, building strength, and reducing the risk of many illnesses such as heart diseases, diabetes, and hypertension.

Healthy eating has become a primary fitness goal. Without it, you will never be able to lose fat or build muscles. Changing your body composition depends mainly on adopting a healthy diet while making it a lifestyle. The magic combination of 80% healthy eating and 20% exercise is a statement of the importance of the role of nutrition in fitness programs.

Since nutrition has the largest impact on our health and fitness goals, it is essential to understand some basic information about the food we ingest. For instance, including high nutrient foods -sometimes referred to as “superfoods”- in our diet is fundamental to achieving a healthy and lean body. Some examples of this food category are: eggs (great source of protein), greens (antioxidants and reduces inflammation), apples (antioxidants and increases metabolism), lean meat (protein source and muscle building), and fish (great source of omega-three fatty acids). Peanut butter is also a great superfood and is regarded as the number one sports nutrition. Peanut butter is a heart-healthy food with low cholesterol and low saturated fat components. It is high in nutrients and is a good source of energy for better athletic performance. 

In addition, adding foods that increase metabolism to your diet will help you burn fat more efficiently and will enhance your workout efforts. Good examples of this food category are hot peppers, whole grains, yogurt, and apples. In addition, drinking at least two liters of water daily will improve your overall health and will help you lose weight.

While there are numerous benefits to adopting a healthy lifestyle, a lot of people are discouraged to adopt it as it seems like a lot of work. A popular myth about a healthy lifestyle is that it is equivalent to a fun-free boring life. A lot of people envision adopting a healthy lifestyle like having a life where you have to lace up your running shoes daily, burn yourself out in the gym,  give up your favorite foods, stop going out to your favorite restaurants, and give up your social life altogether. They imagine themselves feeding strictly on berries and veggies while frying their brain in counting calories. What kind of fun is that? Right?

The good news is when it comes to adopting a healthy lifestyle “The Party isn’t over”. At first, it could seem like you have to give up all the pleasures in life -both guilty and innocent- to lose weight and achieve your fitness goals, however, this is more of an urban legend. Over time, you will find yourself enjoying your new healthy habits, quite as much as your old unhealthy ones. You will be surprised by how rewarding those changes are and you will have a totally new mindset.

Here in "Fit in 50", not only do we give you nutrition advice tailored to your fitness goals, but also we hold your hand through the process of change! We prepare you physically, mentally, and psychologically to start adopting new healthy eating habits.

One thing that will help you start, is to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In other words, by focusing on the new self-image that you want to have, you will be able to take the first step towards your goals. Here are a few things that you need to focus on regarding what you will enjoy if you maintain your newly adopted healthy eating habits.

  1. You will start enjoying your new diet: You can’t do without this cheeseburger? believe it or not, you will start enjoying how you feel after eating a healthy meal! Your body will feel lighter and more energetic and your mind will be sharper.
  2. You will see food as your medicine: Healthy diets have become a cornerstone for achieving any fitness goals. Without developing those healthy habits your fitness goals will be impossible to achieve. Also, you will start seeing food in a totally different light. Emotional eating will cease to control your life. You will start seeing your body as a sacred thing that needs to be preserved by giving it the right nutrition. Also, food will be your fuel to pull off better workout results. 
  3. You will feel rejuvenated:  Healthy food leaves you feeling more energized as opposed to junk food that leaves you very lazy and lethargic. 
  4. You will be stronger to avoid binging and pitfalls: Healthy eaters are stronger in avoiding temptations of unhealthy foods. As you develop the habit of healthy eating, you will find yourself less likely to binge eat for many reasons. One thing is that you have already put the effort not to starve yourself,  and you have your own program of healthy meals. So you won’t have the desire to indulge in the guilty pleasures of eating junk. It won’t even be as pleasurable as it seems now. In addition, since you will be already investing in eating healthy you will not want to ruin this investment easily, thus giving you more will to resist being lured in parties and social gatherings. 
  5. You will still enjoy your favorite food: You won’t cut completely your favorite food out of your menu. Instead, you will consume less of those unneeded calories and you will reduce the frequency of their consumption. So instead of indulging in eating these fries three times a week, you will have them three times a month.

In the beginning, adopting your new healthy menu will be somewhat like a lot of work. The good news is, it takes only 21 days to develop any new habit. While this is not a deadline, but once you stick to your healthy eating habits, over time you will reap the benefits of these changes. You only have to be patient with yourself and your body.

 

While we mentioned briefly what it will be like being there as a healthy eater, here are some tips on how to start. In Fit in 50, we will give you more details on how to overcome unhealthy habits that are keeping you from losing weight and getting fit.

  1. Start with a nutritious healthy breakfast: Starting your day with a healthy breakfast can set the stage for healthy eating all day. Most people do not have the time to prepare a healthy meal in the morning. Surprisingly, there are simple choices of a healthy breakfast such as having two hard-boiled eggs! This will give you all the nutrition that you need and is extremely easy to prepare. More importantly, it will prevent you from craving this donut while buying your morning coffee.
  2. Take baby steps in changing your diet and lifestyle: Some suggestions could be getting enough sleep since sleep deprivation causes overeating, drinking two liters of water per day, and cutting down on sugary drinks, eating a healthy snack like a banana or one serving of vegetables every two hours, reducing your portion size by at least 20% and never eat unless you are really hungry.
  3. Make a specific diet plan: For instance, plan to take fruits with you to work every day to use as a healthy snack or stock up for whole-grain cereal for breakfast. Being that specific is helpful than just saying I will start eating healthy without working out the specifics beforehand.
  4. Make a food journal: Start paying attention to everything you put in your mouth. Familiarize yourself with food labels, and learn more about nutrition value for your meals and the corresponding calorie count.
  5. Adjust your expectations:  One mistake that almost everyone makes is expecting a lot from themselves too soon. Expecting a radical change in your body, while not sticking long enough to your new habits, can be very frustrating. For that reason, you need to be both realistic and patient.