The Nutrition Keys to Reach Your Health, Fitness & Weight Loss Goals
While we all know that we must exercise and eat right to accomplish our health, fitness, and weight loss goals, do you really know what it means to eat right?
Proper nutrition is very important if you want to achieve maximum results.
If you are confused about how you should be eating to accomplish your goals, this article will give you the facts and a great jump start on the information that you need to know. Also, please join us for your Foundational Nutrition Workshop (clients only) or register for our upcoming FREE Tele-Seminar (open to everyone) where we'll give you a lot more of critical information on fitness & weight loss nutrition.
The TRUTH about Calories and Weight Loss
The media and today's popular fad diets talk a lot about counting calories. So much so that many people are confused about the truth. Calories are simply a tool to measure how much energy is contained in a given food. The more calories a food contains, the more potential energy it provides your body.
While calories do provide you with the energy required to perform your daily activities, they are in fact the key to losing weight and accomplishing many fitness related goals.
If you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. Consume fewer calories than you burn and you'll lose weight. Although there is lot of other important information to have an awareness for, it really is that simple.
Many marketers of diet programs will try to convince you that you must consume specific ratios of calories from protein, carbohydrates and fat in order to lose weight effectively. The simple truth of the matter is the total number of calories you consume determines how much you weigh. The kinds of calories you consume determine how you'll feel.
Sure, you can lose weight following a low carb diet. But you will also feel tired, irritable, and lethargic...and worse, you'll eventually have a weight gain or "the rebound effect". Instead of putting so much focus on the kinds of calories to avoid, focus on how many calories you need, and how many total calories you actually consume.
A pound of body fat contains about 3500 calories. If your goal is to lose excess body fat, start by lowering the amount of calories you eat by 500 per day. Over the course of a week, you will have consumed 3500 calories less than you need, resulting in the loss of one pound of stubborn body fat.
Burn more calories than you take in and weight loss is inevitable. We will go into a lot more detail about proper nutrition at your Foundational Nutrition Workshop.
The Importance of Protein
Your body uses protein to rebuild & repair itself. As skin, hair, soft tissue, and blood cells die, your body uses protein to build new ones.
When you exercise, you're causing minor damage to your muscles and connective tissue. The protein in the food you eat is used to repair that damage, resulting in your muscles becoming stronger, more toned and more efficient.
It's important to make sure you eat plenty of protein if you want to see rapid results from your workouts.
Here is a list of common foods that contain good amounts of protein:
- Lean beef
- Lowfat dairy products
Try to include a good source of lean protein in each meal. This will go a long way toward ensuring your body has all the building blocks it needs to remain healthy and to repair the damage caused by your workouts.
Eating the Right Kinds of Carbs
Low carb diets are still very popular today despite all the problems associated with them. Carbohydrates are your body's preferred source of fuel and energy. Contrary to what many marketers of fad diets would have you believe, carbs are very necessary for proper functioning of your body and your brain.
While it is true that severely limiting your intake of carbs will lead to pretty rapid weight loss, it's not the right kind of weight loss. For every gram of carbohydrate your body stores, it also stores 2.4 grams of water.
That's exactly why you lose weight so rapidly when you limit your carb intake. As you start to burn away your body's carbohydrate stores, you'll release the water that's stored with them into your bloodstream, where it will eventually end up in the toilet.
If your goal is to lose excess weight, you should be burning stored body fat, not excreting your very important water supply.
Whole grain carbohydrates should comprise the majority of your diet, somewhere between 40-60% of your total calories, depending on some individual factors. Anything less tends to leave you feeling weak and tired, resulting in poor concentration, lackluster performance in your daily activities, and decreased motivation and performance in your workouts...
Not exactly conducive to healthy living (or improved fitness and weight loss), is it?
You'll do well to avoid refined carbohydrates like:
- Table sugar
- High fructose corn syrup
- Bleached flours
- Enriched foods
- Processed foods
- White bread
- White rice
- Junk food
These type of carbs are easily processed by your body, are released into your bloodstream rapidly, and ultimately have a high likelihood of getting stored as body fat.
Instead, try to eat a variety of complex carbs like...
- Whole grains
- Whole grain cereals
- Whole grain breads
- Brown rice
- Whole fruits (preferably with a quality protein)
These carbs are broken down more slowly, and are released into your blood stream over time. This will help maintain your energy levels, minimize cravings for food & excess calories you don't need, and provide your body with a steady supply of fuel to keep you performing at your best.
Fat: Not As Evil As You May Think
Dietary fat has gotten a bad rap in the media. It's been labeled as the main cause of weight gain and obesity in our country.
Fat is one of the body's major sources of fuel. It's also an essential component in many of your body's biological functions. Without fat in your diet you would die (or at the very least, be very unhealthy).
The trick is eating the right kinds of fats and in the right proportion with carbohydrates and proteins.
Saturated & hydrogenated fats are the bad guys. They don't provide energy well, and they clog your arteries and lead to many diseases including heart disease and obesity. Do your best to avoid these:
- Beef fat
- Pork fat
- Coconut oil
- Palm oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Peanut oil
Unsaturated fats are necessary (often called "essential fatty acids: or EFA) and provide your brain, inner ear, eyes, organs and glands with numerous health benefits. Ideally you'll consume 15-20 percent of your daily calories from these essential fatty acids. Here's a partial list of the good guys:
- Flaxseed oil
- Pumpkin seed oil
- Soybean oil
- Canola oil
- Almond oil
- Virgin olive oil
How to Learn More about Eating Right
Does all this seem confusing to you? It doesn't have to be.
Make sure you ask your trainer to get you registered for your Foundational Nutrition Workshop, if you haven't already attended. If you are not a client you can register for our upcoming FREE Tele-Seminar.
You'll come away with a much better understanding of what it really takes to eat right so you can achieve your health, fitness, and weight loss goals. You'll be on the path toward success and without nearly as much struggle.
For clients, after your workshop, we'll set you up with the leading nutritional software that gives you constant input and feedback on how well you're eating.
We have recently discovered a great resource to help you get the quality nutrition your body needs in order to lose weight, improve your health and fitness. Go to www.CincinnatiNutrition.org for these resources.