Proper nutrition is an absolute requirement for everyone, but especially for athletes. Unless you feed your body correctly before a workout, you’ll never gain full results from that workout. There are a few key nutritional guidelines that all athletes should follow. In this article we will discuss a few tips that can help to make following those guidelines easier on you.
Read the fine print. When you are grocery shopping, don’t be fooled by packaging that gives the impression of containing healthy food. Don’t assume that because it is “low-fat” or “organic”, that it is healthy. Take a second to flip the box over and read the nutrition information panel and ingredient list to determine its nutritional content for yourself.
The most important meal of the day, breakfast gives you the energy and motivation needed to lose weight. Breakfast foods naturally contain the carbohydrates, vitamins, and healthy sugars that everyone needs to function effectively and lose weight. Without breakfast, many people will find themselves overeating later in the day. So, never skip breakfast; it will haunt you later that day.
One of the most important nutrients that your body needs is water. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Preferably, use filtered tap water to simultaneously avoid cluttering the environment with bottles but also avoid drinking any chemicals or contaminants that may be found in your local tap water supply.
For cancer prevention, try adding more plants to your daily diet. These are versatile enough to go anywhere from a salad to a soup to a stew to even a smoothie. Try eating green things like lettuce, spinach, broccoli, asparagus and more to get a vast array of nutrients. Also, add things like fruits and nuts for a huge boost to prevent cancer.
Have a treat once a week or more. Many people who decide to start eating in a healthy way think they have to cut out all the food they really love, and that’s not so. When you do have a fatty food or one high in sugar, just make sure that it is a smaller portion.
If you need to lower LDL cholesterol -that’s the unhealthy kind- you might consider increasing your intake of something that’s not usually known for healthy living: Beer. Studies have recently shown this benefit from beer also increases the good kind of cholesterol, HDL. Those with problems with alcohol shouldn’t take this approach, and moderation is always in order for everyone.
Clean out your fridge, freezer and cabinets. Toss the “bad” foods and replace with health alternatives. Keep fresh fruit and veggies on hand for snacking. Put a note on the refrigerator that says “no junk allowed” if you must. If you have kids, have a special place for any of their snacks that might tempt you.
One of the most important ways to be fit is to stay hydrated. You should drink around 2 liters or 8 glasses of water that are 8 ounces full. Being hydrated keeps your energy high, and prevents you from pigging out at the first sign of hunger. It also removes impurities from your body.
Eating fruits and vegetables that are in season is a great way to save money and also get your vitamins. Foods that are in season will taste better and you will probably enjoy them much more. Buying foods that are in season will cost you less because they have so many of them that need to sell.
To add some flavor to your meals, fresh herbs are a wonderful option. You can grow them yourself in your kitchen, or you can buy them fresh from your local farmers market or grocery store. Adding herbs to your meals will add a ton of flavor to your cooking.
When you are eating out at restaurants, do not add salt to any of your meals. It is common for restaurants to use more salt than you would use at home, so adding more salt to your food will put your food in a very bad sodium range.
Vegetarians and vegans may want to supplement their diets with B12. Diets without meat and dairy may be missing on some essential nutrients. A deficiency can cause food malabsorption, fatigue, and a host of other problems. If you are concerned about your nutrient intake, consider seeing your doctor for routine blood-work.
Don’t go to the store when you are hungry. If you are hungry then your blood sugar is probably low. If your blood sugar is low, then your body will crave sweets, fats and carbohydrates in order to give it the quick boost in insulin and sugar it wants. Avoid the temptation by having a healthy meal or snack before you shop.
Any time that you eat anything, you should remove it from its original packaging. It is much easier to eat an entire bag of chips when they are left in the bag. If you put half of a bag on a plate, you will probably be satisfied after just half a bag.
Make sure to eat something with protein as soon as you wake up. Your body needs protein to start the day and it will get it one way or another, either from the food you eat or by breaking down your existing muscle tissue. Even coffee with low fat milk is better than nothing.
When eating at a restaurant it is important to ask for all dressings and condiments on the side. Many dressings are filled with unneeded fats and preservatives. If they have oil and vinegar, it is best to choose that option as the oil is a healthy oil and the vinegar is good for your heart.
In this article we have discussed some tips that can make it easier for athletes to maintain a nutritionally sound diet. Proper nutrition is an essential part of any fitness program and without it, you will never see the results you’re hoping for. Keep these tips in mind, and follow them daily for optimal results from your fitness routine.