Updated: Jan 29, 2020
When I first began training consistently, I didn't know what it really took to get fit & healthy and how to stay that way. Little did I know that living a healthy lifestyle was and still is more than picking up a set off weights then putting them back down. Now that I'm also certified as a Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, I can share a few things that I've learned along the way, but lets talk about a few things first.
First, what are your habits? Even if you're consistent with getting up at 6am and spending a good hour on the floor getting your flex on, hitting the elliptical for 35 mins then stretching is great, but are you getting the results that make your training pay off? Being fit and healthy is deeper than we think. If you're doing that, don't think it's bad. We just need to tweak a few things.
Eating correctly is just as important if not more than exercising. About 36% of Americans are considered Obese due to not eating correctly. The number of citizens who have a type of cardiovascular disease is still increasing each year that passes. Remember that having average body composition (body fat) does reduce the chances of being diagnosed with a cardiovascular disease. Here are a few things to consider that'll help you get fit & healthy and stay that way.
1. Slow down on the starchy carbs.
Yeah I know. That waffle looks really good with the powdered sugar, whipped cream, strawberries and light syrup but it's not the greatest thing that you should put on your plate. If your goal is to shed some fat, I recommend turning your focus away from the starchy foods. Working out first will be beneficial, if you insist on eating carbs like a waffle, pasta, bread or rice. You should consume them within 1-2 hours of doing so but in moderation. Now I'm not saying that it's low carb dieting, because it's definitely not. If anything, it's carb controlling. You'll be getting your carbs from the veggies and fruits (you'll read more on that below) and a small amount from sugary sources, if you're following a good meal plan. In other words, if you want those sugary and starchy carbs, you've got to tell your body to earn them. If you exercise first, a small amount of those carbs should be your reward.
2. Eat healthy every 2 to 4 hours.
Sometimes you get super busy where you can barely eat a meal or you have to skip one. When you eat every 2 to 4 hours, it stimulates your metabolism, helps maintain lean muscle mass (When you're active, your body will want to burn the extra fat mass.), and it gives balance to your blood sugar. If you want to start improving your body composition, this is a very good start along with my first tip.
3. Eat Veggies with every feeding.
I can't be the only person who was told as a kid that vegetables should always be eaten. I use to hate green beans (to this day I still don't like them), but I love celery, spinach and carrots out of every vegetable. Vegetables contain micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). They also contain Phytochemicals which is extremely helpful for your physiological function and does provide an alkaline load to your blood. Keep in mind that it's good to balance the protein and grain acids that are already going to your blood. Not enough alkalinity and too much acid can result in losing the strength in your bones and a decrease in your muscle mass. You should be eating at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies (mostly veggies) daily too.
Try following a few of the tips that I gave you. The changes won't happen overnight, but consistency is what makes a difference!