Uncover the benefits of regular exercise COMBINED with proper nutrition to produce the desired results. Are you wanting better energy, more muscle tone, greater fitness, or clearing that mental fog? Then read on, eat up, and get moving!
It’s common to think that when you train hard, you can eat whatever you like. That slice of pizza. That chocolate bar. Although comforting, this mindset doesn’t make up for bad eating habits. Exercise often won’t offset the excess calories consumed, and similarly, a poor diet will often hinder your performance when exercising leading to even less energy being burned.
A regular exercise routine and healthy eating lifestyle go hand-in-hand to produce the results you want to see. It’s a package!
Return to the Basics
Wendy Middleton, a Nutritionist and Caterer for over 16 years from A Cut Above in Lane Cove, advises the best way to eat: strip it back to basics.
Don’t go for anything with a hefty ingredient list, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.
Keep it simple and start small.
There is no need to overhaul your entire diet in one go. That’ll just leave you feeling bad when you failed to keep up with it.
Wendy’s suggestion – start with tweaking the first meal of the day: BREAKFAST.
MAKE BREAKFAST MANDATORY.
When you change up your breakfast to include quality portions of protein, carbs and healing fats, it has ongoing effects for your mindset towards later meals consumed throughout the day.
Not only have you fed your body well, the energy bank is fuelled for expenditure for the day.
So, if you want to improve your nutrition, eat food – real food. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy healing fats. Don’t over complicate it!
The Top Three
The top three energy sources to get this in includes high quality protein, fats and carbohydrates. Not only does this serve as the proper fuel for our bodies, it aids in recovery and regulates our whole system – internal and external.
Now, when it comes to exerting energy whilst training, it’s vital that the body has adequate quality carbs and protein to recover after a workout. If the body does not receive enough, it will start burning your hard earned muscles to produce this energy.
Protein provides amino acids to the body, which act as building blocks, helping to repair and rebuild body tissue such as muscle.
The protein food groups from plant sources include almonds, chia seeds, or walnuts. Where protein meat and fish sources include lean beef, chicken, salmon, eggs, or bone broth.
Typically, we tend to consume a majority of our protein at our evening meal. However, a tip is to try spreading that protein intake throughout the day.
Carbohydrates are our body’s main source of energy.
You hear carbs and perhaps think grains – bread, pasta, rice. Even cookies, soft drinks and sugar contain carbs.
However, try to keep refined carbs to a minimum. Go for non-refined carbs like vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fruit (skin on). These are an excellent source that also supply us fiber, keeping our digestive system going strong. And no – these carbs aren’t going to make you ‘gain weight’!
Now let’s talk fats. Fats give you energy and assist our body to absorb certain vitamins. However, not all fats are made the same.
Saturated and trans fats found in foods like pizza, burgers, or margarine. As you can imagine, these are not healing fats. It’s important to limit your intake, replacing this with two types of healthier healing fats.
Monounsaturated fats. These are found in the greatest amounts in avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, peanut butter or grass-fed ghee.
Polyunsaturated fats. These are found in the greatest amounts in walnuts, sunflower seeds, and fish like salmon, trout or mackerel.
Eating a combination of these important nutrients will help provide efficient fuel, help you feel satiated for longer and keep those energy levels up – supporting that output of energy depleted throughout the day.
The Effects of NOT Eating Well
Wendy often see’s clients suffering with low energy, poor mood, poor sleep and gut and digestive problems. These are just some of the consequences of poor nutrition, as the list of effects continues to grow.
It’s an ongoing cycle.
In the short term, what poor nutrition does for us is contribute to an energy imbalance, inhibiting us to be at our best on the day-to-day basis.
Some key long term consequences include:
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Heart disease
Food is really medicine. Regular exercise is also medicine. What a powerful tool when we combine the two.