Could your diet be the key to accelerating your fitness journey?
When embarking on your fitness journey, it is easy to place the focus solely on exercise. However, making changes to your diet is key to seeing results more quickly and enhancing your fitness experience. Keeping healthy through both diet and exercise will also reduce your risk of many severe health conditions such as heart disease. That doesn’t mean you need to cut out the things you enjoy, though; simply making better and more informed decisions can have a significant impact on your fitness when paired with regular exercise. Knowing where to start is tricky, so read on for our top advice on refining your diet!
Where should you start?
The best place to start is by being mindful of what you are eating currently and never putting yourself down when you eat something unhealthy. Fostering an unhealthy relationship with the food you eat will be just as counterproductive for your health! Not everything is about calorie count (although that is an important factor!), but what your calories are made up of is also vital to be mindful of. For example, you could consume an appropriate amount of calories within one day. However, if those calories all came from burgers, chips and chocolate, you wouldn’t have gotten the proper amount of nutrients.
Let’s talk calories
The number of calories you need to consume within a day will depend on height, weight, and sex, but your fitness goals also affect how many calories you need and the best place to source those calories. You can find a great calorie calculator here to give you an idea of how many calories is best for you.
Diet management isn’t just about losing weight. You can alter your diet to help you gain weight, maintain weight, or help you consume more or less specific nutrients (such as protein) to help build muscle. The key is to try different things and see what works for you, but tracking nutrient consumption is very helpful across the board, so it’s worth trying!
Macronutrients and tracking your progress
Even if your ultimate goal isn’t to build muscle, protein consumption is vital to your health. It promotes muscle repair, keeps you fuller for longer, and even helps your hair stay healthier! To get an idea of how much protein you should consume in a day, take your body weight in kilos and multiply it by 1.6. The figure you end up with is your ideal protein consumption in grams.
Another important thing to consider is that tracking your weight might not be the best course of action to monitor the effectiveness of your diet and fitness. Muscle weighs more than fat, so a good combination of diet and exercise will mean that you lose fat and gain muscle. Gaining muscle doesn’t have to be your primary goal, but regular exercise and good protein consumption will build muscle mass on a small scale. This means that, despite losing fat, you may not see a dramatic difference in your weight, which is why it isn’t always the best metric to use to measure your progress. Instead, taking measurements of your body (waist, arms, legs, etc.) is a far more precise way of tracking your progress.
Now you’re ready to get your diet right!
Finally (and most importantly), it’s essential to enjoy yourself! By making small changes to your diet and exercise routine using the advice in this blog, you’re far more likely to feel healthier, happier and stronger than if you make dramatic changes that you don’t enjoy and can’t stick to. Maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle is a marathon, not a sprint. There will be ups and downs, but being mindful of your choices and being kind to yourself will stand you in great stead to feel like your best self!
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