3 Diet Tips That Can Help Support Your Fitness Goals

Today I am exited to be sharing some healthy diet tips from guest contributor Elaine Rosales.

Enjoy!

3DietTips

Following a comprehensive and well-rounded workout program is a great way to stay healthy; but keep in mind that it shouldn’t end there. A good portion of the benefits you reap from your fitness plan is acquired not from the workout itself, but from your diet.

Your diet can easily make or break an otherwise excellent fitness regimen, so it is important that you identify which foods deliver the most benefits and which ones can wreck your fitness plan.

Ditch All Unhealthy Processed Foods Now

Pre-packed processed foods may seem convenient, but they do nothing for your health. Processing tends to denature nutrients, meaning you end up with an inferior version of the food. What’s more, processed foods are typically loaded with additives, chemicals, preservatives, GMOs, and artificial sweeteners like aspartame – ingredients that can only negatively affect your health.

Remember, you need whole food nutrition to support your fitness goals. The first order of business should be to eliminate junk foods and processed foods from your diet. Instead, cook from scratch using fresh, organic unprocessed ingredients. Home-cooked meals are not only nutritionally superior, but are far more delicious and flavorful than their processed counterparts.

Replace Unhealthy Carbs with Healthful Fats and Protein

Many people are guilty of consuming too many grain-based carbs and sugar. When consumed in excess, they are stored in your body and converted to fat, leading to weight gain and other detrimental effects. Therefore, you should eliminate these grain-based carbs and sugar from your diet and replace them with healthful fats (contrary to popular belief, they will NOT make you fat) and a moderate amount of high-quality protein.

Examples of foods rich in healthy fats or high-quality protein include:

  • Avocados
  • Organic pastured-raised chicken
  • Organic pastured eggs
  • Organic, grass-fed meat
  • Antibiotic-free whey protein obtained from grass-fed cows
  • Raw nuts, such as pecans, hazelnuts, and walnuts
  • Coconuts and coconut oil

Remember, these foods must be consumed in their organic, unprocessed form so you can get all the nutrients intact.

Avoid Sugar – Especially Fructose – at All Costs

As much as possible, you must avoid all processed foods and beverages that contain high amounts of sugar and fructose, which can nullify the benefits of exercise.

Do not be fooled by beverages that masquerade as “health drinks,” such as energy drinks, sports drinks, fruit juices, and other sweetened beverages like Vitamin Water.

Fructose can greatly sabotage your fitness efforts by fooling your metabolism and turning off your body’s appetite control system, which causes your body to gain weight. Excessive fructose consumption can also lead to abdominal obesity, decreased HDL and increased LDL, elevated triglycerides and blood sugar levels, and high blood pressure. These are all symptoms of metabolic syndrome.

Fructose consumption within two hours of your high-intensity workout will also decimate your natural human growth hormone (HGH) production. Sugar increases your production of somatostatin, which mainly works by inhibiting your HGH production.

Aside from avoiding sugar, you must also remember to combine a high-quality protein with a veggie-type carb after working out, such as a whey protein smoothie or lean chicken and a spinach salad. This is important whether it’s a resistance training day, interval cardio day, or a rest (non-workout) day.  However, the timing of your meal differs depending on your workout for that day:

  • After a cardio workout, wait 30 to 45 minutes before consuming a high-quality protein and veggie-type carbohydrate, to maximize the “fat-burning wave” of your exercise session.
  • After a resistance workout, consume your post-workout meal 15 to 30 minutes after your session in order to repair your muscles. Whey protein is a good choice, as it’s easily assimilated and rapidly digested in your body. Consume it with a higher glycemic (fast-released and starchy) carbohydrate, like a banana.

The late fitness expert Jack Lalanne said that “Exercise is King. Nutrition is Queen. Put them together and you’ve got a kingdom.” Being physically active is not enough. You must also make healthy diet choices to ensure the overall success of your fitness goals.

ElaineRAbout the Author

Elaine Rosales writes for Mercola. She is recently researching the link between fitness and nutrition. Her previous report was on finding a safe and high-quality superfood supplements and how to select a trustworthy manufacturer.

About Valerie 

Valerie Remy-Milora is the mother of 3 amazing girls, an author, public speaker, coach and founder of Scrumptious Moms. She is passionate about empowering moms to embrace self care and live a vibrant, joyful life with their loved ones. A health and fitness nut, she is an advocate for chemical-free living, real food and GMO labeling. She believes in the sanctity of life from conception to natural death.

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Comments

  1. I have a hard time avoiding sugar, that is the one that gets me.

  2. I would love to throw out all the processed foods in the house but my hubby is a junk food eater. 🙁

    • Oh I know what you mean Anne! It’s a battle in our house as well haha. My hubby eats mostly health but he nikes at least 100 miles a week so he “needs” his carbs.. a fabulous excuse for keeping foods in the house I would much rather not have around 😉

  3. I’m not good at avoiding processed foods, I admit it. I like them a little too much, but I know I should cut back. Thanks for the nudge!

    • You are most welcome Liz. Processed foods are hard to avoid for many reasons. First of all they taste great! Sadly this is due to many chemical and toxic additives, including sugar and sodium… And they are laced with chemicals that are addictive in nature… The more you eat them, the more you crave them. It’s a vicious circle that keeps you buying and eating more than you want. The good thing is that once you cleanse your body of all the junk and cleanse your palette you start to crave the foods that are rich in wholesome nutrients and actually make you feel GOOD!!! I’m here if yo need support 🙂 You will be so glad you made the decision to kick processed foods out the door for good!

  4. Sugar is also my weakness. However I love the post workout meals,tips!

  5. Thank you for sharing this, it was really helpful to me. I have a few pounds that just.won’t.come.off and I bet it would kick start it if I followed these tips!

  6. Thanks for providing such great tips. I try to stick to veggies & lean protein, but there’s always room for improvement.

  7. Thanks for the great tips. I’m really trying to get to sticking to a diet and these will help.

    • You are welcome Vanessa. One thing that may help is to NOT think of it as a diet.. There’s a lot of negativity and a felling of restriction associated with that word. Think of it instead as a new lifestyle, one that’s fun and exciting and focus on all that you gain rather than what you are giving up.

  8. I’ve cut sugar way, way down in my diet since 12/26, and surprisingly, it’s been easier than I thought it would be. I need to work on fried and starchy foods, now… I love potatoes (a little too much). 🙂 Thanks for the tips about what to eat and the timing after a cardio or resistance workout!

    • Awesome Donna! It’s amazing how much easier it often is to give something up that isn’t good for you. When you realize how much more energy you have and how great you feel overall you find that you don’t really miss it that much. I love potatoes too and cave in once in a while. Sweet potatoes make a great substitute.

  9. Becki24 says:

    Trying so hard to cut down on all the white bread I eat, can already feel a difference after just a couple weeks!

  10. great tips! 🙂

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