Exercise is one of the best forms of preventive medicine for the human body. Maintaining a regular exercise regimen helps our bodies rejuvenate by flushing out toxins, increasing bone density and improving body composition. Starting a fitness program is a great step in living a healthy lifestyle, but to get the most out of your time and effort in the gym, exercise must be met with proper nutrition. The feeling of working hard but not seeing the results is discouraging. Achieving desired, long-term results can only occur by exercising AND eating healthy.
Our bodies depend on a balance of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water to maintain optimal function. The keys to healthy eating are adequacy, balance, moderation and variety.
Adequacy – Consuming the appropriate amount of calories, fiber and essential nutrients needed.
Carbohydrates – 45% – 65% of daily calories
Fat – 20% – 35% of daily calories
Protein – 10% – 35% of daily calories
Balance – Selecting items from multiple food groups: grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, meats and dairy.
Moderation – We like to use the 80/20 rule – making clean food choices 80% of the time and enjoying favorite foods 20% of the time. (But even enjoying your favorites should be done in moderation).
Variety – Consuming a variety of lean meats and fish, fruits and vegetables with different cooking techniques, and incorporating new flavors will make it easier to maintain proper nutrition.
Practicing the four keys to healthy eating in combination with regular exercise will help you reach your goals faster, and maintain them. You will greatly decrease risk of obesity and developing chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and more. Be sure to check out our recipes and healthy tips to help you achieve your goals!