Working out can definitely do wonders, but without a proper diet plan to go alongside it, then it’s a complete waste of time. Diet is considered one of the most important factors when it comes to overall health, composition, and the appearance of the body. However, researchers from all around the world strongly believe that cutting calories is ultimately not what works. Instead, satisfying hunger with the right kind of food and changing it up a bit from time to time, does work. It’s something every fitness freak out there understands; the very simple fact that calorie counting is not the best path to take.
So, before it becomes an obsession, think about improving your health by changing your staple diet, your eating patterns and addressing any bad habits that may have formed.
The question is…what should you eat?
Micronutrients Always Top The Lists
The three well-known micronutrients necessary for proper functioning of the body are carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Despite what you may have heard about them, they are the very basic needs of every human body. They, in a true sense, are not evil. They in fact make the base of every good fitness freak’s diet plan.
Also known as carbs, carbohydrates are the main source of energy for a body’s daily activities. They are nothing but small, simple chains of sugar that break down into glucose to enter the bloodstream of the body. Once consumed and broken down, it stays in the circulatory system to be used for immediate energy. Some, on the other hand, get stored in the form of glycogen for future use in the muscles and liver. The problem arises when the capacity to store it reaches its limit. It’s then that the excess carbohydrate is converted into fat and stored in the adipose tissue.
However, if you completely eliminate carbohydrates from the diet, the body goes into a starvation mode. This results in the breakdown of fat and protein from the body to be used as fuel. If you have to eliminate carbs from your diet, eliminate the ones that are actually bad. Refined and processed carbs are the ones you should look out for. They are empty calories in comparison to natural carbs. So, don’t be afraid to incorporate healthy carbs into your diet plan; ideally your diet plan should consist of at least 45 to 65 percent of carbohydrates.
Fats are often presumed to be the main cause of the rising obesity problems. Therefore, a lot of people without appropriate knowledge, avoid fat in every way. Whereas the truth is, fats make up an important part of the diet for a number of reasons. It provides the body with energy and storage spaces for that energy in the body. It helps vitamins, such as A, D, E, and K move through the blood stream and get absorbed into the body. Additionally, fats fill up the adipose tissue to provide insulation for body temperature regulation. The long list of the benefits of fat doesn’t end here, there are endless advantages to including fat in your daily diet, just make sure it’s the right kind of fat!
If you wish to maintain a healthy body, your diet should consist of about 20% fat. The trick is to eat more good fats in comparison to the bad ones. Saturated and trans fats are the ones to be avoided at all costs. Saturated fats are usually found in animal products, whereas trans fats are formed when vegetable oil hardens; thus found in fried, processed, and baked foods. The increased levels of unsaturated fats and essential fatty acids, such as omega 3 and omega 6 are the ones highly encouraged and they can be found in fish, nuts, olive oil, canola oil, etc.
Protein comes from a variety of different sources, including meat, fish, milk, eggs, and soy along with beans, nut butter, and legumes. After these proteins are consumed and digested, they leave behind amino acids; the building blocks of protein, which every human body needs. Out of 20 different types of amino acids that complete a protein, 9 are considered essential. Since our body cannot produce them naturally, they must be obtained through diet, which makes it a very good reason to add them to your plate.
Protein plays a critical role for every fitness freak. Without it, building, maintaining, and repairing of the body tissues is not possible and that is the reason why you’ll always find people in the gym with a pre or post workout protein shake. In fact, all enzymes and hormones that perform vital functions are proteins too. Some people may chose to add to their diet by taking on board certain supplements, but this may not always work.
Apart from these micronutrients, remember to make sure that you consume plenty of vitamins and minerals too, because they make up an important part of the diet as well. Other than that, no matter what you do, as long as you stay away from processed food, eat healthier by incorporating the 3 basic micronutrients into your diet like all good fitness freaks do, then you’ll stay fit and fine.
Jorge is a rabid health and fitness aficionado. He is a sports lover and a fitness enthusiast who believes in healthy living. His inspiration lies in all those things that are healthy and natural. He loves to share his knowledge about health, fitness, and muscle-building too.