If you’ve recently started working out, you’re surely looking for tips on how you can maximize your performance. Well, in addition to learning how to properly do each exercise and getting enough sleep, what you eat also plays a big role in your endeavors.
With that in mind, keep on reading for some top nutrition tips that will get you where you want to be in terms of fitness.
Start with small changes
To begin with, keep in mind that it’s simply not realistic to expect that your eating habits can change overnight. Trying to go cold turkey often leads to frustration, disappointment, and giving up. As you want to avoid this scenario, you should start implementing small changes into your habits.
For instance, drink a few more glasses of water a day, add veggies to every single meal, or focus on having healthy breakfasts for a few weeks before you tackle all meals. Little by little, you will get used to these new habits and start eating a more balanced diet.
Avoid diet fads
It can be tempting to start a new trendy diet, but you should be aware of the fact that most of these fads come and go. In most cases, that is because they simply don’t work. If you start following a diet that promises fast weight loss, chances are that you will lose the weight but gain it right back once you stop adhering to its rules.
Then, many of these fad diets eliminate foods that are actually good for you, resulting in nutritional deficiencies. Instead, just opt for real food. Include veggies, healthy meat, seeds, nuts, and other real ingredients.
Don’t focus solely on losing weight
If you focus solely on the number on the scale, you can feel disappointed for no good reason. So, try setting other fitness goals for yourself that will motivate you to keep going.
For example, you can do your best to complete more reps or use heavier weights. By focusing only on weight loss, you will miss out on some great achievements on your fitness journey.
Stock up on healthy food choices
Many people do their best to stick to a healthy diet but make a crucial mistake by purchasing unhealthy snacks and keeping them around the house. If you have over-processed foods, salty chips, sweet drinks, and similar items within reach, you could be tempted to eat them. Try avoiding them at the store and opt for stocking up on healthier alternatives like fresh fruit and granola bars.
Plan your meals
A good idea that can help you avoid empty calories and stick to your nutritional goals is meal prep. Start by picking one day of the week during which you can cook and prepare all the meals for the following week. That way, you will always have a healthy meal at hand, and you won’t be tempted to reach for fast-food alternatives.
In case you are not sure how to approach meal planning, you can always ask for professional advice from certified personal trainers like the ones from Soul Train. These professionals can help you create a plan that will fit your needs and lifestyle.
Besides planning meals, you should start eating mindfully. That will help you not overeat and eat exactly how much your body needs. Try to truly feel every bite and focus on the smells, textures, and tastes that you are experiencing. Eat slowly while you think about your goals and then stop when you are full.
Mindful eating also means that you shouldn’t watch TV or scroll social media on your phone while eating, as that can be terribly distracting and lead to overeating.
Water is another important part of your nutrition that should not be overlooked. As it allows your brain and other vital organs to function properly, it’s crucial that you drink more water once you start exercising on a regular basis, as excessive sweating can lead to dehydration.
Even mild dehydration can affect your concentration and performance. Aim for four liters of water a day and carry around a water bottle to ensure you stay hydrated. Moreover, keep in mind that various soft drinks and alcohol contain a lot of sugar, which is why you want to avoid them for the most part.
Track what you eat
You might not even be aware of how many calories you intake on a daily basis. This is why it’s a great idea to start tracking what you eat. There are many apps that can help you record everything you eat and better understand what each meal contains in terms of protein, carbs, and fats. Just remember to take a few days off in order to not become obsessed with food and your intake.
Get a diet buddy
In case you feel like you can’t follow a program on your own, you can also see if any of your friends or family members would like to accompany you on your journey. While all bodies are different and might have different needs, most foods are beneficial for everyone unless they have their own specific goals. Having a diet buddy to keep you accountable can be of great help.
Aim for consistency
Finally, remember that the key to success is consistency. Sure, you’re not going to be able to keep up with your program every day, and you might make a few wrong choices here and there. However, as long as you don’t make it a habit, it should not be a problem. Just aim to be consistent, and you will build healthy habits.
If starting a fitness journey, keep these nutritional tips in mind, and you should start seeing a difference soon.