They say that only 20% of a healthy body is made in the gym, the other 80% is made in the kitchen. Eating a well-balanced diet can be the key to a well-balanced, healthy life, but so can working out, so how do you make sure you’re getting the best of both worlds?
Everyone has different needs depending on their lifestyle, very active people need greater amounts of certain macronutrients than people who are sedentary so when it comes to fuelling your daily routine it’s not as simple as choosing a salad over a doughnut. You need to make sure that you are eating the right types of food at the right times of the day.
Thanks to these zero-carb fad diets, carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap. But carbs are your key to powering you through the day. But you have to choose the right kind of carbohydrates. Most people make up their carb intake with simple carbs found in sweets and processed foods, when really, you should focus on eating the complex carbs found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans.
Then there is protein which is essential to keeping your body growing, maintained, and repaired and can be a source of energy when carbohydrates are in short supply, but it’s not a major source of fuel during exercise, it is far more important post-workout to help rebuild the muscles. On average adults need to eat about 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of their body weight. If you’re active aim for at least 1.0 grams of protein/kilogram.
The perfect post-workout meal or snack should have three goals:
- it should be easy to digest
- it should provide extra energy
- it should encourage muscle growth and repair
Smart choices of things to eat several hours before your workout include a a protein smoothie made with fresh fruit, a scoop of whey or vegan protein powder and a dash of milk or non-dairy milk such as almond or coconut.
When it comes to that post workout munch it is important to eat a high-protein meal or snack soon after a weight-bearing workout if you’re looking to maintain lean muscles. Of course, it goes without saying that hydration during and after your workout are paramount importance, Aim to drink at least 1 to 2 litres of water post-workout depending on the amount of water lost during training. Water will help digest your post-workout meal and deliver nutrients to your muscles.
If you’re trying to lose weight or tone your body, you may be tempted to cut a ton of calories from your meals and start hitting the gym hard.
While cutting calories is a key part of weight loss your diet should never leave you feeling exhausted or ill. Those are signs that you’re not getting the calories you need for good health and fitness.
A diet of 1,200 to 1,500 daily calories is suitable for most women who are trying to lose weight safely while 1,500 to 1,800 daily calories is appropriate for most men which is why every Kcal Extra plan is designed to fit within these guidelines to help you reach your goal weight and our nutritionists are also here to help, they can guide you and help you modify your plan to lose weight in the most healthy and sustainable way possible.
As you settle into an active lifestyle, you’ll very quickly figure out which foods give you the most energy and which ones suck the life out of you and leave you feeling lethargic, the key is learning to listen to your body and balancing what feels right with what’s good for you.
Then, once you’ve started eating right you will probably also be far more motivated to hit the gym, but that doesn’t mean you need to go charging into it head first and taking on intense workouts right from the get go.
Start small, go for easy home workout routines that include crunches, pushups, and lunges in the morning, maybe some easy yoga at night to help you relax and try get your 10,000 steps a day in! After about a week, shake things up, add in more difficult exercises, try out a new classand never let your routine become…well, routine.
When you first start getting into a healthy lifestyle it can seem a little daunting and breaking through the first few weeks of a new routine can be incredibly difficult and you’ll probably want to give up, but you have to power through.
If you need a little extra motivation why not join a gym where you can go to exciting classes, work out any time of day and try new things all the while meeting other newbies, some seasoned veterans and certified personal trainers?
Committing to a membership might seem like a huge waste of money when you’re still trying to figure out and settle into a routine but that’s what makes places like GymNation so awesome. It is one of the most affordable gyms in Dubai and offers over 200 classes included in the price, as well as 500 pieces of the latest equipment spread over 45,000 sqft! The trainers and coaches are always on hand to guide you through how to use everything and they’re open 24 hours – 3am workout? Why not!
So why not get yourself onto a healthy balanced meal plan from Kcal Extra and grab a FREE one month pass to GymNation and see how you feel in the next 30 days!Written by Kimberly Gammage