Often times, we let our fitness take the back burner in our daily lives. By the time we realize the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, we need a bit of direction to get started. If you were to ask any personal trainer or nutritional coach what the backbone of daily health is, they would tell you it starts with proper nutrition. Eating right can be a tedious and somewhat grueling process in the beginning. You are learning what good carbs are and what bad fats can do. It might seem a bit daunting at first but know that with a little dedication and research, you can begin a journey into food that will reduce stress, boost confidence, and get your body looking like a million bucks! Below are four tips to start your journey into a healthier life.
- Know Your Foods: Eating the right amount and combination of foods can make or break your journey to that flat belly or perfectly toned glutes. Start here with learning what different foods do to keep your body functioning (Fat | Cholesterol | Sodium | Carbohydrate | Protein). Follow these links to get a rundown of the various foods that can push your fitness to the next level (Fruits | Vegetables | Grains | Dairy | Meats | Seafood). We recommend eating* 50% fruits and veggies, 25% lean protein, and 25% whole grains. *always watch for additives in packaged food.
- Where and When To Eat: Knowing when to eat can be tricky. If you work in an area that is food-restricted, then plan accordingly for your lunch breaks and refrigeration needs. If you work in a free food zone, plan to eat when you need to and not because you are bored. The main point is to minimize over-eating (unless it is veggies or other super low-calorie foods). There are scientific studies that support eating one-two times a day and some that support 6 or more meals per day. The main question to ask yourself is WHAT are your eating and HOW OFTEN are you eating it. Check out some great advice here on how often to eat.
- Beverages: Some of us choose to indulge in the occasion adult beverage. The key word here is ‘occasional.” Remember that alcohol is a diuretic, which means it causes dehydration. Chronic consumption of alcohol can also mess with your digestion, making it difficult for your body to absorb nutrients like amino acids and B vitamins. Furthermore, many studies have found 2 or more alcoholic beverages consumed everyday can lead to lowered testosterone, significant water retention, and increased fat accumulation (think of all those sugary mixed drinks!) among others. The bottom line is as long as you practice moderation, you should be fine (we all like to let loose!). We recommend keeping to water, tea, and 100% juices while trying to lose weight.
- Meal Planning: Planning and preparing meals will allow your healthy eating plan to be a no-brainer. You wont have to worry about which deli special you should eat on your short lunch break or wonder if a convenient store protein bar is a healthy or not. Start by making a list of days or utilizing a calendar to keep track of your daily meals. Next, acquire some Tupperware or cheap meal-prep containers like this.
- Keeping With It: The hardest part of eating right is the initial motivation. Don’t be fooled, it will take some getting used to. You may not see results immediately, but if you eat right, it WILL make a difference. The key is: NEVER GIVE UP! In no time you will be settled into a healthy routine and will be amazed at how much better you look and feel.
Eating right is the first step to overall fitness. During this portion you will learn (through experience) what foods impact your body in positive and negative ways. Some ways of speeding up this process is to change one portion of your meal during a month or two to see how your body reacts. Overall, you should aim for the best combination of foods that keeps your energy up and feelings positive. The next step is your fitness regimen. This is where Ringtime Fitness has you covered. We have programs for every fitness level. No matter where you are starting, always know your body’s limitations and pursue your fitness goals in a safe and effective way. Click here to get started!