When you are creating an exercise regime, as well as the actual physical activity that you will be doing, you also need to closely consider what you are actually putting in your diet. Obviously, your diet can end up making such a big difference to how quickly and successfully you achieve your goals. There are various different parts which make up a healthy diet, and we are going to examine some of them closer right here, as well as how they relate to some of the most common workout goals out there.
Your first concern needs to centre on the number of calories you are consuming on a regular basis. If you are intending on losing weight, you need to create a caloric deficit of around 20%. However, if you are trying to build up your muscle levels, you should make it around 250 calories higher than this base level. If you weren’t already aware, your calorie maintenance level refers to the amount that you need to maintain your current weight. Your metabolism rate is obviously going to have an impact on this figure. It is a pretty simple sum to work out what you should be consuming once you have this base level. You can monitor your calorie intake alongside your weight to see if there are any adjustments that you need to make along the way.
If you are undertaking regular weight training, a common recommendation involving protein is between 0.8 – 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. There are plenty of food varieties which include the protein that you are looking for such as chicken, fish, eggs, and milk. Your other main option is to look at the supplementary products which are out there such as organic whey protein. Obviously, you will need to make adjustments if you suffer from any conditions such as lactose intolerance.
The next food group to consider is fat. As a general rule of thumb, fat should account for no more than 30% of your total calorie intake, but 25% tends to be the most commonly recommended figure. One gram of fat contains roughly nine calories. So, if your maintenance level number of calories is 2000, you should be consuming 500 grams of fat, which equates to 55 grams. When some people hear the word ‘fat’ they immediately think about all the negative foods out there, but there are plenty of ‘healthy fat’ options out there including fish, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.
The other main food group out there is your carbohydrates. Of course, there is all sort of debate and discussion as to how much you should be consuming. General advice recommends that you work out how many carbs you should be eating after you have already calculated your protein and fat intake. Obviously, there is a lot of debate out there surrounding carbs and the amount that you should be consuming. But carbs don’t only come from things like bread and pasta. You can also find them in fruit and vegetables, rice, potatoes, beans, and various whole grain products.
Protein, fat, and carbohydrates should form the cornerstone of your diet plan to achieve your workout goals. Make sure that you focus on these three groups in the first instance. To keep in control of what you are eating, you should be watching what percentage of calories are coming from each one of these places. As for the number of times a day you should be eating and at what times, you should plan this based on your lifestyle in a way that is convenient, enjoyable, and sustainable. Obviously, eating a good breakfast is common advice to kickstart your metabolism for the day ahead, but feel free to spread out your calorie intake as you see fit to do so.
So, now is the time to consider the other factors which can all play an impact on your workout goals. First of all, you need to drink plenty of water every day. Staying hydrated is the kind of tonic which works to improve all kinds of areas in your body and mind. When you are planning on working out, you should also plan to eat around these times to give you the fuel and reparation materials that you need. Carbs tend to be good for giving you the energy that you require, while protein can help your body to recover nice and quickly.
Of course, you should be getting a vast proportion of your calories from high-quality sources which offer a good level of nutrient density. You may want to treat yourself from time to time, but you shouldn’t let these ‘empty calories’ overwhelm the other parts of your diet. On top of the food which you are consuming, you may want to add a host of other supplements, multivitamins, protein powder etc. But make sure that you factor all these things in when you are coming up with your diet plan.
Now that you have a basic overview of what should be going into your diet plan, you can set about putting one together. If you have a personal trainer or nutritionist, it is obviously worth consulting closely with them, but there is no reason why you can’t put together a plan by yourself. Once you have it, this doesn’t mean that it has to be set in stone. There are all sorts of adjustments and improvements that you can make to it over time. And your goals may end up changing as well, so you will need to alter it along the way for this reason as well.
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