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Getting Fit: The Role of Diet

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1 Getting Fit: The Role of Diet on 9th June 2010, 7:28 pm

Getting Fit: The Role of Diet
What you eat affects your workout. Follow these nutrition guidelines to get your diet and exercise habits in sync.

Are you working hard at the gym but it just doesn't seem to be enough — the weight isn't dropping off, your physique isn't improving, or you're still feeling sluggish and unmotivated? Before overhauling your routine — or giving up — take a look at your diet.

Your body is a complex machine that requires the right fuel — a healthy diet — to power through your workouts so you can achieve your fitness goals.

Diet and Exercise: Getting in Sync


To get the most from your workouts, you need to consider how fitness and nutrition work together. Deciding what you want to accomplish with your fitness plan will will allow you to formulate the best diet.


"The first thing I recommend is figuring out your goals," says Sandra Meyerowitz, MPH, RD, LD, a nutritionist and the owner of Nutrition Works in Louisville, Ky. "Do you want to lose weight or get healthier and more fit? For weight loss, you need to make sure you're eating the right number of calories to match your workout schedule.

" It's simply a matter of calories in versus calories out: To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume.


Diet and Exercise: Foods to Fuel Your Body


You can't expect to make it through an intense workout without energy. Food provides energy through calories — but not all calories are equal. "You have to put good fuel in your body to make it work efficiently," says Meyerowitz. Calories from fast-food cheeseburgers and greasy fries won't help your body perform at its best. "Eating well is even more important when you work out regularly," Meyerowitz adds. An active body needs nutritious calories to function properly.


A fitness diet ideally follows many of the same nutrition guidelines as any healthy diet plan. You need a balanced combination of nutrients — both carbohydrates and proteins — to power your workouts and achieve your weight-management goals. "What many people don't realize is that your body uses carbohydrates as its first source of energy," notes Meyerowitz. An all-protein diet will not complement a heavy workout schedule. Fifty-five to 60 percent of your daily calories should come from carbohydrates and about 15 percent from protein.

Remember that carbohydrates include many foods besides pasta and bread. Dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains such as brown rice, barley, and quinoa are all carbs too.


Diet and Exercise: Pre- and Post-Workout Meals


Going to the gym doesn't give you free rein to eat and drink whatever you want. And although a consistently healthy diet is important generally for the maintenance of an active lifestyle, what you eat immediately before and after a workout determines whether you'll meet your goals for that exercise session.


Prepare your body for exercise with a healthy snack. It should provide an energy boost without adding too many calories.


Consider these choices:

A cup of yogurt and a piece of fruit

A whole-grain English muffin with a little peanut butter

An apple and a piece of low-fat cheese

A handful of unsalted nuts such as almonds or walnuts and a piece of fruit



You can try these and other healthy snacks to figure out what helps your body function at its highest level, says Meyerowitz. Though there isn't one miracle food that can be recommended for everyone, no one should depend on junk food to fuel a workout. "These foods do not provide you with energy," says Meyerowitz. Besides, heavy, greasy, and sugary foods require a long time to digest and can make you uncomfortable during exercise.


When choosing a snack, you should also consider calories. A snack with 150 to 200 calories should be enough to get you through a workout. If you exercise just before lunch or dinner, however, skip the snack and wait until your meal.


And don't forget: What you eat after your workout is just as important. A great post-workout dinner choice could be a small portion of whole-grain pasta with a side salad, suggests Meyerowitz. Whatever you choose, aim for a balance of carbohydrates and protein, just as you did before exercising.


Apart from these nutrients, it's also necessary to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to prevent dehydration. This is especially true if you sweat a lot during exercise.


Paying attention to your eating habits and to the ways food affects your body will help you design a diet to fit your goals and fitness routine.


Nutritious foods will give you energy to work out and help you feel better before, during, and after exercise.

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2 Re: Getting Fit: The Role of Diet on 10th June 2010, 2:42 pm

thanks, that was useful... Very Happy

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3 Re: Getting Fit: The Role of Diet on 10th June 2010, 5:29 pm

I like finding useful things lol

Im still on the salad lunches but with the heat at the moment im not exercising much Sad i just wanna lay on the cool floor rofl

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4 Re: Getting Fit: The Role of Diet on 23rd August 2010, 6:20 pm

thanks, that was useful...

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5 Re: Getting Fit: The Role of Diet on 30th September 2011, 10:31 am

Hey really great tips! Diet & exercise is the effective way to losing weight.

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