Just eating 'healthy' foods doesn’t necessarily mean you have a healthy diet. Sure, you want to choose the healthy option as much as possibe. However, those healthy foods need to match your body’s needs in order to get your best performance! It's important to get the correct amount of each macronutrient.
Here's are a few examples:
- Your brain prefers glucose as it’s primary source of energy. Not meeting that need can lead to mental fatigue and irritability!
- If you restrict dietary fat intake too much, your body may not be able to absorb adequate amounts of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
- Fiber is an important part of any healthy diet so the more you eat the better right? Not necessarily!
Here's the secret: Choosing the right foods at the right times, and in the right amounts can make all the difference!
The right foods
It is important to choose the right food for your diet based on your fitness goals and a balanced healthy diet. Each macronutrient plays an important role in your diet. The amount that you need of each is dependent on several factors such as body composition, physical activity level, training regimen, and overall health and wellness goals.
In the Right Amounts
Are you eating the right amounts of the right foods? While you might think so, there is only one way to know for sure. I would recommend using a food journal or app to keep track of your food intake for starters. It is also very important to use your measuring utensils. Using measuring cups and measuring spoons is really the only way to know exactly how much you are eating.
At the Right times
Is the timing of your nutrition optimal? Timing of your meals and snacks can be more important than you think. Here are a few tips for timing your meals right:
- Eat about the same time every day. Why? Eating at regular intervals helps to maintain constant blood sugar levels. For me, scheduled eating also helps to prevent me from becoming hungry, which can often lead to overeating.
- Have a snack before you have an intense workout. You might be thinking 'I'm going to the gym to lose weight, why would I want to have additional calories? No worries- Your pre-workout snack will be part of your daily caloric allotment. This snack is simply to give you adequate energy so that you can increase the intensity of your workout without your blood sugar dropping to an unsafe level.
- After your workout, it is beneficial to have a recovery snack within 30 to 60 minutes. I recommend the composition of this snack be a combination of protein and carbohydrates for muscle recovery.