So you have the perfect workout routine: cardio exercises to lose weight and circuit training for building muscle and strength. You commit to the program and wait to see the results. However, many people forget the importance of combining fitness and a healthy diet. The best fat burning exercises will not make any difference if your diet is too high in calories or full of processed foods, and you won’t improve your running times or workouts by neglecting a balanced diet.
Nutrition is Complex
There are many different approaches to having a healthy diet. Almost all of them agree on one thing: high quality exercise requires a mix of essential nutrients to fuel the body’s engine. And if weight loss is one of your goals, then you have to consume food that is easily converted into energy and not stored as fat in the body.
The body will naturally crave what it needs if you exercise a lot, and you can help yourself out by studying a little about nutrition. If you want to alter your diet that is fine but try to find an approach that still includes your favorite foods.
If you combine high intensity workouts with too strict a diet you might find your motivation dropping fast. Portion size is also important, so it is probably time to avoid the buffet lines and pay attention to just how much you really need to eat to feel satisfied. It may be less than you think.
When to Eat
When you eat is as important as the food itself. It is a good idea to eat an hour or two before your workout so you will have energy, but you should limit the amount you eat before bed because it will just sit in your stomach. Everyone is different, so try to understand the optimum times for eating and exercise that create best results for you.
Want to Lose Weight?
In addition to a healthy diet, if you want to lose weight then the simple fact is that you have to burn more calories than you eat. If you are a marathon runner, that is easy to accomplish. But if you are walking 30 minutes a day for weight loss then your diet will be at least 50% of your success.
What to Eat
It is well accepted that the healthiest diet is low in processed food and high in single ingredient foods. For example, a meal of chicken and vegetables is better than a frozen pizza with a list of 100 ingredients. It is just easier for the body to extract nutrients from single ingredient foods, and that will convert to energy for your workout.
You can still eat the foods you enjoy and even indulge at times, but having an awareness of nutrition, quality of food and caloric intake will give a boost to your exercise plan. This combined approach will increase progress toward your fitness and weight loss goals. You will look better, feel better and have a new level of energy and well being. Ignoring your diet will have the opposite effect, no matter how much you workout each day.