It’s important that you know how to eat healthy and fuel your body properly, whether you are working hard at the gym, running errands, or spending the day at work.
Unfortunately, many of us don’t know how to eat healthy, which leaves us with low energy levels or excess weight. This is partially due to the many diet and fitness myths that have left us more confused about fueling our bodies than ever before.
To remove this confusion, we have busted some of the most popular diet and fitness myths to help you learn how to fuel your body to feel your best.
1. Working Out on an Empty Stomach
Although there are claims that working out on an empty stomach can help you burn more fat, not eating enough before a workout isn’t a good idea. If you are hungry before a workout, you are more likely to burn out sooner and be unable to burn as many calories during your workout.
Before exercising, have a light snack such as an apple. Also, don’t forget to fuel up afterwards with a carb paired with a protein so you can repair your muscles and re-fuel your body. Read more...
2. Energy Bars and Drinks: Friend or Foe?
Although they can be okay every once in a while, many energy bars and drinks are candy bars and soft drinks in disguise. To have the most energy, you can’t beat whole foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, which are a healthy source of energy and are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
3. Eating When You Wake Up
Eating when you wake up is essential to jump-start your metabolism and give you the energy you need to begin your day. Skipping breakfast will only deplete your energy levels and set you up to overeat later in the day.
Bonus tip: Protein and fat keeps you satiated for longer, so start your day off with a meal such as an egg on toast or peanut butter with oatmeal to keep you full until lunch.
4. Low Carb or Low Fat Diets
You should always be wary of diets that cut out or severely limit an important macro-nutrient group like carbs or fats. Your body uses carbohydrates for quick energy, and not getting enough fat in your diet can negatively affect your health. Get a healthy balance of each macro-nutrient group to stay healthy.
5. Working Out and Eating What You Want
Eating healthy and exercising does not give you an all access pass to eat anything you want. Even if you are eating mostly healthy foods, calories still count. Make sure you are not eating too much, because overeating can leave you with excess pounds and zapped energy levels.
6. Extreme Calorie Restriction
On the other hand, make sure you are eating enough calories. Healthy foods like fruits and vegetables are low in calories. They are also high in fiber, which fills you up quick.
Not eating enough calories can leave you fatigued and can cause rapid weight loss, which is not safe. A good weight loss goal is between 1 - 2 pounds a week. Eat enough calories to make sure you have enough energy.
If you find yourself dropping weight too quickly, eat more calorie dense foods, such as nuts or dried fruit.
7. The Importance of Hydration
Drinking enough water is one of the best things you can for your health. Juice and milk are good choices as well, but only in moderation, as the calories from them can add up fast.
Listen to your body, and sip water throughout the day to avoid dehydration. Limit your intake of soda and alcohol, as these can dehydrate you and cause you to pack on extra pounds.
8. Eating the Same Amount Every Day
Contrary to popular belief, you should not eat the same amount of calories each day. If you are trying to lose weight, eating the same amount of calories can stall your metabolism and slow your weight loss.
Also, if you are doing different activities each day, you should vary what you eat. For example, eating a little bit more on the days you workout can help maintain energy levels. Listening to your body is the best way to gauge how well you are fueling it.
Eating differently will affect how your body performs. The healthier you eat, the better you’ll feel. Give healthy eating a chance and you'll see firsthand how much it can change your life - for the better.
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