Living an active lifestyle entails a good diet and continuous physical activity; you need to juggle these two things simultaneously. Exercise is made easy through various tutorials on the Internet; however, meal planning may require more effort. To help you in deciding what to eat and when here are five things to consider while planning your meal.
Are there enough carbs?
Grains, pasta, bread, and cereals are the body’s main source of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates provide the body with the power you need to accomplish day-to-day tasks. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to determining your carbohydrate intake; if you’re going to do more intense workouts for muscle buildup, make sure to consume more carbohydrates earlier on to keep yourself full and energized. On the other hand, stick to a lower carb diet if you want to lose weight.
Are there enough proteins?
If you’re constantly working out, you should make sure you’re eating enough food with protein. Protein, usually found in meats, aids in muscle buildup and recovery. To ensure you’re eating healthy even while consuming meat, choose low-fat cuts of beef and pork. Remove the skin from your chicken and turkey; additionally, you can get protein from seafood too! If you do not want to eat meat, consider plant-based alternatives such as quinoa and lentils that also offer high amounts of protein.
Is there enough variety?
Don’t stick to one type of fruit or one type of vegetable; don’t be afraid to mix it up! Make your plate into a canvas by experimenting with different kinds of fruits and vegetables. Swap out your usual blueberries for blackberries or replace your red pepper with yellow pepper. A more natural and colorful plate is guaranteed to be healthier.
What are you drinking?
Aside from the solids, you also have to consider what you’re going to wash your meal down with. Water, of course, is the most viable option; however, small amounts of caffeine and tea won’t hurt. Green tea, especially, is said to aid in weight loss. What you need to avoid are sugary drinks such as soft drinks and cola; on the other hand, fruit juices may be consumed in moderation – as a supplement, but not to quench thirst.
Are you eating enough?
As mentioned earlier, there is no perfect diet for all. You have to eat and drink depending on your age, gender, height, weight, and current physical activity. Several charts depict the right amount of food you should consume. Peruse through this information carefully to make sure you are not overeating or under eating; both pose a serious threat to your health.
As a general rule, eat when you feel hungry, and drink when you are thirsty. Listen to your body but bare these guidelines in mind before you chow; it’s not required of you to eat healthy every single day of your life. Even professional athletes have cheat days to satisfy their cravings; however, you have to keep your food cheats in that single day. The next day, you have to bound right back and continue living as the improved, healthier you.
You need to eat before and after a workout – it is a known fact. To truly live a healthy and active life, you should ensure that the food you eat is nutritious too; however, nutritious does not have to mean bad tasting. To prove our point, here are five pre-workout and post-workout meals that you can try.
Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie
Who would not want to be energized by a smoothie this good? You can make this scrumptious smoothie by blending ice, bananas, a teaspoon of peanut butter, and almond milk. Customize the flavor of your drink by adding cinnamon or vanilla extract – it is entirely up to personal preference.
Bananas, in general, are a good source of energy; this amazing fruit boosts your glycogen and sugar levels. It is best to consume this 30 minutes-1 hour before the workout; additionally, it is also a nice pick-me-up after a particularly intense workout!
Greek Yogurt and Dried Fruit
To perform your best at a workout, you need to consume a certain amount of sugar. Greek yogurt with dried fruit is enough to provide you with that boost; moreover, it has enough protein and sugar to keep you feeling full without the unnecessary calories! Preparation of this meal is easy; you just mix your preferred fruits into the Greek yogurt. Some people also include a dash of honey or nuts to spruce up their snack.
If you are in a bit of a hurry, protein shakes can solve your time crunch. Proteins help prevent the muscles in your body from breaking down while at the same time, aiding in muscle recovery. You just need to blend your base liquid – either milk or juice – with your whey protein mix; you can also add fruits to enhance your shake’s flavor further! It is an easy way to get you up and running.
If you’re looking to whip up a nutritious meal quickly, make some omelets. Egg omelets are rich in protein, which are a huge help to your body’s muscles; however, consumption of protein should be done 2-3 hours before the actual workout for best performance. To make your omelets even healthier, you can include veggies in your mix, or pair your omelet with whole grain toast.
Sweet potatoes are a staple food for most bodybuilders. It has lower calories than regular white potatoes, but taste just as good! Sweet potatoes also contain lots of fiber, which helps you maintain your appetite and build up your muscles; in addition to this, sweet potato also contains carbohydrates that provide you with energy to carry out your exercise – and help you recover afterward! A common way to serve sweet potato is to cut them up into wedges and serve them; a healthier alternative to french fries!
Indeed, you don’t have to sacrifice your taste buds just to eat nutritious food. A healthy lifestyle also means having to use your creativity to find the perfect balance between healthy and yummy!
It’s no secret that water is a vital part of living; all living things need water to survive; however, you may be confused about certain aspects of water consumption. This article aims to answer most – if not all – the questions you have about water.
Why is water important?
Sixty percent of your body is composed of water; its main purpose in your body is to regulate temperature and maintain other bodily functions. It acts as a cushion and lubricant for your joints, thus protecting your tissues and spinal cord; additionally, it also aids in digestion and waste removal.
How much water do I need to drink?
The general rule is to drink 6-8 glasses – or one liter – of water per day. If you live in hotter climates, you may need more. There is no concrete answer to this question; moreover, if you really want to make sure if you’re well hydrated, monitor your urine. If your urine is clear, then you have nothing to worry about; on the other hand, if it’s dark-colored, you should opt to drink more water. Symptoms of dehydration may include tiredness, headache, dry skin, and dizziness.
What are the benefits of drinking water?
Drinking enough water keeps your digestive system at peak condition; fast metabolism leads to weight loss especially if coupled with continuous exercise. Water is the main fuel of an active lifestyle and helps in improving your overall fitness.
When should you drink water?
There are suggestions as to when you should drink your eight glasses of water; you should drink water first thing in the morning to activate your internal organs. Next, you should drink another glass 30 minutes before a meal to prevent indigestion. Before taking a shower, drink a glass of water to lower your blood pressure. You should also drink an hour before you sleep to replenish the water lost during your slumber; however, as a general rule, you should drink when you feel thirsty. You don’t need to schedule exact times of when to drink your glass of water. Rather, bear these tips as added information.
Is there a difference between hot and cold water?
Hot and cold water both have its benefits. If you want to drink water directly after waking up, choose hot water. Hot water is said to prevent indigestion and constipation; additionally, it also removes harmful toxins from your body. If you’re experiencing pain – like cramps, for example, hot water also acts as a viable pain reliever.
On the other hand, cold water is preferred after heavy workouts. It’s a huge help in hot summer days and also speeds up your metabolism. The recipe for weight loss includes cold water after solid workouts!
An active lifestyle does not mean you need to drink water alone! Only drinking water keeps you safe from diabetes and like diseases, but if you can’t stay far from your cup of tea, don’t force yourself to. Living healthily just entails proper discipline and self-control.