A Few Things You Can Do to Improve Your Diet

Are you one of those people who makes new year resolutions? Was one of your resolutions this year to improve your diet? Well, we’re almost halfway through the year now and you have done nothing about your diet. Or maybe you tried but gave up barely a week into it. Worry not; all is not lost. The mistake that most people make is thinking that they can make drastic changes to their diets overnight. This is what makes many people give up and go back to their unhealthy eating habits. The changes you make should be small and gradual so that your body adjusts as you go along. This article explains a few simple things you can do to improve your diet.

  • Come up with a meal plan

This is the most effective way to ensure that you stick to your new diet and do not end up eating unhealthy foods because you did not plan in advance. You will also be able to avoid takeout which is almost always unhealthy. Make a meal plan at the beginning of every week. This should include all meals; breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as any snacks you plan on having between meals. However, the snacks should be healthy. For instance, you can be sure to get healthier with a green drink in place of a soda or processed juice. Note that skipping meals is not a good weight loss strategy.

  • Try and make your meals as colorful as possible

The more colorful your food is, the more nutrients it contains and therefore the healthier it is. Include different fruits and vegetables in order to get those vitamins that you need. Colorful food is also more appetizing and tastier, and you will be looking forward to it and not dreading it.

  • Reduce your sodium intake

Too much salt is not good for your health. Try your best to reduce the amount of sodium you take in a day. You can start by avoiding adding raw salt to food. This will help to regulate your blood pressure and also reduce your cravings for sweet things which are not good for your health.

  • Have dates instead of sugar

Sugar is packed with calories that will counter your weight loss efforts. Have dates instead of sugar. They will satisfy your sweet tooth without affecting your blood sugar levels. Dates are also rich in potassium which helps in cell metabolism.

  • Plan your cheat days

There are days when no matter how hard you try, you cannot resist that pizza or ice cream. Plan for your cheat meals so as to keep track of your calories and keep the cravings under control.

  • Make your meals tasty

If your meals are boring and tasteless, you can easily give up on your diet. To avoid this, make your meals tasty so that you look forward to them and not dread them. Look for fun recipes you can try online in order to make your meals more exciting.

Why Reaching Your Fitness Goals Is Primarily About Diet

If you’ve heard the saying that weight management is 80 percent diet and 20 percent working out, there’s something to it. You can’t out-exercise a bad diet, which is why your nutrition needs to be at the foundation of your goals. However, remember that what you eat isn’t just about feeding your muscles and reducing fat cell size. In fact, nutrition also affects the mind, which is why your diet can fight fatigue, help mentally get you through a workout, and get you excited about taking a new class or going up in free weights.

It really is mind of matter, and your “matter” is what you’re trying to control. It’s a great idea to work in tandem with a nutritionist and personal trainer if you’re at the start of your journey (or anywhere along the way). These experts can help you pinpoint what it is you want to achieve and map out the best way to do it. After all, if you don’t know what you want to do, how will you know the tools you need to get there?

Reducing fat cells

There’s no such thing as “losing weight” unless you get surgery such as liposuction. All you can do is reduce or increase the size of your fat cells. Everyone is born with a set amount. Diet is at the core of reducing fat cells, although it’s more complicated than calories in/calories out. Still, this is a very basic framework, and it’s important to understand the caloric content of what you’re consuming. Even more important is making sure what is within those calories to nourish your body.

Reducing the number of calories you consume will likely reduce your fat cell size. However, even with working out, you can’t target fat loss areas. Everyone also has a natural shape and often pockets of fat that are too stubborn to move. The best way around this is to contour your body by building muscle in key areas to help off-set this natural tendency. That’s where muscle mass comes into play.

Some people, particularly women, shy away from building muscle because they think it will make them look too masculine. As a woman, this isn’t possible—women simply don’t have the hormone balance to achieve a masculine look. Everyone should focus on muscle mass because sarcopenia (age-related muscle loss) begins to really kick in during your thirties and increases with every decade. Muscles are important for daily activities, protecting the body, and keeping you strong.

Muscle mass

There’s no such thing as “toning.” Muscles can either shrink or grow. Toning usually means reducing fat cells and increasing muscle size simultaneously. However, simply strength training isn’t enough. Muscles need to be fed with protein immediately after a strength training session. Aim to consume at least 20 grams of protein right after a strength training session to kickstart the muscle healing process. If you don’t feed your muscles, and this includes the right amount of calories for you, they won’t grow. Worse, they might tear and be damaged from strength training without proper nutrition.

No matter your fitness goals, make sure diet is a critical part of the process. Otherwise, you’ll be working against yourself and will likely never see the results you crave.