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.

Tips for Planning a Successful Fitness Regime

There are several reasons why you might be seeking a fitness regime that lets nothing fall through the cracks. Perhaps you’re running a marathon for charity, you’ve set yourself ‘body goals’, or you’re simply looking to encourage more strength, energy, and vitality in your life. Fitness regimes are so successful because they make exercise and training the norm. It’s a routine that you follow daily, weekly and monthly towards an end goal. The perfect fitness regime will leave nothing to chance and will consider all aspects of life in your quest for healthy living. Below are some top tips for planning that complete fitness schedule that’ll be most efficient in getting you where you want to be.

Start With Your Goals

A fitness regime is all well and good, but parachuting it into your work-life schedule will be ineffective if you don’t have some core values and goals that are inspiring your healthy change in lifestyle. Goal visualization is what drags athletes out of bed at 4 am for pre-breakfast runs. It’s what will get you into the gym after a long and stressful day at work after which all you feel like doing is vegetating on the couch. Be mindful of what’s inspiring you so that you’re able to revisit those aims when your motivation is particularly low.

The wonderful thing about setting an overarching goal is that you’ll be able to track your progress towards it using smaller goals. If you want to complete a local triathlon within a certain timeframe, you’ll be able to plan your swims, cycles, and runs, noting your gradual improvements along the way. If you’re simply looking to shed a few pounds, jumping on the scales every week or documenting your body as it changes can be extremely motivational, and help you strive towards your goal.

It’s a Mentality Thing

Goals and objectives aside, your everyday mentality is the key to planning and executing a successful fitness regime. Goals certainly motivate and guide you, but you’ll only be able to plan a fitness regime that works for you with a mentality that is both excitedly ambitious and cautiously aware of your limitations. Ambitious in that you’re not easy on yourself. Exercise should, after all, be testing yet cautious because overtasking yourself can lead to health problems and self-criticism when you inevitably fail to fulfill your plan.

With this in mind, exercise a good deal of self-love and respect when constructing whatever unique and exciting regime you think will take you from A to B seamlessly. Don’t plot unfeasible exercises into busy sections of your life, and don’t let your regime consume you in a way that’ll have you missing out on family time, drinks with friends or even that understated yet incredibly important rest period that’s as valuable as exercise in a well-constructed regime.

Research and Ask for Help

A fitness regime is set apart from simply planning on doing more exercise because it’s a logically thought-through structure of workouts and sessions that target muscle groups and bodily systems in such a way as to maximize the efficiency of your progress. Whether you’re at home in the gym or you’re a complete novice when it comes to weight machines, having a solid grounding in the theory of exercise will prevent you from making errors that will at best limit your progress and at worst cause you a serious muscular injury that will disrupt your best-laid fitness plans.

There are two main ways to access this information: through research in books, blogs, magazines and fitness websites, and through asking a professional in your local fitness facilities. Even asking a fellow gym-goer for a tip here and there can be illuminating and can help you make friends in your regular place of worship to the iron-pumping gods. When it comes to extra assistance, you won’t go far wrong by utilizing the knowledge and tailored approach of the likes of Transform Personal Training specialists, who’ll put you through your paces in a regime custom-fitted to your abilities and aims. They’ll make the planning simpler for you so that when you’re confident, you’ll be able to go it alone.

Don’t Forget Nutrition

Alongside any fitness schedule should be an awareness of what fuel you’re putting into your body. This needn’t be such a structured plan, unless, of course, you’d like to change your nutritional lifestyle as you change your exercise habits. However, it should take into account the profound link between fitness and diet; muscle growth and protein consumption; carbohydrate loading and aerobic energy. Your regime may require a little tinkering to your shopping basket or your fostering of a whole new culinary culture. It’s really up to you, and what nutritional tips you choose to follow.

Most exercise will change the structure of your muscles, subtly tearing them in order make them bigger, or repeatedly training them to change their constitution. Protein is the magic ingredient that speeds this process along, and you should consider upping your protein intake through dietary changes as well as the ubiquitous protein shake, which gives you easy high doses of protein at the conclusion of a workout. This is not to mention a host of more nuanced tips that you’re free to research and act on depending on your fitness aims.

Keep it Interesting

Routines elicit sighs and groans because they can so quickly become humdrum and boring due to their repetitive and unvaried nature. A fitness regime should operate with the flexibility to avoid boring dead-ends that are so uninspiring as to kill the spirit of motivation inside you. Be creative and vary your day’s exercise plans. Fitness training is laborious enough as it is, so be wary of the effect of planning a regime that’ll inspire boredom after a few weeks.

It’s for this reason that personal trainers, fitness gurus, and experienced athletes will regularly run off two separate plans. One plan which generalizes a weekly set of tasks (swim, run, or gym), and another that is week-specific, and expands on those tasks with unique and ever-changing ideas. A monthly swim in a lake or the sea, for instance, makes a much-appreciated break from plowing the same old lanes at your local pool. In the same sense, running in different environments, driving out of town to discover a new exploratory route is rewarding in the sense that you’re experiencing newness as you fulfill your exercise plan’s criteria - two birds, one stone.

Accept Inevitable Disruptions

The best-laid plans can go awry through the hustle and bustle of life’s challenges, and disruptions of myriad forms should be seen as an inevitability that you can’t plan for, but you’ll nonetheless be able to work through in your own time. Sometimes you’ll miss a morning session because you’ve been out at a wedding the previous evening, or you’ll be called into an all-hands-on-deck family situation that demands your full attention. When life presents you with these setbacks, take them in your stride. You’ll be able to get back up to speed with your regime when you’ve got the time.

It isn’t to say that you should begin to give yourself soft excuses not to follow through on your regime. Your willpower should prevent you from taking time off when it’s not needed. The trick to keep your fitness progress ticking over is to have some home-based routines (and maybe some equipment) so that if you’re not able to make it out of the house, you’ll still be able to get some form of workout under your belt to keep you on the path to your goal.

Reevaluate When You Reach Your Goal

If you’ve researched a fully-fledged routine, performing it regularly and diligently for a set number of weeks, you’ll arrive at your goal at some point. It might be that you’ve trained to the point of running a sub-3 hour marathon. It could be that you’ve achieved the muscle tone of your dreams for your beach vacation. Or you’ve got yourself in a position where you’re a valuable asset to a local sports team. Whatever your goal is, once you reach it you may in some way feel that your routine has become redundant.

It may well have; it depends on the longevity of your fitness project. But after some well-deserved celebration and a firm slap on the back in pride, you’ll have time to reevaluate when you want from your fitness life and especially the question of whether you’d like to cease your regime. Do you want to plateau on the same routine, or aim for new heights with a new advanced regime? Individual circumstances will dictate the decisions you make with regards to what your future exercise schedule will look like. In any case, setting new goals, whether they are connected to exercise or not, will fill that space left by your fitness regime, that’s taken you on your journey to fulfillment.

Planning a fitness regime is perhaps the most important step to achieving lofty exercise-related goals. It is motivational and inspirational; it’ll become the backbone of your lifestyle, melding with your day-to-day life in a way that becomes little more than routine. Follow these tips for successful regime planning so that you’re well-placed to achieve any fitness goal you set yourself, whether it be modest or ambitious.

The Fundamentals of Childhood Nutrition

There are a lot of things that parents need to know when it comes to keeping their young children healthy and happy. Most people having a startling lack of knowledge where nutrition is concerned, and it’s particularly crucial for parents to know what to feed their kids. The more you learn about childhood nutrition, the easier it will be for you ensure that your child grows up to be healthy and strong. Nutrition is especially important when a child is very young.

Vitamins and Minerals

You will find that vitamins and minerals are the foundation of childhood nutrition. You will need to make sure that your child gets all of the vitamins they need on a regular basis. Vitamin A is extremely important, as it plays an essential role in healthy growth and development. Vitamin C acts as a strong antioxidant to promote a strong immune system. Very young children naturally have weaker immune systems than older kids or adults, which is why they need this vitamin and others so badly.

Omega-3s

Omega-3 fatty acids are another important part of childhood nutrition as they are partially responsible for promoting healthy and normal brain function. School-age children are the ones who really need omega-3s, so you will need to keep that in mind. There are many different foods that are loaded with these healthy fatty acids, including certain fish, dark leafy greens, and flaxseed.

Drink Calories

People often neglect to factor in all of the calories they consume in liquid form, and you must also do this for your child. You will want to pay close attention to how many calories your child is consuming in the way of drinks as well as solid foods. Too much sugary juice every day can really add up after a while, so it’s all about moderation.

Snacks

There is absolutely nothing wrong with giving your child the occasional snack between meals, but you will only want to give them healthy foods like slices of fruits or vegetables. You should be able to find lots of foods that can make for a healthy but tasty snack to tide them over until the next meal.

Teenagers

If you have a teenager in the house, you will need to make sure that they get lots of vitamin C, iron and calcium. Your child is still growing, and the calcium will keep their bones strong. The teenage years can be quite hectic for everyone involved, but it’s imperative that you keep them on a healthy diet. Teenagers who are particularly active might benefit from taking a nutrient supplement of some kind so they get what their body needs to stay healthy as a whole.

Every parent should be constantly striving to learn more about childhood nutrition for the benefit of their kids. When you take the time to get this information, you will make yourself a better parent. The food that your child eats or doesn’t eat can have a dramatic effect on their development.

5 Nutrition Rules to Live By

With the passage of time our focus on health is increasing, today due to the presence of technology we have become aware of the importance of staying fit, eating healthy and exercise. But still, we get to hear about a large number of people suffering from illnesses such as Heart diseases, diabetes, and obesity.

The rate of teenagers and young adults suffering from cardiovascular diseases has also increased. I wondered what might be the reason behind it. Well, the primary cause is that while focusing on physical fitness we neglect nutrition. Here I bring to you five golden rules that you need to implement to live a healthy lifestyle.

Say No to Processed Foods:

Foods that are processed chemically pose a severe threat to our health. These products are full of chemicals and preservatives rather than vitamins and minerals. Avoid all types of refined carbs, calorie-rich drinks, artificial sweeteners, frozen items, instant foods and junk items such as French fries, hamburgers, hot dogs, etc.

Focus on getting the nutrients that your body requires and eat whole foods such as Barley, Quinoa, Brown Rice, Millet and whole wheat pasta, bread and buns.

Don’t miss breakfast:

Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day and should be eaten within 30 minutes of waking- up. It boosts our energy at the beginning of the day and provides a combination of the essential nutrients. Even if you are running late, you can have a  meal replacement shake that contains all vital nutritional constituents but never miss your day’s first meal.

 Supplements aren’t a wise option

Supplements shouldn’t be your first option, in case you suffer a deficiency and can’t fulfill the lack of those nutrients with natural foods, only then is it advisable to add multivitamins to your diet. You can also include natural pre-workout supplements if you need to boost your energy before hitting the gym but make sure you consult your dietician before doing so.

A balanced diet is vital!

We all need to realize that instead of giving up on carbs or fats we need to consume a diet that has the correct proportion of all nutrients. Good carbs are an excellent source of energy; healthy fats are essential for joint and bone health, proteins are crucial for repairing tissues, cells and building muscles, vitamins boost our immunity and minerals help to maintain nerve function and improve bone health.

Make sure that you incorporate all these nutrients to your diet, add vegetables & fruits, good carbs, protein such as chicken, turkey or fish and fatty acids such as Omega 3, Omega 6 to your meal.

Stay Hydrated

Our body needs about 2 liters of water every day; it helps cleanse the system and maintain the balance of body fluids that aid in digestion, transportation of nutrients and maintaining body temperature.  So instead of gulping on beverages filled with fructose, use water to fulfill your thirst.  You can also have other drinks such as tea or juices but it is better to avoid drinking caffeine so choose healthier options.

About the Author:

Kelly Newman is a Fitness Trainer and blogger. She loves to write about everything related to fitness and diet and wants to help people adopt a healthier lifestyle. She works with the team behind Health Listed and does extensive research to provide people actionable health and nutrition information.