Many fitness enthusiasts frequently neglect the most important aspect of staying healthy and fit: nutrition. Physical training is only 20% of the equation, while nutrition takes up the remaining 80%! In other words, you can break down all muscle fibers or perform countless hours of cardio exercises, but if your nutrition is not keeping up, results will be sporadic. Unfortunately, many people have misconceptions of eating appropriately dependent on your goals.
Perhaps the most common goal in exercising (mainly as a new year's resolution) is weight loss. In order for one to begin to see their weight diminish, a caloric deficit is necessary. This formula consists of 2 aspects: burning more calories than you consume and consuming food that are inline with your nutritional needs. Burning more calories is quite straight forward: to activities that increase your heart rate and that make you sweat. However, a misunderstanding in this area is that of believing that cardio is the only form of accomplishing this. Time and time again, fitness experts rave on the importance of resistance (weight) training as a crucial aspect of burning calories. Resistance training causes your body to continue to burn calories throughout the day. It allows you to gain strength and muscle, which with time, increase your metabolism as your body works hard to feed your muscles. However, to accomplish this, it is highly recommended to solicit the assistance of a Personal Trainer, who will put together a proper training plan in a manner where proper form and techniques are measured.
Now with the nutrition side... you need to keep in mind nutritional content! Yes, you need to start learning the nutritional value of your foods. Many people rely heavily on frozen, prepackaged foods. Please understand that in order for these foods to have a long shelf life, they are heavily composed of preservatives, which facilitate this process. As everything, there are 'better' options than others, but overall, long last shelf products have preservatives, an unreasonable high level of sodium, and high caloric value. To keep nutritional content simple, one should focus on calories, protein, sugar, sodium, carbohydrate, and saturated fat values. Furthermore, it is crucial to see how many servings are in the packet. If the serving states 3, then you need to multiply the nutritional values by 3 in order to accurately learn the entire package's value. Another myth is the 'healthy meals' from outside dining places. Again, there are better choices than others, but for the most part, restaurants amp the flavor and taste with condiments that we would otherwise not add at home and which change the overall nutritional value. Yes, a Chipotle or Baja Fresh or Chik-Fil-A salad sound 'healthy,' but you need to understand that more times than not, we add dressing, salt, and other things to go along with that. The safest and cleanest way to eat is by home-prepping the majority of your meals. Furthermore, reducing the times we eat out also increase our bank accounts!
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