by: Desiree Harrison http://youforiayoga.com/
Whether you are a top-performing athlete or just beginning your fitness journey, nutrition plays a starring role in supporting your success in reaching optimal weight loss and muscle building. Yet, it remains that nutrition is a complex topic that we struggle to clearly understand. This makes it hard to appropriately nourish our bodies, avoid bad eating habits and find lasting success.
What are some basic things we can do to find nourishment?
1. Set a monthly food budget. Let’s be honest, eating health may not seem like the most cost effective thing to do. Good quality food can come with a price tag, but it is worth the long-term investment to keep us happy, healthy and productive. There are also ways to bargain shop to stay healthy and on budget! Find 15 tips for grocery shopping with the NCCPT on their blog: https://blog.nccpt.com/2016/15-bargain-grocery-shopping-tips/
2. Plan your meals in advance. Knowing what you are going to cook during the week and having the right groceries on hand can be a big factor in preventing stops for fast food during the week, once you get busy and tired. If possible, having a few healthy meals frozen and ready to defrost can also be handy.
3. Keep track of what you consume and make sure you are eating enough. We live in a society that promotes dieting, but for optimal nutrition, we also need enough fuel to build muscle and power our workouts. Talk with a nutritionist or dietitian and find out just how much you need to be eating. You can feel full and still meet your goals.
4. Discuss your nutrition habits with a certified personal trainer. Trainers like those from the National Council for Certified Personal Trainers are informed on the latest information, studies and guidelines to help support your health goals beyond exercise. For example, if you are an endurance athlete, your NCCPT personal trainer may advise that “long-term high-fat diets are not recommended,” but could help you show short term improvement if you are preparing for a cycling or running event.
You know the basics, what else can you do to inspire your diet & nourish your body?
- Share and look for unique recipe ideas
- Expand your palette and try new ethnic foods
- Learn to use new spice combinations for flavor
- Eat organic when you can. The NCCPT mentions, “organically grown produce has been shown to have a greater nutrient content than its conventionally grown counterparts.”
- Find substitutions to satisfy cravings
- Add super foods like cacao, goji and maca to your diet.
- Plan an occasional cheat day
- Know your portion sizes
- Find out appropriate amounts of carbohydrates and protein to support your exercise and weight goals
- Research metabolism boosting techniques such as fasting
- Read blogs such as the NCCPT Blog [https://blog.nccpt.com/](https://blog.nccpt.com/) and join communities for encouragement
“If you are ready to inspire others to get off the couch and get healthy,” take your passion about nutrition to the next level and consider studying to become a Nutritionist or Nationally Certified Personal Trainer. For more information on how to become a leader in the fitness community: nccpt.com/certified-personal-trainer.