Trying to lose weight and improve health is one of those age old dilemmas which many of us continue to face throughout our lives. Whether young or more mature, there are endless options, programs and in today’s information age, a plethora of “quick fixes” that promise reality-defying results. Using some of these “miracle” weight loss methods has probably left you more confused than successful on your weight loss mission, with a smaller bank account and a larger credit card balance to boot.
Regardless of which strategy you use to lose weight, though, there’s one item that’s very often glossed over and forgotten, because it’s not instant and it’s not particularly sexy. The cause of your previous weight loss defeats could be that you haven’t been able to achieve a successful balance of diet and exercise for your body type and lifestyle.
Achieving that balance – customized for your body type, activity level and lifestyle – is the quickest, most effective way to get the lasting results you’re looking for.
Try these strategies for getting diet and exercise to work together for your best outcome:
1. Eat enough good food on workout days. Even though you’re working toward burning off calories, exercise actually works better when you maintain a healthy eating pattern.
* The body needs fuel to do what you want it to do. That fuel comes from food, so restricting it can result in ineffective workouts, and less-than-optimal results from the workout you CAN achieve.
* Not consuming enough on workout days can cause your body to go into survival mode and burn valuable muscle tissue instead of fat because it feels you’re starving it.
2. Match food choices with types of exercise. Depending on the types of exercise you’re doing, the food choices you make can help or hinder your results. For example:
* Carbohydrates are best for workouts that require high energy, like aerobics, running and other cardiovascular workouts.
* Protein is effective at building muscle and burning fat, so on days when you’re doing resistance training, you should ensure you consume enough of this food group.
* Fibrous foods also give energy, but have a more lasting effect. They also help to flush the digestive system which aids significantly in weight loss.
3. Save cheat snacking for your rest day. The worst thing you can do is make unhealthy food choices on workout days! Not only could it compromise any progress you’ve made, but it could also make your workout ineffective and difficult.
* Give yourself a “cheat day” each week when you can indulge in one or two of your favorite guilty pleasure eats, in reasonable portions. Avoid overdoing it, however, because you could easily take yourself back to the drawing board.
4. Set workout time around your meal schedule. It’s important to set your workout time around your meal schedule so you’re able to get as much worth as possible from your meals. Otherwise, the foods you eat may just leave your system without being of much benefit to you in your workout.
* Experts recommend that on average, anywhere between one and two hours after a meal is a good time-frame to wait before working out. By then, your body is likely ready to make use of the fuel you gave it.
* It’s also a good idea to switch up your meal content depending on the time you’d like to exercise. For example, you could have high-carbohydrate meals earlier in the day and exercise earlier so you can burn much of it for energy.
If you’re struggling to lose weight and build healthy muscle even though you’re exercising, balancing your diet and exercise routines may be the secret you’ve been missing. Use these tips to get the maximum benefit from nutrition and exercise so you can achieve the fit and strong body you’ve always wanted.