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A Personal Trainer’s Guide to Nutrition

If you want to maintain a physically active body, you will need to ensure that you eat lots of nutritious food.

Combining physical activities and sports with a healthy diet has several benefits, including:

  • Allows you to perform well in your activity
  • Reduces or avoids the risk of injury
  • Supports improved recovery after exercise

How to lose weight the healthy way

On its own, physical activity will not be enough to help you lose weight. You must also control your calorie intake. However, you will also need the energy to replace the calories lost during your exercise routines.

So, is there such a thing as healthy weight loss?

Well, the answer is yes, there is. You simply need to replace the lost calories with food that is nutritious enough to enable you to stay fit and healthy.

Therefore, when planning a meal or choosing a snack, make sure it has lean protein, a lot of fibre and slow-digesting carbs. You should also drink lots of water.

Here are the five food groups that can help you achieve healthy weight loss. 

Fruits

If you want a healthy snack that will help you eat less at mealtimes, fruits, such as apples, are ideal. They contain highly soluble fibre and can take a while to digest. 

You can also include a variety of fruits in your meals and combine them with:

  • Cheese
  • Chicken breast 
  • White fish

Berries have the same health benefits as apples; in fact, you can even combine them to create a healthy and delicious pudding. Alternatively, add some Greek yoghurt to turn the berries into a satisfying and appetising snack. 

Lean protein

All yoghurts contain protein, but Greek yoghurt is the best option as it provides you with the highest levels. In fact, Greek yoghurt is an ideal weight-losing snack because it contains:

  • Amino acids for building and maintaining your muscles
  • Calcium to support muscle contractions and to help with your weight loss  

If you want a little bit of crunch with the creaminess of your yoghurt, try adding some crushed almonds and pumpkin seeds.  

Salmon also has high protein content. Compared to other fish, it is not that lean but it does contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for a healthy body. Furthermore, due to its high protein and fat content, a diet that includes salmon will help you control your appetite. 

Legumes  

When soaked and cooked, legumes contain fibre, protein and water. Vegans love them because they provide enough protein for their diet.

Legumes are also a healthy weight-loss food due to their low glycaemic index. Moreover, they are high in carbs which makes them a healthy option if you fancy a slow-digesting meal.

Examples of legumes include lentils and chickpeas.  

Vegetables

If you want to lose weight, most if not all vegetables will fit the bill nicely. According to this article from Life Force Fitness, broccoli is one of the UK’s favourite vegetables because as well as tasting great, it also has many health benefits. In addition, it has the qualities of weight-loss food and contains lots of:

  • Water 
  • Fibre 
  • Protein

Despite its low-calorie density, broccoli can make you feel full so you should try to include it in your meals as often as possible. It’s a good idea to eat your broccoli first as this will help curb your appetite straight away.

While beetroot is not as ‘perfect’ as broccoli, it can still improve your exercise performance. As an added bonus, fresh beetroot is easy to prepare. You can:

  •  Steam it
  •  Roast it with a touch of cooking oil (the spray variety)
  •  Grate it into a salad
  •  Incorporate it in soups

Whole grains

There are various types of grain available today. However, whole grains, such as oats and quinoa, are the best option for a healthy weight-loss diet.

They are full of soluble fibre, which can swell your stomach and slow down the digestion process. Whole grains also have lots of protein and fat content. 

You should cook whole grains in water. If you would prefer to cook them in milk, you will enjoy the benefits of more protein, but you will also be taking in more calories so try to keep the servings small if you are serious about losing weight. 

What type of food do I need when I’m doing high-intensity training?

It goes without saying that you’ll need lots of energy when performing intense exercises such as endurance training. In this regard, studies have shown that by consuming a large number of carbohydrates, you can obtain beneficial effects for your training regime.

Remember, if your diet doesn’t include enough carbohydrates, you may experience the following when exercising:

  • Concentration loss
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Low energy

You need to be well-hydrated

If you are a physically active person, you need to drink lots of water to ensure you are always well-hydrated.

If you want to maximise your exercise performance and recovery, your body will need sufficient fluids. 

Exercise and physical activities often raise our body temperature. In turn, our bodies try to cool down through sweating, which results in a loss of water and salt. The amount of sweat you generate will depend on several factors, including:

  • The more intense and prolonged your exercises, the more sweat you will produce. 
  • Hot and humid conditions can increase your sweat loss.
  • Too much clothing can quickly heat your body and produce more sweat.
  • Genetics is also a factor as some people tend to sweat more than others.

As a general rule, the more you sweat, the more you need to drink. On average, you may need to drink around a half to two litres of water during your training sessions. 

Conclusion

Exercise and intense physical activities alone will not be enough to enable you to lose weight. You will also need to watch what you are eating.

A healthy diet not only nourishes your body, it can also help you shed some additional pounds. 

Instead of giving in to your cravings for sugar and processed food, why not try some healthy alternatives? Eating lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is the perfect way to lose weight as they contain lean protein and good fats.

It is also important to keep yourself hydrated during your intense exercise routines. By drinking enough liquid, you can improve your performance while also replacing the water lost due to sweating. 

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