Do you feel confident that you’re making healthy eating choices? Many people would be quick to answer yes, but they fail to realize that the common knowledge they’ve been using doesn’t always work. The benefits of proper nutrition are indisputable, but the exact process involved is where things get a little chaotic.
If you’ve been avoiding bread, pasta, meat, fat and even coffee, you’re not necessarily doing your body a favor. Replacing these with healthier food choices isn’t all that is required to keep your nutrition in check. It’s a good idea to start off with a clean plate. This nutritional guide will teach you the basics, some of which might contradict with things you thought were facts.
Understanding Your Caloric Needs
The number of calories you need to consume each day depends on your fitness goals. In general, you want to burn more calories than you consume if you want to lose weight. If you want to pack on some extra pounds, then you want the opposite. But keeping track of calories doesn’t cut it. There are things that come into play such as your metabolism. And if you fail to adopt the right diet, you might only enjoy short-term results.
Factoring in Macronutrients
Aside from calories, you should also pay adequate attention to macronutrients: protein, fat and carbohydrates. Each macronutrient is processed differently by the body. Maintaining the balance of all three ultimately helps you metabolize fat, build muscle and feel more energized. Some people focus too much on the ratio, but choosing the right food combination is just as important.
Separating the Good from the Bad
You probably know someone who got good results after following a certain diet but only after a few weeks, she regained all the pounds she lost. Surely, you don’t want to suffer the same fate. This is precisely why it’s important to enjoy not just a healthy diet, but also one you enjoy. Otherwise, you’ll soon feel tired to follow the diet plan and revert back to your old ways.
In general, it’s recommended to limit your consumption of refined carbohydrates. This reduces high blood sugar levels, which then helps with fat burning and suppressing hunger pangs. Again, eating in combination is key here. Avoid eating bread, rice, pasta, grains, and potatoes on their own. Try to include some kind of protein or fat for optimum balance. And while you’re at it, avoid processed foods as much as possible and go for “real” foods to get a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals.
When it comes to fat, remember that not all of them are created equal. And just because you eat fat doesn’t mean you’ll be fat. Anything that contains refined or trans fats should be avoided. Also, steer clear of corn oil, safflower oil, and cottonseed oil.
It also helps to cut down on your sugar intake. This doesn’t only apply to your favorite beverages and desserts. Remember that even fruits contain sugar, so don’t eat any more than 3 fruits per day. Excessive sugar consumption contributes to hunger cravings, causing you to search for food even if you’ve already consumed a lot of calories.
This nutritional guide should help you become more familiar with some of the things you can do to start taking better care of your health. Changing your eating habits is always a challenge, but as long as pick the right food combinations, you should still have an enjoyable time eating healthy snacks instead of always going for foods that fall into your comfort zone.