A healthy diet is an extremely important component of your fitness journey and it’s often one that is overlooked.
Food is not only fuel but it aids in building and maintaining muscle mass. Creating healthy meals and snacks is easy when you know which foods are best to eat. Filling your diet with these three foods will help you make progress faster than with exercise alone.
3 Key Groups of Foods to Include:
1. Protein Foods
Whether it’s plant-based, lean meat or legumes there are protein food options for everyone. These foods are not only rich in protein, but they also contain nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Eating protein with every meal can increase your metabolism, aid in digestion and help build lean muscle. High protein foods should take up a quarter of your plate to meet your nutritional needs.
2. Whole Grain Foods
Whole grains are associated with a number of health benefits but they are not to be mistaken with refined grains. It is important to read the label on your products to help determine which products contain whole grains vs refined grains. Whole grains like rice, oatmeal and quinoa contain more fiber which can lower your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. A quarter plate of whole grains in every meal supplies energy for your exercise routine and helps you stay healthy and fit.
3. Fruits and Vegetables
The last half of your plate and the largest portion of your meal should be filled with fruits and vegetables. Incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet is an easy way to get your daily intake of essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. These nutritious foods can help you maintain good health and even help you lose weight or prevent weight gain. These foods come in many forms and can be served in endless ways to satisfy anyone and everyone, even picky eaters.
Meals that incorporate protein, whole grains and plenty of fruits and vegetables should always be included in a well balanced diet. These foods are not only high in micro-nutrients and antioxidants but also low in calories. What you eat on a regular basis matters for your health and will ultimately help you make progress in your fitness journey.