Eating a balanced diet is key for good overall health – this means eating a range of foods, including the “bad ones”, but in moderation and proportion to ensure a healthy body weight and fitness level.
For anyone who is interested in training or actively undertaking a training regime, eating a balanced diet is definitely crucial. Balanced diet tips for those on a training regime include:
Make Protein a Priority
Ensuring a high protein intake helps to keep your muscles in shape, as protein is used in the body for muscle repair and growth. As we use and train our muscles during training, this is essential to keep them maintained and healthy.
Foods high in protein include chicken, salmon, tuna, eggs and peanuts. Many people also use protein powders in shakes or protein bars, designed specifically for training purposes to aid protein levels in the body.
Don’t Avoid Carbs
Carbs have a somewhat unfair reputation as being “bad” for you, especially in the dieting world. However this isn’t strictly true. There are 3 main types of carbs; these are:
All 3 types are either classed as “simple” or “complex”, depending on their make up – sugars are “simple”, starches are “complex” and fibres are also “complex”.
All 3 types are broken down once ingested into glucose, but the type of carb being eaten determines what happens to this glucose once formed. Glucose formed from simple carbs/sugars (which are found naturally in foods like fruit, milk and veggies) is created quickly, and can cause excess levels in the body if you eat too much. Glucose formed from complex carbs, like fibres or starches, is created slowly as it takes the body longer to break these foods down. As such, the energy release happens over time, and you feel fuller for longer.
When it comes to training or exercising, eating complex carbs means that you have a staggered energy release and feel less of an urge to eat or snack as quickly than if you have eaten simple carbs. That being said, simple carbs/sugars do give a quicker energy release, so can be useful if you feel low on energy.
Eat little and often
When we eat a large meal, we often feel drowsy and lethargic after. This is largely down to overloading our bodies with food, which impacts the metabolism and makes us sluggish. Eating smaller meals, little and often (5-6 smaller meals through the day) can help to keep the metabolism at a stimulated level and also prevents overeating due to hunger.
When you plan your meals for the day or the week, remember to keep protein a priority and plan your carb types in accordingly.