The world of health, fitness and wellness is vast. There’s much advice out there and some of it is incorrect (or, at best, misleading).
Here we provide ten nutritional tips that will help you excel in your weight loss or fitness journey and sculpt the body shape you truly want in life.
1 – Hydration is important
The body runs on water. It helps dilute any toxicity, transport any nasty fat out of the body, and the body needs it to run efficiently. Most people need at least 3 litres of water a day. More if you’re drinking caffeine-charged beverages.
2 – Green leafy vegetables are important
Other than being packed full of antioxidants and other healthy, nutritious vitamins and minerals, green leafy vegetables are great at making you feel full if your goal is to reduce starchy carbs and carbohydrates in general.
3 – Your friend’s diet might not be good for you
Everyone seems to be on this diet or that diet lately. And just because your friend lost two stones on “X” diet doesn’t mean it’s going to be right for you. Your body will react differently to different foods, so it’s important to understand what you’re eating (or not eating: starvation diets are just that, starving your body of much need nutrients. Don’t do it).
Key fact: diets won’t hardly work for anyone in the long term. They might for a few months, but we’ve found that lots of people will just pile the pounds back on after reverting to old habits and ways of eating after the initial feel good factor of losing the weight wears off.
The key is to make changes to your lifestyle that includes your diet.
4 – Carbs aren’t the enemy
Carbohydrates are considered the new “enemy” by a lot of people (right there after fats, which were blasted as bad for you not so long ago and they’re starting to get some “good press” nowadays). They’re not.
They’re actually quite good for you as long as you use them in the right way, and choose the right ones. It’s more important to monitor the amount of calories you’re consuming and ensure you’re in deficit (if you want to lose weight) or that you’re eating a hell of a lot more than you should if your objective is to gain weight/muscle). Myfitnesspal can help you do this and we’ve written about it previously.
5 – Cheat meals are important
While we don’t tend to like the notion of “cheat” meals at Shapes, we understand that the human mind will want to be naughty from time to time: that’s just the way things work. (Yes, we all crave them.)
So, we do give advice on what’s the best mindset to be in, when to have cheat meals, and what you should be thinking about around the whole ethos of “cheating”. Your body is going to be negatively affected by it, but by how much is entirely up to how you treat it.
6 – Train hard, rest well
Make sure you put 100% into every workout or fitness session at the gym. If you go to the gym every day and just do a little bit of cardio here and a few dumbbell curls there, then that’s not going to have the impact you want.
Similarly, if you push yourself so hard during a workout session and then go back to the gym for cardio a few hours later then that’s not going to be great either. Your body needs time to repair and re-energise, ready for your next full session.
If you don’t allow enough time for recovery then that’s not going to be great for your progress. Giving your body adequate rest is key.
7 – Healthy fats are important
Having a healthy mind and body are important. One key area that can help with that is the consumption of healthy fats: coconut oil, avocados and omega 3 (the latter being super important and found in oily fish).
Healthy fats help with focus and aid the body in a whole host of different things (too many to mention in a short article).
But, just keep in mind that you can easily overeat them, so track how much they’re adding to your overall calorie intake for the day.
8 – Lifestyle changes are needed
You are where you are now because of the choices you made in your life. For you to move forward and progress, changes in your lifestyle need to be made. That means moving away from some of the bad habits you might have picked up and forming some new ones.
This part is what many people struggle with at first. It’s easy to sit down in front of the TV at night and have a glass of wine and some junk food: when you’re on a mission to change your body shape (whether that’s fat loss or gaining muscle) changes in habitual actions are needed.
9 – Sleep heals everything
When we sleep the body is still working.
You’ve probably heard about losing weight as you sleep (which isn’t misleading). The body does a multitude of different things when we’re asleep, and as long as you’re properly hydrated, have consumed the right amount of calories for your goal (and the right ratio of fats, proteins and carbs) then your body will do as you wish when you’re asleep (we’re assuming you’re working out as hard and as much as is required for your goal here).
Having a great night’s sleep can also place you in a good mental mood for the day ahead and is especially important if you have a fitness training session that day too: you’ll find that you’ll be able to push further and for longer.
10 – Planning and Preparation help
When you go on holiday you have a plan: where you’ve got to be and when, who’s going with you, what you’re taking, and what you’re going to experience.
Well, it’s the same when you want to make positive changes to your body. You need to plan out what you want and then prepare yourself mentally (and physically) for what you’re going to be undertaking. And then, choosing a plan that’s bespoke to you with a trusted advisor like one of the fitness professionals at Shapes.
If you’re interested in other aspects of health, fitness and improving your wellbeing then check out the other articles on the Shapes Gym blog.