Working out is a great step in the right direction if you want to make a lifestyle change to get healthier. Overall health, however, is more complicated than hitting the gym a couple of times a week. Whether you want to maintain your current weight or lose weight, what you eat is a very important component in reaching your goals. Nutrition experts often live by the 80/20 rule, meaning that 80 percent of weight management is focused on what you eat and 20 percent is working out.
Our bodies need certain nutrients called macronutrients, to help fuel the body. Putting the proper amount of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats can help your body reach its optimal health. If better health is your goal, you need to pay attention to what you eat.
Carbs are the fuel your cells rely on to help your body function. They are the main energy source that protects our muscles, brain, and gut. Many people try these fad diets that cut out carbs but in turn, are cutting out a main source of nutrients.
- Sweet Potatoes
Protein can be viewed as the building blocks of the body. We have proteins in every cell in our bodies. Their job is to build and repair tissue, make enzymes and hormones, as well as build muscle, bone, cartilage, skin, and blood.
The final component to the macronutrients are the fats we put into our bodies. There are good and bad fats. The good fats can help us absorb vitamins such as A, D, E, and K, and help regulate our hormones. They provide energy for our bodies, build energy reserves,and protect our organs.
Foods containing healthy fats:
- Certain Oils
- Nuts and Seeds
Our bodies are different and the ideal ratio for one body may not be the best for another. There is a basic guide for an “ideal plate” for every meal. Half of your plate should consist of colorful, non-starchy vegetables and fruits. A quarter of your plate should be carbohydrates and the other quarter should consist of protein. Depending on your age, weight, activity level, and health conditions will determine whether you need more or less of a certain nutrient. Seek advice from a healthcare professional to figure out what the right diet could be for you.