Real talk, proper nutrition is essential for overall health. What you eat plays a big part in energy levels, immune support, and the foods you eat fuel your workouts. When it comes to nutrition, healthy women know it’s not a matter of looking good; it’s a matter of feeling good. When we seek out the foods and nutrients humans were meant to consume, i.e., protein, healthy carbs, and healthy fats, we’ll set aside the sugar-rich, highly addictive snacks the food industry wants us to consume.
We’re spilling the deets on exactly why nutrition is super duper important and are breaking down exactly what kinds of foods you should be eating plus, how to replace the sugary and downright toxic food options that dominate the supermarket aisles.
Why Is Nutrition Important?
So, what’s the deal with nutrition-why is it so important for healthy women’s fitness performance? The bottom line is that nutrient-rich foods will fuel your workout. Equate it to the gasoline we pour into our cars. And it’s more than choosing the vegetable over the doughnut. It’s about the right kinds of foods like choosing the right kind of carbs (complex vs. refined) and clean protein sources.
Too many people rely on simple carbs to start their day (we’re looking at you bagels and toast.) If you replace these carb-heavy options with fiber and protein, you’ll offer your body a kickstart. Plus, you’ll stay full until lunch leaving less room to snack on unhealthy snack options at the office.
But, let’s look at carbs a little closer because, let’s face it, carbs have a bad rap. Some diets push the idea that we should be avoiding them at all costs, but we don’t have to be so extreme in most cases. Here’s the thing-carbs can serve as an excellent fuel source for both our everyday energy and can supercharge our workouts. But, we must consume the right kind of carbs and leave the refined and sugary options behind.
Simple carbs are loaded with sugar and cause an unhealthy spike in our glucose levels. Meanwhile, complex carbs are slower to release and less likely to spike our blood sugar. Complex carbs are also more likely to give us longer more sustained energy throughout our workouts.
Some great options include.
- Rolled oats
- Brown rice
- High-Fiber Fruit (raspberries, pears, blueberries)
Ever wondered why protein shakes are so popular in the workout world? Well, protein builds and repairs muscles. That means we’re more likely to reap the benefits of a productive workout. Protein shakes are a great supplement after a rigorous workout, plus they are super easy to make for all of us ladies who live a busy lifestyle. The trick is to use a high-quality protein powder free from added sugar and artificial ingredients. Some great options include collagen protein, bone broth protein, or grass-fed whey (if dairy is well-tolerated.)
Also, if you’re ever running low on carbs but your workout isn’t over yet, protein will step in as an alternate fuel source.
Try adding plenty of clean protein sources to your diet by adding some protein to each meal from foods like:
- Wild-caught fish
- Full-fat unsweetened Greek yogurt
Burning 800 calories in a spin class only to consume two or three margaritas at night may not give you the results you are exactly looking for. It fills the body with empty calories that can’t be used for anything beneficial, and it inhibits the brain functionality that was just bolstered during a workout.
The same goes for highly processed foods. They pour nutrient-void elements into our bodies which brings us to the term “superfood.”
Basically, these foods provide tremendous fuel for our bodies. They’re low in sugar and high in vitamins. They provide us with healthy carbohydrates (the ones that don’t douse our systems in sugar) and healthy fats. They’re also super rich in antioxidants.
Common superfoods include:
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Hemp seeds
Speaking of antioxidants, antioxidants are great because they travel into our system and eradicate free radicals which attack our healthy cells. As a result, they help us ward off illness and disease.
We can find antioxidants in:
- Dark leafy greens
- Green tea
- Celery Juice
While we’re on the subject, it’s worth noting a lesser-known antioxidant called quercetin. Quercetin is one of the most potent antioxidants in the game. Along with battling free radicals, it can also increase our metabolic rates. We find this superfood in apples, berries, broccoli, and onions.
Of course, regular exercise will keep our metabolism running at high levels. But, some of the food we eat can provide a little added boost. There are plenty of foods out there that stimulate the fat burning process.
Heavy hitters in this category include:
- Green tea
- Black coffee
- Nuts and seeds
- Fatty fish (wild-caught salmon, sardines)
- Coconut oil
And, if you like adding a little bit of heat to your meals, then we’re all for adding a pinch of cayenne pepper to your stir-fry as spicy foods may also help give your metabolism the little kick it needs to rev into high gear.
The Final Word
Healthy women around the globe know it’s not about the hours we spend in Pilates class. It’s about the food we eat. We can choose to fuel our bodies with healthy carbs and antioxidants or we can slow down our systems and spike our sugar levels to dangerous highs.
When you’re ready to merge regular exercise with your healthy eating habits, come on over and join the FitOn community. You’ll join a community of healthy women that enjoys personalized fitness plans from celebrity trainers – anywhere, anytime.
Once you download the app, you’ll have access to premium video content, from yoga to Pilates, to Barre classes, and more.
Get healthy, get lean, get toned, and get happy. Make a commitment to yourself. Don’t just lose weight. Gain control of your life, mind, body, and spirit. Get started by downloading the app today!