How important is nutrition along with exercise?

We previously spoke about how the perfect diet can help you with your weight loss goals. There are many diets trending today on social media which guarantee weight loss results. However, diets are better followed when prescribed by a nutritionist or dietitian.

Exercise plays a major part in weight loss. Though the saying rings true that abs are made in the kitchen, exercising helps in increased blood flow throughout the body which will use more energy. This in turn will help a lot with weight loss than just diet alone. Let's have a look at some of the most commonly promoted diets.


Ketogenic diet

The ketogenic diet is a very low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. The goal of the diet is to maintain a state of ketosis, which means that by eating fewer carbohydrates, the primary energy source of the body relies mainly on fat instead of sugar for energy.

Intermittent fasting diet (time-restrictive eating)

Intermittent fasting is a term for an eating pattern that cycles between periods of eating very little or nothing, and eating regular meals. This plan isn't specific about which foods to eat, but rather when you should eat them.

Detox diet

Detox diet includes avoiding foods that are high in calories and fat, and including more raw vegetables and fruits to cleanse your system.

Mediterranean diet

A Mediterranean diet focuses on eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, olive oil and very little red meat.

DASH diet

The acronym in the name stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It is a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes and low-fat dairy products, and low in snacks, sweets, meats, and saturated and total fat. The DASH diet also stresses limiting salt intake to not more than 2,300 mg a day of salt. However, the recommended amount you should strive to stay under is 1,500 mg daily.

You might have heard of the saying “You are what you eat”. But is this true?

We might have thought that weight loss simply means exercising. But ideally, it is always 80% diet and 20% exercise. Thus nutrition plays an important part in a fit lifestyle.

Eating a well balanced meal helps you to do your normal activities along with exercise. Your energy levels depend on the food you eat. So if you do not eat well, you cannot exercise well. When it comes to nutrition, it is not as simple as choosing healthy breakfast, snacks or workout meals. You need to eat the right type of food, the right quantity at the right time of the day.

Lets learn about how much good nutrition can make an impact on your health.

 

Get yourself a super nutritious breakfast.

According to an article published in Harvard Health Letter, eating breakfast regularly has been linked to a lower risk of obesitydiabetes, and heart disease. If you start your day with a healthy meal, it can help you replenish your blood sugar, which your body needs to power your muscles and brain. It is especially important on your exercise days. Skipping your breakfast will make you feel lethargic and very low in energy while working out.

Opt for high protein breakfast options like Idli made with moong dal with curd on the side, dosa with sambar, or egg white omelette with roti.

Choose your carbs.

Complex carbohydrates will release your energy slowly rather than simple carbs. Thus, the energy is sustained throughout the day. This helps in stabilizing your blood sugar levels. Complex carbohydrates are found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans. These complex carbohydrates have the vitamins and minerals to keep you going.

Pack your proteins in snacks and meals

Protein is needed for building and repairing muscles. Some might think that we need a protein supplement to meet our daily protein intake, but if we add egg whites, chicken, fish, nuts, milk and milk products, we can actually meet the requirement. Protein intake is highly dependent on the kind of workout you do.

Boost your fiber intake

The key to proper nutrition is gut health. Micronutrients are not readily absorbed if our gut health is unsatisfactory. This can be improved by adding fiber and probiotic ingredients which are present in curd, to our diet.

Choose healthy fats

Unsaturated fats may help reduce inflammation and provide calories. While fat is a primary fuel for aerobic exercise, we have plenty stored in the body to fuel even the longest workouts. Healthy options for including fat in our diet are nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, and oils such as olive oil.

Now that we know what good quality nutrition can do for our body, let's have a look behind the scenes of exercising.

When you exercise your muscle glycogen, or energy, gets depleted. This results in loss of electrolytes, which leads to dehydration if not fulfilled soon. This stage occurs when exercising where the body needs more energy sources. This can be provided carbohydrate rich foods like bananas, dates, and good quality proteins like egg whites or skimmed milk. This will aid in muscle protein synthesis. To replace lost electrolytes you can consume coconut water or lemon water with little salt.

Providing the body with energy and replenishing electrolytes have the following benefits:

  • Decrease muscle protein breakdown.
  • Increase muscle growth.
  • Restore glycogen stores.
  • Enhance recovery.

Post-workout nutrition is very specific, as no two people are the same. It also depends on the type, time and intensity of your workout. Bodybuilders looking for muscle hypertrophy will have different requirements than a marathon runner or someone looking to lose weight. Therefore, it is always advisable to consult a professional to fulfil your nutrition requirements.

Thus, nothing is achieved if we just focus on diet or just exercise. Both are equally important. Exercise and nutrition are like Yin and Yang. A balance in both can bring you great results, than a one sided approach.

Source:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9127682/


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