Just as a car runs best with a full tank of gas, your body needs the right kind of fuel from food. A balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and water will give your body what it needs for peak performance.
To reiterate, carbohydrates (found in brown rice, wheat bread, oatmeal, yogurt, etc.) are especially important to consume when you are exercising because they supply your body with glucose for energy. Fat is an important source of energy used to fuel longer exercise and endurance activities. Good sources of fat include avocados, salmon, nuts and olive oil. Protein is needed for your body to build and repair muscles. Small amounts of protein may also be used for energy. Protein can be found in lean meats like chicken and turkey, fish, eggs, and non fat yogurt. Water is essential to keep you hydrated. Dehydration (when your body doesn’t have enough fluids to work efficiently) can cause muscle cramps, and dizziness or lightheadedness. When you are physically active, dehydration is not only dangerous, but can also keep you from performing your best. Drink LOTS of water!
Click on the following link to print and download this Sample Weekly Meal Plan. It includes a variety of foods I recommend eating to fuel your performance during your workouts. Keep in mind these are recommendations only; you do not have to stick to the plan to the tee. If you prefer, send me what you typically eat through the course of the day and I will work with you to create a customized meal plan aligned with your fitness and weight loss goals.
On average, if you stick to a 400 calorie breakfast, a 400 calorie lunch, and a 400 calorie dinner, you should be able to consume 3 snacks throughout the day at about 100 calories per snack. Averaging a total of 1500 calories per day. HOWEVER, depending on your weight loss goals (assuming weight loss is part of your fitness goals), you may need to consume more of fewer calories per day. Click here to learn more about how many calories you should consume per day based on your gender, age, weight and activity level.
Lastly, one of the most important things you need to tracks is #whatyoueat – this is really important to ensure you are eating enough – i.e. not too much and not too little, in order to meet your fitness and weight loss goals. Also, recording your meals will keep you conscious of the foods and liquids you consume everyday. You can then compare your daily intake to how many calories you burn a day. The three rules for successfully tracking your food intake are (1) records all food and liquids, (2) records all quantities consumed and (3) make small changes for long-term success. Here’s a Daily Food Tracker you can use to record and track your food intake daily. Once you’ve created your food log and recorded it for a few weeks, you can then begin analyzing the data to see where you can start making changes to eat cleaner and healthier!