For the moment, however, I want to remind you that your body is a machine. And all machines need the right fuel to keep them operating at peak efficiency.
If you haven’t guessed already, I’m about to talk about a big four-letter word — diet.
The first three letters of the word “diet” spell out “die” — and maybe that’s why people hate to think about it. But instead, maybe we should all make an effort to stop associating healthy food choices with death! So, lose the term “dieting” and instead, embrace the good feelings you’ll gain just from changing up what you’re eating. It can make a big difference to your overall wellbeing.
Let me break down some primary food categories and how much you should be eating of each.
Fruits, vegetables, grains, beans are all examples of carbs. You’ll also find some in nuts and dairy products. Carbs have been a little demonized by the media and the no-carb diet fanatics, but your body likes to use them for energy — so ignore everyone and put ‘em on your plate. You need carbs after a workout to replace your glycogen (which helps you maintain your blood-glucose levels). What you want to avoid is processed and sugary goods that contain them.
According to the Institute of Medicine, carbs should make up 45 to 65% of your daily caloric intake.
Fats are another victim of food prejudice, but the truth is they also aren’t always bad for you. Olive oils, fish and avocados are all healthy sources of fat, while processed and artificial foods deliver unhealthy fats. In any event, it’s almost impossible to entirely eliminate fats from your daily diet, as most foods we eat contain them. Just educate yourself by reading food labels to make sure you’re having the suggesting serving size to minimize fat consumption. Fats are worse than carbs, because a gram of fat has FIVE MORE CALORIES than a gram of carbs. So tread carefully.
According to the Institute of Medicine, fats should make up 20%-35% of your daily caloric intake.
As most of you know, meat, eggs and seafood all contain protein. You’ll also find it in beans, legumes, nuts and dairy. Ingesting protein contributes to a healthy lifestyle, but keto-style diets centering around protein-packed foods isn’t recommended for long-term health. To build lean muscle mass, protein is a must — your muscles use it to rebuild after a workout.
According to the Institute of Medicine, protein needs to compose 10%-35% of total caloric intake.
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