There’s no question that many people struggle with their weight. Those who are conscious about their bodies often spend a lot of time working out to shed some pounds.
Many may assume that the only way to a more toned physique is by spending a lot of time doing various exercises to burn fat.
However, doing workouts alone without monitoring what you eat won’t deliver the results you want. If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s crucial that you understand the significance of your food intake in your overall fitness journey.
It can greatly influence how fast you can reach your goal or how well you’ll maintain your body once you hit your target weight.
Your Daily Calorie Intake
In the simplest terms, a calorie is a measure used to determine how much energy a particular food can provide for your body. Whether your body is at rest or in motion, you expend specific amounts of calories.
This is why you need to eat enough food to supply your body with enough energy to function throughout the day.
The food you consume will influence your overall physical build.
Eating more calories than what you use will eventually lead to weight gain; meanwhile, if you keep consuming fewer calories than your recommended daily intake, you’ll lose fat and muscle, which will ultimately lead to weight loss.
The recommended daily calorie intake of a person depends on several things. Lifestyle, body composition, age, current height, and weight can affect how many calories are needed by the body to function properly.
For example, bodybuilders or athletes may need to consume more calories than ordinary people due to their physically demanding lifestyles.
If you’re trying to focus on your overall health and fitness, you need to know how many calories you should consume every day.
On average, the daily recommended calorie intake for a woman between the ages of 26 and 50 who regularly performs moderate physical activity is 2,000 calories. Meanwhile, a man who exercises at least three times a week requires around 2,500 calories or more daily.
Before you plan your meals to fit your fitness regimen, you should first determine whether you want to lose or gain weight.
In addition, simply considering the total calories you consume isn’t enough to achieve your weight goal. The type of food you eat will also play a role in how your body develops.
For instance, a 500-calorie serving of vegetables will provide you with various vitamins and minerals essential for your health.
On the other hand, a pack of processed foods with the same number of calories will also contain different preservatives and chemicals that won’t do your health any good.
The key to a successful weight loss is a calorie deficit. The amount of exercise you do won’t matter if you’re not in a deficit.
This means you need to burn more calories than you consume to shed weight eventually. Of course, you can’t simply skip meals to create a deficit since that won’t be sustainable and may be detrimental to your health in the long run.
The best method to achieve a healthy and sustainable weight loss is by planning and choosing the right foods to eat.
You need to be wary of your calorie intake, and at the same time, choose foods that will fuel your body with various vitamins and minerals.
When you search on which diet to follow for weight loss, you’ll mostly find ones that have plenty of food variety. Eating from all the food groups will allow you to shed weight and keep it off sustainably.
Ensuring that your meals contain carbohydrates, protein, and fruits or vegetables will keep your body healthy. In addition, it’s best to skip unhealthy meals or snacks such as processed or fast foods and too many sweet foods.
However, going on a diet doesn’t mean you need to give up the foods you enjoy.
When losing weight, it’s best to eat regular meals to avoid binge eating. This means you need to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you’re not too sure about purchasing pre-cooked meals, you can choose to plan and cook your own food.
When you prepare your meals, you need to ensure that you check how much food goes into your plate. It’s best to measure how much of each ingredient you’re using to avoid miscalculating your calories. This way, you don’t have to worry about overeating.
You can also swap your regular treats with low-carb snacks if you feel famished during meal times, so you don’t go over your daily calorie requirement.
Best Foods for Weight Loss
Before you start adjusting your diet, you need to do your research first. Different foods will have specific roles in your fitness journey, so you need to know which ones you should prioritize.
Most people who don’t know much about dieting have a misconception about carbs.
They often assume that they need to eliminate it from their meals entirely or else they will gain weight.
However, consuming a certain amount of carbohydrates will allow your body to function well, mainly when you perform intense activities.
Eating foods like brown rice or oatmeal will keep you full longer and prevent you from mindless snacking.
Based on a guideline published in 2015, it’s advisable to get 45% to 65% of your daily calorie intake from carbohydrates.
This means that if you’re following a 2,000-calorie diet, you can consume up to 1,300 calories of carbohydrates per day.
Of course, choosing the right carbohydrate sources are also essential in weight loss. Not all types of food are digested at the same rate, so good sources of carbs will help you stay on track.
Try to avoid processed foods and choose carbs that contain other nutrients. You can also choose healthier food substitutes for your diet to remain healthy. For example, you can switch your regular bread with wheat bread since it will have more fiber to aid your digestion.
Protein is also an essential factor in weight loss. When you work out, your muscle tissues can tear due to the strain on your body.
This is normal, especially when you lift weights or perform high-intensity exercises that push your body to its limits.
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a regular occurrence for people who work out regularly. This is usually the soreness you’ll feel on your muscles the day after a strenuous day in the gym. The tiny tears in your muscles will need time to heal, and once they recover, they’ll be stronger and more toned.
Eating protein-rich foods will allow your body to build muscle efficiently and, at the same time, boost your metabolism. As you develop more lean muscles, you’ll burn more fat and eventually lose weight.
In addition, protein can minimize your cravings and keep you full for a long period of time, which can prevent you from overeating.
Good protein sources such as chicken breasts, fish, tofu, or beans are some of the foods you can incorporate into your diet to aid your weight loss.
Adding fiber to your diet will help improve your overall health. It can help you maintain your weight better and keep your digestive system in good shape.
Fiber takes longer to digest, which means you’ll feel full longer when you add it to your meals. Also, it can lessen your cravings which can prevent you from binge eating or snacking excessively.
Foods that are rich in soluble fiber like apples, peas, oats, and beans can help slow down your digestive process and keep you from feeling hungry.
On the other hand, insoluble fibers like nuts, cauliflower, brown rice, or celery are suitable for regulating your bowel movement.
There’s no secret that eating healthy won’t be complete without consuming fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables. Fresh produce contains various vitamins and minerals that are essential to keep your body healthy.
Consuming fruits or vegetables regularly will significantly decrease your risk of developing various health problems and keep your body in good condition. In addition, most fresh foods contain fewer calories, which means it won’t make you feel like you’re restricting yourself too much.
One challenge that most people face when adjusting their diet is feeling like they’re not eating a lot of food.
Keep in mind that your perception can also affect how you can sustain your healthy lifestyle. If you don’t feel happy about your meals, you’re more likely to give up and revert to your old eating habits.
Adding foods that are filling but contain fewer calories is an excellent strategy to convince your mind that you’re not restricting yourself.
Adding vegetables like cabbage, lettuce, or broccoli, and various fruits into your meals will aid your weight loss and make you feel more satisfied during your mealtime.
Workouts for Weight Loss
The most effective way to lose weight and keep it off is to combine a healthy diet with regular exercise.
However, not all workouts deliver the same results and benefits. Different variations focus on a specific aspect of your health, such as your strength, endurance, or flexibility.
In addition, the level of difficulty and amount of calories you can burn at a specific time will also vary per workout.
You need to figure out which type of physical activity you enjoy before adding it to your fitness routine. Also, it’s crucial that you regularly work out even when you reach your goal weight to maintain your body. Here are some exercises you should try to help you reach your fitness goals.
Cardiovascular exercises are some of the most effective ways to lose fat in your body. These types of workouts aim to elevate your heart rate and encourage fat burn. You’ll burn more fat if you perform more intense cardio exercises.
It’s advisable to perform some form of this workout at least three times a week, combined with other exercises, to lose weight.
The most common cardio exercises are running or cycling. If you hold a membership at a local gym, you should perform a cardio session during your workouts. Hop in a stationary bike or use a treadmill before you end your activities to maximize the calories you’ll burn.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a type of workout you can do if you have a busy schedule.
The principle behind this fitness regimen is to push your body to its limit during a short amount of time to encourage fat burn.
Most HIIT routines are short and often last for only 10 to 20 minutes. This workout is ideal for you if you don’t have time to go to the gym. Most routines also don’t require equipment, which means you can exercise in your own home’s comfort.
To build muscle and burn fat, you should combine cardio exercises with weight training. Building your muscles will increase your overall metabolic rate and allow your body to burn more fat. This means that you’ll be able to maintain your weight better if you have adequate muscle mass in your body.
You can incorporate simple weight training exercises such as dumbbell workouts, deadlifts, and squats to tone your muscles. You’ll also burn more calories each workout session if you lift weights and strain your muscles beyond their normal range.
When you start weight training, ensure that you increase either the sets or the weight once you feel too comfortable with your exercises. This will ensure that your muscles will keep on growing stronger.
One of the most effective fat-burning exercises is jumping rope. It’s a full-body workout that engages your arms, quads, glutes, and core in every jump.
Although the movements seem simple when jumping rope, you will quickly feel an increase in your heart rate with just a few minutes of doing this exercise.
It’s a great way to burn calories while boosting your cardiovascular health. It’ll also improve your coordination, build power, and tone your body.
Conclusion: Final Thoughts
If you’re trying to see a change in your physique, you should pay a lot of attention to the food you eat. What you consume will either aid your weight loss or hinder you from seeing progress in your body.
To have a successful weight loss journey, it’s crucial that you understand which foods will help you have a healthy body.
With the right mindset and discipline with your diets and workout routines, you’ll surely achieve the body you want.