Optimum Performance Through Education – December 2010

Achieving a More Balanced Physique

Part 3 of 3: The Importance of Nutrition

In the last two months we’ve taken a look at the requirements for achieving a balanced physique. So far these discussions have included the importance of incorporating both resistance training and cardiovascular training into your workouts. However, taking it out of the gym and into the kitchen is the last, but ultimately one of the most important components to achieving a balanced physique. Even if you’ve been working your hardest at the gym trying to either lose those last couple of inches or perhaps gain an additional pound of muscle, either way, it all comes down to taking a look at what nutrients you’re putting into your body. Understand that nutrition is important and can be filled with many lessons in order to fully comprehend and appreciate its importance. However, my objective here this month is to try and give you a few tips as to how you can improve your daily eating habits and hopefully lead you one step closer to achieving your personal goals.

Here are a few tips to guide you to achieving those goals:

1. Eat 5-6 small meals/day. Attempt to eat these meals every 2-3hrs throughout the day. Deprivation is not the answer. Unfortunately, a lot of people think that skipping a meal and eating less will result in weight loss. When you eliminate a meal, your body begins to slow down your metabolism because it thinks it’s being starved. This then leads to the body storing fat that it would otherwise burn as a source of energy.

2. Incorporate a balance or carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats into your meals. Finding the right balance between each of these nutrients helps to fuel your system and leave you feeling fuller longer and ultimately more satisfied which means…… fewer cravings!!

3. Make sure that you’re eating enough protein. Active women in particular need approximately 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Protein plays many roles in our bodies and is comprised of amino acids. These amino acids are responsible for helping build and repair muscle tissue. In addition to this, protein is also a part of our cell membrane structure, our DNA, and also act as enzymes which are in part responsible for helping our bodies in metabolism.

4. Drink 2-3 litres of water a day. Water helps to keep the body hydrated, remove wastes and regulate body temperature.

Eliminate processed foods (refined sugars and flours) and artificial sweeteners as much as possible. Try to stick to eating foods that are closest to their natural state. For example, fruits and vegetables, rice, sweet potatoes, etc. If you look at the ingredients list, the shorter the list usually the more wholesome the food. J

As I stated previously, nutrition is an important component of achieving a balanced physique and improving your overall well being. If you have any particular questions about nutrition, please feel free to e-mail me at michelle@bodyfit.ca. I’d love to hear from you.

Michelle Avery

B.Kin/B.Ed. OCT.

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