Fitness is Not Just Exercise - Consider Your Nutritional Needs Too

As many frustrated dieters can tell you, fad diets simply don’t work—you may lose weight initially, but many diets are so restrictive that people find it impossible to stick with them and wind up gaining back the weight they lost—and then some. However, simply exercising furiously and then coming home and eating pizza and ice cream won’t help either. The key to sustained weight loss is a combination of a balanced diet and regular exercise. Read on to learn more.

To lose weight, you must create a caloric deficit—that is, you must burn more calories than you consume. In order to do this responsibly for steady and healthy weight loss, you should be getting a good amount of exercise (the newest studies recommend about five hours of moderate activity a week). However, fitness isn’t just about exercise—you must eat well on a daily basis too.

Eating well consists of a diet rich in nutrients and whole foods. Eat lean proteins such as chicken and fish and consume plenty of whole grains—oatmeal is a wonderful source. Make sure your diet is chock full of fresh fruits and vegetables, and use low-fat dairy instead of whole milk and yogurt. It is also very important to get enough fiber, which is heart-healthy, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, and will help you feel fuller longer, which cuts down on caloric intake. In fact, many women don’t consume enough fiber—doctors recommend an intake of 30 to 35 grams a day, while most Americans consume about 14. As for calories, if you’re trying to lose weight, limit your caloric intake by 500 to 1,000 calories, depending on how much you’d like to lose.

Of course, don’t forget the H20! Water intake is important for overall fitness, and you’ve got to stay hydrated while you exercise as well. Women need to drink at least 9 cups of fluid a day (2.2 liters). Steer clear of sodas and coffee and gravitate towards tea and clean water.

By eating well, your exercise efforts will not be wasted, and you can get down to a healthy weight—and stay there. A healthy diet won’t just help you lose weight—it will help you avoid disease, sleep better, and have a general feeling of well-being.

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