Getting ready for the beach this summer or just being fitness minded in general, requires a lot of work. Those men and women who grace the covers of fitness mags usually do more than just the elliptical and a few crunches before work each morning. They alter their entire lifestyle to fine tune their bodies…this includes a disciplined diet.
I have read before that diet is 40% of the workout. I am not sure where the statistic came from or its accuracy; however, diet is extremely important. The food you place in your body is the same as the fuel you put in your car. If you stop at the Quickie Mart before a long road trip, your MPG will account for this. If you fill your body with junk, you will feel it during the workout.
Now, I am not talking about a diet that you do for a few weeks and then you’re done. You need to change the way you eat if you want a healthy body. Have you ever worked out on a day after you had a big greasy burger and extra large order of fries (with a Diet Coke, of course)? I have, and my workout was very weak. I could not wait to get done, because I felt horrible. Contrast that with having a well balanced meal and you will be a beast in the gym.
Fad diets will help you lose some quick pounds and give you the early gratification, but once it is over with you gain it all back and the body is worn out from the sudden shifts. Look at professional fighters who have to worry about weigh-ins. These guys are already about 5-8% fat and they can lose 15 pounds overnight! Then, after they weigh-in they gain it right back. However, the younger or less experienced fighters suffer after this shift and it shows in the ring.
To do it right, you need to research the calorie mix and quantity you need to reach your goals. If you are bulking up, you may need to add some more carbs and higher numbers of calories. Most of us are getting rid of extra body mass and need to cut back on certain areas.
Many websites offer a calorie count that is best for you. You just input your lifestyle and desired weight goals and they spit out a number. Most allow you to track your calories for free online or your smart phone.
The last part requires a touch more research. Look for calorie breakdowns to meet your goals. What percentage of different proteins, carbs, fats, etc., should you be eating to meet your fitness goal?
It took me three months to drop 15 pounds, but the weight stayed off and my body was not shocked by the shift.
Once you have the plan…follow through.