Monday, April 7, 2014

Don't Go Too Big Up Front! What??

As you know, I love to blog about health and wellness.  I've got a great guest post for the kinds of food your body needs when you are trying to get in shape for whatever reason!  I do especially agree with the last quote in the last paragraph of the article!  You've only got one body, so treat it with respect!  Oh, and the first paragraph explains the title of this post more clearly!  lol!
Thanks to author, Whitney Hollingshead

If you are training for a 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon, an extreme athletic event, or even just hoping to get in shape, your diet will play a crucial role in your success.
Depending on how long you have been training, you may have already made a lot of key improvements to your diet. If you are just starting, however, it’s really important to phase into changing your diet gradually. Brad White of Sole Fitness has been participating in races and athletic events for years. Here’s his advice on changing your diet: “Don’t go too big upfront because if you go too big upfront you will quit next week.”
So how do you know how to change your diet? Let’s take a look at the foods that will benefit you the most and compare them to the foods you need to avoid.
Here are the foods/beverages that will help:
Whole Grains

 Oatmeal: contains a surprising amount of protein
Whole Grain Cereal with Protein: can contain up to 40% of daily fiber
Brown Rice: very high in fiber and known to drastically reduce the chances of illness
Whole Grain Bread: make sure it’s 100% whole grain
Whole Grain Pasta: quick carbs with more fiber to fill you up
Lean Protein

Eggs: one equals 10% of daily protein
Canned Black Beans: 60% of daily fiber
Chicken: versatile, easy to cook
Kidney Beans: rich in iron and protein
Fish
Salmon: high quality protein, essential omega-3 fatty acids
Tuna: also a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids
Fruits
Oranges: help with muscle soreness
Frozen Mixed Berries: powerful antioxidants
Lemons: one has more than 100% of daily vitamin C
Bananas: high in potassium
Vegetables
Sweet Potatoes: excellent source of vitamin A
Mixed Salad Greens: various phytonutrients (help keep your body working properly)
Frozen Stir-Fry Vegetables: contain beta-carotene & vitamin C
Broccoli: contains vitamin K & vitamin C
Snacks
Dark Chocolate: boosts heart health
Almonds: excellent source of Vitamin E
Low-fat Yogurt: provides protein and calcium and aids with digestion
Beverage

Water: drink water in its pure form for the best hydration and no calories

Here are the foods/beverages to avoid:
Sugary Food: Most sugary foods contain a lot of calories, as well as a lot of fat without giving you the key nutrients you need. On the flip side, natural sugars like those found in fruit are much better for your body.
Fast Food: Again, most fast foods contain fatty proteins and steal your calories while robbing you of good nutrition. If you have to eat at a fast food restaurant try alternatives like grilled chicken, or a baked potato with chili, and a side of fruit or yogurt.
Fried Food: Fried foods contain tons of calories and fat grams and usually taste so good that it’s hard to stop eating them after just a small amount. Try baking or steaming these foods instead.
Soda, Sugary Drinks, & Sports Drinks: These are full of sugar and a lot of calories with little to no nutrition. Sport drinks are really only helpful when you are working out for a really long period of time. When you are thirsty, grab some water instead.
Caffeinated Beverages, Energy Drinks, Coffee, & Alcohol: All of these will cause dehydration and can affect your workouts, as well as your sleep cycles.
Protein Bars & Energy Bars: The key here is to limit your consumption of these bars as they are highly processed. Focus on fresh fruits and nuts instead.
Remember, phase into these changes gradually. Start making a substitution or two each day until you can ease into changing everything. For example, plan dinner with brown rice instead of white rice tonight. Tomorrow you can have mixed salad greens instead of iceberg lettuce. If you can transition to making one key change each day, it will be easier to get to the point where all of the changes stick.
Also, do a lot of research online to find fun, fresh, and tasty ways to prepare the good foods listed above so that you don’t get tired of them. The key is to make sure the recipes aren’t adding a lot of additional fat. Also, pay close attention to how these foods are prepared when you are eating out.
Brad White also cautions that you need to prepare for the financial implications: “The other thing that is really hard is that eating healthy is not cheap. When you are talking about price per calorie, the price per calorie is a lot cheaper in bad foods.” So make sure you budget for the increased cost of groceries.
While making healthy and training-friendly changes will be expensive, time consuming, and at times even challenging, your body is well worth the sacrifice.
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