How to Eat Healthy and Support Your Active Lifestyle

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How to Eat Healthy and Support Your Active Lifestyle

All too often, eating well is often synonymous with eating less. While portion control is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, it often isn’t sustainable if you’re regularly active and working out — another important part of your health. Here are some ways to eat healthy while still feeling full and having energy for your workout.

1. Keep Your Food Groups Balanced

Your meals and snacks should consist of mostly fiber, and then protein and whole grains. If you plan your meals according to this pattern, it’s easier to eat healthy and still get the nutrition you need to sustain your active lifestyle. Fiber keeps you feeling full, while protein keeps your energy up longer and whole grains give you an immediate boost. If you’re working out often and for long periods of time, it can be difficult to get enough protein in your diet, so you may want to supplement with lean, dairy-free isolate protein. This will help your body develop muscle without the fat that often comes with meat.

2. Adapt Your Favorite Recipes

Now that you’ve thought through your macronutrient needs, it’s time to incorporate that into many of your favorite recipes. This may mean simply adjusting your portion sizes so that you’re eating more vegetables and salads and less of your main dish. You can also swap your red meat for lean protein like chicken, fish or turkey, exchange your white rice for quinoa, and use whole wheat bread instead of white bread. Even changing your cooking methods makes a difference. Grill or bake your meat and vegetables instead of cooking them in oil, and try using an air fryer for those treats you can’t resist. Before you scrap your favorite recipes in the name of eating healthy, take another look at how you can adapt them to meet your nutrition needs. Just make sure you’re still getting the protein and fat your body needs to sustain you through your workouts, as many low-calorie meals are designed for people who are less active.

3. Pay Attention to Your Beverage Choices

Even if you’re good at keeping track of your meals, make sure additional calories and fat aren’t sneaking in via your beverages. Work to cut down the amount of cream and sugar in your coffee, and grab a water with fruit in it instead of soda with your lunch. If you’re doing intense workouts for long periods of time, your body probably needs more than water in order to rehydrate, though. Mix in a sport drink or a pinch of salt with your water to help replace electrolytes during and after a workout.

4. Choose Healthy Snacks

Snacking throughout the day is important to keep your energy and focus up, especially if you have an active lifestyle. The key is choosing the right snacks. If you need on-the-go convenience, look for granola bars that are high in fiber and low in sugar and fat. You can also find individually wrapped trail mix packets that have dried fruit and nuts instead of candy in them. To get your chocolate fix, mix almonds with dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs for a satisfying pre-workout energy boost. Find other ways to mix fiber and lean protein like spreading peanut butter on your celery or apples, dipping your veggies in hummus, or even eating a little bit of cheese with apple slices. Low-fat cottage cheese or yogurt with fruit is also a delicious snack. Just make sure you watch what’s in your peanut butter, cheese and yogurt. Try to find varieties that have no added sugar and less fat.

It can be difficult to hit the right balance between diet and exercise. Remember that everyone’s needs are different, so pay attention to how your body responds and adapt any advice you get accordingly. No matter what it looks like for you, though, being mindful about your meals and snacks will help your body become its best.

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