Nutrition Plans for Meeting Your Fitness Goals
One of the keys to getting the most out of athletic activities is adapting your diet to the type of exercise in question. All forms of exercise require nutrition plans to meet their needs.
When considering nutrition plans, keep in mind that the best diet to lose weight is not the same as the best diet to build muscle or improve your performance at the gym. In this article, we’ll tell you about the different kinds of nutrition plans to use depending on your fitness goals.
Nutrition plans based on fitness goals
Every person is different. Even though a fashionable diet may have work for a friend or family member (or a celebrity you follow online), it’s a good idea to develop a nutrition plan that is tailored to your particular fitness goals.
It makes sense that a person who wants to lose weight shouldn’t eat the same as a person who is trying to build muscle. Nor should someone looking to improve their performance at the gym follow the same guidelines as someone who wants to lower their cholesterol.
Focusing specifically on the fitness goal in question, here are some of the diet plans you should follow:
1. Increasing muscle mass
For people who want to bulk up and build muscle, the premise is simple: eat all the time! It may seem strange, but this is how the body will start to accumulate (healthy) fat and produce bigger muscles.
To start, however, not skipping meals won’t be enough. Eat five to six times a day, including foods like whole-wheat bread, eggs, cheeses, chicken, tortillas, bananas, oatmeal, yogurts, salmon, tuna, broccoli, and turkey.
2. Muscle definition
If your goal is to have well-defined abs and biceps, you’ll need more than just sit-ups and weight lifting. You’ll need to adapt your diet accordingly.
The right nutrition plan for muscle definition includes three main groups: carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats. The plan is similar to the one used to increase muscle mass, but in this case, you’ll add meals gradually as time passes.
Salads are just as important as meat or dairy products. In addition, we recommend that you eat enough before working out in order to have sufficient strength and energy.
3. Losing weight
One of the most common fitness goals is to lose weight. Even if you stick to an intense routine, simply going to the gym won’t be enough. Some tricks you can use include:
- Drink a lot of green tea (which burns fat) and water (sates the appetite and reduces anxiety).
- Increase your fiber intake (promotes digestion and prevents constipation).
- Eat more often but smaller portions (six small meals rather than three or four large ones).
A typical weight loss diet plan includes a glass of skim milk and a slice of whole wheat bread with white cheese for breakfast, a piece of fruit at mid-morning, a grilled chicken breast with salad (rice, beets, tomato and cabbage) for lunch, a yogurt as an afternoon snack, and vegetable soup with salad for dinner.
4. Improving gym performance
If your goal is to improve your workout performance, there are certain foods you should add to your diet immediately. These include olive oil, Greek or natural yogurts, ginger, tuna, eggs, and fruits and vegetables containing vitamins A and C.
A daily diet with this goal in mind would consist of the following: a piece of fruit, a yogurt and rye bread for breakfast, a portion of turkey and fruit at mid-morning, a green salad with a portion of lean meat for lunch, a turkey sandwich with an infusion for an afternoon snack, and fish with cooked vegetables for dinner.
We recommend that you consult a sports nutritionist to plan a diet tailored to your fitness goals and specific attributes. This professional will also be responsible for monitoring your progress and making small adjustments as appropriate. Finally, keep in mind that adopting any nutrition plans without proper supervision can be counterproductive and even harmful to your health.