Understanding the human body's nutritional requirements is key to any fitness program. You can literally exercise for hours upon hours, but if you are not feeding your body the proper fuel, you will not see the desired results. Create a plan and stick to it; do not give into temptations. All too often, people say things like, "I was good today and deserve to eat [insert unhealthy food here]." Eating an unhealthy food item is not always bad, the problem occurs when the consumption takes place multiple days a week. This is why it's good to have a plan and allow for one cheat day a week. One day where you can get one or two unhealthy items in. This way you won't be craving them and end up binging, leaving your hard work completely nullified.
It would seem at every turn we are reading about the hot new fad in the land of quick fix diets. Atkins this, or South Beach that, unfortunately, due to complex nature of human physiology, there is no silver bullet when it comes losing weight or getting fit. Each individual must access their own needs and requirements.
Complete fitness is proper balance. Just as one needs to focus on cardio and much as weight lifting exercises, one needs to focus on the basic nutritional elements. Depending on one's own requirements and goals, the intake of these elements will differ person to person.
One of the most important things to remember in nutrition is the intake of water. Muscles are generally 70-75% water and cannot function properly without adequate hydration.
When analyzing nutritional needs, it is of the utmost importance to know that there are 3500 calories to 1lb of body weight broken down into the following macronutrient categories:
- 1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories
- 1 gram of fat = 9 calories
- 1 gram of protein = 4 calories