Diet and Nutrition for
Optimal Fitness

Diet and nutrition...this is one of the most important decisions you will make in your fitness training plan - what to eat!

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What you eat determines a lot of how you feel, how your body performs and how it ends up looking...pretty important stuff when you are training for fitness. Clean eating and your training program will get you there the fastest!

Whether your goals are weight loss, fat loss, building strength or training for a sport - diet and nutrition play some key roles in helping you get there. 

There are quite a few different diets and theories on how you should eat. I used to get confused reading everything until I realized there are a few basics to diet and nutrition that you should start with.

If you want to get into more of the complexities of eating to train for a marathon or a fitness model competition, then its more of a matter of paying closer attention to what goes into your mouth and that takes some careful planning - but not to lose heart! A food diary or journal helps, too by the way. Supplements are designed to aid your training program and also enhance your diet to meet your goals. Eating and planning to eat healthy is very do-able for any lifestyle. 

There are three main types of food you have to consume to stay healthy:

1. Carbohydrates. This is your energy, your basic fuel that keeps you moving. Carbohydrates are usually shortened to 'carbs' and include pasta, bread, grains, beans, fruits, vegetables and sugars. 

There are some diets that try and cut out carbs all together saying this is what makes you store so much fat. Not so! Carbs contain many of the needed energy sources for training and help provide many vitamins and nutrients as well as enzymes for optimal health.

2. Proteins. These are the building blocks of your body-for muscle and ligaments and strength. Protein is also used for energy just not as quickly digested as carbs are. Proteins are broken down into amino acids and there are some that have to come from your diet-your body cannot make them for its own use. 

You can get protein in your diet from protein powder, red meats, poultry, fish, cottage cheese and some dairy products, tofu, beans and rice in combination, protein bars, and eggs. 

3. Fats. Fats!?!?!!!! Yes, absolutely. Without a small portion of good fats your body cannot function optimally and you might as well flush your fitness training down the drain.

We are not talking about fried chicken or butter here; we are talking about cashews and avocados and salmon steaks and olive oil; the good stuff that contributes to the mass and health of your brain, the fats that help construct the hormones in your body and the fats that keep your skin and hair healthy and your organs protected.

Consuming good fats (polyunsaturated fats) will help you to lose fat faster, build necessary muscle and recover from your workouts faster. 

4. Diet Aids. Using supplements or weight loss pills ONLY in conjunction with eating raw, whole foods, drinking lots of water, and with an exercise plan can boost your body's metabolism and fat-burning efforts. 

Diet and Nutrition > Fitness Training for Women

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