Healthy Eating Habits for an Active Lifestyle

Diet.  Dieting.  Two words that are synonymous with health and fitness in most Western cultures.  Dieting begins with the word die.  I don't know about you, death isn't what I want to think about regarding healthy food choices.  From now on, remove the thoughts and term dieting from your mind, and replace them with healthy eating habits and moderation.


Carbs are for Energy

Carbohydrates are 4 calories/gram.  What are examples of carbohydrates:  all fruits, all vegetables, all grains, beans, and legumes.  Nuts and dairy products also have carbohydrates in them, the amounts vary per food item.  Your body prefers to use carbs for energy.  The media has painted carbs as the bad guys, when they are actually innocent, and framed for the crime they didn't do.  You need carbs after a workout to replace glycogen and on your plate for every meal.  Processed and sugary foods give all carbohydrates the bad name.  The truth is, they are an essential part of your daily intake, in moderation, and need to come from natural sources.  According to the Institute of Medicine, carbohydrates need to compose 45%-65% of total caloric intake.


The Good & Bad Fats

Fats are 9 calories/gram.  Healthy fat sources come from natural foods such as olives, fish, and avocados.  Unhealthy fats are processed and artificial.  It's not the carbs that trip up people, it's the fats.  A gram of fat has 5 more calories than a gram of carbohydrates.  Fats are readily available in most foods we eat, and you can't remove it all from your daily eating habits.  Be aware and read the labels to stay in the correct serving size to minimize fat consumption.  According to the Institute of Medicine, fats need to compose 20%-35% of total caloric intake.


Protein for Muscle Building & Satiety

Proteins are 4 calories/gram.  What are examples of proteins:  all red meat, pork, poultry, eggs, and seafood.  Beans, legumes, nuts, and dairy also have protein in them, consisting of various amounts based on each food item.  Consuming moderate amounts of protein contributes to satiety or fullness, and a healthy lifestyle .  For the average person, eating keto style diets is not recommended for long term health.  To build lean muscle mass, protein consumption is necessary with all of your meals.  Protein syntheses is the process muscles use to rebuild themselves after a workout.    According to the Institute of Medicine, protein needs to compose 10%-35% of total caloric intake.



Many people take supplements on a daily basis for a variety of reasons.  Like eating whole foods, supplements can be part of healthy eating habits.  Meal replacement shakes are great when you don't have time to eat a regular breakfast for example.  Taking a multivitamin can help achieve your micro-nutrient recommendations.  For years, I have taken a wide variety of supplements to help with sports performance and overall good nutrition.  The brand that has worked best for me are the Herbalife products.  I used them competing in bodybuilding, amateur soccer leagues, obstacle course races, and for daily use.  Click on the button "Find Out More" to the right for additional information and ordering.