Many of us exercise regularly, however, we sometimes still have trouble reaching our fitness goals. It is important to realize the foods we eat impact our bodies, and, unfortunately, exercise cannot undo poor food choices.
This doesn’t mean you need to go on a strict diet. You can make a dramatic impact on the way you look and feel simply by making small changes and being aware of the foods you eat.
Try out some of these healthy swaps to fuel your workouts and get in optimal physical shape:
Breakfast: Instead of high calorie, sugary cereals that often leave you hungry before lunch, opt for a more nutritious choice that will keep you full throughout the morning. Oatmeal with fruit is a great option that cuts down sugar and fat intake. Not an oatmeal lover? Eggs are also a great way to start your day since they are filled with protein and will give you the energy boost you need. Make an omelet and add all the veggies you like for a delicious, guilt-free breakfast.
Lunch: Sandwiches and wraps are a popular go-to for lunch, but are you sabotaging yourself with the ingredients you choose to make them? Try swapping out white bread for whole wheat, which has about the same amount of calories, but more protein and fiber to keep you full. Most cold cuts have extremely high sodium; so turkey, chicken, and roast beef are your best options. Grilled chicken or tuna are also good.
Snacks: Avoid snacking on ‘empty calorie’ chips or cookies. Combat your cravings with healthy alternatives such as nuts, Greek yogurt, hummus with veggies, and fruit.
Dinner: Keep everything in moderation by including a protein, a carbohydrate (such as brown rice or baked potato), and vegetables. Proteins such as fish and chicken are great options. Try to minimize your red meat intake, as it is high in saturated fat and has been linked to heart disease and other health issues. If you are having pasta, try whole wheat and avoid cream-based sauces – tomato-based sauces have much less fat.