Basic Principles of Healthy Eating
Now that you’ve gotten into the swing of things with your workout routine, you’re probably wondering how you can take things to the next level and start progressing in your fitness journey even more. Well, as you know, healthy eating and exercise work together to help you look and feel your absolute best. So, it’s time to start focusing on your diet and making sure your body has everything it needs to grow stronger.
However, we know it’s hard to figure out where to start with all the differing opinions about what healthy eating looks like, and we want to help simplify the process for you. Take a look at the basic principles of healthy eating below and start implementing them into your routine this week to start improving your eating habits!
1. Eating at the Right Time of Day
To find out when you should eat, it’s best to think about your metabolism and what it needs to optimize the process of converting food into energy. Most experts recommend waiting around 3 to 4 hours between each meal or snack to ensure your body has time to process what you’ve consumed before introducing more food to digest.
Those who are slightly more active during the day may need to shorten the time between meals and snacks to make up for extra calories burned, or vice versa for someone who is more sedentary. However, you never want to starve yourself to the point of overeating or stuff yourself to the point of skipping meals, as eating at regular intervals is what’s best to fuel your metabolism.
Another important thing to note when it comes to eating at the right time of day is that you should eat something within one hour of waking, as this will help kickstart your metabolism first thing in the morning. Research has shown that eating breakfast helps boost energy levels, increase focus, and maintain good blood sugar levels throughout the day.
2. Eating the Right Type of Food
Not all food is made the same, and the type of food you choose to eat on a daily basis plays an important role in your overall health. It’s best to look for natural, whole ingredients at the store rather than picking up heavily processed foods with extra sodium and preservatives. Aim to buy things like whole grains, lean proteins, non-starchy vegetables, and unsaturated fats.
Whenever possible, try to meal prep your lunches for the week in advance, and this will help you avoid the temptation to eat fast-food or pre-packaged meals. Use the tip above about managing your plate, and create meals based on those guidelines with fresh ingredients for the best possible outcome.
Pro Tip: Take the time to read nutrition labels at the store, as you’ll find many products have tons of added ingredients, such as sodium or sugar, to influence their shelf-life and taste. It’s often possible to find alternative solutions with better ingredients, or you can attempt to make your own home-made versions, so you know exactly what’s been added.
3. Eating the Right Amount of Food
Calculating the number of calories you should consume per day will help you understand how many meals and snacks to eat, as well as how calorie-dense your food should be. You may need more or less calories compared to someone else based on different factors, such as your age, current weight, and activity level. All 9Round members have access to our online Member Portal, where you can input your information and get a recommended daily calorie intake under the My Account section.
In general, you should be conscious of the contents of your plate to ensure you’re eating the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Aim to fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables and then split the other half with 1/4 lean protein and 1/4 starches. It’s also important to get a small amount of healthy fats throughout the day, which can be done using unsaturated fats like olive oil or nuts. Small servings of fruit throughout the day are also great, as long as you monitor your sugar intake.
As a 9Rounder, you not only get unlimited access to KILLER workouts at the studio, but also 9Round Nutrition and the member-exclusive Meal Planner through your online Member Portal. Come try our kickboxing-themed workouts for FREE with your Introductory Workout, and we’ll tell you more about all that we do to help our members grow stronger in 30 minutes, physically and mentally.