Build Your Best Body: Why You Should Prioritize Both Nutrition and Exercise

Build Your Best Body: Why You Should Prioritize Both Nutrition and Exercise

When it comes to diet and exercise there is much skepticism as to which should be prioritized for a healthy lifestyle.

The simple truth is that diet nor exercise is more important than the other. Ideally, they should work together like a perfectly synchronized dance.

Ok, so this is not always possible- a cookie every now and then is not going to undo all your hard work! But what’s most important when it comes to diet and exercise is balance.

Here’s how to prioritize both nutrition and exercise in order to achieve your health goals and build your best body.

Striking a Balance Between Nutrition and Exercise

For many years, experts have punted the idea that you should prioritize either one or the other when building a healthy lifestyle.

The idea of small ”baby steps” with regards to diet and exercise has led many to believe that you can diet without exercising, and vice versa.

But what’s proven to be truly successful is the combination of two good-for-you things, rather than one! Seems obnoxiously obvious, doesn’t it?

The truth of the matter is that if you want to achieve your fitness goals, nutrition and exercise should go hand-in-hand.

Why is Nutrition Important for Fitness?

In order to expend a certain amount of energy throughout your day, your body needs the calories to do so.

Calories are found in the foods we eat- but for some reason, the word ”calorie” is seen as a swearword in today’s day age. Calories are 100% necessary for your existence, without them, you really wouldn’t be able to achieve much in your day-to-day life.

But what’s most important on your journey into health and fitness is consuming the right type and amount of calories every day.

Good nutrition is ultimately all about choice – i.e. making the decision to eat fresh vegetables over highly processed, sugary foods. This is where a well-structured food plan for breakfast, lunch, dinner and daily snacks is paramount to achieving your goals.

Structuring Your Diet Towards Exercise

Here is a breakdown of how your diet should be structured if you plan on maintaining a consistent workout regime to build your fitness.

1. Prioritize Breakfast

If you aren’t big on breakfast, this may need to change. But this doesn’t mean that a big fry-up must be on your menu!

You can slowly ease yourself into the routine of eating breakfast every day with a small meal, such as a smoothie. Why should your prioritize breakfast though? Because this first meal of the day helps to kickstart your metabolism.

Eating breakfast every day helps to regulate your blood sugar levels first thing in the morning. And according to research, this lowers your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Eating breakfast also helps to power your muscles and your brain – which is especially important if you prefer to workout in the mornings.

What types of breakfast foods are ideal fuel sources to power you through the day?

  • Refined grains including oatmeal, oat bran or wholegrain cereals combine with protein such as milk, yogurt or chopped nuts
  • If you prefer a savory breakfast, eggs combined with a low-fat protein source such as salmon or spinach is ideal
  • Wholegrain bread topped with natural nut butter – such as almond or sugar-free peanut butter is also a good start to the day

These fiber-rich, protein-packed breakfast options work to keep you fuller for longer throughout the day too, curbing sugar cravings.

2. Don’t Shy Away From Carbohydrates

Somewhere along the line, the diet industry got things twisted and have since demonized carbohydrates.

But, honestly, carbohydrates are not the enemy! In fact, they are your most important fuel source for exercise and building up your fitness levels.

For most people, 45-65% of their calorie intake is comprised of carbohydrates. This is especially important if you exercise regularly.

But choosing the right type of carb is also very important. Simple carbs such as white bread, starches, sugars, and processed foods should be cut out.

These are the types of carbohydrates which contain ”empty” calories as they serve very little nutritional purpose for your body.

Complex carbs such as wholegrain bread, brown rice, brown pasta, fruits, vegetables, and legumes will keep you fuller for longer. They also stabilize your blood sugar throughout the day and stop you from feeling lethargic.

3. Pack Protein into Your Meals

Another important food source for your fitness journey is high-protein foods which help to build, repair, and maintain muscle growth.

Protein is one of the primary building blocks of muscle- so it’s important that your diet is well supplemented with enough of it.

It also acts as an energy reserve when carbohydrate energy stores are running low in your body. Essentially, an adult requires 0.36 grams of protein for every pound of bodyweight.

Protein-rich foods include:

  • Poultry: chicken, turkey, and eggs
  • Red meat: beef and lamb
  • Fish: salmon, trout, and tuna
  • Dairy
  • Legumes: beans and lentils
  • Dark, leafy green vegetables

The healthiest option to go for is always a lean protein that is low in saturated fats. Try to limit your intake of red and processed meats too!

Always Refuel Before Exercise

Eating before a workout is always important. Without adequate fuel, how can you expect your body to perform at its best?

Now, we’re not talking a full meal right before exercise, but a pre-workout snack will do. These snacks should ideally combine some form of carbohydrate and protein to make you feel adequately energized.

Consider adding these pre-workout snacks to your inventory list:

  • Bananas -packed with potassium and magnesium, the natural sugars also help to fuel your workout
  • Berries, grapes, and oranges – natural sugars and plenty of minerals and water make for perfect workout fuel
  • Nuts and nut butter- packed with good fats and carbohydrates, nuts are surprisingly filling and good for sustained energy
  • Protein smoothie – whey or vegan protein powder mixed with water or milk provides a quick, easy boost of energy and protein

If you have eaten a meal before your workout i.e. lunch, make sure you have combined some form of carbohydrate as fuel for your exercise.

Make sure to eat a full meal at least 3 hours before exercise and your pre-workout snack 30-40 minutes beforehand.

Prioritize Your Health With The Health Supplement Review

If you’re looking to grow your knowledge about nutrition and exercise, The Health Supplement Review is a comprehensive portal of knowledge.

Find all the information you’re looking for with regards to fitness, lifestyle, health, nutrition and the importance of sleep and rest.

For workout inspiration, check out our page here.

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