When entering a fitness space you may first begin by finding the type of workout you really enjoy. You move your body, see results that you like but then you hit a wall. Why? You are moving your body and following a routine so why did the changes stop?
There is one major place you need to look at: Your eating habits.
Nutrition is extremely important for many reasons. Overall good nutrition helps you lead a healthy lifestyle. With a healthy lifestyle, you experience many benefits. From the reduction of chronic diseases to a better night's sleep, nutrition can help you tackle more than just weight.
As you move forward in your fitness journey, lifting, palates, etc, there will come a point where you notice your progression is no longer going at a rate you are happy with. This is when it is important to not just look at what you do for your body but what you put in your body.
Nutrition is the primacy source of energy for our bodies. When we start moving and working more we need the appropriate energy for the activity we are doing. Without the appropriate nutrition you will become more vulnerable to fatigue, become weaker, and even damage organs throughout time.
In terms of working out having the best nutrition will not only help ensure you can make it through more challenging workouts it gives the best chances for continuous progression. When eating the correct foods you will have adequate intakes of calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and protein (see our blog on the best protein sources All Proteins are NOT Created Equal and check out our Whey Protein ON SALE for limited time). By eating the correct foods that provide you with these nutrients you will be able to create stronger bone health, allowing for higher intensity workouts, and muscle regeneration and growth.
Beyond the internal effects many of us workout for the external changes as well. You may have heard the saying "Abs are made in the kitchen." To reach a goal physic or weight often nutrition is what will get you over the finish line. By putting unhealthy fats and sugars into your diet you are more likely to go over your calorie limit. These foods also do not help you to reach your vitamin goals meaning you will have less recovery and a harder time working out in the gym. Working out does help you to move more and do more but there is only so far you can go without the proper diet.
But let's say none of that is enough for you to look and change your daily eating habits. What about when your tired? Or unhappy? Or many other feelings that keep you from wanting to do your workout and other important tasks? Your feelings are often directly tied to what you are eating. Having a hard time focusing and getting work done? Eating foods with omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants have actually shown to improve brain function. Having these and the vitamins listed above produce healthier brain chemistry. This also goes the opposite way for when you put things in your body that do not belong, like all of the processed food we eat. Harvard has found results showing that the more processed and 'unhealthy' food we eat can actually lead to damaging the brain causing depression and anxiety in people (Nutritional Psychiatry: Your Brain on Food). This would mean depending on what you eat can put you in your mood to workout and perform at your best. Better nutrition will bring about better mental growth as well as physical.
There are so many other reasons to change up your diet from our world of fastfood and chips to one of balanced meals. What you eat directly effects you in every way and if you are going on your health journey in the gym it is equally important to find it in the kitchen. Start slow and make your diet match the other new healthy habits in your life. Find your new motivation.