• Sara F. Hathaway

Nutrition for a New You

Fitness is a great start to a healthy lifestyle. There are plenty of reasons to engage in a

regular fitness plan. However, sometimes our bodies can give make it difficult to stay on track. After a long day of work, your energy levels may be lacking. Arthritis and inflammation in the body and joints may make a workout seem like torture. Weight loss is a great reason to start a fitness regiment but without proper diet these results may be fleeting.

There are some easy lifestyle and dietary changes that could assist you in realizing the results from your fitness activities that you want to see, including: better health, weight loss, increased energy and decreased pain.

Get Some Rest

The first thing you should do is make sure you are getting the proper amount of sleep each night. Six to eight hours is recommended. Sleeping for the recommended amount of time each night boosts your immune system, keeping you healthy and ready for your workout. It also decreases the risks of heart disease and fights obesity. As men age, their testosterone levels tend to decrease. Getting the proper amount of sleep counteracts this. Adequate sleep fights pain, lowers the risk of injury and puts you in a better mood. Sleeping helps you think clearer and have a better memory.

Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking water maintains fluid balance in your body. You will produce more saliva for digestion, transport nutrients better in your body and have a more regulated body temperature. Water helps to control calories because you will substitute higher calorie drinks for water. Also, food with a higher water content will help you feel fuller. Water helps your muscles feel energized. Without water, your cells shrivel, causing you to feel more fatigued. Beyond these benefits, water helps your skin look younger, and your kidneys and bowels function more efficiently. This helps you absorb nutrients better so your body is more energized.

Eat Omega Fats

You may have heard that food high in Omega fats cause you to gain weight but when eaten regularly your body will burn more fats because it understands that it is getting an ample supply and doesn't have to store them for the future. Omega fats are essential for many reasons. They fight depression and can reduce ADHD symptoms in children. Omega fats improve eye health and help with heart health.

Omega fats can reduce symptoms of metabolic syndrome, including: belly fat buildup, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, high triglycerides and low "good" HDL cholesterol. Inflammation is reduced and bone and joint health are better when eating the proper amounts of Omega fats. They also fight autoimmune diseases, including: type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, chrone's disease and psoriasis.

Omega fats can help improve symptoms of mental disorders and fights age related mental decline. They help prevent cancer, reduce asthma in children, reduce fat in your liver and are good for your skin. Omega fats have also been shown to help improve sleep.

Remove Gluten

There are a plethora of reasons why gluten should be eliminated even if you don't have an allergy to it. However, if you are sensitive to it gluten will amplify other allergies that you have. Removing gluten will help your gut function properly so nutrients are absorbed better. It can also help reduce depression, sadness and fatigue. Gluten causes inflammation in the body which can leave your joints feeling stiff and your body bloated. Removing gluten will help you eliminate many processed foods from your diet and ensure you have a more varied diet. Removing gluten helps your body fight autoimmune diseases and provides gas relief.

Reduce Sugar Intake

Eating less sugar will make your skin look younger. You will have longer lasting energy deposits without the ups and downs of sugar highs. Sugar accumulates as visceral fat in the belly so removing it will help to slim down your belly as well. You will drop pounds faster, give your heart a healthy boost and reduce your risk of diabetes.

Add Chia to Your Diet

Chia seeds have a massive amount of nutrients in a very few calories. Just 2 tablespoons of chia or 28 grams has 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, and 9 grams of fat. It also provides large percentages of recommended daily intakes, including: 18% of calcium, 30% of Manganese, 30% of Magnesium, and 27% of Phosphorus. Chia is loaded with antioxidants and almost all the carbs are fiber. Chia is high in quality protein and Omega Fat. Chia can help you lose weight, reduce blood sugar and reduce inflammation. Beyond that, it is really easy to add to your diet.

Morning Chia Recipe

To get the full benefit of Chia, you want to soak the seeds overnight. In a pint jar soak 1/4 cup chia in Almond Milk or a product called "Ripple" (a chick pea milk) overnight. You can add Mexican Vanilla if desired. In the morning place your chia mixture in a bowl with your choice of a fruit. You don't have to add the fruit but it adds flavor and shakes it up a little. I also add almonds for more Omega fats and an added crunch.

Diet and fitness will ensure a healthy you long into the future! By staying loyal to your fitness plan and instituting some simple dietary changes you'll not only feel better with more energy and less pain but you will look amazing too.

Sources sited:

“11 Proven Health Benefits of Chia Seeds.” Healthline, Healthline Media, www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds#section12.

“17 Science-Based Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids.” Healthline, Healthline Media, www.healthline.com/nutrition/17-health-benefits-of-omega-3#section17.

“6 Really Good Things That Happen to Your Body When You Quit Sugar.” Health.com, www.health.com/nutrition/health-benefits-quitting-sugar.

Griffin, R. Morgan. “Sleep and Health: 9 Surprising Reasons to Get More Sleep.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/9-reasons-to-sleep-more#3.

Writer, Staff. “9 Health Benefits Of Going Gluten Free.” Daily Natural Remedies, dailynaturalremedies.com/9-health-benefits-of-going-gluten-free/9/.

Zelman, Kathleen M. “Why Drink More Water? See 6 Health Benefits of Water.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/diet/features/6-reasons-to-drink-water#3.

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