A healthy diet is designed to keep your body functioning smoothly. We all understand the benefits of healthy diet, and many of us have felt the effects of eating right firsthand. We also know that the combination of a healthy diet and good exercise can produce even more positive effects for your overall fitness. But, are there foods that can actually improve the effectiveness of your exercise regimen? The answer, of course, is yes. Eating certain food before or after workouts can help you build muscle or burn fat more efficiently. But, what are some of these foods?
Foods for Building Muscle
Nuts are some of the most common foods for packing on muscle. Just a single ounce of almonds can provide you with up to 170 high-quality calories. If you are looking to build muscle, then you’re obviously gunning toward putting on a little weight. The added caloric intake that nuts provide is perfect for that. They are also highly portable, meaning that you can eat a handful no matter where you are.
Lean beef is also a well-known source of quality muscle-building substances. It is packed with amino acids, creatine, and vitamin B complex minerals that are vital for producing muscle mass. Lean beef is also known for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety in those who eat it and exercise regularly.
Smaller foods like chickpeas and lentils provide an added boost of carbs. You can also use pea protein to slow down the onset of muscle fatigue. This allows you to exercise longer and get the most out of your weight training. Blueberries can also provide a boost of energy to your muscles during workouts, and they can do so quite quickly. Foods like bananas and sweet potatoes can help ward off muscle cramps while milk can offer plenty of muscle protein to maintain energy and stamina.
Foods for Losing Weight
Many of us don’t need the muscle-building powers of lean beef or nuts. Instead, we are looking for ways to effectively trim fat and expedite our weight loss goals. Many foods are great at filling you up and suppressing your appetite. One of the biggest issues with maintaining weight loss goals is trying to keep yourself from succumbing to cravings.
A good breakfast can help you do just that, and it doesn’t have to be difficult to eat. A solid morning meal of eggs and sausage can give you the protein to keep cravings away for much of the day. Of course, you don’t want to eat too much. A good 350 calories of eggs and sausage can keep you content and full until the evening and will keep you from reaching for sugary or salty snacks in the middle of the day.
Tomatoes are also great for weight loss. They contain a large amount of vitamin C along with the antioxidant lycopene. Perhaps most importantly, tomatoes are full of leptin, which is a protein that helps keep your metabolism balanced and your appetite suppressed.
Other foods like whole grains, lean meats (e.g. chicken), low-fat dairy items, and even green tea have been shown to increase metabolism and fuel the body’s internal mechanisms for fat-burning.
Whether you’re looking to burn fat or build muscle, it’s clear that your diet can be instrumental to your success in achieving those goals.