One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is eating healthier and exercising regularly. Practicing a healthy lifestyle can help you feel better, avoid discouragement and sustain a new, healthy outlook throughout the year. The key to a healthier diet is a balance of nutrients, including those that will support your exercise routine.
Research recommends eating an hour before exercise and, depending on the intensity of your workout, eating after as well. A good pre-workout snack could include yogurt, a banana or a piece of whole grain toast. Getting the right amount of protein is important for those who consistently exercise, but too much protein just translates to extra calories. Carbohydrates are often limited for weight loss, but they help give your muscles the energy you need while you work out. Hydration is also incredibly important for everyone, and especially for individuals with a consistent workout routine.
In general, most of us would benefit from incorporating more fruits and vegetables into our diets. As you work toward a healthier lifestyle, think about adding healthy foods, rather than restricting the foods you can eat. Consider building in more vegetables and high fiber foods into your diets, such as beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Limit the number of sugary drinks and processed meats (bacon, sausage, and hot dogs) you consume as well.
Making sure you eat proper portions and include the right variety of foods in your diet can be difficult, and often, the guidance of a dietitian can get people on the right track. Cone Health has an exceptional network of registered dietitians dedicated to helping patients develop and maintain healthy, balanced diets that work for them and fit into their lifestyles.
Pam Ingram is a registered dietitian with Cone Health Nutrition and Diabetes Education Services at Alamance Regional. She received both her Bachelor of Science in nutrition and her Master of Education in nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.