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Five Fitness Tips For Better Eating Habits

By: Taylor Empey, Nationally Certified Fitness Trainer and Nutrition Specialist

ISSA – CFT, SFN, SET, SSN, and Elite Trainer Level I

Drink More Water

Drink 0.8 fl oz of water per day for every pound that you weigh. (Ex: 165 lbs x 0.8 = 132 fl oz. = approx. 1 gal.). Did you know that 80% of daily minor ailments, headaches, and fatigue are a result of dehydration?  When you realize you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already 1% dehydrated!

Daily Intake of Calories Compared To Grams
Fitness research indicates that women should consume 1-1.5 g of protein per pound, per day, that they weigh, 1 g per pound in complex carbohydrates, and 0.5 g per pound in healthy essential fats. Men should consume approximately 1.5-2 g per pound, per day, that they weigh in lean protein, 1 g per pound in complex carbs, and 0.5 g per pound in healthy essential fats as well.

To know how many calories are in each gram depending on whether it is a protein, carb, or fat, see below. However, remember that you should focus on the quality and ratio of macronutrients that you put in your body more than the total caloric intake. 2,000 cal of the right ratios of protein, carbs, and fats is better than 1200 calories of deficient protein, simple carbs, and saturated or trans fats.

Women:              1-1.5 g Protein (x4 = cal)              1 g carbs (x4 = cal)             0.5 g fats (x9 = cal)
Men:                     1.5-2 g protein (x4 = cal)             1 g carbs (x4 = cal)             0.5 g fats (x9 = cal)

Use The Hand Rule
If you aren’t able to measure out perfect serving amounts, then use the hand rule!  Your whole hand size is your protein source, the palm of your hand is your carb source, and 2 thumbs is the size of your fat source per meal. Simple!

Varying Your Daily Consumption
This concept is very simple. When you work out, your body will burn and require more fuel in order to maintain a healthy fat-burning metabolism. If you underfeed it on a workout day, you’ll actually be doing more harm than good. Have a higher total caloric consumption on workout days.

On a non-workout day, lower your consumption by a few hundred calories so that you don’t run the risk of excess fat storage. You aren’t going to burn as much as on your workout day, so don’t justify eating the same amount or you could be storing the excess that you don’t burn!

Don’t Work Out On An Empty Stomach:

So many people think it’s better to come into the gym after fasting because it will tap into their fat stores instead of burning the food; this is partially true, under certain circumstances. However, statistics show that you’re actually more likely to tap into your fat stores if you’ve stimulated your metabolism by feeding yourself about 90 minutes prior to your workout. Just don’t overdo it. All you need is a small snack size meal with only a couple hundred calories to stimulate your metabolism and give you some energy prior to your workout. Wait until it’s digested and then go work out. Your metabolism will be kick-tarted, you’ll have fuel for your workout, and you’ll still be able to tap into your fat for energy as well!

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