If you have started to increase your physical activity efforts this year you may notice that you are more hungry than normal. Here are some tips to ensure that you are meeting your bodies nutritional needs while staying active.
- Ensure that you are consuming adequate amounts of quality calories during the day. Although we hear a lot about how individuals are consuming too much food in a typical day, this is not the case for many. Many individuals do not consume adequate amounts of quality calories during the day. If you are one of these individuals that eats one or two meals per day and have started to exercise more, you are going to need to increase the amount of food you eat during the day to meet your body’s need to perform during workouts and recover after workouts. When I say quality calories I am talking about eating complex carbohydrates (i.e., sweet potato, wheat bread, etc.), fruits, vegetables, legumes (i.e., lentils, black beans, etc.), and lean protein.
- Counting calories may seem like a lot of work, but knowing how many calories you need to consume per day can help you determine whether you are meeting your body’s nutritional needs. Believe it or not, the more your workout, the more food you need. I have used smartphone apps for a month or so to determine what my needs are. I am not a huge fan of counting calories, however, when I did input my food consumption for a period of time it allowed me to become more aware of how much food was appropriate for me to reach my goals and feel satisfied at the same time. I used Spark People for a while and found it very useful. Others have told me that MyFitnessPal has been beneficial for them as well.
- Lastly, when you are snacking choose options that provide you a variety of nutrients at one time. So, for example, instead of eating an apple by itself, add some yogurt and nuts with it. One of my favorite snacks is plain greek yogurt (sweetened with agave syrup) and walnuts. I cut up the apple and dip it in the yogurt. Having a cup of warm tea along with this always satisfies me until the next meal or the next morning.
I hope these tips are helpful. What other tips would you add to this list?