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Articles Fitness Nutrition

Eat Better: The Key to Tone Up Fast

Jan 4, 2010

Poor eating can sabotage your attempts to tone up fast. Good nutrition can help your body cleanse itself, which reduces bloatedness. Certain foods feed muscles better than others. The correct balance of nutrients will give you the energy needed to put more energy into your workout, thus yielding better results.

Calorie Consciousness

Without enough calories, your body will not be well equipped to build muscle, and you won't have enough energy to really dive into your workout. If you eat too many calories, however, your body will store fat, and you'll look less toned. Fitday.com can help you calculate the number of calories you should eat, based on a number of factors. A woman who is 5 feet 6 inches and weighs 125 pounds needs around 1900 calories a day if she is working out 3 to 5 times a week at a moderate level. If she weighed 140 and wanted to lose a pound a week, she'd need to eat 1590 calories. A caloric intake below 1200 calories is unhealthy, even for a short or obese person.

Lean Protein

Protein is an important nutrient for hungry muscles. The best protein sources are lean meats, such as the white meat from chicken or turkey or other meat sources such as fish. You can also get protein from tofu or tempeh, low-fat cheese, quinoa, green leafy vegetables, sprouts, beans and nuts. For cleansing purposes, avoid wheat gluten and choose raw nuts and seeds. Most recommendations indicate that you should get 10 to 35% of your calories from protein.

Healthy Carbohydrates

All carbohydrates get converted to sugar in the body, but some are healthier than others. You want to avoid spiking the blood sugar quickly throughout the day, and you want carbs that also provide fiber, vitamins and minerals. White sugar and corn syrup are void of nutrition and should be avoided. The best carbohydrates come from whole grains and whole fruits. One or two cups of fruit juice a day is appropriate for non-diabetics, and can give you a boost of energy right before a workout. It's important to pair carbs with a lean protein or a small amount of fat so that you don't crash from the high in the middle of your workout. Some sliced apple with a tablespoon of raw almond butter is an excellent choice 30 minutes before a workout. Carrots dipped in hummus is another good option. You should get about 45 to 60% of your calories from complex and fiber rich carbohydrates.

Healthy Fats

The body needs some fat for the systems to run smoothly. Get your 20% from healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, flaxseed oil, fish oils or from an ounce of cheese.

Foods for Colon Health

Cleansing the colon helps the body's digestive system and can reduce bloating, especially in the belly. Getting at least 25 grams of fiber per day helps the colon stay clean. Green leafy vegetables are extremely important. Try to eat at least 3 to 5 cups a day and eat raw vegetables whenever possible. Flaxseeds, psyllium husk powder, roots and bitter herbs are excellent all-natural cleansers. There's new research on the benefits of acai berry and sea vegetables for colon health.

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