The Direct Energy Wellness series is designed to help you establish and maintain healthy living habits in the workplace. Our wellness experts will introduce you to a range of tips to keep your body and mind in tip-top shape – including exercises you can do at your desk.
Eat the Right Foods for Your Personal Wellness Goals
March is National Nutrition Month, a time that provides us the time to assess the importance of food in our health and well-being. It’s also an opportunity to check in on our New Year’s resolutions for healthy eating or to set new nutrition objectives altogether.
Before starting a regimen to improve your overall health, you must first set goals on how you will achieve this success. The goals allow you to create the right plan for your lifestyle and body type, because, as the old saying goes: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
When setting these goals, you should pay attention to nutrition first, because it’s responsible for 60 to 80% of the results that could lead to changes and improvements in your health.
Since no workout exists that will help you overcome poor eating habits, here are 6 key tips to get you started in the right direction to improve your eating habits. And when (not if!) you work out, you must ensure your body has the right nutrients before, during, and after the workout.
- Increase fruit and vegetable consumption: Eat 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables daily.
- Choose lean meats: Eat 2 – 3 servings of fish, poultry, ¼ cooked beans, or ½ ounce of nuts and seeds daily.
- Enjoy complex carbohydrates: Eat 6 – 8 servings daily, ½ cup of cooked rice, cooked pasta.
- Limit processed foods: Only consume 5 or fewer servings per week.
- No fast food.
- Reduce your sugar intake: This means a maximum of 25 grams of sugar allowed for each weekend day
In short: Read your labels! Pay attention to serving size and the top 5 ingredients.
How 3 Top Macronutrients Aid Your Body During a Workout
So, now that you’ve taken big steps to improving your overall diet, let’s focus on 3 nutrient groups that will help your body when you’re exercising your way to a healthier life.
1) Carbohydrates – These are the main energy source of the body and spare proteins. Glucose is essential for the body, as it is the preferred source of energy in our brain, heart, and central nervous system. It also provides energy during your workout in the form of glycogen in the muscles.
2) Fats – These help the body access carbohydrates, and they’re the main energy source for long-duration and low-to-moderate exercises such as running and cycling.
3) Protein – This builds, maintains, and repairs body tissue. It’s very important to physically active individuals whose muscle tissue is constantly in need of repair.
Please consult your physician before beginning a new exercise regimen or making dietary changes to improve your health and wellbeing.
Happy National Nutrition Month!