Nutrition is underrated by far too many people when trying to achieve their fitness goals. They are willing to put forth hours of effort in training their bodies the proper way and yet might fail to reach their goals. Often times this is because they wouldn’t change their eating habits or be consistent enough with them.
If you are going to spend all that time and energy it shouldn’t go to waste. As much focus that is put into the training should also go towards the kitchen. That way you ensure that you are giving yourself all of the tools that you need to be successful and meet your goals!
With that in mind, here are the 7 worst mistakes you can make in regards to your nutritional habits:
1. Small Breakfast
Breakfast is the first building block of the day. The level of nutrients is at its’ lowest after a long night of sleep. Without proper morning nutrition you have to be concerned with your muscle breaking down as well insufficient energy for your daily routine. Don’t be afraid to eat a robust and healthy breakfast.
2. Skipping Post-Workout Meal
Quality protein and carbohydrates are a must in the small 30 to 60 minute window right after a workout. When ingested in that time they will provide an added benefit to recovery and growth that you just won’t see an hour later. This is a great time for a nutritional shake.
3. Avoiding Carbs
Sometimes people go a little ‘carb-crazy’. By that I mean they get so concerned with watching what they eat that they actually skimp on carbs more than they should. The biggest key about eating carbs is to eat more whole grains and veggies rather than processed stuff. You need that energy for your body.
4. Not Enough Water
Water is a building block of your body. Not having enough can easily interfere with your performance. It doesn’t matter if you are a strength or endurance athlete (or even somewhere in between), a lack of water will hurt your ability to perform and recover. You should be drinking water consistently from morning to night to be properly hydrated.
5. Not Enough Protein
Protein is a building block of muscle. During exercise you stress and breakdown your muscles. If you want them to grow back stronger then they need the right materials in your system. That typically means you should be eating some protein in at least 3 to 4 meals during the day to ensure your body has what it needs. At least 20 to 30 grams per sitting is best.
People who are newer to nutrition often go a bit overboard. They count every calorie precisely as well as constantly stress over proper rations and input/output. While having that knowledge is useful it can also be a burden. Just get the basics down and understand that close enough is usually good enough. You don’t need to measure exact portions and weigh everything as that can turn mealtime into a chore which you will want to avoid. But that doesn’t mean you overeat either.
7. Not Planning Meals
Ideally you are eating 4 to 5 small meals with a snack during the day. You do this because it allows better management of your metabolism as well as a consistent flow of nutrients to your body. But this does involve some planning to make sure you are still getting a balanced diet. This can easily be done once per week followed by shopping to make sure you have what you need. Far too many people just wing it and eat something healthy during each meal but by the end of the day they aren’t sure if they took in enough protein as well as natural vitamins (not the pills).
There are plenty more things that you shouldn’t do in regards to nutrition. But these are the top 7 mistakes that people make which greatly hinders their performance and gains from a fitness perspective. You should look at the list carefully compared to what you currently do and see if there is room for improvement. Most people are surprised at how much better their body responds to training when it is properly fueled.
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