We all know that exercise helps us to lose weight by burning calories, but that is not its only benefit.
- Losing weight without exercising, through calorie restriction alone, doesn’t offer the same health benefits.
When starting out on an exercise program, it’s important not to cut calories too much. Your body will need the extra energy in order to keep up with the increased level of physical activity you are asking it to do. However, that doesn’t mean that you can eat whatever you like when you start exercising for weight loss.
- VITAMINS. You can make sure you are getting all the vitamins you need to support your push for fitness by eating a varied diet with plenty of fruit, vegetables, nuts and lean protein. Taking a daily multi-vitamin supplement, such as EnergyFirst’s multi-vitamin, will give you extra peace of mind that your nutritional needs are being met.
- LIMIT SUGAR. Although some people use sugar to give them the quick burst of energy to get through your workout, don’t fall into the trap of using it as a pick-me-up when you feel tired. Eating sugar causes a rush of insulin to be released into the blood stream in order to bring blood sugar levels back down to a safe level. Insulin removes sugar from the blood by converting it into fat, which is the last thing you want if you are trying to lose weight. Even worse, the need to quickly produce large quantities of insulin causes your pancreas to work overtime, putting a strain on this organ’s operation that can eventually lead to type 2 diabetes.
- HIGH-QUALITY PROTEIN. The nutritional need most often overlooked by people starting out on a new fitness regimen is the body’s need for high-quality protein. Exercise stimulates your body to produce new muscle cells to make you stronger, faster and fitter, but those muscles can only be created if you are taking in enough protein to supply the essential building blocks, which are known as amino acids. Whey protein isolate is one of the best sources of all the essential amino acids needed to build new muscle. It is also easy to digest, which is why so many athletes and body builders drink a whey protein shake after working out to support their body’s growth and repair.
J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012 Feb 14;59(7):665-72. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22322083