Proper diet and exercise go hand in hand when trying to lose weight. However, I’ve noticed that for many dieters, creating a diet that fits their exercise regimen isn’t always an easy task. The U.S. is well known for giving in to fad diets and fast food, both of which don’t always yield the highest weight loss. To properly attain your fitness goals, you must plan accordingly just as you would for any goal, and there are a few easy steps that can help you create a diet to optimize your goals.
Determine Your Caloric Maintenance
First and foremost, when creating a diet to suit your fitness goals, you must determine your caloric maintenance. When I say “caloric maintenance,” I’m referring to the amount of calories your body needs to maintain your current weight. Calculating your current caloric maintenance will be the key to determining the amount of calories you may consume throughout your diet.
Calculate Caloric Goals
After determining how many calories you will need to maintain you weight, you need to decide if you would like to lose, maintain, or gain weight. If you choose to lose weight you will need to subtract around 500 calories from your caloric maintenance so that you can lose between 1-2 pounds weekly. If you wish to gain weight, you will need to add an additional 500 calories to your caloric maintenance amount. Always remember to factor in the intensity of your exercise regimen as well with calculating your caloric goals. Remember, eating too little or too much while exercising can greatly impact your fitness goals.
Create a Weekly Menu
By creating a weekly menu, you are making sure that your diet adheres to its caloric needs. When you don’t have a structured menu, you risk grabbing meals conveniently at local fast food restaurants or grabbing other high carbohydrate snacks simply to satiate your hunger. Each week I create an exciting menu for myself that will fit my caloric goals to optimize my fitness training.
Drink Plenty of Water
I believe one of the best ways to create a diet that optimizes your exercise regimen is by drinking plenty of water. Many dieters don’t drink enough water while exercising which can dehydrate the body and limit muscle growth and weight loss. Whole house water filter systems and other water purifying systems are a great way to promote drinking water as these systems provide clean, fresh water out of the tap at all times ensuring that you get your recommended 8 glasses a day.
What other tips can you give to folks looking to create a diet that fits their fitness goals?
Jim Oldfield says
You’ve got some great advice here. I’d also add to your bit about the weekly menu, to have some healthy snacks or alternate available so that you have a back-up plan for those times when life gets in the way of the plan.