Fitness and Nutrition Tips To Take Your Body To The Next Level

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Contrary to popular belief, losing weight, toning up and getting fit and healthy isn’t as simple as many people would have us believe. Sure, on paper it’s simply a case of eating healthy meals, cutting out junk food and getting more physical exercise on a daily basis. In the real world, however, things aren’t always quite that black and white because if things really were that simple, more people would be walking around with lean, athletic and aesthetically pleasing physiques instead of being overweight. Each year, governments and health care officials are forced to shell out billions upon billions of dollars on diet and weight-related health care, not to mention that current statistics reveal that there are more obese people in the world today than at any other point in previous history. If you’re fed up with being out of shape or being stuck in mediocrity and would much rather strive for excellence, just remember that you can make the changes necessary in order to meet your objectives. The only thing holding you back is yourself and if you’re finally ready to step up and take your physique to the next level, take a look at these fitness and nutrition tips from the professionals that will help you do just that!

Establish Goals and Objectives
Before you go any further, the first thing you should do is take the time to establish some goals and objectives for yourself. For example, what exactly do you want to achieve? Do you want to build muscle? Perhaps you want to tone up and burn fat, or maybe you want all of the above? Setting goals and objectives for yourself will help keep you on the right track which will help prevent you from skipping workouts and cheating on your diet. For example, your goal might be to lose weight. Rather than just telling yourself you want to lose weight, give yourself a target weight loss number to aim for and take things from there. On top of a target weight loss number to really help ramp up the intensity and motivation, give yourself a deadline. Telling yourself you wish to lose 10 pounds is getting you on the right track, but if there’s no deadline then there will be no urgency to reach the goal. Setting yourself a target of 10 pounds in six weeks however, will mean that for the next six weeks you’ll be busting your butt in the gym while paying special care and attention to your diet in order for you to meet your deadline.

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Track Your Food and Beverage Intake
Remember, the foods we eat play a major role affecting the goals and objectives we set for ourselves when it comes to our physiques. For example, anyone looking to build muscle will need to make sure they consume plenty of high protein foods since protein is an essential macronutrient needed for muscle growth and repair. People trying to lose weight will need to make sure they’re keeping their bodies in a daily calorie deficit, meaning that they consume fewer calories than what is required to maintain their current weight. You can easily figure out your daily calorie intake by using ShapeFit’s daily calorie calculator. You can also use popular apps on your phone or online programs to track your daily food and beverage intake. You can either enter the foods and quantities manually or you can scan different bar codes directly into the app and it will add up the calories, tell you how many you’ve consumed and how many you have left to meet your daily calorie needs.

Prepare Your Meals in Advance
In terms of health and fitness, eating a healthy and balanced diet is absolutely essential. However, that is where most people struggle the most. Cooking healthy meals from scratch can be pretty time-consuming and frustrating, especially if you’ve just got home and you’re hungry after a long day at the office. In these instances, the last thing people want is to be peeling and chopping vegetables, marinating, boiling, grilling, poaching, steaming, and washing pots and pans. Instead, they would much rather reach for the phone and order a pizza to be delivered hot and fresh to their door. However, things do not need to be that difficult and with just a little bit of careful planning you can enjoy fresh, healthy and nutritious meals with minimal preparation required. The way you do this is by prepping your meals in advance. Simply choose a day of the week that works best for you and set aside a little time to prepare your meals for the next few days. Invest in Tupperware containers and then cook all of your protein sources, add a carbohydrate source like brown rice or sweet potatoes, along with a portion of vegetables and perhaps a cooking sauce for added moisture and flavor as long as it’s healthy. Prepare large portions of these foods then allow them to cool, place individual portions inside the Tupperware containers and store them in your fridge. You will have quick access to instant nutrient dense meals anytime during the day which you can simply re-heat when you’re ready to eat or you can take them with you to work. You will save yourself so much time and effort during the week, plus you get to eat healthy and tasty foods that will help you meet your fitness goals and objectives faster!

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Mix Up Your Workouts
The human body has a wonderful innate ability of quickly being able to recognize and adapt to certain situations, allowing it to build up tolerances in a bid to help protect itself. When someone begins a new fitness program that consists of an exercise regimen, for the first couple of weeks the improvements they see are very impressive, but unfortunately not long after, things become less and less impressive with each passing week. To allow for the most progress in the gym, whatever your goals may be, you should try to mix up your workouts frequently to avoid going through the same exercises and routines week in and week out. If you’re trying to lose fat, for example, you could try a couple of weeks of steady state cardio on the treadmill, followed by a couple of weeks of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). If you’re trying to build muscle, make sure you perform different exercises, using different weights and train in different repetition ranges. Every 4-6 weeks you can even change-up your entire training routine altogether. By constantly changing things around, your body doesn’t know whether it’s coming or going, which is where you will see the biggest improvements, so be sure to mix things up regularly to avoid hitting a natural plateau.

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About Author

Robin Reichert

I'm an AFPA certified personal trainer, AFPA certified nutrition consultant, NASM certified youth exercise specialist, online fitness coach and freelance writer specializing in health and fitness. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health. I'm also an active member of the world's largest association for fitness and wellness professionals. See my profile page for more information!

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