When it comes to health and fitness, the way you eat matters. Working out is helpful, but if you are not eating right, you may still find it difficult to reach your goal. Whether it’s weight loss, muscle gain, better mobility, recovery, or just generally going into a more fit or healthier lifestyle, your diet could be the most important thing to pay attention to. Depending on your goals, there are different diets you can follow.
One of the most common diets is going plant-based. It has been around for as long as we can remember because there are religions that don’t encourage eating meat. Eventually, it became a whole cultural phenomenon not only for health but also for environmental reasons since the meat industry is a big contributor to the carbon footprint of the whole world.
Since meat products are varied and could fall under many categories, the same goes for cutting out meat products from your diet. Specific plant-based diets include vegan, vegetarian, paleo, and pescatarian.
High-protein diets are ideal for people who want to gain muscle mass or bulk up without having too much sugar in their diet. A famous high-protein diet is the Dukan diet in which you focus on whole foods and lean protein to get your calories for the day. Depending on how much weight or body fat you want to cut, most of the high-protein diets will also incorporate reducing carb intake like the Atkins diet.
High-fat diets are often low on carbohydrates and focus on immediately shifting your body’s metabolic state into ketosis, hence the rise of the term “keto” or “ketogenic” diet. An ideal keto diet should include lots of healthy fats and as little carbohydrates as you can manage. Keto or high-fat diets may help promote weight loss, improve heart health, and reduce PCOS symptoms and those of other hormonal disorders.
Intermittent fasting is when you have “eating windows” wherein you “fast” or don’t eat outside this window. There are plenty of ways to do this; you can freely decide when your “fasted” and “eating” states are.
Popular methods include the eat-stop-eat method where you go an entire day without eating but only do it on non-consecutive days. Another option is to follow the “warrior” diet, in which you eat small, paleo snacks during the day and one heavy meal at night.
You can also try the 16/8 method where you fast for 16 hours and eat within eight hours, making you skip breakfast. On the other hand, the 5:2 diet involves cutting your calorie intake in half for two consecutive days of the week and then eat normally for five days.
Diet can significantly help you achieve your health goals. If anything, the nutrition aspect is essential to achieving fitness goals, to begin with. Even if it is not for a certain fitness goal, a lifestyle change would be much easier when you focus on certain aspects like your eating habits.