By Andrea Holwegner BSc, RD “The Chocoholic Dietitian”
Whatever type of result you are looking for, nutrition can help you get there faster with more lasting results. In order to accomplish changes in your body composition, overall health, energy levels, and running performance, you need to exercise and eat well.
The best way to lose weight and change your body composition is by using a combination of nutrition and exercise. If you are trying to lose fat or gain muscle mass by exercising alone and neglecting your nutrition, you will find the process is very slow. Watch out for the common misconception that because you are exercising you can eat whatever you want. Often runners overestimate how many calories are burned during exercise and underestimate how many calories they consume. Keep in mind that it only takes you a few minutes to eat 500 calories, but a long time to burn them off.
Optimal nutrition can also help you to achieve better short-term health and immune function. By avoiding colds, flu’s and other bugs you can keep your workout routine consistent and see the best results. Eating well directly influences your energy levels, motivation, and overall mood. This will help ensure you have the stamina to get to your workouts and do them with vigor.
Nutrition is also strongly related to the prevention of the leading causes of death and disability such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Sound nutrition also helps slow aging and ensures protection against other health concerns. Don’t assume that if you are exercising and/or you are a healthy weight that you don’t have to worry about what you eat. Your body is like a car, and nutrition is the gas, oil, and other components of your car that make it run properly. Neglecting to take care of your nutrition is the equivalent of forgetting to change the oil or failing to fill a high performance sports car with premium fuel.
Proper nutrition will improve your overall running performance (speed, strength, power, and endurance). Genetics and sport/exercise training will only take you so far; examining your nutrition will give you a leading edge. Proper nutrition will also greatly improve your recovery after hard workouts so you are fresh for your next workout.
Andrea Holwegner is president of Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc., media expert for the Dietitians of Canada, professional speaker and independent consultant to Jugo Juice. To askAndrea your personal nutrition question, visit the “Ask the Dietitian” section of the Jugo Juicewebsite here:www.jugojuice.com.