What to Eat to Stay Fit
Many people wonder what to eat to stay fit or what to eat for a good diet - in the modern world food is available on every corner in the form of some fast food meal or similar.
Likewise, many products are advertised as "low fat", "low sugar" or "95% fat-free" or similar, but in reality "low fat" foods are usually loaded with simple sugars, "low sugar" foods are filled with saturated fat, "95% fat-free" means that remaining 5% are pure fat of some sort...
Updated: March 18, 2022.
How to Eat More Healthy
There are several things one can do to eat more healthy:
- eat more often
- eat better foods
- vary foods depending on the time of the day and from day to day
- drink more water
Eating more often means that we are eating more often SMALLER meals. Eating more often is usually not a problem, but "smaller meals" usually are.
Portion control is a very important aspect of eating more often. We are almost never really hungry, but also not entirely full - this helps in keeping calories under control and also sends signals to the body that there is plenty of food around and that there is no reason to store calories for 'rainy days' (simplified, of course).
Since not all calories are the same, one should also focus on eating healthier foods.
Some foods are easily digested, while other foods require hours to digest properly.
The human body needs protein for building muscles and for many other purposes, fats are needed for hair, skin, nails and they are also part of many metabolic processes.
Carbohydrates are used for energy and are stored in the form of glycogen in the liver and muscle tissue. Excess calories from protein, carbohydrates, and fats are stored as fat in fat cells.
Foods can become boring, even healthy ones. Therefore, it is important to vary foods from day to day.
Also, it is important to vary foods depending on the time of the day - in the morning we should eat balanced meals containing both protein and carbs, with fats relatively low.
As the day goes by, we should change our meals and include fewer and fewer carbs and more and more fats - how much depends on your age, body type, physical activity, gender, etc.
Water is very important - without foods, people can survive weeks, without water days or even less.
To properly hydrate the body, one should drink 2-4 liters of water per day, depending on the body weight, physical activity, season, etc.
During summer, it is not uncommon to drink a liter of water per hour or even more, when engaged in physical activity of some sort in the open, during the heat. Of course, that is an extreme situation and one should avoid it if possible.
What Should I Eat to Stay Fit And Healthy
What are good foods to eat? Well, the answer to this question is not an easy one. Good foods, again, depend on many individual factors, but generally:
- good protein sources are lean cuts of meat, any kind of fish, eggs, egg whites, low fat, cottage cheese, etc.
Chicken and turkey breast should be consumed on daily basis (hence the need to vary recipes, since eating every day same food can become really boring - been there, done that :o) ), red meat can be consumed a few times per week, while liver (veal, chicken, etc) can be consumed on a weekly or even monthly basis.
Omega-3 eggs and organic eggs can be eaten daily, amounts depending on your diet plan. Egg whites, low-fat cheese, and fish can be eaten as much as you like, having in mind their macronutrient content...
- fruits and vegetables are sources of complex and moderately complex carbs. Vegetables should be eaten as often as possible, while starchy fruits should be monitored - other fruits can be eaten freely, just be careful about their macronutrient content.
Vegetables and fruits are also rich in vitamins and minerals, fibers, etc, and are very beneficial to humans.
- bread, pasta, rice, and similar foods should be consumed depending on the body type (ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph), kind of diet (bulking, cutting ...), age, gender, etc.
If you are an endomorph, stay away from bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and similar foods. If you are ectomorph, you should in every meal add at least a slice of bread or some rice or pasta ...
- good sources of fat are fish and fish oil, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, flax seeds and flax seeds oil, olive oil, etc.
Don't forget that the human body needs saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids in equal amounts. That is why a handful of almonds is a great thing, while a bag of them can be a caloric bomb.
If you have a problem with, for example, cholesterol, then you probably consume too many simple carbs and too little HDL cholesterol (HDL cholesterol is also known as 'good cholesterol') - eat more fish and seafood in general, garlic, nuts, olive oil, etc. Learn to cook and find some quick and healthy recipes.
So, what should one eat to stay fit and healthy is an answer with many different shades of gray and not black and white picture.
Eating Healthy to Gain Weight
There is a lot of debate on the Internet about whether it is better to be ectomorph or endomorph.
Ectomorphs have problems with gaining muscles and weight in general and they have very fast metabolisms.
Endomorphs, on the other hand, have no trouble gaining muscles and fat and they have very slow metabolisms.
In terms of being lean and muscular, both options have flaws and problems, but ectomorphs at least can eat! (And yes, the author of this article is endomorph :o)
In order to gain weight, one should eat above daily caloric requirements and in order to gain muscles and not fat, one should train in order to stimulate the body to "create" more muscles and not to store excess calories as fat.
Again, this is a simplification, but if you are a skinny ectomorph wanting to gain some decent muscles then you should eat, train, rest and repeat that day after day ...
To gain weight healthily, eat at least 4-5 meals per day consisting of lean protein sources, vegetables, and some simpler carbs in the form of pasta, rice, and similar.
As the day goes by, increase amounts of fats and decrease amounts of carbs. Fruits should be eaten as quick daily snacks, while almonds and similar foods should be taken as a snack in the evening.
The number of calories depends on the trainee/person and should be adjusted from time to time to address goals of the diet/nutrition plan in terms of gaining weight, losing weight, maintaining weight, workouts, and similar.
What to Eat on a Diet
This depends on your diet. If you are on a keto diet, then you should avoid any possible carbohydrate sources.
On a Carbohydrate Cycling Diet, Low Carbohydrate Diet, and similar diets, food choices are much more diverse and these diets can be held for longer periods of time, sometimes even for a lifetime.
Liquid diets are based on Meal Replacement Powders (MRPs) and can be very good for losing great amounts of fats, but they are not recommended for longer periods of time, since one is only eating normal food in the form of daily or weekly healthy solid meals.
Other diets have their own specific requirements and recommended foods and their amounts vary.
Typical nutrient sources are:
- vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, tomatoes, lettuce, brussel sprouts, carrots, onions, etc.
- meat: lean cuts of beef or pork, turkey and chicken breasts, turkey and chicken skinless and boneless thighs, etc.
- fish: any fish that is low in mercury, including sardines, wild salmon, and similar.
- nuts: almonds, peanuts, walnuts, etc.
- eggs: whole omega-3 and organic eggs, egg whites.
- cheese: low carb and cottage cheese. Note: high-fat cheese can be consumed in small amounts as a dessert with plenty of salads but without bread.
It is very important to heat diverse and well balances meals and foods, taking into account actual daily needs in nutrients and calories.
Never go on a drastic diet of any kind, since they are not healthy - always check your health before and while dieting - go to your doctor, better safe than sorry ...