Buffing Up for Boys and Girls
By Carly Van Zomeren
AmesEats Flavors Writer
Losing weight, eating healthier or becoming stronger are common resolutions for the new year. Although exercising is a big part of one’s resolution to bulk up, eating certain types of foods can really speed things up to reaching your goal. It may be hard to stick with a routine but by substituting some of your regular foods with a few of these helpful hints can make a huge difference!
Fighting off as many sweets as possible is a great start, sugar is the enemy at this point and so anything you can do to stay away from it would be in your best interest. But there are healthier sugars that can substitute for these cakes and candies.
Carbs can be associated with sugar, but not all of them are the same. Our bodies obviously need carbs to function to their full potential. Carbohydrates that are high in whole grain can actually help to control your health and prevent various disease. The fiber in these grains can also assist in weight loss and the decrease of bad cholesterol levels. All fruits contain natural sugars plus vitamins and minerals for a sweet, but healthy treat!
To tone your muscles and get rid of unwanted fat its important to make sure you are consuming healthy fats such as monounsaturated, plant-based, fats. This includes olive oil, avocado, nuts and canola oil. To avoid an increase in fat in the body and plaque build up in your arteries you should avoid bad, saturated fats such as butter and beef.
Be aware of processed foods that could be harmful to your dieting and muscle gain, many of today’s processed foods may be easier and quicker for cooking or eating but you run the risk of ingredients that not only slow your progress or reverse it if you eat too much as they commonly contain excess sugar, sodium and calories.
The last thing to keep in mind is protein, of course. If you will be spending more time in the gym this semester, you will want to ensure you are getting enough protein to feed your muscles. Try eating lean meats like chicken and fish, or mixed nuts to ensure you are getting the maximum amount of protein with a minimal amount of saturated fats.