You can lose weight and improve your health and body composition with diet or exercise, but it shouldn’t be a case of either/or. By far the best approach is to partake in an intelligently planned training routine and eat a healthy, balanced diet. Your diet should not only support your health and weight goals, but also improve your training performance.
As a fit, active individual, your body needs more carbs than if you were sedentary. Carbs are your body’s main source of energy. If you’re an athlete, you need between 2.2 and 4.5 grams of carbs per pound of body weight each day, according to a report from Brown University. If you’re only exercising for recreation, however, you may not need quite this many carbs, whereas if you’re extremely active or a competitive athlete you’ll need toward the higher end. Your carb intake should come mainly from high-fiber sources, such as whole grains, starchy vegetables, beans and fruit.
Fruits and vegetables are a foundation of good health. Ideally, you want as big a range of colors as possible. Think red from tomatoes and strawberries, orange from carrots and oranges, yellow from corn and pineapple, green from broccoli and peppers and so on. The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition recommends dedicating half your plate at every meal to fruits and vegetables.