You are what you eat. Keep that in mind, always. Whether your goal is weight loss, strength, or endurance, nutrition plays a key factor. You can think of it like being a car. Ideally, your car needs an oil change every 3,000 miles to keep a healthy, functional engine. No oil changes equals a slow, malfunctioning engine. The same idea pertains to the food you eat, and how your body reacts to it. For the healthy, functional and responsive body that you’ll need for kickboxing, you want to eat nutritious, healthy foods. Sorry, but that does mean fewer cupcakes and french fries. Whether your goal is weight loss, endurance or strength, here’s exactly what to eat to achieve any kickboxing goal.
1. Weight loss
Here we’ll quickly remind you on what NOT to eat. Temptation is a hard battle when it comes to the comfort foods you love, but when it comes to your goals, you have to make a decision and stay committed. More than 75% of weight loss has to do with dieting and nutrition alone, not exercise. And that means it’s important to stick to your plan. Do NOT indulge in unnecessary sugars and calories by consuming things like heavy pasta sauces, brownies, or cookies. Instead, alternate your meals around lean proteins, lots of leafy greens, and plenty of water. For protein, eat skinless chicken or turkey, beans & lentils, nuts (almonds & cashews) and fish (wild salmon or tuna). Watch your portion size. You should be eating between 4 to 6 oz of lean protein at each meal. Loading up with healthy greens like kale, collard greens, swiss chards, and spinach will heavily assist with weight loss. They are low in calories and carbs, but high in fiber and incredibly nutritious. You’ll be providing your body with high sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. And don’t forget to drink lots of water throughout the day to remain hydrated.
This section is particularly important when it comes to kickboxing. Naturally you’ll need enough energy to sustain the intense workouts. You can’t expect to last long during training when you’ve just put away a double cheeseburger and fries. For a good source of energy that’ll help your body go through the workouts, you should have an intake of nutrient dense healthy carbs (energy). Instead of those French fries we all love, eat sweet potatoes. You also want to substitute your sides with beans and lentils, which contain complex carbs that’ll fill you up and keep you energized. They are also potent in protein and fiber. Having fruits will also provide you with quick sources of energy. Eat bananas, avocados and apples. They are naturally sweetened with fructose and balanced with fiber, vitamins and minerals. Lastly, eat whole grains such as oatmeal and quinoa. Quinoa is rich in iron, magnesium and fiber, which will keep you energized. Oatmeal is also high in soluble fiber content and high in protein, antioxidants and minerals, which will provide a sustained release of energy that your body will need.
For greater strength, you want to feed your muscles. Since it’s a muscle-building agent, protein is the essential factor here. One of the best sources of protein is the egg. Eggs are considered to be the perfect protein that will help muscle cell membranes stay intact. Having two whole eggs in the morning is an excellent source of protein. Salmon is another food that’s rich in protein. It’s also high in essential omega-3 fatty acids, or healthy fats. Eating salmon will help boost muscle growth and increase glucose as well as amino acid uptake, which is essential to developing strength. While salmon is a great source of healthy protein, skinless chicken and turkey are other lean meat alternatives that will provide the same benefits. Lastly, eat plenty of spinach. Spinach has an incredibly rich supply of antioxidants and ingredients that assists with muscle strength and size. As with weight loss, portion control is important. Try not to exceed 5 ounces of lean meat per serving. Also keep in mind that you’ll want to provide your body with nutrition and protein no longer than 30 to 40 minutes after your kickboxing workouts.
To summarize, eating lean meats for protein and leafy greens will generally assist will any kickboxing nutrition goal. You must keep you portions controlled for weight loss and stay away from tempting foods such as sweet treats and fried foods. Drink plenty of water and keep your body hydrated. Strength and endurance go hand in hand which will result from intake of healthy whole grains and lean protein. Stay the course and adhere to your dieting regime. Results come with consistency and dedication. Good luck on your journey to a healthier, leaner, stronger you.
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