People who are trying to get fit may make a critical mistake in avoiding snacks. They may be hoping to avoid over-consumption or processed, unhealthy foods by resisting the urge to snack, but in reality, their skipped snacks could derail their efforts. Healthy snacks can help you feel fuller, eat more realistic portions at meal times, and most importantly, sustain your energy levels for your exercise and fitness regimen.

As an important note, whether you’re eating a meal or a snack, be sure to drink water. The more active you are, the more hydration your body needs for optimal performance.

Carbohydrates Offer Quick Energy

Healthy sources of carbohydrates eaten between 30 and 60 minutes before a workout can supply you with the energy you need to really perform your best. Some fresh fruit can provide you with healthy sugars, while whole-grain snacks, such as a handful of granola, whole-grain toast, or even a half serving of oatmeal, not only boost your energy but help your body maintain steady blood sugar levels. You want complex carbohydrates and not simple carbohydrates, like refined sugar and flour products.

Protein Is Critical For Muscle Growth and Health

If you’re going to reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, your body needs key ingredients to maintain itself. Protein, whether it comes from animal or plant sources, is necessary for the healing of muscle tissue after exercise. It’s important to combine protein intake with complex carbohydrates, which provide the body with energy, and fruits and vegetables, which replace key micronutrients such as minerals and vitamins while also supplying your body with ever-important fiber.

Eat Plant-Based Foods at Every Meal

Just like you want to balance your consumption of protein and complex carbohydrates at each meal, you also want to focus on including fruits or vegetables at every meal. Over the course of the day, try to get as many colors as possible. Try for greens, oranges, yellows, and red/purples every single day. This will help ensure you are taking in an assortment of naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals every day.

Seasonings Can Be Healthy, Too

While you want to take it easy on the salt and sugar, many other spices offer health benefits. Garlic and onion are associated with healthier cholesterol levels. Hot peppers, which get their heat from a chemical called capsaicin, can not only make your food more flavorful, but may offer some minor cardiovascular health benefits as well.

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