According to a recently published report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, two-third of the USA population (including adults and minors) has been found to fall under the obese or overweight category. What is even more alarming is the fact that over 50% of this overweight population is actually obese rather than simply being overweight.
To be more specific with the numbers, exactly 34.9% or 78.6 million of US adults are obese whereas 17% or 12.7 million US children fall in the same category. 
Surely, if ever there was a need for people to embrace a healthy lifestyle and a fitness routine, it is now before this number reaches epic proportions.
The good news, however, is that more and more people are realizing this urgency to become fit. But in their endeavor to improve their fitness levels in quick time, most people often tend to forget or overlook the basic foundation of authentic fitness - Nutrition.
End result? More often than not, people tend to give up midway into a fitness routine as they cannot see the expected results within a certain period of time.
It must be understood by everyone here that nutrition is the key to a fit body. Without proper nutrition, no matter how much time you spend working out, you will never achieve your fitness goals. To elaborate on this particular point, the next part of the article talks about various factors that must be considered while pursuing a fitness plan and the role that nutrition plays in that fitness plan coming to fruition.
1) Enlist a Personal Fitness Trainer
Though it may cost you some extra bucks, hiring a professional fitness instructor ultimately pays off big time. Here are a few benefits that an experienced personal trainer will provide:
- Years of experience and expertise to help you reach your health and fitness goals
- Based on your current fitness level, a professional fitness expert will be able to devise a program that will help you reach desired goals in the most effective way
- Help minimize the wasteful activities in your fitness routine, and thus, improve the overall efficiency of the fitness plan
While the above points stress upon the logical advantage of enlisting a pro fitness trainer, you can do one better by hiring a licensed nutritionist in your area who will help you take care of the nutritional component of the fitness plan. A nutritionist possesses an extensive knowledge of various foods and diet plans. Therefore, he/she will be able to ensure that you are getting all the required nutrients through your diet for your body to perform at its best at all times.
Even if after reading all this, you intend to achieve the optimum fitness level on your own without a trainer, you must make sure that you have a basic know how about nutrition and how it affects the body's performance and fitness levels.
2) Ensure Proper Nutrition
Food is the fuel to our body. Without proper food, it simply cannot perform at its optimum. If you keep feeding unhealthy or low-quality food to your body, it will continue to under-perform and degrade in a gradual manner until it breaks down completely.
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Therefore, it is imperative that the food you choose to consume is high in nutritional value but at the same time, low on calories and unhealthy fats.
In other words, avoid junk food as much as possible as they contain empty calories and have low nutritional quotient. A healthy balanced diet comprising fresh fruits, vegetables, proteins, fibers and complex carbs is what you need to attain your fitness and health goals. Eating organic and fresh should be your first step towards a healthy and fit body.
3) Prep Your Meals in Advance
When it comes to ensuring a healthy diet, advanced preparation is the all-important key to success. Planning out your meals ahead of time not only allows you to control how much you eat, but it also gives you better control over what you eat. This helps you avoid the last minute scampering to the nearby restaurant for a hurried lunch or dinner, which more often than not turns out to be an unhealthy calorie bomb. What's more, it also helps you save loads of precious time which you can then invest in ensuring ample time for workouts or for you to relax.
4) Eat Frequently at Regular Intervals
A 2005 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that increasing the meal frequency at regular intervals helped boost the post-meal metabolism rate. This was in comparison to meals of same calorific value taken at irregular and unpredictable intervals.
Therefore, when you are following a strictly calorie controlled dietary plan, it is always a good idea to eat smaller portions at frequent intervals. By eating say, every 3 or 4 hours, you will be able to boost the metabolic rate, thus, increasing the rate at which the body burns calories. 
5) Eat Smaller Meals
Since you will be eating more often, it makes sense to reduce the size of your meals to make sure you don't end up consuming extra calories throughout the day.
Most people follow a 3-meal pattern as their daily routine wherein exists a gap of at least 5 hours between meals. This is plenty of time for a person to feel hungry and end up overeating during meals. When you take frequent small meals throughout the day, the feeling of hunger does not become that intense and there is smaller chance of you overeating.
Furthermore, eating smaller but more frequent meals also helps to stabilize the blood glucose levels, which makes it an ideal practice for people who have diabetes or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Conclusion: Eat Healthy to Remain Healthy
There is a very strong connection between good nutrition and a healthy body. By ensuring proper nutrition, you will be able to follow the steps to a fit body in the most effective manner. Additionally, the risk factors for various diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and various heart diseases, are all rooted in unhealthy eating habits and obesity.
When you make small but meaningful changes to your diet, you can go a long way towards a healthy, active and physically fit body. Healthy eating is all the more important for kids as dietary habits that are established in childhood tend to carry well into the adulthood and further. By making smart nutrition choices, you can help yourself and your kids achieve the desired fitness goals.
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