The Five

Losing weight is only half the battle. Most of the time you want to build muscle and strength as well. While a regular workout routine is invaluable for your muscle gain goals, eating the right foods will provide fuel for the process. 

In some ways, what you eat is more important than what you do in the gym. Without the right balance of nutrients, you’ll lack the building blocks for muscle mass. You’ll need tons of protein to build the muscles you want and enough carbohydrates to provide the energy you need. 

What should you be eating for big gains? Here are the best foods for muscle and strength: 

strength

Eggs

Don’t overlook the humble egg. Packed with high-quality protein, healthy fats, and the B vitamins you need, eggs are a great choice for those looking to increase strength and muscle mass. The amino acids in eggs are invaluable for your muscle gain. 

Salmon 

Ounce for ounce, salmon is hard to beat if you’re looking for lean, healthy protein. Omega-3 fatty acids like those found in salmon play an important role in muscular health and might even lead to great muscle gains when in the gym. 

Lean Beef

In the 90s, the beef industry spent tons of ad dollars trying to convince the American people that beef should be on their dinner plates. For those looking to gain muscle mass, lean beef might be exactly what you need. Beef is full of high-quality protein, amino acids, B vitamins, and creatine. Opt for leaner cuts of beef to balance your protein and fat intake. 

Cottage Cheese

This might not seem like an obvious choice, but one cup of low-fat cottage cheese is packed with 28 grams of protein. Cottage cheese is an easy, quick breakfast that can be mixed with fruit for additional flavor. 

Chickpeas

For those looking to add protein to their plate without opting for meat, chickpeas are a great option. A good source of both carbs and protein, chickpeas provide the energy needed to power through your workout and the protein you need to amass muscle gain. 

The list of foods to eat for muscles and strength could be endless. Whatever you eat, make sure that you’re getting the right balance of protein, carbs, and fats to meet your weight loss goals. Struggling to find the right answers? Fit Five Meals is the perfect place to start. With premade meals catered for you, you’ll never wonder what to eat. 

Find out more. 

Among Americans, the average coffee drinker consumes three cups of coffee every day. It’s obvious that those three cups provide a boost of energy, but what is often overlooked are the other side effects of caffeine consumption. It is possible to drink too much, and doing so can have negative repercussions on your overall health. 

Here are three signs you’re drinking too much coffee: 

1. You Feel Anxious. 

The National Institute of Mental Health actually suggests that those who suffer from regular feelings or anxiety or stress avoid caffeine. If you have feelings of anxiety, coffee can actually make it worse. It might seem like another cup will help you have the energy or power of will to complete the next task on your to-do list, but the fact of the matter is that too much caffeine can lead to feelings of overwhelming stress that might keep you from performing at your best. Higher blood pressure and increased cortisol levels have both been connected with too much caffeine before a task. 

2. You Can’t Sleep. 

If you’re experiencing insomnia, coffee might be to blame–at least in part. The caffeine stays active in your body for up to five hours. That means that drinking it late in the afternoon can definitely affect your sleep cycle. The caffeine in your system can keep you from falling asleep or cause you to wake up multiple times throughout the night. How can you avoid this? Try cutting off caffeine intake at noon. That will give your body time to process your last cup of coffee before you lay down for the evening. 

coffee

3. Your Stomach Hurts. 

If you’re experiencing digestive issues or battling heartburn and indigestion, this could be the culprit. Certain compounds in coffee stimulate the secretion of stomach acid. An imbalance in stomach acid can lead to stomach pain or heartburn. You can neutralize acid issues in the short-term with an antiacid, but popping Tums won’t solve the issue. If you think coffee might be to blame, try cutting back on your coffee consumption or substituting a cup or two for tea, which is lower in these acid-causing compounds. 

There’s no single boogie-man when it comes to diet and nutrition. Coffee can’t be blamed for all your digestive issues. Part of maintaining health is maintaining a healthy diet. Fit Five Meals makes eating healthy easier and approachable by offering fresh, premade meals for you to order. 

Check out our menu! 

It’s hard for us to imagine a life without salt. We cook with it, season with it, and even add it to aquariums and pools. Salt is found in just about everything we eat and drink. 

Salt, or sodium, has been linked to high blood pressure. By causing damage to your blood vessels and arteries, chronically high blood pressure can increase your risk of several health complications–including heart disease. 

Salt Is Necessary For Health

Too much salt might harm you; however, salt happens to be one of those essential minerals your body needs to function correctly. Salt is one of the body’s electrolytes, minerals that create positively charged ions in the body. 

Most of your body’s stores of sodium are stored in the blood and overall levels are controlled by the kidneys. You lose salt when you sweat or urinate, so maintaining a healthy amount–not too much or too little–is important. 

Salt helps to keep your fluid levels in balance, supports nerve function, and plays a vital role in muscle activity. 

salt

How Much Is Too Much? 

For years health experts have been encouraging people to limit their intake of sodium. It’s estimated that your body only needs 186 mg of sodium per day to function correctly. However, intaking this little sodium and still intaking the calories you need to function would be difficult. 

As such, the Institute of Medicine recommends that you aim for 1500 mg of sodium per day. The USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services recommend intaking less than 2300 mg of salt per day. The WHO suggests 2000 mg per day. Essentially, most health organizations recommend that the average person intake around 2000 mg per day–somewhere near a teaspoon of sodium. 

Intaking so little sodium might seem like an impossible task. After all, a good portion of the salt the average consumer absorbs comes through processed and pre-packaged foods. 

How can you make sure to get the nutrition you need without consuming too much sodium? 

One of the best ways to limit your sodium and still get the right balance of nutrients is through healthy meal planning. And Fit Five Meals is here to help. With fresh, nutritious, well-balanced meals to fit your life, you can be sure that you’re getting what you need without all the sodium added to other meals. 

Check out our menu! 

Healthy living is all about lifestyle. And lifestyles typically take time. In fact, cultivating routines that support healthy living can seem like a daunting task–especially if you’re busy. While it can seem almost impossible to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, there are a few things that you can do that add up to a healthy lifestyle. 

Feeling overwhelmed but want to get on the right track? Here are 4 healthy living tips for busy people: 

1. Get Enough Sleep. 

Sleep is often the first thing you skip out on when you’re sleepy. Burning the midnight oil and rising at the crack of dawn might seem like the best way to make the most of your time. But, the fact of the matter is that poor sleeping habits are probably ruining your health. Getting sufficient sleep will improve your energy levels and help stabilize hormones that will propel you through the rest of your day. 

2. Combine Activities. 

Feel like your day is full of meetings and errands? It might be best for you to combine seemingly distinct activities. You can take walking meetings, get your run in while walking the dog, or make fitness double as family time. There are all sorts of creative ways to work activity in during the day. 

3. Drink more water. 

Hydration plays a huge part in cultivating a healthy lifestyle. It’s easy to carry a bottle of water with you when you go to work, jump in the car, or while your working in the kitchen. In fact, maintaining a healthy level of hydration can help fight off fatigue and maintain mental clarity. If you’re used to drinking sodas throughout the day, drinking water instead is one of the simplest ways to improve your overall health. 

healthy living

4. Meal Prep. 

You’re busy. The last thing you want to think about every afternoon is what’s for dinner. Opting for takeout every night isn’t the healthiest option and eating at a restaurant each evening can ruin a budget. Fortunately, there are quick, healthy, and easy meal plans out there. Fit Five Meals makes it easy to meal plan. Choose your meals. Select your pickup location. Then pick up and enjoy. It’s that simple. 

Fit Five Meals offers fresh food that fits your life. It’s one of the easiest options to ensure that busy people are fueling their bodies well. 

Check out our menu! 

Low-carb diets limit the intake of carbohydrates–a substance primarily found in sugary foods, bread, and pasta. Studies show that a diet low in carbohydrates can increase positive health markers and can lead to weight loss. 

While low-carb diets have been common for decades, many people still have questions about exactly what “low-carb” means. 

low carb

That’s why Fit Five Meals has put together this low-carb guide: 

What is “low-carb”? 

A low-carb diet means that you eat fewer carbohydrates and eat a higher portion of healthy protein and fat. Sugars and starches–those things you avoid on a low-carb diet–cause spikes in insulin levels. Sticking with proteins and natural fats helps to alleviate those spokes and increase your body’s ability to burn through stores of fat. 

About fat: on a low-carb diet you don’t have to be overly concerned with naturally occurring fats. Limiting sugars and doubling down on proteins and healthy fats can increase feelings of satiation and promote weight loss. 

Low-carb diets can make it easier to lose weight and help to control your blood sugar levels

What should/shouldn’t I eat? 

Low-carb diets are some of the simplest to follow. Instead of counting calories or tracking other nutritional numbers, the low-carb diet identifies one thing–carbohydrates–to avoid. 

Eat This

Meat and fish are great staples of a low-carb diet. Eggs, natural fats like butter, and vegetables–especially those grown above ground–help to fill out a low-carb grocery list while making it possible to get all the nutrients you need. 

Don’t Eat This

Sugars and starches. That’s it. Avoid breads, pasta, rice, beans, and potatoes. 

While eating a low-carb diet seems easy, finding foods that you enjoy to replace former staples can be tough. That’s where Fit Five Meals comes in. We’ve got delicious, pre-planned, and pre-made meals to fit your low-carb lifestyle. Want to know more? Here’s how it works. 

Habits are one of the best ways to change your life. Cultivating healthy habits like regular exercise and positive psychological change can be life-altering. We know that this holds true for what we fuel our bodies with as well with eating habits. 

Then why is it so hard to build healthy eating habits? 

eating habits

Habits, in general, are hard to break. That’s what makes the power of habitual activity so strong. When you’ve spent the better part of a lifetime constructing unhealthy eating habits, then making a positive change can be hard. But there are some ways to make the process easier. 

Here’s how to build healthy eating habits: 

Keep It Close

If you want to build healthy eating habits, then keeping healthy food close at hand is a great place to start. Make sure that you always have healthy options nearby. That makes it easier to reach for fruits, vegetables, or whole grains instead of something less satisfying. Focusing on adding healthy food to your diet frames the whole habit-building process in positive terms. It’s about what you are adding and less about what you might be taking away or eating less of. 

At home, be sure to stock whole foods on the counter, in the cabinets, and behind the refrigerator door. That way healthy options are almost always within arms reach. At work, you can use your office drawer or even your desktop as a storage space for whole foods for when you need them. 

A Family Affair

Accountability is one of the best tools for building habits. When it comes to healthy eating, planning to eat meals with someone else can make all the difference. If you live with other people–your partner, spouse, kids, or roommate–then make it a regular occurrence to eat together at the table. Live alone? No problem! Invite a friend over for dinner or take turns hosting one another regularly. 

Buy a Book

Buying a healthy recipe book is a great place to start. Most of the time you’ll be able to create grocery or shopping lists directly from the recipes themselves. This takes the guesswork out of grocery shopping and makes meal planning easier. For those building healthy eating habits for the first time, having a how-to manual can help ease the transition to more at-home cooking. 

Fit Five Meals makes it easy to build healthy eating habits by providing meals that fit your life. Each of our pre-portioned meals comes pre-cooked and ready to eat, complete with all the whole foods that help lay the groundwork for a healthy diet. 

Find out more!