Living in a body-conscious society has many of us scattering off to the gym and buying supplements so that we, too, may don that daring outfit come Saturday night when we hit the town and show off our well-maintained physique.

It’s strange, then, how many folks are overlooking one of the most important – if not the most important – facets of carving a chiseled bod; dieting.

You might be saying, ‘I don’t need to lose weight, so why should I diet?’ Don’t think that just because you don’t have a few kilos to drop doesn’t mean sticking to rigorous meal plan doesn’t have a cornucopia of advantages.

Read on to find out how dieting could optimize your body.


Cut down on saturated fats, and increase the good ones

Saturated fats – found in most snacks, fried foods and dairy products – can make losing that final layer of tummy fat a frustrating feat. Plus, they pose a risk to your health and could bring about heart problems, high blood pressure and cholesterol.

The upside? You’ll get to moderately indulge in healthy (and even tastier) foods containing mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats. Think oily fish, avocado, nuts, seeds and olive oil. These foods are not only good for your muscles and skin but even boost your cognitive capability,


Take in more pre- and probiotics

Crucial for healthy, stable gut flora (sounds gross – and kinda is – but is really good), prebiotics can be found in nutritious, low-kilojoule foods such as yogurt, onions, garlic, asparagus and bananas. The perks? They boost your gut functioning and immunity, making you less susceptible to catching a cold after a workout, and give you an edge when your muscles need to repair themselves too.


More fibre

Fibre – found in beans, whole grains and nuts – speeds up your metabolism and makes you drop weight at a lightning, albeit natural, pace. What’s more, your revved up metabolism means you are less prone to constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes and colorectal cancer.


Better sleep

Sounds strange, but research has pointed to the fact that 5 percent of body fat can make you get more, better quality zzz’s. Hungry yet?

Don’t think a diet is just intended for shedding those stubborn kilos. Redefine the way you think about what you put in your body, and see the results you need and deserve.