I mentioned Nutrition as being one of the key building blocks you need to get right in order to achieve your health and fitness goals.
But what is right?Nutrition really is a minefield.From paleo to weightwatchers to vegan to gluten free and then we have the massive sugar debate too!Which avenue are you going to down?
The industry is a place in my opinion where there is v v good advice yet unfortunately quite poor misleading info.
Let me start by saying I’m not a qualified nutritionist nor dietitian but what i do have is 28 years experience of eating food, 8 years experience helping clients with their nutrition and training and if you seen the Ciaran burns “10 stone loss ” story well then I know these points below can really help anyone out.
Does this “diet” or approach apply to me?
What works for me or you,may not work be ideal for him or her.You see we all have different goals,body types,hormonal systems,activity levels,lifestyle surroundings etc.Therefore don’t be fooled by going down the same avenue just because it seems to work for her.My goal perhaps is to loose weight,yours is to increase strength and his is to put on some muscle.Therefore we all need different training regimes,and definitely different ways we treat our daily food intake.
No matter what nutrition approach we do take,Remember this one.
“The core principles always have to apply” (Meaning forget the little details at first and lay a solid foundation getting the basics right)
*Forget Diet pills,Miracle 6 week transformation medicine,juicing detoxes,and certain crazy supplements and so on* ….THEY WONT WORK….
This is where i see people make mistakes.They are looking at the smaller things (taking supplements looking for the quick fixes but then their sleep is poor and there not eating enough real food and perhaps doing the wrong type of training)
So lets look at the important stuff that you really should have nailed down in order of importance.
- Calories In/Calories Out (Energy Balance) What is going in? What is going out?
Something that is pretty basic.Measure your recommended Caloric intake using any caloric calculator you can find online and work off that.Eat lots of calories and spend little to no time with activity will eventually lead to a road to weight gain.So get working on that,starting working with how many calories you should be taking in with the correct macro-nutrient breakdown for you and your goal.
2.Correct amount of Macronutrients/Fibre/Micronutrients/Water in your daily intake
Macros meaning Carbs such as (Potato white/sweet,wild rice,butternut squash,quinoa,green leafy veg spinage,kale,broccoli,cabbage,green beans,asparagus,sprouts) (daily g depending on the person,activity level and goal)
Proteins such as red meats,chicken/turkey,fatty fish,eggs.More protein in diet the better.I guarantee it will lead to better changes in the body,make you feel fuller and stop those sugar cravings.
Healthy Fats such as avocado,olives,nuts,cream,coconut oil,extra virgin olive oil,full fat greek/natural yogurt
Fibre meaning sources like various beans,chickpeas,apples,some potatoes and fibrous vegetables
Water –Drink up 2-4 litres daily
Try eat little and often if possible,or at least try get your 3-4 main meals a day right
- Eat 3-4 good main meals a day
- Allow time to prepare your meals.(Failure to prep,prep to fail)
- Eat a protein source at every main meal ideally 20-40g
- Load up plate with good selection of green leafy vegetables
- Thumbsize portion of fat or cook your meats/fish in coconut oil
- Slow down,enjoy your food and relax
- Hydrate during meal times
3.Just eat real food,and enjoy it! #JERF
“Nutrition should be something that enhances your life and something that shouldn’t take over”
Avoid to think of any food that should be forbidden or banned from your daily life(Unless you know you have food intolerance’s).
Adopt a 80/20 or maybe even a 90/10 approach.80% of the time i will eat well and enjoy my food and 20% i tend to eat stuff that i truly enjoy in moderation.A person eating 100% clean is a path that is actually quite unnecessary and has proven to lead to a crash and into a binge somewhere down the line.So go have that pizza or ben and jerrys ice cream,yet remember know when is enough!
Allow 10-20% to foods that you truly enjoy,enjoy it,never feel guilty yet at the same time don’t go crazy.
4.Small smart steady steps
Some people make a common mistake of totally giving up on nice things,going all out strict then 2-3 weeks later a massive crash comes around and your back to square 1 feeling crap.
So this is what you should really do.
Pick 1-2 small changes and stick with it for 7 days.It could be something simple as starting your day off with a pint of filtered water.Make this a priority each day,then sooner or later this will become a good healthy habit.Following this pick another challenge for days 7-14.This could be aiming to get at least 20-30g protein per meal.Keep track record of these tasks and grade yourself throughout the 7 days.How did it go out of 10?
Writing down good habits will instill good success and another super quote that was mentioned was “Adherence is the no1 important rule to a successful diet”
A couple of my recent tasks have been things such as
- Quality sleep (shoot for 8 hours)
- Start day off with water
- Cut back on coffee intake
- Set aside 1-2 hours every Sunday to prep my week ahead
- At least 20 mins daily working on switching off/mobility/meditation
“So what protein are you on?”
Supplements too get a big mention of course.I could go on for days here but I will keep this short and sweet.You shouldn’t really consider going down this route yet if you haven’t got the basics above dialed in.Lots of us make the big mistake of purchasing protein/creatine/BCAAs etc in hope its going to solve all our problems yet at the same time we still haven’t got the to grips with our sleep and general basic daily food intake.
What i recommend to many people here is get the food right first,find a good coach,work with him/her for a while,ask them for advice on supplementation somewhere down the road.