Nutrition is as important as the sweat that lands on your trainers, if it is only an after thought then health & fitness progress is always going to be battling against a head wind. If we’re honest, we all want to find that special place, content with how our clothes fit and guilt free when sitting on a beach consuming a few extra well earned cocktail calories. To do this we need to manage our lifestyle, calories and nutrition in everyday…which can be tricky!It’s simply about balance, and by critically eating just a 100 or so calories per day than your body requires can result in 1lb of weight gain within 5 weeks. 1 year later you’ve put on nearly a stone!
This is the trap that many find themselves in, however add a good exercise and activity plan to the mix and this is a usually a good safety net to ensure this doesn’t happen thus ensuring that your metabolism climbs high and becomes as efficient as possible. If you’re reading this and thinking my metabolism is poor what do I do, then the answer is to make a plan and then start to implement it, do something different! Change your eating/drinking habits and seek sound exercise advise. If this doesn’t work, visit the doctor to check for intolerances or thyroid/hormone issues, however as a percentage of the population these are rare.
Create a System that works for you – I personally have a weekly ‘Default’ setting, and this works for me perfectly. From Monday – Friday I have a routine that is rarely broken. Breakfast is either Granola/Muesli with Organic Natural or Greek yoghurt. Oats with fruit & nuts or Scrambled eggs on multi Seeded bread with pine nuts…. occasionally i’ll treat myself and add smoked salmon. Wash this down with an Americano with one spoon of brown sugar and i’m ready for the day. I rarely deviate from this as it works for me.
Lunch is a Sandwich (Seeded bread) and soup in Winter or intentional leftovers from yesterdays Dinner. Summer swings towards salad bolstered with fish or chicken (Protein) and a small portion of wholegrain pasta or whole grains such as Quinoa & Bulgur which provides energy to blast through the afternoon.
Dinner – now here is my favourite meal and where I will try to experiment a little, however I am a firm believer that trying to emulate your favourite chef every night is unrealistic and tiring. Sometimes take the chef’s hat off and fall back on a classic such as….Beans on toast with sprinkled cheese, cracked black pepper and a hit of Worcester sauce. This hits the mark every time and is full of essential amino acids for muscle maintenance. Approximately half a can’s worth of baked beans has only 1g of fat, 12g or protein and 17g of carbohydrate, as well as being excellent sources of iron, calcium and fibre. This is one of my favourite post training meals. Try it with half a tin of beans and 2 slices of good seeded bread….perfect!
Snacks – Find what works! Experiment and then keep them at hand. This is where I generally get my main intake of fruit. A mid morning apple/Banana and a few nuts do the job for me and a late afternoon protein/fruit smoothie helps me boost protein levels as I try to bridge the gap between Lunch and dinner, as I generally eat dinner around 8pm.
Weekends are my time to have a few ales and a take out, I exercise regularly and this allows me the margin and freedom to enjoy blow outs without worry, however I still try to pick wisely. I have chapattis with my tomato based curry and when i’m having a drink with friends Mojitos or real ale is my weapon of choice….as natural as possible means damage limitation for my body. These choices do at least actually have certain health benefits when consumed in moderation.
My thoughts on dieting.
Diets don’t work, not in the long run. The change has to happen progressively and through smart thinking. Change the mind and discover the key…health and fitness isn’t rocket science all though it is sometimes projected that way in the fitness industry! Get active, watch your mouth and be determined and strong. If you fall off the wagon, have a minute, realise nothing’s broken and most importantly get back on. Whether you get back on immediately of in a few days doesn’t matter as long as you do and don’t spiral out of control. Set backs should be factored into any long term exercise/health plan….expect them, take it on the chin and then deal with it and continue on your journey!
Here are some common causes of weight gain.
Is something is bothering you? Stress, anxiety and low self esteem is a tough thing to conquer on your own, and can become a vicious circle which can paralyse positive thought. Sometimes making that break seams almost impossible, but stepping into your training gear and seeking the right advice could be your best move ever! Get a training partner or join a group, as accountability and support will help destroy and overcome negative thoughts.
Laziness – You know you should and sitting back watching the world pass you by will one day become a regret. Once we reach 35 ish our body begins to swing toward catabolism (Cellular Breakdown) The heartand brain muscles become more exposed to risk where as bones and muscles begin to weaken and shrink. The older you get the harder it becomes, so take action before you’re told to by your doctor.
Pregnancy – Body shape changes, lifestyle upset and hormone overload. It’s important to focus on damage limitation when going through pregnancy. Exercise is a go….30 minutes of moderate exercise every day is advised, however if you’re a non exerciser to begin with you must build up to this. Bear in mind certain exercises should be avoided as should high impact so do your research.
Exercise is definitely a magic bullet that will help keep you remain focused and happy, not to mention help bolster good health for you and your baby through pregnancy. NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) who are the people who advice the world on best health practices recommend only 200 calories extra in the last 3 months of pregnancy. Yes a few more calories won’t do any real harm however eating for 2 will possibly result in a series of weight loss antics which have the ability to spiral out of control.
Empower your knowledge – Know your food and drink! Learning what nutrients your favourite staple foods contain and how calorie dense they are is key. Once you have this in your armoury you’ll be able to control portion size and thus calorie consumption. Combining the right proportion of carbs, protein and fats in your meals is also essential for weight loss and muscle growth and good health. http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/goodfood…
Good eating and nutrition is the same in any language, we just need to pay more attention and create a health eating pattern to suit our lifestyle, we all have different requirements but the base nutrition principles are still the same….eat in proportion to your calorie expenditure and consume a good balance of macro nutrients.
Management – If you have a fast paced life or you find that time management is an issue then make sure you have good nutrition prepared. Quick access to food that you can pick up and take to work is essential. Whatever you do it is paramount that you don’t skip breakfast….this is very bad move (Stalemate in chess) and does not promote an efficient metabolism whilst stimulating your brain to make impulsive poor nutrition choices for your body! Think breakfast smoothies, yoghurt and granola and overnight oats…it’s easy when you plan.
Keep it simple and have a plan and then reinforce it with will power…it will work if you believe in yourself.
If you need help maybe you can hire the Ozone Team! 🙂
Ozonefit Instructor – Rob Partington