How do we simplify nutrition?

Eat natural foods ————— In moderation ———- Mainly plant based

 

 

If you do this, you can be up to 80% of the way towards reaching your health & fitness goals.

The rest of this blog explains how this simple concept is very difficult to argue against. If you are interested in the how and why, read on!

In part 1 of ‘Keeping nutrition simple’ I discussed how the ‘next big thing’ is just around the corner.
You can talk about, Paleo, Macronutrients, Ketogentic, Zone diet, meal replacement shakes, Atkins, Whole 30, Carb Cycling, 5:2 diet, Weight Watchers, Slimming World and the list goes on!

For many people, these diets have worked wonders and buying into their products, programmes, meals etc is just the thing they need to kick start their healthy lifestyle. But, you must understand they are all trying to sell you something and they want you to be a customer for the long term in order to maximise profits.

Remember that food brings people together; it forms a huge part of our social well being. We are not meant to eat using a maths equation!

Eat natural foods ————— In moderation ———- Mainly plant based

Once any diet comes away from these 3 basic principles, it comes with an agenda. Somebody is trying to sell you something! Keep it simple and don’t complicate things. Look at what you are eating and how much. Is it high quality?

Eat natural foods

• Avoid the middle isles in the supermarket, buy the bulk of your shopping on the outside isles
• Look for natural foods that grew out of the ground, was alive or had eyes!
• Avoid man made food like substances created to make money and extend shelf life by taking the nutrients out and making it really tasty. These food manufacturers have a responsibility to their share holders to increase profits.

In moderation & mainly plant based 

• Teach yourself to ‘eye ball’ a balanced plate
o Palm size serving of protein (33%)
o Palm sized serving of complex or starchy carbohydrates (33%)
o Fill the remainder of the plate with Vegetables raw if possible (33%). A colourful plate is nutrient dense and will give you all the vitamins and minerals you need.
o Around a thumb nail of fat. This could come from the food itself or the cooking method (see Nutrition Part 1 for more info)
• Do this 3-4 times a day
• Reduce snacking and if necessary eat seeds, nuts & fruit
• No seconds or finishing off the kids meals!
• Drink plenty of fluids. Sometimes the body confuses dehydration with hunger pains

Do not supplement with anything unless you know the reason why you are doing it. The ‘just in case supplement’ is not necessary. If we all supplemented with what the professionals suggested it would soon become detrimental to our health and bank balance!

What is your goal?

It doesn’t matter if you are a professional athlete or looking to lose weight, feel better or play with the kids; it comes down to the same principles. We all survive on the workings of our metabolism, which is the body’s ability to take food & drink, and turn it into energy to survive and move.

The majority of the energy comes from the carbohydrates we consume. They are stored in the Liver and muscles as Glycogen and turned into Glucose when we need it. Too much energy is then stored as fat.

When we workout we are developing and fine tuning our bodies to utilise that energy quicker, burning it up in the process. If we have a % body fat that is above our ‘natural parameters’, the body will utilise the energy in our fat stores alongside our Glycogen storage.

Eat natural foods ————— In moderation ———- Mainly plant based

Energy balance

Once we have understood our nutrition and performed quality movements on a regular basis, we can create a ‘negative deficit’ where we lose body fat but gain muscle tone. We can create a ‘positive deficit’ in the same way and increase muscle mass.

The professional athlete or the ‘average person’ are looking to achieve a level of leanness that is right for them. This does not mean that we have to fit the stereotype of what society deems fit and healthy looks like. A genetically pre-disposed skinny person can have little subcutaneous fat (under the skin) but their visceral fat surrounding their organs are at dangerous levels. A larger person may be predisposed to more muscle mass.

However, as we get closer to our own personal physical best we become leaner and our muscle tone indicates the bodies ‘state of readiness to perform’. We can then enjoy the by-product of our efforts, looking great and feeling physically, mentally and socially confident.

This is the dream diet fads sell but you can take ownership of that dream and turn it into a reality!

Eat natural foods ————— In moderation ———- Mainly plant based

In the next blog I’ll share some simple cooking ideas we have tried that follows the 3 basic principles.
Please share any meals that have worked for you and your family.