Today I read one of my old blog posts from last year, but as I feel that this post is still relevant for a lot of my readers today I thought I would share it again with some of my new readers.
If you know me you will already know that I am not a big fan of low carb, low fat, high protein or you name it diets??! I don't claim to have a degree in nutrition, however I have taken several nutrition modules at University and I have always been interested in training, food, recovery strategies and how it all works together to optimise sports performance. Today I will not talk about diet and nutrition for athletes as this can be a very strict and hardcore regime depending on what type of sport you do, but what I want to talk about now is more related to the general public, and you can hopefully take away a few guidelines from it.
I have several people asking me for food and nutrition advice on a daily basis. As you have probably gathered already I am not a big fan of strict diets. The reason why I have this view is because I have seen over and over again that most people can’t keep it up over a long period of time and actually get long term result! I believe that everyone can stay away from certain types of food and “treats” for a certain period, but I don’t think you need to cut out something you really like completely! This does of course not mean that you should eat crisps, chocolate, chips and coke every day, but you should still have a day now and then that you treat yourself. As long as you eat healthy on a daily basis, you can afford to treat yourself now and then. Use the 80/20 rule! 80% healthly, 20% "less healthy"!
I don’t think that people need to count calories and become too obsessed about what you put in their mouth, but it is actually fairly “simple” if you want to lose weight. I will just tell you the most basic information to try to understand it all. We all need food to function on a daily basis even if we don’t do anything; this is called your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Your BMR will vary depending on your age, sex, weight and height so this is different for everyone. You can easily calculate this on various calculators online to find out roughly how much you need if you don’t do any exercise or activities.
What I am trying to get across here is that:
It is about the amount of calories you take in and the amount of calories you burn!
If you take in more calories than you burn, your body will go in “pluss” and this will be stored in your body. And the same is the case if you burn more calorie than you take it your body will go in minus hence you will lose weight when this happens over a period of time. This will vary from day to day which is why you can’t really see any difference on the scales until after weeks and months of being in plus or minus.
This was not meant to be very overcomplicated although it may seem like it, but the main message to get across is that you have to be patient if you want to lose weight (or put on weight). It is about changing your lifestyle and making healthy choices in your daily life and still has treats now and then.
Simplified you have 3 options if you want to lose weight:
1. You can start burning more calories, which means moving and exercise more!
2. You can start eating less (healthier) and not exercise
3. Or you can of course do them both together, exercise/move more and at the same time make some small changes to you diet which means that you don't necessarily eat a lot less, you just make some adjustment to make sure you eat healtier without starving yourself
Today I am focusing on the nutrition part of this equation and by doing small changes to your lifestyle this can and will make a massive difference to the result you get. There is no point in training like Arnold if you feed your body shi*t. Your body needs proper fuel to function well, just like your car. There are so many debates going on between nutrition specialist on how much you should eat of the various macronutrients (Carbohydates, Fat and Protein), but I think that it is very individual what people need depending on goals and needs, but I defintely belive that having a diet that consists of a combination of the 3s (plus vitamins and minerals) will get you far.
Here are a few suggestions for you in order to make some healthy changes to your diet:
1. Always eat breakfast
- Get your body started by giving it some fuel! How about a nice home made fruit smoothy to take in the car to work?!
2. Eat several smaller meals during the day rather than two massive one
-Have a snack (example fruit) between meals in order to avoid your blood sugar getting to low as it is easy to eat “anything” you come across then. Most people know this already, but it is about planning ahead! Planning is everything!
3. 5 A DAY- Try to eat fruit or vegetables during the day and include it in your main meals too
4. Chose a smaller plate as this is an easy way to reduce your portion size if you need to
5. Eat slow! Chew your food properly as it takes a while for your body to realise it is full!
6. Don’t eat a huge meal late at night if you are going to bed straight after
- However if you have trained late at night you need to eat before bed! It is about the total amount you consume throughout the day that matters
7. Cut down the sugary drinks and alcohol! Drinks are empty calories which is easy to "forget"
8. Drink plenty of water - 2 - 3 litre per day
Non of the points mentioned above is rocket science. Most of you know what you are doing "wrong" anyway. The key thing is to be honest with yourself! It is your life, you live it the way you want:)