Are you confused about all the conflicting dietary advice out there today – low-fat, low-carb, no dairy, no grains, paleo, etc.
Is fasting the answer?
What should you actually eat?
How much of it should you eat?
You can’t outtrain a bad diet, and no matter what your goal, be it performance driven, weight loss, or just becoming healthier, your nutrition choices are critical.
Every individual is different and a nutrition strategy which suits one individual, might not work for someone else. These are the general principles I believe in as a coach, which I then tweak to suit the individual client.
In reality, good nutrition should not be complicated. Your focus should mainly be on one thing: consuming real, whole, minimally processed full of high-quality proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vegetables, and fruits on a consistent basis. These foods provide vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants which your body needs to optimize your health, performance and body composition.
Food quality and quantity is the key to your success in achieving your health, weight loss and performance goals. Total calories do matter, and to lose weight you do need to create a calorie deficit, but only combined with the quality of food you ingest.
I don’t subscribe to any one dietary strategy. I encourage clients to do what works best for them, as long as it is within the context of real food. If you prefer to eat gluten-free, or Paleo, or vegan, as long as you follow the principles of keeping it as whole as possible, then that is fine.
How much protein, carbs or fats should I be eating?
That very much depends on the individual and their goal. If performance is your goal, your carbohydrate intake will be greater than someone who is less active and trying to lose weight. I generally like to keep macronutrient amounts in these approximate ranges: Protein: 20-40% of calories Fat: 20-40% of calories Carbohydrate: 20-40% of calories. Protein and fats are essential to optimal health and performance; you can’t live without them! Carbohydrates, however, can be dropped lower if you are someone who feels at their best on low-carb or ketogenic diets, but it is certainly not necessary. They can also be raised above that 40% for endurance athlete and I would certainly encourage this. Food is fuel!
The 10 Principles of Successful Nutrition
1. Eat mostly real, whole, minimally processed food
2. Eat food as close to its natural state as possible.
3. Eat slowly and only until satisfied. • Aim to have meals last 15-20 minutes, as it takes this long for your brain to know you have eaten enough.
4. Eat protein with every meal and most snacks. • Protein builds more muscle and improves recovery from exercise. • Protein maintains muscle mass when trying to lose fat. • Protein keeps you satisfied for longer.
5. Eat at least one full serving of vegetables and/or fruits every time you eat.
6. Eat healthy fats with most meals. • Fat is essential and necessary for proper hormone production, cell formation, immune function and overall health
7. Eat quality carbohydrates with most meals, especially around exercise. • A good chunk of your carbohydrate intake should be from nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, and from whole, minimally processed options.
8. Be careful of what you drink. • Liquid calories go unnoticed by the body, so they add up quickly.
9. Use supplements to improve, - not replace – a healthy, balanced diet. • The best basic choices are fish oil, vitamin D, probiotic, and a protein powder.
10. Being perfect is not required, and trying to be too strict or too perfect can actually be quite detrimental to your results. Depriving yourself of a few beloved comfort foods will eventually lead to binges and an all or nothing mentality which long term is not sustainable or healthy. These are long term lifestyle changes, and you should be able to live a little and enjoy life.
Nutrition is a lifestyle not a diet.
If you know your nutrition is holding you back and would like some guidance and support, then please feel free to contact me.
Online Coaching launching with me on 15th July. Contact me for more details.