If you’re a consistent reader of some of our other articles, then you’ll be familiar with how much we value good nutrition. Our argument is simple: how can you expect fantastic results from your body if you don’t feed it fantastic food? While we might seem like a broken record on repeat…you truly cannot out-train a bad diet. We’re passionate about ensuring that your time spent in the gym isn’t wasted. Our advice will highlight how to adequately fuel your body so that you not only feel energized during your workouts, but to make sure you’re also reaping the benefits afterwards by consuming the correct food to enhance your recovery.
Having meticulously examined the food diaries of countless clients over the past few years, it has become unmistakably apparent to us that many peoples’ diets are noticeably protein deficient. Many are unaware that they are lacking this vital ingredient, which is crucial for rebuilding muscle after an intense exercise session. Nutrition experts recommended consuming 1.3- 2.2g of protein per kg of bodyweight, however, this depends on the volume of work being conducted within the gym, as well as your total caloric balance. If you’re finding it challenging to accurately record your protein intake, try using a food tracker app such as MyFitnessPal to help calculate your exact intake. It doesn’t have to be a chore to increase your protein consumption; some great sources of protein which are quick and easy to prepare include: eggs, chicken, fish, yoghurt, legumes and tofu.
We’ve all fallen victim to unhealthy occasions where we overindulge in unwholesome food which makes us feel sluggish – remember that it’s all part of living a balanced life! While it’s important to get back on track after a holiday or a party, the way to do this is not by purging or detoxing your body to the extent that you are depriving yourself of essential nutrients. If you completely remove fats and carbohydrates from your diet, you’ll only end up exhausted, unable to exercise and suffering from intense cravings.
Overly restrictive eating can very often lead to binge eating and this vicious cycle can be detrimental to your hard work in the gym as excessive cheat meals can really hinder your progress. If binge eating is something you personally struggle with, make sure you drink enough water and eat enough healthy fats as your body may be trying to alert you about deficiencies. If you think your binging might be linked to boredom, experiment with fitting in a quick workout or a brisk walk during times when you are most likely to slip into bad habits. Alternatively, if overeating could be related to your mental health, find a friend you can confide in or potentially seek professional advice if you feel consistently overwhelmed.
As mentioned above, eliminating fat from your diet does not equal fat loss. This is the same reason that low-carb diets are not sustainable for weight loss. It's essential to understand the role of each macronutrient within the body so we can include these within our balanced diet. Carbohydrates in moderation are not going to make you fat; they provide energy, prevent diseases and contain fibre – avoid refined carbs such as sugary drinks, desserts, white bread and instead opt for whole grain bread and pasta to obtain additional micronutrients like potassium and magnesium.
Consume healthy high-fat foods! Yes, you read that correctly, nutritious high-fat foods should not be demonized. Avocados, for example, which are 77% fat are great sources of fibre, potassium and can even lower cholesterol. Fish, nuts, olive oil and full-fat yoghurt are other sources of nutritious fats which are loaded with minerals to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, improve digestion and reduce appetite.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again…a healthy lifestyle is personal and specific! We are all different so the food which sustains you throughout the day might not be the best option for someone else. If the person sitting next to you at work can survive off just a banana until lunchtime, it doesn’t mean that you should! As a nation we’re prone to diet hopping: switching between unreliable diets trends which have had positive reviews. However, more often than not, these quick fixes are unsustainable and extremely misleading due to advertisement purposes.
We suggest experimenting with a variety of healthy foods to discover exactly what boosts and sustains your energy, fits into your lifestyle and gives you the results you desire. Of course we encourage friends to share their favourite nourishing snacks and recipes but don’t become overly concerned with your friends’ daily eating habits – focus on what works for you!
If you’re feeling overloaded with information and not quite sure where to start, we suggest booking an appointment with a nutritionist or personal trainer to discuss exact recommendations for a diet plan which complements your personal fitness objectives.