Nutrition is one of the most important areas of fitness. If you are working very hard during your exercise and not getting the desired results, then you are not on the correct nutritional programme. Below are some of the basic key areas that are often missed by people in their quest for a new physique:
On this page I will provide some information on all those headings and why they are important.
When you are eating whole, proper food, Calories don’t actually matter. It is very, very hard to over eat when you are on a clean diet.
Carbohydrates are the bodies preferred fuel source, but, the world of carbohydrates (carbs) can be a complete minefield. Carbs can be taken on in the form of un-refined and refined. Un-refined is the prefered option as it takes longer to digest in the body and are also non-starchy, which means they are less likely to be stored as body fat. The UK Government promote the intake of a large amount of carbs, more than is actually needed by the human body. Carbs, when taken in high amounts (particularly when taken without an exercise program) can and do promote body fat storage. Carbs should be taken on mainly from Brown/Basmati Rice, Fruit and Veg.
To combat this there are 2 tables that should be referred to – Glycaemic Index and Glycaemic Load.
- Glycaemic Index(GI)
Basically the GI is there to show you how fast the carbs from your food will go into your blood stream. When you spike your insulin levels you automatically go into fat storage mode, so that needs to be taken into account when you look at what GI the foods that you consume are. This area (along with Glycaemic Load) could take up a whole website on its own, so more information on this very important subject can be found Here
- Glycaemic Load (GL)
Basically GL is there to show you on a number scale how long the carbs from your food will be being released into your blood stream, therefore affecting how long your insulin response will be. Remember I said that spiked insulin puts you in fat storage mode? Then this table becomes extremely important in combating that! So more information on this very important subject can be found Here
Sources of un-refined (Good) Carbs:
- Brown Rice
- Sweet Potatoes
- Fruit & Veg
Sources of Refined (Bad/Starchy) Carbs
- White Rice
- White Potatoes
- Bread (all forms)
Fat is one of those things that people believe are bad for you in every way, that is not true!
In the absence of Carbs, the body will turn to its fat stores for fuel. So, by lowering our carb intake and consuming the correct (healthy) fats means that your body will burn more fat as fuel and thus you lose weight! The more healthy fats you consume, the more body fat you will end up burning to a certain degree. This does not mean that you are free to go out and eat as much fat as you possibly can, it should still be taken in a moderate amount, but modern day diets are way to low in fat and in fact have become obsessed with ‘low-fat’ diets. You should consume a healthy amount of dietary fat, but there must be balance between the following dietry fat types:
- Saturated (eg. Meat/Dairy/Eggs)
- Mono-Unsaturated (eg. Olive oil/Lard/Almonds)
- Poly-Unsaturated (eg. Flaxseed oil/Sunflower oil/sesame oil)
- Omega’s 3+6
Omega 3 and Omega 6 are very commonly known in today’s marketing culture, so I will not go into major detail about these fatty acids. They are great for you body and joints, but should not be over consumed, and should be consumed in a 1:1 -1:2 ratio. i.e. if you consume 10g of Omega 3, you should consume no more than 20g of Omega 6.
Protein is used to help the body repair, and can also provide the body with fuel if needed. So if you lift weights, in order to help your body repair the micro-tears in the muscles it needs protein. Contrary to the protein powder company’s marketing, protein can only be absorbed by the body in the presence of fat. So for anyone taking protein shakes, start taking them with milk, not only will that slow the release of the protein into your system, but will mean your not wasting your money.
Good Sources of Protein:
Hydration is a key element in life, whether trying to lose weight or trying to gain weight. Unfortunately most people ignore this and do not drink anywhere near enough fluids. One thing that is forgotten by most people when they are looking at their fluid intake levels is that food also hydrates your body. You should be consuming 1 ltr per 50lbs of body weight PER DAY!
Below are 12 top reasons why the body needs water:
- Without water, nothing lives!
- Water generates electrical and magnetic energy inside each and every cell of the body helping to power life (i.e. point 1 – without it you won’t live)
- Water prevents DNA damage and assists in it’s repair mechanisms
- Water is the main solvent in all foods, vitamins and minerals. It is essential in digestion, absorption and assimilation
- Water is used to transport all substances within the body
- Water transports toxins to the liver and kidneys for disposal from the body
- Water helps to cushion the vertabrae from within the spinal discs (i.e. can help prevent back pain/spinal damage)
- Water is essential for efficient cooling (sweating) and heating of the body
- Water is necessary for the production of all hormones and neurotransmitters
- Water can help reduce stress, anxiety and depression
- Water can reduce fatigue and improve sleep cycles
- Water helps dilute the blood and prevent abnormal clotting whilst helping reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke
I won’t delve too deep into this on this page as i discuss it in my nutrition plan, but, when you take on sugar or carbs, you raise your insulin levels as i mentioned in the Glycaemic Index and Load paragraphs. The problem there is that when your insulin is high, your are not burning fat, you are storing it. Insulin MUST be kept low in order to achieve weight loss!
So to conclude all of the above, there are a lot of elements to a person’s diet, be it for weight loss, gain or even just weight management, ranging from the good (unrefined) carbs and the healthy fats to even the simplest thing – fluid intake.
While I am aware this is a text heavy page of the site, I have only scratched the surface of the minefield that is nutrition and touched on some of the things that can make or break your diet. I hope that I have been able to at least enlighten you to an element of your diet that you were not aware of no matter how small.
However, by training with me, all this is done for you in my nutritional program that is designed to bring results and weight loss FAST!