People often demand quick fixes and solutions in life, and this is very much the case with health and fitness. People want to instantly fix things with a pill or operation, or want a diet plan that’s going to allow them to eat whatever they want whilst losing weight. Or perhaps a ‘revolutionary’ machine that’s going to make them strong and healthy with minimal effort.
Hopefully you understand that there are no quick, easy solutions to being healthy. However, I’ve put together my top 5 ‘quick’ tips and points with regards to fixing up your diet and nutrition which will help set you on the right path to improved health. For those interested in exploring this topic further, please check out my diet overview.
This is a brief overview with a few ideas and points to think about. If you would like a full fitness and nutrition consultation please contact me.
Almost all people who train have some kind of body composition aim or goal (build muscle, lose fat, lose/gain weight etc), so it’s important to develop a deep understanding of your body. The best way to start this is to write an honest food diary of everything consumed, along with a record of your weight. I’d recommend doing this for a minimum of 2 weeks. You will undoubtedly learn a lot about your eating habits and how your diet affects your body.
Ultimately you want to develop an intuitive sense of what and how much to eat, and this is the first step towards that.
Please note, that there’s a difference between recording what your consume and being obsessive about what you eat. Just see this as a learning process.
Practice balance; eat less
The reason overweight people are carrying excess weight around is because they are over-consuming. The solution? Eat less. This doesn’t mean you have to cut out foods you love, but it does mean that you need to practice balance by countering periods of overindulgence with periods of discipline and good eating.
Eating less is hard when you’re consuming processed and unnatural foods (think most things that come in a packet). Processed foods, especially foods high in refined carbohydrates (see our next tip) cause a blood sugar spike and surge in insulin production to counter this rise. Hunger strikes when your blood sugar crashes an hour or two later, and causes overeating when your body doesn’t actually need any more energy to function.
Sticking to natural and unprocessed foods (think fruit, vegetables, organic meats) will ensure that your body functions more as it is designed to, and your hunger cues should be a more accurate indication of when you need food, not just crave it.
Limit processed carbohydrates
Most people consume a level of processed, refined carbohydrates that our bodies are not well equipped to deal with. Added sugar and white grains (white bread, white rice etc) should be avoided as much as possible, and processed carbohydrate level should be kept low. If you’re looking to get in insane shape, you should pretty much cut them out altogether.
Don’t Drink Calories
The best ‘quick fix’ I’d offer to someone looking to lose weight is to stop drinking your calories. This means no coke, no fruit juice and no alcohol. I realise the no alcohol bit is probably unrealistic for a lot of people, which is where the ‘practice balance’ point comes in.
I won’t fully go into my reasons for this – but the reason for not drinking coke should be obvious, and if you love fruit juice I’d recommend that instead of drinking a glass of orange juice, you drink some water and eat an orange or two.
And for those of you who think water is ‘boring’, please remember that it has been the foundation for all organic life on this planet for billions of years, so add a slice of lime and get over it.
Diet and nutrition is an incredibly vast and controversial subject, but putting some of these things into practice and experimenting with what works with your body will help you progress towards hitting your fitness goals and improving your health.
Keep an open mind and try and have fun with it!