Nutrition should provide adequate energy, support health and also be enjoyable.
After all lets face it, no matter how you dress it – pun intended – chicken breast with rice and broccoli, eaten out of a Tupperware pot four times a day is bland, and if anyone tells you it isn’t, I would seriously question their mental health.
The main goal with nutrition is that you enjoy your food, and the way that you eat should be a set of habits that you can maintain.
That is the difference between good nutrition and “dieting”.
If you ask someone who is trying to lose weight if they could continue eating the way the currently are for the rest of their life and they say no, that’s a diet.
Good nutrition is a way of eating that you can keep up with.
After all we are not all, chicken salad-craving robots, that never want to enjoy a glass of wine with our friends.
The first step is to eat the right foods, which are foods primarily from the green list of our Nutrition Made Simple traffic light system.
Once you are consistently eating the right foods, you can start play around with these., ensuring that you get the calories that you need, in the macronutrient breakdown that suits you.
How do you know what this is?
It is a calculation known as the Harris-Benedict principle.
It takes into consideration things such as, your basal metabolic rate (how many calories you burn a day to survive without even getting out of bed), and your training frequency.
From there we can divide those calories up into targets, in grams of carbs, proteins and fats for you to shoot for each day.
This will provide you with:
- Adequate carbs to provide your muscles with enough glycogen to maintain training intensity.
- Ensure you have enough protein to preserve muscle mass.
- Provide you with enough fat to support vital hormone synthesis.
You then have some form of flexibility. We obviously still want you to get 90% of your food from good sources, but if you go out for a Chinese or have a cheesecake for dessert yet you still hit your quotas it’s not the end of the world. It becomes a more sustainable way of eating and gives you markers to adjust if things aren’t going in the right direction. Also by doing this you become more educated about what you are actually putting in your body.
I understand this is not for everybody and some people would look upon it as being slightly fussy, it’s also not for people who haven’t mastered the basics however it is a solid strategy when it comes to nutrition.