EAT RIGHT. LOOK GOOD. FEEL GREAT.
Those that know me will know I come from scientific education background. I know a very small amount but I enjoy learning, reading, researching and experimenting with what I learn. This being my first official blog; I wanted to talk about basic nutritional principles, which hopefully everyone can live by. I work with both elite athletes and the general public as personal training clients. These are two very different populations with very different needs nutritionally; however these basic principles can be applied across the board for improved athletic performance to improve physical appearance.
Much has been made of the Paleolithic diet in recent years. In case you haven’t heard of it, its basic principle is that you shouldn’t consume anything made from grains or dairy and that you should base your diet on meat, fish, vegetables and good fats with a sprinkling of nuts, seeds, berries and fruit. Does this sound so farfetched? To many people the thought of not eating bread, pasta or cereals is inconceivable. Many believe it is not possible to cut these foods out of your diet or question why you should, often based upon what they believe to be correct information given to them via “health guidelines” or government prescribed recommended daily intakes or better still weight loss companies such as Weight Watchers or Lighter Life.
At this point I’d like to share with you my background in eating. Having grown up with the family business being an Italian restaurant, you can imagine a lot of my diet was made up of pasta – probably 4+ times per week, along with bread on the table at every meal. I was always encouraged to ‘clean the plate’ and being an active youngster had a big appetite which was fed, literally. No surprise really that I was a bit of a fatty as a child and teenager. The problem with this diet, particularly during those years of my development was that my insulin sensitivity has been affected. Since discovering the gym properly during my first year of university I began changing my diet based on several articles I read in magazines or on the internet. Truth be told I actually gave up bread when I decided that it had become too expensive and was always going mouldy as I wasn’t eating it up quick enough. I still have the occasional piece but it is probably 98% removed from my diet. Was it difficult for me to give up? Honestly, I didn’t find it hard because I enjoy lots of flavour in my food and like to try exotic foods so I found many alternatives. So my advice would be to make sure you open yourself up to trying new foods and experiences to add variety and remove boredom – I’ve often heard people saying they get bored of dieting because all they eat is chicken salad –
this shouldn’t be the case. Anyway, as you can see I am mortal and have been through my own dietary transitions and continue to do so, I hope to inspire some others to try new foods and ways of eating also.
My thoughts on basic eating principles;
Only eat REAL foods. These are foods that either come from the ground or have a face on them.
Only eat SINGLE INGREDIENT meals – everything that you add to your plate shouldn’t be modified or processed (aside from cooking) but be real foods.
Limit your treats and try to get them to still be real foods.
AVOID high sugar and Trans fat foods – generally found in heavily fried, fast food and what is normally considered ‘Junk-food’.
If you eat like this all the time and an occasion arises where you eat what you consider unhealthy or treat based, don’t have a massive guilt attack. Realise that you have eaten poorly and just get back to eating real food as soon as possible.
Give it a go, try new recipes, try new foods and experiment with flavours. I will not give out diet plans that state you should eat this much of this and this much of that at this or that time. Stick to these principles, learn what works for you and enjoy the results. If you want help get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter @fitfab21.
Thanks for reading, please share, like, discuss, disagree and help fuel improved eating amongst your friends and family.