It’s hard to know what is fact and what is fiction when it comes to nutrition. There is so much conflicting evidence available, most of which is just fabricated to fill the pages of magazines or keep websites updated. There are all sorts of diet styles – paleo, keto, iifym – all of which have their pros and cons. One thing is for certain, you will not get results from reading articles, researching or taking advice from nutritionists, personal trainers or friends. You will get results by putting the information into practice.
There is no â€œone size fits allâ€ approach in regards to nutrition. We are all unique and as a result our bodies react better or worse to different stimuli. But you will never know what your body reacts best to by taking all this information in and not applying any of it. When it comes to nutrition, always look at the big picture. Sure we all want the quick fix but the quick fix isn’t sustainable. Make minor changes each week, even if it’s something as small as cutting out sugar in your tea or coffee. Those small changes will add up to something much greater in a week’s, month’s or year’s time. If you try and transform every aspect of your diet all at once, it’s inevitable that you are going to fall off the wagon and binge or go back to your old eating habits.
1. Starving yourself will not get you results. Eating less does not necessarily mean you will lose more. Taking in the correct nutrients and the right amounts for your body are what’s going to get you results. Always remember, a diet should rejuvenate you and make you feel great physically and mentally. Not hungry and miserable!
2. A calorie is a calorie, no matter what way you look at it. If you’re taking in more than what your body is using, you will gain weight/fat. If you take in less than what you’re burning, you will lose weight and burn fat.
3. Make nutrient dense food the majority of your calorie intake. Nutrient dense food gives you the most nutrients for the fewest amount of calories, in other words the â€œbiggest bang for your buck.â€ Avoid packaged and processed foods that have been stripped of all their nutrients for fresh, organic produce for example – sweet potato, eggs, salmon, broccoli, blueberries.
4. Drink plenty of water. So simple yet so often overlooked. Not drinking enough water not only decreases productivity, focus and our general mood but increases our cortisol levels (a stress hormone) by just as much. Aim for about 2-4 litres per day and even more if you’re exercising.
5. Treat yourself now and againâ€¦but don’t give yourself the opportunity to undo all your hard work by purchasing a big multi-pack of chocolate or sweets. Yes, it will probably cost you more to buy a single bar or ice-cream but be honest with yourself, if you buy a multi-pack of bars, are you really going to have just one?
Sometimes the most simple of changes can make the biggest of differences. Don’t set yourself up for failure by cutting everything you enjoy in food out of your diet. Find a balance between being healthy and being happy!