5 Quick Fix Nutrition Tips
By Benchmark Webmaster | on Nov 24, 2017
We all know that a healthy and nutritious diet is integral in keeping the machine that is our body ticking along. As a trainer, I like to my clients to pair strength and conditioning training with an intelligent approach to eating.
Of course, we don't always remain on the "straight and narrow" and need some sign-posts to keep us on track. These are the top five quick fixes to a nutritious diet:
1: Stay away from added sugar
Added sugar is in many things these days (more than you may realise) and it is pretty empty nutrition - meaning you're not getting any additional vitamins or mineral content from it. The added physiological impact of it being super high in energy is that it has a pronounced effect on your insulin levels - playing havoc with your overall energy levels.
2: Don’t eat processed food
I have always liked the saying, "if it's from a plant eat it, if it's made in a plant (excuse the Americanism) don’t!"
So many foods are laden with hidden types of sugars under different names or chemicals we shouldn’t even be consuming. For your safest bet look on the ingredients list and if you don’t recognise a ingredient, don’t eat it (or look it up on google).
3: Eat according to what you're about to do and what you have just done
This is a big one and over time you can really make this work for you. A lot of it depends on yourself and how certain foods make you feel, but it you know you have a training session coming up, fuel up properly for it.
Likewise, after a training session is when your body will crave foods for energy and recovery. You will find that many foods will either help you or blunt you in being alert for work - so slowly work on finding foods that maximise your performance and sleep after eating them.
4: Don’t be scared of fat
Every cell in our body is made up of fat. It is a building block of life and we have all had years of fear-mongering, being told that fat is bad. It feels like nearly every item on the shelf is labelled as “fat free”. Meanwhile, it is generally sugar that is needed to be added to make up for the loss of flavour and fat is definitely the lesser of two evils, if even evil at all.
The type of fats to stay away from are your trans fats/rancid fats and hydrogenated fats. These occur when man has chemically modified fat to make it a solid at room temperature rather than its natural state, for example in margarines or other processed snack commonly in biscuits and processed meats.
A rancid fat is most often produced when you cook a fat above its smoking point. This will oxidise a fat, making it no longer healthy. A quick tip for this is to use oils for cooking such as avocado oil, most nut oils or coconut oil when cooking at higher temperatures.
5: Get a moderate intake of protein throughout your day
Ideally you should seek out a source of protein from natural sources before you go picking up a protein shake.
You should be aiming for 1-2 grams per kg of bodyweight. As I mentioned, try to get this from healthy, natural foods and if you really struggle, then start looking to buy a clean source of protein powder.
There are plenty of grey areas and question marks when it comes to food. We've eaten since we were born, and it is so vital to our wellbeing, yet so many of us struggle with education in this area. As part of training our members at Benchmark Canterbury, we like to talk about nutrition choices and are always on hand to discuss.
Want more? How about a quick list of 5 exercises you should be doing now?