Diet

Definition – The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.

E.g. ‘a vegetarian diet’

 

A Diet

Definition – Sticking to a course of food with the intent of losing weight or for medical reasons.

 Which one sounds better?

Why you should never go on a diet

As a health professional, I do not suggest going on ‘A DIET’.

Whilst you may lose weight on these diets, much of what you lose will be water and muscle; and if the eating regimes are not supported with an exercise plan, you will not sustain this in the long term.

The best diet you could possibly follow is to eat fresh, good nutritious foods that support your health and the fitness goals you are working towards.

Sounds simple. So why is it so complicated?

Here’s my advice . . .

If you can kill it, pick it or pluck it, then it’s ok to eat it.’

For many people, this is a complex field. They have little knowledge on good food or what a balanced diet looks like. And for many, preparing foods from fresh seems an overwhelming task since they are used to ready meals.

If your diet is mainly convenience foods, I would apply the 80/20 rule to start off with; 80% of the time eat foods made from fresh produce and 20% convenience foods – giving you some time to adjust.

However, you should make every effort to convert to 100% freshly prepared food as soon as you can, because if you don’t prepare the meals yourself, how do you know what’s in them?

For example, some foods are:

If you want to be healthier, live longer, be stronger; then simply you are going to have to start preparing meals from fresh.

This is what we call ‘Clean Eating’

So, what is a ‘balanced diet’?

Maintaining a balanced diet involves eating foods that give you the nutrients for your body to function properly and keep you in good health.

Here are some guidelines:

New research suggests that sugar is now the primary cause of heart disease, not fat as previously thought. Replace sugar in your tea or coffee with a healthy alternative such as honey or steevia.

Food is split in to 3 main groups, known as macronutrients

Protein – Meat, poultry and fish

Meats Dairy Nuts and seeds Legumes
Beef Chicken Egg (whites and yolk) Almonds Aduki Beans
Chicken Duck Eggs (whole) Brazil Nuts Black Beans
Cod Feta Cashews Black-eyed Peas
Duck Goats cheese Chestnuts Fava Beans
Tuna Whey protein concentrate Macadamia Garbanzo Beans
Turkey Cottage cheese Pecans Green Beans
Salmon Pine Nuts Green Peas
Sea bass Pistachios Lentils
Crab Sunflower Seeds Lima Beans
Mussels Poppy Seeds Mung Beans
Swordfish Pumpkin Seeds Navy Beans
Cockles Sesame Seeds Pink Beans
Lamb Walnuts Pinto Beans
Venison Red Beans
Hen Soy Beans
Goose Tofu
Trout White Beans
Lobster Chick Peas

Carbohydrates

Simple Complex and Grains Fruits
White rice Oats Apples
Potato’s Brown rice Banana
White pasta Brown bread Cherries
White bread Sweet potato Currents
Rice cakes Squash Grapes
Wholegrain pasta Lemons
Triticale Pears

Fats

Fats Fats (dairy) Fats (oils)
Peanut butter Full fat milk Almond Oil
Almonds Eggs Blackcurrant Oil
Cashews Cheese Coconut Oil
Walnuts Butter Fish Oil
Sunflower seeds Whey Protein Concentrate Walnut Oil
Pistachios Cottage Cheese Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pecans Butter (unsalted)

 

Fruit and Vegetables

5 a day right? Try 10 a day!

I can’t stress enough the importance of fruit and veg. This is where you’ll get the majority of your fibre and vitamins from, and more than any other food group these will benefit the immune, digestive and circulatory system.

Hydration

Probably the most overlooked, yet absolutely essential, part of a diet. Your body needs water to function properly and so does your brain.

I find a good way of staying hydrated is to have 2 x 1.5l bottles of water with me per day and aim to drink one of them before 2pm and the other before the end of the evening. This way you can monitor how much you consume. The ideal amount of water is between 3 and 5 litres per day.

Sugary drinks, fizzy drinks, alcohol

 I wouldn’t consider hydrating yourself with these. They go straight in to the gut with no need to digest, converting to glucose causing a huge surplus for the body; which will release insulin to stop the danger of too much blood sugar. This makes your body desperate to repeat the process again – and causes high fat storage.

Typical meal portion size would look like:

Protein – Size of the palm of your hand

Carbohydrates – size of a small fist

Fats – teaspoon

Vegetables (mainly green) – 2-3 portions – size of both palms.

Ok, let’s say you’re trying to lose weight and you decide to exercise 3 times a week. A popular diet is to eat your Carbohydrates ONLY around your exercise. For example:

EXERCISE DAYS ONLY

Breakfast

8am (Large glass of water)

40g Oats (slow release carbs and fats)

15g flaxseed meal (fibre)

Tablespoon Peanut butter (Protein and healthy fats)

Full Fat organic milk (protein and carbs)

1 scoop vanilla Protein powder – optional (Protein)

Tsp Honey to taste if you don’t have vanilla protein

12 noon Pre-Workout fuel

1 Banana

(Large glass of water)

1pm Gym or street workout in lunch break (1 hour)

Smash to bits and feel awesome (Large glass of water)

Shower, change, back to office and cook or buy your lunch immediately

Lunch

2pm (Large glass of water)

Jacket potato or half pack of white rice (simple fast release carb)

Tuna (with tiny bit of mayonnaise to taste) or chilli con carne (protein)

3 x greens – Pak choi, broccoli, green beans, spinach, kale,

Snack

4:30pm (Large glass of water)

Small handful of nuts or dates

Dinner

7/8pm (Large glass of water)

1 portion White Fish

Vegetable stir fry

Soy sauce/Terriakki/worcester/tabasco to taste (do not eat the packaged stir fry sauce)

(Large glass of water)

Bed 10/11pm for min 8 hours sleep

NON EXERCISE DAYS ONLY

Breakfast

8am (Large glass of water)

Smoked Salmon (Protein and healthy Fat – omega 3)

Spinach – lots (wilted (green veg)

Scrambled or poached free range organic egg x 2 (Protein and healthy fats)

Half Avocado (healthy fats)

Tabasco sauce if you want to get fired up!

Snack

11am (Large glass of water)

Large Handful of mixed berries (low gi carbs but packed with vitamins)

Lunch

2pm (Large glass of water)

Chicken legs, thigh or breast

3 x greens – Pak choi, broccoli, green beans, spinach, kale, courgette are just a few choices

Nandos Hot Piri Piri sauce to taste

Snack

4:30pm (Large glass of water)

Small handful of nuts (Protein and healthy fats)

or dates (fibre)

Dinner

7/8pm (Large glass of water)

Steak of your choice (protein)

Cauliflower mash (veg)

Fried mushrooms in butter (veg and fats)

3 x greens – Pak choi, broccoli, green beans, spinach, kale, courgette are just a few choices

(Large glass of water)

Bed

10/11pm for min 8 hours sleep

 

Happy eating!

 

Coach Nick