Nutrition is extremely important for any of your fitness goals.
Most people dread the word “diet” because have the images of celery and carrot sticks. While it’s hard to shake this negative association, it’s important to learn that “diet” isn’t a bad word. Your diet, or the food you eat, is a crucial aspect to supporting your fitness goals.
Your body is unique. What works for someone else may not work for you. Understanding how your own body works and discovering your dietary needs are important concepts to remember as you form your own nutritional strategy.
Everyone has their own struggles when it comes to food. I was addicted to sugar. I used to eat sugar with a spoon almost every day. Where I came from this was normal. Processed sugar was used for everything. This was a serious issue but I changed the way I ate, when I started my career in the Fitness Industry. It took time for me to deal with it, but for me, it was worth it.
I believe diet is a balance. You hear a lot about crazy diets; for example cutting carbs. I am a big believer that everything is there for a reason. So cutting your carbs might work for a while but you will probably feel starved and stressed and then end up overeating and putting weight back on.
Work on your Macro:
The 3 macronutrients are: protein, carbs, and fat. Together they make up all the calories, or food energy in the food you eat. They’re important to distinguish because each has a different role in the body.
Protein is a key component to building lean muscle and transforming your body. No, eating more protein won’t suddenly make your muscles huge. Building lean muscle though, is essential to that “toned” look everybody’s going for. Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the body’s building blocks for a number of functions, including making muscle protein.
Carbohydrates are another macronutrient which shares fat’s bad reputation. Despite what many people would have you believe, carbs are not evil. Carbohydrates constitute all sugars, including single-molecule simple sugars and double compound sugars. When three or more sugar molecules are strung together, they form complex carbohydrates in foods like potatoes, oatmeal, broccoli, and vegetables.
The majority of your carbohydrates should come from these complex carbs because they take a little longer to digest, making you feel fuller for longer, and they don’t raise blood sugar as quickly as simple sugars. The added bonus is that complex carbs pack a whole lot of nutritional love in the form of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Both simple and complex carbs have a place in your diet, but long-term success in managing blood sugar levels and weight can depend on limiting your intake of simple sugars.
Poor fat: so misunderstood and neglected. Dietary fats got a bad rap due to a major landmark study from the 80s that—very erroneously—concluded dietary fats promote incidences of heart attacks and other illnesses. As a result of this, the government promoted eating as little fat as possible and corporations rolled out their fat-free and reduced fat foods to save everyone from their exploding hearts.
In reality, fats demand a rightful spot on your plate; they are integral to maintaining optimal health. After all, they are a macronutrient that your body needs to function. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) like omega-6 and omega-3s help keep you feeling full, cushion vital organs, assist with absorbing fat-soluble vitamins, maintain proper brain cognition and development, and are responsible for a slew of other benefits.
The only fat you should avoid is trans fat, which the food industry adds to food to extend shelf life. Check food labels for any form of “hydrogenated oils” this immediately marks a food product as something you shouldn’t eat. Keep dietary fats in; throw trans fats out!
Moreover, fat does not make you fat. The notion that ingested fat quickly buries itself into your tissues has long been debunked. Gaining weight is normally attributed to eating too many calories, more than what your body knows what to do with.
Good Sources of Protein:
- Lean meats
- Greek Yogurt
Good Sources of Carbs:
- Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes
- Brown rice
Good sources of Fat:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Coconut Oil
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