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Nutrition & Building A Happy Home.

An overview of my approach to food, a couple of points to bear in mind & a short list of good foods;

Food is great! It can do a lot for us, help us perform better with more energy & help keep our bodies healthy & balanced. It can also have the completely opposite effect of making us tired, under the weather & large around the midline. What we put in us & how much we put in us will ultimately result in how we feel & look – put a bad fuel in the engine & you’ll get out smoke!

In terms of getting the waistline trim two of the key elements are habit change & consistency which I will go into in more detail in another article but for now if you have clicked on this as you are looking to lose weight I find the following statement a good one to print off & put on the fridge:

The word “diet” & the phrase “losing weight” are BANNED!!!

Instead we have NUTRITION & becoming HAPPY, HEALTHY, FIT & STRONG!!!

These two sentences are designed to get you thinking differently about food. The reason that i’m not a great fan of the words diet & the phrase losing weight are because they both have negative presuppositions; The word diet implies the thinking of “What do I take away from my food to improve myself” & losing weight also comes back to the thinking that you are not good enough & that you need to lose something to become better. Over long periods of time thinking derived from negative bases makes us feel hemmed in, unhappy, that we need to deprive ourselves & ultimately this kind of thinking does not provide us with better results.

“Nutrition” on the other hand implies “What do I put in me to improve myself” whereas if I am thinking about becoming happy, healthy, fit & strong my mind is constantly turned towards the positive helping to motivate & inspire me towards improving myself. The weight comes off as a side effect of becoming happy, healthy, fit & strong & I feel much better for it due to thinking positively rather than negatively. It is a subtle change however can make us feel a lot better in terms of our food & nutrition. Give it a go! 🙂

Balanced nutrition is absolutely key to a healthy mind & body to make sure we get everything we need in the right quantities. If you can aim to have Lean Protein, Complex Carbs, Healthy Fats & a Portion of Veg  with each meal then you will be on track for a healthy & balanced system.

Quantity is also very important. The first law of thermodynamics is that energy can be transferred from one form to another but cannot be created or destroyed. In terms of our bodies excess fat can be thought of energy that our body is storing to use later. If we eat in deficit of what our individual bodies need then we will tap into those fat stores, use them as energy & shed the weight. On the other side of the coin if we eat more than what we need that excess energy will be stored as fat as it has nowhere else to go. We could have the best most balanced diet in the world but if we eat a surplus then we will get fat. Likewise you could eat Mcdonalds & donuts all the time & still lose weight if you are eating less then what your body needs calorie wise. The problem with this though is that you will feel terrible due to your body not getting all of the lovely other stuff that comes with eating a balanced diet.

I’ll explain each food group & how they relate to building a house, which is your body. It’s a good shout to treat your body like your home & watch what ya bring inside!

REMEMBER –

·      The better quality your food is, the better your house is going to be as it will have a strong foundation, walls & roof.

·      Food can be our greatest medicine or our worst poison.

Protein – These are the building blocks & bricks that make up our house. Protein is essential for body repair, processes within the body & muscle growth(which is technically the body repairing itself stronger). You need to make sure that you are getting enough protein for your house to remain strong & your goals to bet met quicker. Protein also has the effect of kicking off a fat burning effect in the body & helping you feel fuller for longer which makes it ideal to stock up on for breakfast.

Complex Carbohydrates – If protein makes our building blocks then Carbohydrates are the diesel to drive the JCB that puts those blocks into place. Carbs are our main source of energy within the body & are essential for many important processes at a cellular level. Carbs are also fuel for the brain as well as any strenuous exercise due to what happens in the muscles. The body converts carbs into glycogen which is then stored in the liver & muscles, about 100-120g worth depending on your size. During strenuous exercise this glycogen is then utilized as the main fuel source & burned through & needs to be replaced afterwards so that the body can repair & prepare itself for next time. A good reason (among many) not to take too much stock in what the scales say is that your body weight can potentially fluctuate after a training session & throughout the day due to losses in sweat & glycogen. Don’t believe the scales!

Care should be taken to eat complex or “good” carbs – these include grains & brown alternatives like pasta & rice. They keep you fuller for longer as they digest slower due to their complex chemical makeup(number of chemical bonds). Try to avoid simple or white carbs wherever possible – they have had a lot of the goodness removed from them due to being processed but also are digested extremely quickly due to their simple chemical makeup (No chemical bonds or 1 chemical bond). This means that our body absorbs them quickly, we get a spike in blood sugar levels & that sugar is then stored as fat if not used. The subsequent sugar crash then leaves you hungry & looking for more sugar, continuing the cycle. Carbs are not evil, & should not be cut out of a diet unless you are a bodybuilder on a cut before a show! They are extremely important for our day to day functioning & energy levels. Care must be taken though to eat the brown carbs, not the white carbs. & also not too much, a fistful as a portion is a good marker for portion size. 

Fats – These protect the house from wear & tear & help the houses paint shine vibrantly for a long time. They also help all of the electrical wiring within the house do its job properly.

Within our body good fats are absolutely essential for cellular processes. Fats give us good quality skin, protect us from illness & disease & are a big contributor in regulating our endocrine or hormonal system which in turn regulates fat storage & burning along with 100+ other essential processes that the hormonal system controls – your body is more efficient at burning fat when good fats are present. Fats are what the cells of our nervous system are made from, lubrication for the transmission of electrical impulses from our brain to our body. They are very important to have! 

Care must be taken to eat good fats though, not bad fats. A list of good fats are below while bad fats are anything fried, deep fried or processed (virtually anything in a packet is processed). You generally instinctively know what fats are bad. Cheese, dark chocolate & grilled bacon are somewhere in the middle of good or bad fats so are not the worst whereas sausages are bad due to being processed unless I suppose you get them from a butcher you know & trust.

Gram by gram fats have 9 calories while protein & carbs have 4 calories per gram. Care must be taken not to overeat even if the fats are good because of the higher calorie content. The higher calorie content is not a bad thing, it actually means that fats have more nutritional bang for your buck, containing tons of goodness in a smaller package, for example seeds are predominantly fats & contain within them everything needed to grow a new plant which makes them so nutritionally dense, nourishing & good for us.

Vegetables & fruits AKA Vitamins & Minerals – These are the cement that makes your house strong, healthy & resistant to damage for years to come.

Our body needs vitamins & minerals to carry out many many of its processes & remain functioning & strong. EG we need Vitamin D for strong bones while we need vitamin K to kelp with blood clotting & vitamin A for a strong immune system. Magnesium helps turn the food we eat into energy & also aids vit D in bone health while zinc helps us make new cells & enzymes, again process food & also helps heal wounds. (many are deficient in magnesium & zinc in our countries diet, I take them as a supplement to make for this & it also helps you sleep). These are but a few of many many vitamins & minerals & all have very important jobs to fulfill so it’s important to get your fruit & veggies in!

We naturally get many of our vits & mins from veggies & fruits. Always aim to have as much green veggies on your plate & in your diet as possible as these are the ones with the highest concentration of said vits & mins. A portion with each meal is great. Aim to have fruit each day as well but try not to have too much fruit juice due to the huge sugar content. A glass of OJ may have loads of vit c (that you may not even need as it might be too much) but also it will have the sugar from 40 oranges in it which isn’t ideal whereas 1 orange will have a good amount of vit c but not a crazy amount of sugar & will help to keep you feeling full.

I personally am an advocate of 10 bits of fruit or veg a day rather than the typical 5 a day. I noticed this first when I was training for Ironman & I felt absolutely great which I put a lot down to eating so much fruit & veg. Also when I was in Mexico I would notice a massive massive difference between eating tacos all day vs 15 bits of fruit & veg a day! It was all organic there as well which is another recommendation – eat organic whenever possible. The food has been tampered with less, lasts longer & makes you feel better due to the higher concentrations of vits & mins within them. 

Aim for as much colour on your plate as poss & varying veggies to get the full range of all those lovely vitamins & minerals!

Food list: 

******This is not an all inclusive list of good foods, there are many hundreds more out there!*****

Proteins:

Salmon (high in really good fats, lovely fish oil for the brain & loads of protein to boot!)

EGGS – Protein & good fats

Steak (Mind the fat – it is not bad fat unless deep fried but highly calorific)

Fish in general, the more oily the better (also good fats)

Chicken (not so high in cals but a great quality protein)

Tuna steak

Pretty much any nice lean meat

Beware of stuff that Ronald Mcdonald, Colonel Sanders or the Burger King have been near because it all rots your insides! OK now & then for a treat though but beware of the massive sugar content in all of it, especially maccy DS.

Complex Carbs:

Sweet potato – Super duper carb, full of vitamnis & minerals. I eat these most days.

Brown rice,

Quinoa

Grains & pulses (lentils)

Brown pasta.

Chickpeas

Beans (full of protein as well)

Wholemeal cous cous

Try to avoid anything white as the goodness has been taken out & try to limit any bread as much as possible.

AVOID REFINED SUGARS LIKE THE PLAGUE, It is scientifically proven that they are causing disease & illness & has become the No. 1 nutrient concern of the UK & rest of the world. Unfortunately it makes a lot of companies a lot of money which is why it is not being regulated. Cut it out of your diet as much as possible. WATCH::: That Sugar Film. It is a documentary film made by an Aussie dude who put the sugar diet to the test with some pretty shocking outcomes.

Sugars from fruits are fine but be careful of fruit juice. Also it is not so much what sugar is but more on how it makes us behave; it is incredibly addictive, putting us into sugar highs & crashes which cause cravings which cause overeating that goes in cycles which causes weight gain.

Fats – We want good fats, not saturated & fried fats.

Eggs (the yolk is fat, the white is protein)

All nuts, especially almonds,

Avocados – BRILLIANT FAT, I try & eat avocado every day as it is also a veggie superfood, packed FULL of great stuff (make guacomole!),

Oily fish such as salmon & all fish in fact

Peanut butter (a good brand, be sure that there is no added sugar!),

Coconut oil – I cook everything with this (actually a saturated fat but one of the rare good ones),

Olive oil but use as a dressing rather than to cook as it undergoes a chemical process when heated to turn it into a bad fat(stay away from vegetable oil),

Omega 3 fish oil tablets (get some of these, good for muscle growth),

Olives,

Sunflower, sesame, pumpkin & flax seeds.

Walnuts,

All nuts,

All seeds.

Veggies – All veggies & as much as possible! particularly the green type as they are more loaded with vitamins & minerals. Aim for a portion with every meal. As mentioned earlier when I get 10 portions of fruit & veg a day it feels great!

I hope this post has been useful! There will be more regarding nutrition in the future regarding habit changes & the psychology behind why we make the food choices that we do. Once we know why we do things we have a much better shot of doing those things differently.

Remember – A balanced diet is essential for a fully functioning happy house that doesn’t need to be repaired for years!

Feel free to send me through any questions 🙂 http://gymbia.co.uk/contact/

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