How healthy do you want to be? Do you want to realise and experience your full potential both mentally and physically? What factors influence your INDIVIDUAL requirements?
From my own experience and knowledge as an athlete, personal trainer and general promoter of healthy, active lifestyles I’ve found that the importance of understanding what YOUR optimal diet looks like is absolutely critical to your own personal success whether fitness related or not. This is an area I am extremely passionate about as I have lived both sides. Through childhood and early adolescence, my diet was the contrast of what it is now and although I was still fairly active from being involved in multiple sports and recreational activities I was still overweight, had low self-esteem, struggled to concentrate at school and was often feeling tired and lethargic. As I matured I became more and more educated on the role that food played, understanding calories/kilojoules, macronutrients, micronutrients, vitamins and minerals and how manipulating these variables strongly correlated with how I felt, looked and performed. Since then, I’ve never once looked back I’ll predominantly eat fresh, non-processed foods over anything else simply because my body prefers it now. See “The Perfect Diet Pyramid” https://www.patrickholford.com/uploads/images/perfect-diet-pyramid.jpg
➡️IMPROVE YOUR DIET BUT DON’T ‘DIET’
I can’t explain the importance of NOT getting trapped in consistently Yo-Yo dieting, this cycle is vicious and detrimental to your health. What some people fail to understand is the impact diet cycling has on your metabolism. I’ve heard them all; juice diets, shakes only, ketogenic, low carb, no carb, the list goes on. Just stop! All that is doing is making your next blow out (which will eventually happen) so much worse than it could be. The human body’s first instinct is survival, if it feels you are starving it then it will retain as much fat (energy reserve) as it can the next time fat enters your body and will store it with the mentality that the body is under attack but in actual fact it’s just you attempting a 4-week fad diet again. Improve and tweak your diet, but do not diet.
➡️TWEAKING YOUR DIET TO OPTIMAL
Factors to consider:
Understanding what goes in will help you understand what is missing or what is consumed in excess. Vitamin deficiency can indicate poor nutrient absorption which can be improved through detoxifying the body or combining specific foods such as raw vegetables and healthy oils which enhance the absorption of fat -soluble vitamins (A, D, E & K)
Specific tests (See your doctor) can help you understand whether you are naturally deficient in specific vitamins or minerals which can help you increase the volume of foods that are high in the vitamin you lack. For example, my mum is deficient in iron therefor knows that more often than not she will be wanting to add foods to her diet that are higher in iron, such as; dark green, leafy vegetables, mushrooms, liver, lentils etc.
Self explanatory, avoid foods that link to allergies or promote unwelcoming symptoms. Learn this via trial and error or through testing procedures.
The fourth and IMO most important piece to the jigsaw puzzle is your lifestyle. What is it you do everyday and how can you make your diet COMPLIMENT your lifestyle rather than NEGATIVELY IMPACT it? Your occupation will reflect your energy requirements along with any other additional recreational activity you partake in. Your total daily energy expenditure takes into consideration your BMI with your lifestyle and calculates an estimated requirement of energy each day. Other factors to consider will be; stress levels, pregnancy status, smoking status, gender and body type all of which will benefit from specific macro and micronutrient diet profiles.
As a rule of thumb each meal should contain a source of; protein, essential fats, complex carbohydrates and fibre. #ThinkFunctionNotFlavour
Health and diet related disease is obviously the worst case scenario when it comes to the impact of your diet, but the main reason to trigger me to do this write up is the volume of people I interact with who are constantly exhausted, lethargic, feeling sore or not in the right headspace. It wasn’t until recently that I’ve really noticed this after realising a pattern with how clients, friends and strangers speak to me, amazed at the levels of energy I consistently have and why I’m predominantly in a good mood. The pattern being the fact that those making these comments were generally those who made poorer nutritional decisions. If you’re reading this and you’re one of those people (believe me there are many) then it’s okay, your time to change is now! Not Monday, not next week but from right now. Start by ensuring your next meal has a dense nutrient profile, low in saturated fats, trans fats, salt and sugar.
Personal Training/Nutrition & Online Programming
📱: IG - @hvcfit