Basics of Nutrition

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basics of nutrition

Basics of Nutrition

Into the Groove

Health and fitness expert, Brendan Chaplin, offers some timely advice to those who might be looking to shape up and get fit…

My philosophy is based on getting the health and fitness basics right first. Build the foundations before you add the rest. You can’t put the icing on the cake before you’ve made the cake… okay, That’s enough talking in metaphors. What I want to get across to you is how to take care of the main elements that will improve your health and fitness before you even think about anything else.

And it all starts not in the gym, but with nutrition. Why nutrition? Well, it’s simple: if you go to the gym, or do a fitness class, it will probably take up around an hour or two of your time. That means there are literally 22 more hours to get things wrong! However, if you get those 22 hours right, you’ve got a much better chance of achieving your goals.

basics of nutrition healthy eatingThe Basics of Nutrition: “Sleep properly”

I have followed these key points for a long time and it has given me and my clients great results over the last 8-10 years:

  • If it’s green and grows above the ground, eat it
  • If it runs, swims or flies or comes from something that does those things (eggs), eat it
  • Avoid anything brown or white unless you’ve earned it
  • If you’re eating as above you can have what you want for your cheat meals (2-3 per week)
  • Never drink calories – so no fruit juice, sports drinks etc if you are purely targeting fat loss
  • Exercise every day for around 1 hour at least
  • Sleep properly (8-10 hours)

So, if that seems like a list of things you can do, you can take this a step further and put it into a daily or weekly programme to make sure you’re eating healthily.

Basics of Nutrition: “Eat whole foods”

I like to use performance and nutrition expert John Berardi’s 10 habits of healthy eating:

  1. Eat every 2 or 3 hours (that’s around 5 times per day)
  2. Eat lean protein with every meal
  3. Eat some vegetables with each feed
  4. Eat vegetables and fruit at any meal and other carbs such as pasta and sugars after exercise only
  5. Eat healthy fats DAILY: 25-30% of the diet should come from fats. Avoid all transfats as they can increase the risk of CHD. Split the fats into thirds -saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. This gives a good balance.
  6. Only drink calorie containing fizzy drinks (such as Lucozade) and other similar products during or immediately post exercise.
  7. Eat whole foods instead of supplements.
  8. Plan to break the rules: Allow 10% of the meals to be cheat meals. 10% means 10%!
  9. Plan ahead: this is one of the main reasons that people don’t eat what they should.
  10. Eat as wide a variety of foods as possible. Look to have as many colours on your plate as you can – bland colours tend to not have as many nutrients in them. So there you have it: a simple but brutally effective system!

Now read them again, and again.

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