Fitness Nutrition Tips and Advice
Fitness Nutrition Tips and Advice
The Good Food Guide
by Paul Bedford
The vast majority of people who want to get fitter, lose weight and improve their lifestyle would prefer to do it fast – but there is no quick fix and long-term lifestyle changes are the only way. However, if you want the most efficient and effective results possible, a combination of exercise and good nutrition are essential.
Know your Carbs, Fats and Proteins!
Balancing your intake of The Crucial 3 is vital when tackling nutrition. Depending on what your lifestyle goals are, you will need to determine how much of these food sources you need to take in. Fats are, of course, every beach bathing person’s worst nightmare – our body will use other energy sources before burning the fats – so eating an excess of fatty food means the body will simple store the fat (and generally in all the wrong places!). Basically, there are good fats and bad fats (or saturated and unsaturated) – the good fats are essential to our bodies as a source of energy and help absorb vital vitamins – these include oily fish, nuts, seeds and avocados.
Carbohydrates are found in many foods but are more prevalent in pasta, potatoes and rice. Carbs are the body’s main fuel supply and its first choice for energy. They take a shorter time than fats for the body to use up and are great for people on the go but, if you are more sedate, the body will not burn them all off and eventually will store them as fat. Because of this I always advise my clients to take them in before 6pm.
“Drinking lots of water will help improve your metabolism”
Proteins are the quickest out of the three the body will use, these are found in high amounts in chicken, eggs and fish. The body will use these up fast as energy so taking a good amount of these on board will not do you any harm.
What to Drink in the Heat
Water, of course, is the best way of keeping hydrated. You should be looking to drink at least 2 litres a day. Drinking lots of water will help improve your metabolism, replenish lost minerals and help keep you focused. Avoid sugary drinks at all costs.
Hard, I know, and probably the one thing my clients struggle with the most. Try to take snacks out of the equation entirely by bypassing the crisps and sweets aisles at the supermarket. Eating healthy, properly nutritional, light meals actually makes you feel fuller for longer, so less snacking urges should occur.
Struggling to hit 5-a-day?
You don’t just have to eat a dry piece of carrot or celery every hour to get in your five a day – it can easily become part of your daily meal routine. Start the day with a glass of fruit juice or a blended fruit shake, take a piece of fruit to work (kiwi fruits are great metabolism boosters), add salad to your ham roll, remember the vegetables with your evening meal (tomatoes in your spag boll counts!) and before long you’ll be taking in your 5-a-day without even realising.
“Prepare your meals for the next day the night before”
Summer’s here! Time for the beer garden
Beer is loaded with calories and the sugar content of tonics and mixers is massive. Limit yourself to a once a week treat and try something with fewer calories like a wine spritzer – at the very least, go for the slimline option!
All part of the masterplan
Plan your meals daily and weekly so you know exactly what to purchase in that weekly food shop. Prepare your meals for the next day the night before – this will help you keep organised and focused. Preparing your meals should give you a better chance of preventing snacking at work and when you return home – always try to know what you are eating and when.
Three Questions I’m Frequently Asked as a Personal Trainer:
I am trying to lose some extra pounds, should I be counting the calories or choosing the low fat option?
This is a question I’m asked a lot – counting calories is a good way of losing the extra pounds but this can be time consuming and confusing. Take a look at fit.com – this is a top website for calculating daily calorie intake and expenditure. The low fat option is fine but these foods can still contain lots of carbohydrates, fats and salt. I advise to eat healthily and take some time out to plan your eating habits.
“Exercise helps bring blood pressure down to the ideal range”
I have recently become pregnant and I want to keep exercising – am I ok to do this?
Firstly, see your doctor – they will advise you if you are able to exercise. Lots of women still exercise during pregnancy and usually there’s no reason why you can’t remain physically active all the way through a pregnancy. Key thing is to keep your body temperature around its core (37°C), and stay away from high impact activities. Plus, running is a no-go. Kegels are a great exercise to keep that core strong for during and after birth – Google it!
I have high blood pressure – is it still safe to exercise?
I am no doctor, so make sure you consult one first. Exercise actually helps bring blood pressure down to the ideal range but if this does not happen you may require blood pressure controlling medication.