Nutrition and dieting
Nutrition is a key element to your body transformation, I don't believe in diets or even the word diet but what I do believe in is a way of eating with easy to follow strategies including and not excluding the foods you love to eat. If you are stuck in the rut following what you believe to be healthy eating using the governments eat well plate with limited results; then read on.
Or you've followed the latest fad magazine diet and workout plan, only to see a yo yo effect on your waist line. Then let me help you and guide you into your new lifestyle of fitness and nutrition, giving you back your zest and vigour for life.
Whether you want to lose fat or gain muscle or just pursue a healthy lifestyle the most important limiting factor is nearly always nutrition. Good nutrition equals results, it will help feed muscle and shed fat, it will improve your mood and recovery and also help you get the body you thought you would never have and is the most significant factor in determining your training outcomes.
Nutrition is the intake of food, considered in relation to the body’s dietary needs. Good nutrition, an adequate well balanced diet combined with regular physical activity is a cornerstone of good health. Poor nutrition can lead to reduced immunity, increased susceptibility to disease, impaired physical and mental development.
Our bodies are enormously complex and nutrition is how we repair damaged tissue – making us lose fat, gain muscle, and become healthier and leaner.
Being aware of the importance of good nutrition and training will help you create a body you are happy with. It will also give a clearer, less fatigued mind and a life that you can enjoy. Don’t look at your nutrition as a 'diet' that you HAVE to follow. Instead look at good nutrition as something positive you to do for yourself that will go much further than just looking good, but help create a more positive self-image and confidence that can improve your life, outlook, relationships, career and overall happiness.
Once you realize the importance of good nutrition and training you can begin to make the right changes to your diet by implementing a few basic tips of nutrition. Often we think we need to go overboard to lose weight such as buying a 'magic pill', but we don't.
Nutrition is about the study of food and how our bodies use food as fuel for growth and daily activities. The macronutrients or 'big' nutrients include proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. The micronutrients, or 'little nutrients are the vitamins and minerals that we need to be healthy
Carbohydrate provides 4 calories per gram
Protein provides 4 calories per gram
Fat provides 9 calories per grams
These make up the vast percentage of our diet
Please don't be fooled by the calories per gram of the specific nutrients as our bodies metabolise each specific one in different ways.
Our bodies are unique to us as is our nutrition, some individuals can tolerate specific foods while others canno. So, following these specific fad magazine diets, while yes they possibly do work as we can see by the photo shopped individuals advertising them, who wouldn't lose weight on less than a thousand calories a day, yet we never read about the damage it could be possibly be doing to their immune systems and hormone levels.
You go to a personal trainer and tell them what is going on and they say 'you are in starvation mode'. You need to eat more and ease up on the exercise, they tell you to move from an eat less, exercise more approach to an eat more, exercise less approach.
Guess what happens? You gain so much weight so fast you could swear someone stuck an air pump in you! Not good, not good at all. You gain 15 pounds in 7 days and feel worse than ever. You go to seek answers but no one has them. What do you do? You go back to the eat less, exercise more model. But it still does not work and you continue the cycle of doing more damage to your body and even your mind.
Steps to take
Metabolic Compensation (starvation mode level 1). This phase is pretty easy to deal with, just simply move to an eat less, exercise less OR and eat more, exercise more approach. The approach you choose does not really matter. This will almost always solve the issue. Expect to be back on track within a week.
Metabolic Resistance (starvation mode level 2). If you find yourself in this phase you will need to cycle the diet. Spend 2-3 weeks in the eat less, exercise less phase and then switch to an eat more, exercise more approach for a time. You will likely need to take some other steps involving rest and recovery activities like prioritizing very low intensity activity like walking and muscle regaining activity like weight training over intervals and traditional cardio. Expect to be back on track within 1-3 months.
Metabolic Damage (starvation mode level 3). Here you have no choice. It’s eat less, exercise less. It is also relaxing and restorative activity and no intense exercise or cardio. Even the popular short intense metabolic conditioning workouts will be too much at this stage. You will likely also need to consult with a functional medicine doctor who can evaluate thyroid, adrenal and gonadal function as this is beyond the scope of a physique coach to deal with. Supplements and or hormones may be required at this point. Expect to be back on track within 3 to 15 months (if you get the right help).
This is why diets to me and even the word diet scares me. Diets can cause so many problems mentally and physically, I suppose though if they work and without seeing the effects specific diets can have on our bodies people will continue to follow them.
In brief if people were to adopt a healthy eating lifestyle approach rather than following a specific diet plan or even the governments eat well plate guidelines (which is another beef of mine) then maybe obesity wouldn't be on the incline becoming the epidemic which it has.
Healthy eating and moving more beats dieting every time.
How many of us are professional athletes with dieticians specifically assigned to us or cover models who've dieted down for that one specific photo shoot. We are not, we are (well the majority of us are) normal day to day people with families, work responsibilities and living relatively normal everyday lives and who most, if we were honest, like to burn the nutrition candle at both ends.
Who doesn't like a takeaway and maybe the odd glass of vino and let's not even go down the sweets, crisps and chocolate road!
It really does irritate me when you read and talk to people who say they don't touch the naughty stuff; they've eaten 'clean' for years. Unless you are that unique individual, or like I say a professional athlete or your following that build yourself into a fitted kitchen in a week, fad mag, bikini clad, muscle bound front cover flex models diet then your just normal like me.
This is what happens to so many people following diets....
You go on a diet and by diet I mean you do some combination of that thing you read in that magazine the 'eat less, exercise more' infamous routine. At the start you do just fine and may actually lose a few pounds. You’re happy. Yippee!!! A few days or weeks in and your body starts to compensate. You start feeling more hungry, your energy becomes unstable, you start getting cravings and your metabolic rate declines. This is metabolic compensation. It’s the body’s normal protective response. Starvation mode has kicked in... Level 1
Because of this metabolic compensation your weight loss slows, halts, or if you have a very large drop in metabolic rate and/or can’t control the hunger and craving urge, even reverses. Being a good little dieter you decide to double down on the eat less, exercise more approach. You think 'I just need to work harder'. Things may change briefly, maybe you lose a few more pounds or at least stop the weight regain. But the body compensates again and this time more quickly.
Perhaps you try even harder but the body slowly becomes more resistant to your attempts. Now you are eating like a bird and spending hours in the gym and nothing seems to be happening. This is called metabolic resistance, or starvation mode level 2
You don’t understand what is happening, but you have an iron will. All you need to do is work harder. You hit the internet and immerse yourself in the best 'thinspiration' you can find. Maybe you play some upbeat music for that extra motivation then maximise your efforts. You see some results, but now you have other worries; you start feeling gassy and bloated all the time. If you’re a women, your menses becomes irregular or disappears, your libido is shot, your sleep is disrupted and you are exhausted. You may feel a 'wired but tired sensation', you feel sick and unwell, anxious or depressed but usually both. You just can’t keep up any more and now you are slowly gaining weight no matter how hard you try. This is metabolic damage level 3 and the final stage of starvation mode.