Most of us have heard that nutrition is the missing link. We know we could feel better, have more energy and have better workouts if we were to eat better but we get confused about what to eat, we get lazy and choose an unhealthy option or we're just too busy to put the time into preparing meals.
If this sounds like you, don't worry, this is very common and nutrition is the most common reason for people to have problems achieving the body they want. Perhaps you sleep through breakfast, work through lunch, skimp on meals or stuff yourself with not-so-healthy snacks.
We wanted to give the absolute basics of nutrition in one place
- We need a steady diet, if you eat irregularly and skip meals your immune system will get run down, you will lose muscle mass and generally it's a bad thing.
- We need carbohydrates, protein and fat in our diet, none of these diets where you cut out fat or carbs will ever work long term and will just damage your body short term. A well rounded diet is the only way to lose weight.
- We need sodium (salt), there is a certain amount of salt needed in every diet, but like everything excess is a bad thing. Be aware that processed foods contain large amounts of salt to give them flavor.
- We need regular meals, ideally we would eat every 3-4 hours and a day should contain more carbs in the beginning of the day and more protein in the evening. But with that said, some people work better with fewer meals, also some study s of intermit fasting points towards better blood sugar and more fat burning.
- Vegetables are essential, we need the vitamins and minerals that we get from vegetables to burn in our bodies and each vitamin and mineral serves a different purpose but all are essential. We also get anti-oxidants from vegetables which fight free radicals which cause, amongst other things, cancer.
- Just to finish this off, remember that there are no shortcuts, if it was easy everyone would do it but if you change things one step at a time we can achieve anything and if you want to live a longer healthier life then follow the directions above.
What is carbs/protein/fat?
Protein helps the body grow, builds muscle and give us energy. Protein-rich foods include meats, eggs, fish, shellfish, nuts and beans. You can also find it in dairy products such as cottage cheese, quark and greek yogurt.
Carbohydrates are sugars that the body uses for energy. Simple carbohydrates, also called simple sugars, provide the body with quick energy, but these are not so good for your body. They are found in fruit, milk and white sugar/ white flour. Complex carbohydrates, known as fiber and starch, are broken down in the body slower than simple carbohydrates. They are found in vegetables, whole wheat bread, brown rice, oatmeal, whole grains and peas and these ones are good for you.
Fat: Your body needs fat to grow and to process vitamins. There are many different kinds of fats. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are good for your body. These fats include nuts and fish, as well as olive, peanut, safflower, avocado and canola oil. Other kinds of fat, including saturated and trans fat, also called hydrogenated oils, can increase the risk of certain diseases. Saturated and trans fats are found in butter, fried foods, baked goods, fast food, whole milk and in meat from animals.