Moving on from the first part
of the basics of weight loss, we're now going to talk about nutrition. When you have a good understanding on basic nutrition, and pair that up with hard work in the gym then you’re only going to get one result - weight loss.
You hear a lot of people nowadays that it’s “70% diet and 30% training” or some other percentage. We however believe that its 100% training, 100% nutrition and 100% sleep. Concentrate on getting the balance right on all three of these and we’ll guarantee you’ll notice not only physical changes, but mental changes too.
You’ll become fitter, stronger, happier, healthier, more energised, less stressed, more focused and have better mental clarity. These are just some of the benefits you’ll start noticing if you start implementing a good work ethic in your training, a better understanding of nutrition and proper rest.
Nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated and you don’t have to count every calorie, every gram of carbohydrate, protein and fats or read the ingredients on the back of all your food. Don’t over complicate things to start with.
Foods to AVOID when looking for weight loss
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Fast food is not your friend...[/caption]
Examples: (takeaways from fast food joints, Chinese, Curries etc...)
Do we really know where they’re getting their sources of food from? The foods from these sorts of places are full of trans fats. This type of fat, known as hydrogenated fat, can be used for frying or as an ingredient in processed foods. Overconsumption of trans fats can lead to high cholesterol, increased risk of heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.
They also contain a lot of refined/starchy carbohydrates (high sugars) in the sauces, bread, drinks and contain poor quality of nutrients.
Foods high in sodium, sugar and trans fats
Examples: chocolate, crisps, sweets, cakes, biscuits, fizzy drinks, various sauces etc.
Pretty much the same as above. A diet high in sugar is bad news. It increases the rate of obesity, heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes, kidney problems, and tooth decay.
Foods with additives, e-numbers and hidden chemicals/sugar in
Examples: (Ready meals, “low fat” products, smoothies/fruit juices, cereals, coffee shop products etc.)
If you can’t pronounce the ingredients on the back of the label that probably means don’t eat it, it’s not going to do any favours to our body or vital organs. Also note that “low fat” products means they’ve taken the fat out of the product but replaces them with some sort of artificial sweetener and added sugar to make them taste nice. The fewer ingredients the better.
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Alcohol will get you nowhere fast[/caption]
If weight loss is your goal then alcohol will do you no favours. It contains nutrient free calories (7 kcals per gram) will make you feel awful in the morning, which leads you to eating junk food, as mentioned above, and dehydrates our bodies. It will also impair the recovery process from previous exercise in the week, screw up our metabolism and have a negative effect on body composition.As an example, 1 beer has an average of 180 calories in.
Have 5 or 6 of these and your hitting the 1000 calorie mark, add on the junk you’ll eat at the end of the night and the next day and you’re in for a scary total of calories. Be smart, I’m not saying eliminate alcohol completely, just moderate your intake.
Foods you SHOULD be including as part of weight loss
Lean animal meats and dairy
Examples: chicken, turkey, beef, venison, duck, whole eggs, milk, Greek yoghurt, grass fed butter
Protein is essential for the growth and repair of muscle tissue, and is crucial for people looking to gain lean muscle. This is why supplements like a diet whey protein
are popular with those looking for weight loss.
Protein is also digested slower and will keep you fuller for longer. Incorporate a high protein breakfast which will regulate blood sugar levels and help keep you fuller until lunch, which will result in missing out on a less nutritious mid-morning snack. Replace carbohydrate snacks with protein based snacks
, to help speed up weight loss.
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Salmon is a great source of protein[/caption]
Oily fish high omega 3
Examples: salmon, sardines, anchovies, and mackerel
Also other fish like tuna, cod, haddock. Omega 3’s will help with reduction of inflammation, which may reduce recovery time, water retention and body composition. Fish oils also helps with stress, depression, anxiety, panic attacks and reduction of carbohydrate cravings. Fish oils will help for not just fat loss but all round health. It’s recommended to take around 3000mg (total of EPA & DHA) per day through oily fish or a fish oil supplement.
Examples: oats, brown/basmati rice, sweet potatoes, quinoa, mixed beans and buckwheat
These foods are low/medium on the Glycaemic Index (GI) which means the lower the GI the slower they are absorbed which will help keep blood glucose levels steady. Avoid high GI foods when sedentary, as these foods will be absorbed quickly raising insulin levels and the glucose will eventually be stored as fat. Pre or post training is when high GI foods will be used for the energy of your workout or replenish glycogen stores.
Fresh fruit and vegetables
Full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, the more “colour” from fruit and veg the better. Eating more colours from fruit and veg will help protect against certain cancers, arthritis, heart disease, cataracts and even premature ageing. Fruit and vegetables contain hundreds of colourful “phytochemicals” that act as antioxidants, which help to get rid of potentially harmful molecules called free radicals before they get a chance to our damage cells.
Nuts and seeds
Again, full of different vitamins and minerals like magnesium, potassium, fibre, zinc, iron and vitamin b6. Nuts are high in protein and rich in healthy monounsaturated fats. For example, all nuts contain vitamin E in, a powerful antioxidant to help promote better looking skin, hair and nails. By eating a handful or 2 of nuts a day, this will help stabilize healthy blood sugar levels, improve cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and will maintain your appetite for longer.
Foods high in antioxidants
Examples: berries, nuts, fish, leafy green veggies, dark chocolate (80+), sweet potatoes, coffee and green tea
Antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E and carotenoids, which include beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein, help, protect healthy cells from damage caused by free radicals.
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Make sure you drink plenty of water![/caption]
Drink plenty of water! Your body is 70% water and your bones are made up of 5% water. Every function of your body depends on it. Your blood is largely water, digestion needs lots of it, your joints are cushioned with it.
Your brain is more than 90% water, it is vital to keep these organs hydrated all day every day for proper function of the human body or this can lead to dizziness, headaches, migraines, tiredness, dry lips and mouth, passing small amounts of urine, dehydration and fainting. This can develop even worse into liver, joint and muscle damage, constipation, cholesterol problems and kidney stones. Everyone should be drinking at least 2 litres of water a day, if you’re exercising this should be more.
I hope the above information and pointers on the basics of nutrition has helped you on your understanding of nutrition. Start implementing some of the points above into your daily routine when it comes to your eating habits. Not only will your weight loss excel along with your training, but also your health will accelerate to new heights too.
Food and water is what fuels us for our day to day tasks, and if we don’t eat quality food then our day to day lives will suffer. We won’t perform what we're capable of if we don’t eat properly let alone train efficiently. Good nutrition will only make your training sessions more effective and put the two together along with proper sleep (8 hours minimum a night) for recovery, then you’ll watch that weight drop off healthily, safely and effectively.