Nutritional principals -
The last thing we are going to look at is Nutritional principles. Nutritional principals are the foundations to healthy eating. They are the things that we should all, whatever level or point in our journey we are at, be doing to maintain a good level of health. Hopefully from these principals along with the knowledge we now have around calories and macros you can decide on solid nutritional goals moving forward.
Consume a plant-based diet This an important one to understand - Plant based diets have been wildly misunderstood in recent times, often confused with a vegan diet - this is not the case. The exact interpretation of a plant-based diet is somewhat open to opinion. It does not mean that we shouldn’t eat meat or even necessarily that we have to reduce the amount of meat that we eat, but is ultimately a diet proportionally rich in foods derived from plants, including; fruits vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds. When consuming a plant-based diet we naturally tend to opt for foods with greater nutritional value. Keep it Colourful Here we touch on micronutrition. On a basic level, the colours in our food give an indication to the nutrients they contain. The most important thing to remember is to ‘eat the rainbow’ to get the greatest variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and to clear up any confusion – we are talking about fruit and veg, not a popular brand of sweets. Whole foods like fruit and veg is generally high in nutrients and low in calories, meaning that you can eat a greater volume of food, whilst consuming fewer calories than other food types – win/win! Avoid Processed Foods When shopping and cooking try and think natural, whole, single ingredient foods. Consider where the food comes from and ask yourself – does this come from the earth or from a factory? Limit Empty Calories Ensure that the vast majority of what we eat is serving our body. Empty calories are foods that add calories whilst contributing little to nothing towards the smooth running of the body e.g. minimal vitamins and minerals and excess refined sugars. We’re talking about sweets, biscuits, chocolate, alcohol and many more.
We can obtain hydration through any form of drink but to keep it simple, just stick with water, it is calorie and sugar free and it is exactly what our bodies crave when we feel thirsty. Drinking enough water each day is crucial for many reasons: to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood.
Plan your diet
A lot of us don’t put the energy we need to into planning and implementing a healthy diet which is where mistakes and sacrifices are made. “By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.”