For most of us nutrition is a tricky subject. With so much choice, how do we know what foods are right for us. What is right for each individual changes according to numerous factors such as levels of activity, age, gender, lifestyle just to name a few. There are, however a few staples of healthy eating that you can begin to build your nutritional habits around for a healthy lifestyle. When giving you nutritional advice we look at your lifestyle and what’s right for you on an individual basis, nothing is pre-packed because we understand that everyone is different
Regular eating is a great way to start a positive eating structure. Generally eating 5 times per day consisting of 3 main meals and 2 snacks is sufficient. It can help us eat enough of the right food throughout the day. Maintaining smaller portions whilst eating often will help keep your blood sugar levels steady avoiding tiredness and negative cravings for junk food. Eat every 3 hours
On average we need to take on board 2 litres of water per day, if we exercise we may need to drink more. Water keeps us hydrated. Chemical reactions are taking place in our body all the time; we create energy through a chain of chemical actions. All of these chemical reactions take place in the presence of water. We need water for our bodies to operate efficiently.
Eat whole grains
Whole grain products are less processed meaning a lot of the beneficial vitamins and nutrients that are lost as food is tampered with, are not lost in the case of whole foods. Brown rice for example is stripped to make white rice but the outer layer contains the germ and bran which is high in fibre and minerals, this is lost in the processing. Whole grain products are high in fibre, fibre positively impacts the way carbohydrates are absorbed helping to stabilise blood sugar levels.
Why carbohydrates are important
Carbohydrate intake should depend largely on your overall calorie requirements. They are our main source of energy and greatly needed for intense or longer periods of exercise. Some of us are very sensitive to eating carbohydrates and associate them with weight gain. While management of carbs can help to lose weight due to improved eating habits do not cut your carbohydrates until you understand your nutritional intake and contribution this has on your overall diet.
The right amount of calories for you
When trying to understand your nutrition where do you start, are you eating too much or too little? Most people can take a guess but how do you actually know? Your first step is to understand your requirements, understand how many calories you should consume to meet your daily activities. Once you have worked this out take account of what you are actually eating and how this measures up to your requirement. Now you have the right information you can make adjustments for your goals whether it may be weight loss, weight gain or sports specific. Of course this is on a basic level because beyond this you need to understand your content but it’s a great starting place.
5 a day
This is where we get some of our essential nutrients and vitamins. Varying our fruits and veg is a good idea, different colours will give you a wider range of nutritional goodness.
Labels and good resources
Be in the habits of check the labels on your foods. The ideal diet would have as little processed food in it as possible but with today’s lifestyles people often find themselves reaching for something that is quick and easy. The best way to avoid this is to be prepared and plan meals ahead but failing this read the label. Understand what you are putting into your body and build a picture of the content within your food choices. Notice what is high in sugar, fat and dense in calories. Understand how this is affecting you’re eating habits and overall calorie intake.