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The Rules of Dieting

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The Rules of DietingLet’s forget dieting for a moment and (instead) just call it eating.

We don’t diet and exercise here – we eat and we train.

Eating is what we do and it’s something we’re working to improve – literally – one bite at a time.

Below are five rules for eating better and creating a NEW improved and permanent diet that lasts (of course if you need help our team of personal trainers are on hand to offer training and nutrition help).

Rule #1 If it doesn’t go bad, don’t eat it!

What I’m taking about is the fact that real food go bad.  Fruit and vegetables start to decompose and go off.  Microwaveable meals on the other had – don’t.

Food that goes bad is what our grandparents just called food.  Nowadays it’s something we have to go out of our way to buy and eat.  We have too many alternatives, too many preserved, processed and ready made foods to eat.

Don’t buy processed and prepared meals (this includes many breakfast cereals) eat good old fashioned food from raw ingredients.  Porridge (for example) is just oats.  It’s not a concoction of ingredients and additives that have been created in a factory and boxed for us to eat.

That’s the most important rule out of the way!

Rule #2 – Eat until you’re 80% full

For the majority of us the problem (or the reason we’re overweight) is because we eat the wrong kind of food – go back and read rule #1 again – and second, we eat too much.

What’s the right size portion?

Well that’s different for everyone but one thing we can all do is STOP eating when we’re 80% full!

Unfortunately we’ve all been educated by our parents to clean our plates and eat everything.

Eating real food actually makes us feel fuller that eating the equivalent amount of processed food.  It’s called satiety and processed foods don’t tell us we’re full in the same way.

Rule #3 Eat lean protein at every meal

Our body is constantly turning over protein.  What does that mean?

It’s constantly breaking down and building back the tissue (including muscle in our body) so it’s important we supplement the process by adding sufficient protein into our diets.

In addition to supplying these all important building blocks (some of which can only be got from food) by consuming protein at every meal can help improve your metabolism, reduce your cardiovascular risk, improve your weight loss profile AND lead to a higher metabolic rate (more info).

It’s win-win-win when it comes to adding lean protein at every meal.

Rule #3 Eat fruit and vegetables at every meal

And yep, that includes breakfast!

Now the UK government have been great in funding the Change4Life scheme that promoted having your five a day  but it’s better still to start seeing them push one step further and talk about seven.

Sound a lot?

Maybe it does but first remember that fruit and vegetables are typically higher in nutrients and lower in calories.  And while fruit does contain a lot of sugar (so you should focus more on increasing your veg intake) the benefits of all the cancer fighting, free-radical destroying properties of fruit and veg make it well worth while.

Plus you can eat a lot of veg to bulk your meals, fill you up and withing worrying about the extra calories that extra spud would have added.

More cancer fighting fruit and veg please (ideally 2 at every meal)!

Rule #3 Add in healthy fats

It’s sad that we associate being fat, sub-cutaneous fat (the stuff under you skin) and visceral fat (the stuff around your organs) with fat from food.

Fat isn’t bad for us (in the same way as carbohydrate and protein isn’t bad) it’s just another key ingredient for a healthy diet.

If you needed any proof of this then how about the trillions of cells in our body that are all made up with a cell membrane of fatty acids?  And how about the fact that our hormones rely on fat?

What you need is to understand and identify what healthy fats are AND to balance your consumption of monounsaturated, polyunsaturates and saturates (all while avoiding transaturated fat).

The problem is we eat too much of one kind of fat (saturated fat) and if you don’t believe me then see what the NHS have to say here.

What you need is a healthy balance of the right fat types for optimum nutrition.

Rule #5 Earn your carbs

Our Western diet is too carb heavy and (when I think of my mother) I remember having lasagne with potatoes – a heavy carb dish with a side-serving of carbs.

Too many.

We need carbs, they are fuel and without them your body will often turn to protein and start breaking down your muscle tissue in order to fuel itself.

What we all need to do is eating less carbs and at the right time.

The right time depends from person to person (some of us tolerate carbohydrates better than others) but as a general rule it’s good to earn them and eat them on the days we’re working out.

The best time of all is right after a workout, when the cells in your body are primed and ready.

Eating the right amount of carbohydrates at the right time is something we discuss with all our clients during our personal training sessions.

It’s one piece of the puzzle.

Helping people change their eating habits, one habit at a time so that instead of short term gains and faddy eating we help people create long term, sustainable eating habits that help them lose weight and stay healthy.

If you’d like to find out about our personal training, exercise classes or nutrition help them either either your name and telephone number in the enquiry box on this page or call us on 01293 552 511.