• Victoria Kain

Nutrition - What's It All About!?

Updated: Apr 6


I am getting so frustrated when it comes to my fitness journey. I take three steps forward and five steps back…I have come to the realisation that unless I can sort out my nutrition then I will never progress any further than I am. Although I have some knowledge of Nutrition it is limited still and like many, I still struggle at times to sustain a healthy diet. That is not to say I am terrible as I am the majority of the time conscious and aware of what I eat but I also do not like to self-deprive and lead a very normal lifestyle. However, this forthcoming year I really am determined to gain a better understanding as to how I can sustain and build a healthier relationship between food and exercise in my life.


I am tired of reading a ton of jargon so I really want to keep things simple for you and me, so this really is a Guide For Dummies type of blog today for those who, like me, really want to understand more on how I can achieve better results in line with my training.


So first off – I keep reading “eat Whole foods or Nutrient Dense foods” – I initially thought well what the heck does that mean!!


So basically these are foods high in nutrients but relatively low in calories. Nutrient dense foods contain vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats.


Below hopefully provides you with an indication as to how to re-align what foods we eat.


Dr. Fuhrman's Nutritarian Pyramid

What next you ask?....


STEP ONE


Take an honest look at your current diet and consider any Nutritional Deficiencies.


Are you drinking enough water? The recommended daily intake of fluid to prevent dehydration is 1.2 litres per day although 2 litres per day is frequently cited. Alternatively a rough guideline is to drink 6-8 cups per day.


Are you eating protein rich food? Women in particular suffer from protein deficiency. You need protein to sustain your body’s basic functions, boost immune system and overall general health! Examples are meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, grains, cereals, nuts, beans, pulses.


Are you eating enough Essential Fats? Take in more Essential fats through whole foods such as fish salmon, trout, mackerel, avocados, coconut oil, chia seeds, dark chocolate, etc.


Are you eating enough foods rich in vitamins and minerals? If not, increase your intake of fruit and veg for starters! Variety and colour will ensure that a range of vitamins and minerals are supplied. For example, fruit and vegetables, citrus fruits, berries, beans, root vegetables, nuts, whole grains and cereals, meat, eggs, dairy produce.


Should you be deficient in any of the above, the effects may result in low energy levels, lack of strength or endurance or poor mood and appetite.


STEP TWO


Portion Size and Food Composition (Macronutrients)


First off, if you are wondering what Macronutrients are then these are your Carbohydrates, Protein and Fats required in your Diet. Micronutrients relate to Vitamins and Minerals.


In this modern age of technology, there are various ways in which you can count your calories and macros. Calorie counting can however result in being a tedious exercise and therefore a portable measurement tool is to use your own hand as a guide to portion control.


But first things first! If you can identify your body type then you will have a better idea on how best to fuel your body to get the results you want to achieve.


Eating Correctly for Body Type and Goals


There are three categories for body types:-


ECTOMORPHS – Thin, small bone structure, thin limbs, fast metabolic rate, high energy levels (fidgeters), tolerate carbohydrates well.


MESOMORPHS – Medium sized bone structure with athletic body, if active tend to have a considerable amount of less mass and are able to gain muscle and stay lean easily.


ENDOMORPHS – Larger bone structure with higher amounts of body and fat mass. Slower metabolic rate and do not tolerate carbohydrates well.


Once you have identified your body type, we can now look at portion control.


ECTOMORPHS

Recommended: More healthy carbs (55%), less fat (20%) with a moderate amount of protein (25%).

Men:

2 palms of protein dense foods

2 fists of vegetables

3 cupped handfuls of carb dense foods

1 thumb of fat dense foods

Women:

1 palm of protein dense foods

1 fists of vegetables

2 cupped handfuls of carb dense foods

0.5 thumb of fat dense foods


MESOMORPHS

Recommended: A mixed diet with balanced carbohydrates (40%), proteins (30%) and fats (30%).

Men:

2 palms of protein dense foods

2 fists of vegetables

2 cupped handfuls of carb dense foods

2 thumb of fat dense foods

Women:

1 palm of protein dense foods

1 fists of vegetables

1 cupped handfuls of carb dense foods

1 thumb of fat dense foods


ENDOMORPHS

Recommended: Less carbohydrates (25%) with more fat (40%) and protein (35%).

Men:

2 palms of protein dense foods

2 fists of vegetables

1 cupped handfuls of carb dense foods

3 thumb of fat dense foods

Women:

1 palm of protein dense foods

1 fists of vegetables

0.5 cupped handfuls of carb dense foods

2 thumb of fat dense foods




Remember, everyone is unique so observe, record your progress and tweak where required until it works for you.


STEP THREE


Once you have nailed Step One and Two then you can look at fine tuning the rest of your diet.


Carb and Calorie Cycling – This is eating more or less carbohydrates on some days, generally when you are training. For example:-


Eat a diet of mostly protein, vegetables and healthy fats with minimal carbs on days you DO NOT train or alternatively undertake low intensity exercise or short duration.


Add starchy carbs to your diet on days you DO train higher intensity / duration.


And last but not least…


Meal Frequency – This is down to personal preference. Listen to your body, if you are hungry eat. Do not deprive yourself of food. Provided you are eating the right types of food for your body then meal frequency is generally down to whether you prefer to eat less but more regularly or larger meals less regularly.


So taking all of the above into account, now it's time to action and hopefully this time next year we will be lean mean fighting machines :-)


Good luck on your journey everyone, I will keep you posted on mine in the meantime.

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