Achieving your health and fitness goals depends on the quality of both your training and nutrition. The right combination of nutrients will help you to get stronger, fitter and increase energy levels. If you don’t support your training efforts with good nutrition, you’ll never EVER come close to fulfilling your potential.
So how should we approach nutrition? Here are our three most important tips, followed by some concrete recommendations.
1. Think lifestyle, not diet
There are plenty of diet plans available (no carbs, low carbs, high protein, fasting, …) which have their place. For example, if you wanted to drop a dress size for a wedding in six weeks, then a low carb diet may help with achieving this. If you wanted to gain a lot of muscle then a high protein diet could be the route to take. These diets have short term benefits, however they are generally unsustainable over the long term and as they are extreme by nature, often lead to yo-yoing. We want to instill long-term healthy eating habits. We do advocate controlling carb intake, however this is because most people have too much carbs in their diet anyway.
We believe the key to achieving a healthier and fitter lifestyle is by creating a balance that is manageable long term. We believe in clean eating and eating real / whole foods, but this certainly doesn’t have to mean boring/dull food.
2. It’s your body and your goals
There is no one “right” way to eat for everyone. We are all unique with different body types, different responses to carb intake, nutrient tolerance, digestion and metabolic rate. We also have different goals and training routines, and what suits/works for one may not suit/work for another. Not everybody’s type will respond optimally to our recommendations but we believe following the concepts will naturally lead to an improvement in calorie control, nutrient timing and food selection.
3. Start gradually and experiment
It will always be important to adjust when necessary depending on your results and your goals. Remember 2+2=4 but so does 3+1 – there isn’t just one way. If something isn’t working for you – change it! We are also aware that for a lot of people this may be a big change in their dietary habits and maybe a bit overwhelming. To start with maybe pick one thing and make it a new habit for a month – for example, if you don’t usually have breakfast try having breakfast every morning – and once this becomes part of your lifestyle add another habit.
The concepts described below are a starting point. They are general guidelines which will help instill healthy nutrition habits allowing you to be fitter, stronger and healthier. Remember this is a new healthy lifestyle, not a diet! “Slow, sustainable changes are what produce lasting results”.
- Eat regularly – Try to eat every 2-3 hours: 3 meals & 2 snacks (per day)
- Monitor the size & portions
- Eat protein dense food with each meal
- Control carbohydrates
- Eat vegetables and fruits with every meal
- Eat healthy fats daily
- Increase green leafy vegetables
- Choose whole grains rather than white carbohydrates
- Choose fresh, local, organic food where possible
- Prepare and choose natural/whole foods rather than processed foods
- Reduce & limit sugar
- Once a week have a ‘cheat’ meal
- Drinks 2-3 litres of water a day
- Drink a glass of water 30 minutes before eating
- Drink a glass of water with lemon diluted first thing 15-30 minutes before breakfast in order to flush out toxins in your body. It encourages healthy digestion by loosening toxins in your digestive tract. Helps to relieve symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, burping and bloating.
- Minimize alcohol consumption during the week – try to limit to weekends (preferably on your cheat day)
- Besides plain water, coconut water is one of the best and safest options to rehydrate you after a strenuous workout. Coconut water contains high levels of electrolytes like sodium, magnesium, and potassium, which are lost when you sweat. It also supports our wellbeing: it refreshes, nourishes and purifies. It contains many more minerals than the classical chemical sports drinks. Its sugars are natural, not added.
- Green tea – Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body.
- Whey Protein Shake – Whey protein (good quality) is great for fat loss, muscle building, and the development of strength because it provides a superior amino acid profile for repairing damaged muscle tissue. In addition whey has been shown to decrease hunger and stimulate the release of hormones that affect metabolic rate, leading to fat loss over time. It should be taken within 30 minutes after workout.