Like all things related to our health, there is no magic one-size-fits-all solution and this applies to the way we nourish our bodies too. It’s tempting to think that if you keep searching on the internet you’ll find an off-the-shelf diet that will work for you and everyone else. It just doesn’t happen that way.
We each lead completely different lives, filled with different timetables, commitments to friends, family and work, and we also all have very different tastes. This means that when you’re looking for a nutrition plan that will help keep you fit, you need to find something that works for YOU. Don’t get fooled into trying the next celebrity food craze simply because everyone else is doing it.
Whilst there is no sense trying to follow a plan that simply doesn’t appeal to you, there are principles that you can follow that will keep you on the right track. Here are the three main principles to keep in mind:
1. Energy Expenditure
The well-known expression ‘You are what you eat’ couldn’t be closer to the truth. Everything you eat provides your body with energy in the form of calories. Every time we move our bodies, we expend a bit of that energy. If you continually take on board more calories than you ‘spend’, you will start to gain weight. For this reason, it’s wise to keep a food diary or track your calories so that you can adjust your intake if need be.
An essential amino acid, protein is crucial for our bodies: it helps to repair and build body tissue. It is important that we have enough protein in our diet for us to function properly and to build muscle. Training and increasing muscle mass optimally requires 1.8-2.2g of protein to every kilogram of body weight.
Fibre is often overlooked in diets but it is essential to good nutrition as it regulates the functioning of your digestive system and maintains your general health. To ensure you get enough fibre in your diet, fill up your plate with vegetables or other food high in fibre at each meal.
If you just bear these three principles in mind when working out your nutrition plan, you’ll be well on the road to reaching your fitness goals.