Nutrition

It is possible, to lose weight while eating healthily - indeed, many doctors and nutritionists would argue that if you eat a good, healthy diet, weight should not be a problem. Good nutrition is the key to managing your weight.



Let's look at the basics. There are four key elements to good nutrition:

  • Carbs

  • Protein

  • Fats

  • Water

Carbs: Although carbs get a lot of bad press, at least 50% of your calories should come from carbs. They are the body's main source of energy, the only fuel your brain can use. There are Good Carbs and Bad Carbs:

Good Carbs: Found in fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Why are they good?

  • They contain essential micro nutrients

  • A good source of fiber

  • They break down slowly

  • Energy is released into the bloodstream gradually

Bad Carbs: These are refined sugars and highly processed starches such as white flour, white rice, refined cereals, sweets, snack foods, and fizzy drinks. They are typically found in biscuits, cakes, pastries, breakfast cereals, snacks.

These have few nutrients, and break down easily in your stomach, sending sugar into your bloodstream quickly. They are linked with weight gain, cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

 

Protein: Protein is the building block of living things, helping muscles, tendons, and bones to grow and repair. Protein can help in weight loss because a high protein meal is the most satiating (filling) - people on high protein diets lose more weight than those on other diets.

Good sources of protein include lean meat, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, beans, and pulses. You should aim to include some protein with every meal.

 

Fats: Fats are essential for many processes including cell growth, blood flow, and supporting your immune system. Again, there are good and bad.

Bad fats: The worst are 'trans' fats - these are found in hydrogenated vegetable oils. These are used in most commercial baked goods such as cakes, biscuits, pastries, fried foods, crisps, takeaways, and salad dressings. Trans fats increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer, and slow down the function of brain cells.

OK fats: Natural saturated fats. These are found in animal fats (milk, butter, cream, cheese, lard, meat), and are OK in moderation.

Good Fats: Monounsaturates (olive oil, nuts and seeds, avocado) or natural polyunsaturates (unprocessed vegetable oil, nuts and seeds, whole grains, meat, dairy, eggs, sea food). These include Omega 3 and 6.

 

Water: We all know we need plenty of water, but most people don't drink enough water. The consequences of not drinking enough water include:

  • Headaches - between 70 and 90% of headaches are due to dehydration

  • Poor skin, dry skin

  • Excess body fat - water is essential for fat burning

  • Poor muscle tone and size

  • Decreased digestive efficiency and organ function (constipation etc)

  • Increased toxicity in the body

  • Joint and muscle soreness

  • Water retention and bloating

You need at least 8 glasses of water per day. Some simple tips to help you drink enough water include:

  • Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning.

  • Drink before and after a workout.

  • Drink a glass of water with every meal

  • If you're trying to lose weight, drink a glass of water before every meal.

  • Get a few water bottles and keep one with you at all times.