Nutrition plays such an important part of keeping yourself fit and healthy. Whether you’re training for a specific event such as the Marathon des Sables or for being able to lead an active life. Whatever your goals, you’ll need to ensure your feeding your body the right foods, so that it can perform and do the things you need it to. If you have no energy and are lethargic, it could be down to your diet and what you’re putting into your body. One key thing to remember is that not all calories are equal. You want to ensure you’re giving your body the right foods so it’s getting all the right nutrients, minerals and vitamins it needs to perform at its best.
One easy way of remembering what to eat and what not to eat is by remembering the saying:
By staying off the caffeine, refined sugar, alcohol and processed foods, you’ll be putting yourself in a much better place to be and to stay healthy. It will help you lose weight and to get rid of the excess fat you’re carrying. If you followed the above, you’d see changes straight away in how you look and feel.
Eating fat does not cause you to gain fat. In fact, it’s better to drink full fat milk and have proper butter than to eat all the low fat, no sugar foods that are out there.
The CRAP we’re eating on a regular basis is what’s causing out bodies to hold on to the fat – not fat itself!
CUT THE CAFFEINE
Too much caffeine will stimulate the production of the hormone cortisol, which is known as the stress hormone. The other key thing to note about cortisol is it’s a fat-storing hormone. When your body is stressed it puts the body into fight or flight mode. So we get flooded with the hormone. This could be from having a stressful job or having too much caffeine (this could be a cycle, if you’re working long hours, you need the caffeine to keep you going, so you drink more etc). As we now mostly work inside sat down at desks, when the stress hormone is produced we have no way of burning this off. So instead of the excess energy being burned off, it gets turned into fat.
So stay away from the caffeine, and drink water or green tea instead. Although green tea does have caffeine in it, it’s at a much lower quantity and it also contains lots of anti-oxidants which will benefit your body.
Caffeine can have its uses as it can improve athletic performance, so if you really need to get your coffee fix, have it thirty minutes before you workout and then at least you’ll be able to burn off the excess energy produced. Your workouts will also be given a boost!
CUT THE REFINED SUGAR
Sugar is the heroin of the twenty first century. It’s one of the most addictive substances in the world, it has been compared to heroin. There are no nutrients at all in refined sugar, both white and brown sugar have been refined to such an extent that they have no benefits. There’s nothing natural about refined sugar anymore and so when it goes into our body, our body has no way of processing it, it gets confused and doesn’t know what to do, so it get stored as fat. That’s one of the worse things, but the other big problem is it gives us craving and we want to have more of it.
Sugar is addictive and once you’re on the cycle it’s hard to break off and stop craving it. Sugar is everywhere, it’s in so many different products it’s almost impossible not to consume it. This is one of the hardest things to give up. Many people use sweets and chocolates as a reward for good behavior – stop this you don’t need this, you’re not a dog! Don’t reward yourself with something that’s bad for your body. You are feeding yourself poison.
To help with the cravings try to increase the amount of protein in your diet, as when your craving sugar, you may in fact just be needing more protein.
You can replace sugar with organic agave, you’ll need less of it as its actually sweeter than sugar and this has the added benefit that your body will be able to process it.
CUT THE ALCOHOL
Alcohol is pure sugar and as much as I love it, it’s a poison and whenever you drink alcohol you’re poisoning your body. James Duigan describes alcohol in his book, Clean & Lean Diet (Kyle Cathie), as a “fat bomb that explodes all over your body, especially over your stomach, waist, thighs and backside”. All the areas I’m working on improving! Alcohol also destroys your muscles. I spend hours in the gym trying to get fitter and stronger and I hate the thought of all that time and effort being wasted to have one glass of wine.
If you’re on a night out and need to drink the best drink you can drink is a ‘skinny bitch’ vodka, soda water and fresh lime. This has the least number of calories and is most probably the best thing you can drink, just don’t have ten or twelve of them!
CUT THE PROCESSED FOODS
Processed foods are not really foods anymore, they contain no nutrients of any value and they have no goodness in them. They’re made up of sugar, salts, and things that make them taste good and also give them a shelf life of fifteen years. They may be cheaper and more convenient, but they’re giving you no benefits whatsoever. By eating processed foods, you’re killing yourself slowly over time. All you are doing is making yourself sicker and fatter.
Stay away from processed foods and go for foods which are in their natural state, eat organic meats and fresh vegetable this is the best thing you can do for your body.