Fitness

Nutrition | What You Need To Know

What a constant battle against a barage of nutrition questions today has been.Fairly random one for me, normally I am asked about exercises, how to get abs and the like.

It all started earlier this morning when a conversation about Slimming World came up and it kind of spiralled from there, to pretty much everywhere. Right down to coming home to this..

Slimming world flyer
Haunting me

Today I honestly feel that I cannot escape the grasps of nutrition based questions so, to save me having to keep repeating myself, here is a post that pretty much sums up everything I think everybody should know about nutrition. Of course, this is NOT going to be everything you need to know ever but the goal is to provide you with a strong base and offer a starting point. You have to agree that is much better than just trying random diets that will have you just eating baby food or just eating meat or.. my biggest pet peeve.. ‘cutting out carbs’…

Just FYI, if ever you say this to me and are met with a look of REALLY I just want you to know that.. that’s exactly what I am thinking and it is taking every bit of will power not to actually scream at you. I may be able to control my mouth but I most definitely cannot control my face. Sorry not sorry.

RBF; kind of a curse

As of now, the following are totally banned from ever leaving your mouth again:

  • I’m not eating carbs;
  • I’m only eating 500 calories today;
  • I’m not eating anything today (there are exceptions to this one but we wont get into that today)
  • I’m cutting out (insert food group) so that I loose weight;

etc. etc. – you get the point.

Now, I am not a nutritional guru, in fact my diet is often rather shambolic; but I know it is terrible and I know why which is the crucial element.

This post here is probably the most nutritional as we are going to get on Contour Allure. I’m not a lover of cooking or experimenting with food and in fact I am probably one of the fussiest eaters you will ever come across. Bring on the days where I can hire a personal chef to make my coco pops for me #Living!

 

Cereal Chef

The Basics…

Lets start at the very beginning..I’m told its a very good place to start..

Before you even open your eyes and get out of bed in a morning, your magical little bod is already burning calories for you; you know making sure your heart continues to beat and you continue to breathe and stuff. The amount of calories your body needs to perform these fairly neccessary functions is known as BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) – whatever this number is, your calorie intake needs to exceed it.

The moment you open your eyes, lift an arm, sit up, speak, basically ANY extra movement – the calorific expenditure of the body increases. The amount of calories burned each day through physical activity plus your BMR gives you your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) and this is where it gets interesting.

(The key to working this out if a tad further down.. keep reading)

Knowing your TDEE will allow you to set appropriate number to your goals, whether it be:
  • weight loss (decrease calories);
  • maintenance (same calories); or
  • weight gain (increase calories).
Amazing – you have worked out that you can eat 1,800 calories per day and a McDonalds is only 1,000.  This means McDonald’s everyday and still on the way to abs!
Unfortunately, not…
Sorry to pee on your chips but that’s not how it works – that would be like having your cake and eating it!
Calories are made up of macro-nutrients:
macronutrient
makrəʊˈnjuːtrɪənt
noun BIOLOGY
noun: macronutrient;
1. a type of food (e.g. fat, protein, carbohydrate) required in large amounts in the diet.

 

Fats, Carb’s and Protein – it is these numbers that you should pay the most attention too. Whatever the breakdown of macro’s, try to hit this each day and you will be sure to start moving towards your goals.

The body has a need for each different macro therefore, cutting one out altogether is not neccessarily the recipe for success. For example, many people are surprised to hear that fat burns fat, although we do mean the kind from nuts and avocado’s etc. natural fats not the fats found in take away food.

Hit your macro count with as much natural, organic and colourful food as you can rather than yellowy brown, mushy, greasy ‘food’. Well, if you want gain real muscle rather than McDonalds muscle anyway.
How to calculate your daily intake..
Sounds like a whole lot of calculations and no clue where to start doesn’t it. Its simple just follow this calculation:
take your weight, your height, your age and your activity level and insert them into this calculator!
Almost had you going there didn’t I! Absolutley no way am I going to turn this into a maths lesson though, I suck at maths for a start. Thankfully, there are plenty of geniuses out there who have ever so kindly created calculators to do it for us. How lovely.
Of course, there are so many online calculators available to use for free. My favorite has to be the one I have linked above from Katy Hearn. It allows you to customise pretty much everything right down to how many meals you have a day and what the macro-content of each meal would evenly break down to be. Go have a play around and figure out your caculations.
How to keep track..
Aaaand now comes the hard part. Sticking to your numbers. This is going to involve weighing your food to make sure you are eating only one portion (Lord knows my cereal bowl is a good 3 portions but I’ma roll with it for a little while longer) and then recording amounts so you can keep track.
Thank goodness we are in 2017 and “there’s an app for that“.
‘My Fitness Pal’ is literally the God of all food diaries.  It’s free, available on apple and android, allows you to track calories, macros, water and fitness but the best feature has to be the ability to scan barcodes on foodpackets and have the nutritional information at your finger tips, ready to record that meal.
See, no need for strict diets, absolutely no need to make carb’s the enemy. Just be concious of the food choices and track everything, then at least if you have a day of not so healthy eating you aren’t making it worse by over eating.
This way of eating/dieting is called If It Fits Your Macro’s (IIFYM) and in my opinion, is the most sustainable and healthy method of ‘dieting’.
Hope this helps. Happy eating and happy tracking!
Enjoy the foods
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