Professional Nutritional Advice
All of our personal trainers nationwide are qualified in giving nutritional advice, they are second to none when writing up bespoke weekly nutrition plans for their clients. You as a client would be asked to monitor what you consume (food and drink) on a day to day basis. Psychologically this will help you stay on track with what you are putting into your body and also helping you stick to the nutrition plan put into place. Your trainer will be monitoring this very closely with you and advising you on what you are doing right and wrong. He/she will support you every step of the way. Below are some tips just to get you started.
Why Eat Healthily?
All the energy your body needs for making your heartbeat, breathing, digesting, moving, growing, repairing, and all other processes of life, is supplied by what you eat and drink. Not only does food and drink provide you with energy, it also contains all of the essential nutrients your body demands.
What you eat has a great impact on your health. There is plenty of evidence to show that eating a healthy diet can reduce your risk of illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, as well as several forms of cancer.
As you only have one body it is essential you take care of it.
Which Foods Should We Eat?
Like everything in life, healthy eating is about balance. We cannot gain all the necessary nutrients we need from one food group, and it is therefore necessary to ensure variety in our diets.
Fruit and Vegetables
A large proportion of our diet should be made up of fruit and vegetables. It is recommended that everybody should eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. This is because scientific studies have shown that people who eat a lot of fruit and vegetables may have a lower risk of getting illnesses, such as heart disease and some cancers. It doesn’t matter whether your portions of fruit and vegetables are fresh, tinned, frozen, cooked, juiced or dried. Although five portions may appear a lot, the target is easily achievable when you consider the great array of fruits and vegetables available. If you have a glass of juice and a sliced banana with you breakfast cereal you have already eaten two portions of your fruit and vegetables for the day.
Foods Rich in Protein
For a stable diet some foods rich in protein are also essential. These include meat, fish, eggs and pulses. It is recommended that we all try and eat two portions of fish a week, including one portion of oily fish. This is because fish is not only a form of protein, it is also packed full of essential vitamins and minerals. The omega 3 fatty acids present in oily fish have been shown to prevent heart disease, and are an excellent source of vitamins A and D.
Which Foods Should We Avoid?
According to the Foods Standards Agency, every day in the UK 85% men and 69% women eat too much salt. We do need some salt in our diet, but adults are advised to have no more than 6g a day. Too much salt can lead to a rise in your blood pressure, which leads to an increase in your chances of developing heart disease or having a stroke. Many of us could easily be eating too much salt without realising it, as salt is already in many of the products we buy. Many processed foods, from breakfast cereals to pasta sauces, already contain large quantities of salt. Therefore, it is important to check the label to find out the figure for salt per 100g. If per 100g there is more than 1.5g salt (or 0.6g sodium), then the salt levels are high. If it is less than 0.3g salt (or 0.1g sodium) per 100g, then the product contains a low level of salt. If the amount of salt per 100g is in between these figures, then that is a medium level of salt.
Having too much fat in our diet is also undesirable. It’s important to have some fat in our diet because fat helps the body absorb some vitamins, it is a good source of energy, and provides us with essential fatty acids that the body can’t make itself. However, an excess of fat in our diet leads to an excess of energy. If we do not burn up this energy we are likely to put on weight.
Alike to salt, there is often more sugar in our diets than we may realise. It is therefore worthwhile checking the list of ingredients on the foods you buy. Food and drinks containing added sugars contain calories but few other nutrients, so we should try to eat these foods only occasionally. Sugars occur naturally in food such as fruit and milk, but we don’t need to cut down on these types of sugars. It is food containing added sugars that we should be cutting down on. One of the major disadvantages to eating too many sugary foods is that it can cause tooth decay.
What Else Can We Do To Improve Our Health?
Drink Plenty of Water
Water makes up about two-thirds of our body weight. It is important for this to be maintained because most of the chemical reactions that happen in our cells need water. We also need water for our blood to be able to carry nutrients around the body. In climates such as the UK it is recommended that we should drink approximately 1.2 litres (6 to 8 glasses) of fluid every day to prevent us becoming dehydrated.
Drink Alcohol in Moderation
The Department of health recommends that men should not drink more than three to four units of alcohol per day, while women should not drink over two or three units per day. Alcoholic drinks supply calories but very few nutrients.
It is recommended we exercise for about 30 minutes most days of the week. Exercising is not only good for your body, it is good for your mental state too. Regular exercise helps you manage your weight, prevent and manage diabetes, keep bones and muscles strong, strengthen your cardiovascular and respiratory system, reduce your risk of certain types of cancer, as well as ease depression, help you manage stress, and help you sleep better.
With so many benefits to your health, eating well and exercising is an essential part of life.