A quick word on nutrition…
One of the most important things to understand about nutrition is that there are no “good” or “bad” foods on their own. Only more nutritious foods and less nutritious foods.
Everything requires context. No food can make you gain body fat alone. You MUST be eating and drinking more calories than your body uses to gain body fat.
This is great news, because it means that we can include foods that we enjoy within our diet guilt-free. What matters is how much we eat of them.
This isn’t to say WHAT we eat isn’t important. It is.
We want the nutrients and fibre that come from nutritious foods as they make us feel good, give us energy and make us less likely to get ill. Nutritious foods also tend to give us a lot of food for a lower amount of calories and make us feel fuller, thus making it harder to over eat on them.
But we are also human, and enjoying treats is and can be a regular part of life, and it’s important that we include these things in our diet regularly. This is not only for enjoyment, but also because if we try and restrict ourselves then we often end up in a binge-restrict cycle which is worse for us.
Here, we strive for balance.
A good way of thinking about it is to try and aim for 80% nutritious foods, and then 20% for the rest.
This makes it very easy for us to create nutrious meals that are not only physically filling (via food volume) but also satisfying, and both of these are important to make sure we don’t feel deprived and end up snacking.
Calorie & protein target
I have set you an individual calorie and protein target based on your energy needs and goals. This is a starting point from which we will monitor and adapt as required.
Protein is minimum daily target & calories are a maximum weekly target.
Focusing on calories and protein simplifies nutrition and stops you putting time and effort into variables what simply don’t matter.
The reason you have no carbohydrate or fat target is because I want them to change daily. I want you to have a varied and flexible diet. Setting carb and fat targets makes all 3 targets really hard to hit within calories and reduces the flexibiltiy you have in your diet.
Focusing on calories and protein will not only get you the body composition results you want but you will be able to enjoy your favourite foods, have a glass or wine or gin and go out for social meals.
I also want you to get at least 5x servings of fruit and veg per day.
This is how you achieve and maintain long term results.
- Average weekly calories
- Daily protein target (this is a minimum)
- 5 fruit & veg a day (this is a minimum)
- Good sources of fat e.g. oily fish, olive oil (this is a minimum)
- Stay within 20% of calorie target – this avoids binge/restrict cycle
- Diet flexibility! – if you want to save calories for a social meal or 2 on the weekend then drop your calories during the week, if you end up going out for unexpected drinks then lower your calories slightly over the next few days. Your body fat stores are dictated by your energy balance over time. Not one day or one meal.
- If you do the above, then do not overly restrict. This is unnecessary and is why people get stuck in the binge/restrict cycle. You have not done the damage you think you have!