Nutrition

Don't dig your grave with your own knife and fork

NHS figures report that levels of UK obesity nearly doubled between 1993 and 2010.  People in their 50s now (that’s me!) would’ve been in their ‘excess years’ during this period. I was 28 in 1993, 45 in 2010. The implications for the health of the nation and individuals is a serious issue as rising obesity is likely to contribute to each of the following; diabetes (type 2), high blood pressure, CHD, cancer, disability, diminished quality of life, premature death. People are digging their graves with their own knives and forks.

You can't out-train a bad diet

We know that exercise is good for us but we can’t lose body fat with exercise alone. Certainly not in a sustainable way. You can’t out-train a bad diet. Good nutrition is vital and provides a launching pad from which physical fitness and improved health can be achieved. In fact, I'd estimate my own progress is down to 50% about physical activity and 50% on nutrition. And I still eat and drink all food types, including alcohol and chocolate.  

Key goals for most people will be to reduce body fat %, whilst retaining and building muscle. Resistance training (weight training in old money) will help retain and build muscle mass, whilst increasing bone density. Cardiovascular training will improve heart function, burn calories and, when in a calorie deficit, enable you to lose weight and, if your nutritional macro-nutrient balance is correct, it will help you to specifically lose body fat and retain muscle mass.

If you don’t know how much you’re putting into your body, how do you know if you’re eating too much or not enough?  And how do you know if you’re eating too much/not enough of each of the macro-nutrient groups (carbs, proteins, fats)?

When we’re looking to lose weight (ideally from fat loss alone), we need to adjust and increase our protein intake % in order to preserve muscle and encourage our bodies to predominantly lose weight from fat loss alone. To lose weight we obviously need to be in a calorie deficit but, particularly at our age when it is vital for us to retain and build muscle, we should aim to do so at a rate of no more than 1lb per week (as recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine). Any faster rate than this will increase the likelihood of weight loss being from both muscle mass and body fat. 

   

The above method will help retain muscle tissue whilst in a calorie deficit. Most experts don’t believe that individuals can build muscle whilst in a deficit.  They believe that muscle can only be built whilst in a calorie surplus. But I have found a way to build muscle whilst in a calorie deficit. I have lost body fat and built muscle.

Faster rate weight loss and fad diets are also unsustainable. Being active and having better nutrition is a sustainable lifestyle change. It’s not just about now. It’s about 6 months, 2 years, 10 years, the rest of your life. On average, it takes around 2-3 months before a new behaviour becomes automatic. So dive in, work at it, stick with it (I will help you) and it won’t be long before you’re doing things automatically and you’ll start feeling and seeing the results.

Based on your goals (fat loss, muscle gain, tone up, maintenance and eating for optimum health) I can help with calculating calorie targets, macro-nutrient proportion setting, food and calorie tracking and general nutritional advice to help meet those goals.   

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