Posted on May 27, 2020 by Jenny Cromack
Why do we eat? We eat to fuel of course! Without food, our body can not produce an adequate amount of energy to reach the demands of the body and the body’s functions. But, if you asked most people why they eat they would probably also list reasons such as ‘to socialise’, ‘because I enjoy eating’, etc. The aim of this blog is to look at the basics of nutrition so that when you are eating for ‘fuel’ you know what you should be eating for optimum energy levels. But first, let’s look at why you need to fuel…
Energy, and therefore fuel (aka food),doesn’t always have to be for exercise. We require energy for many things we take for granted such as bodily processes such as digesting food, restoration of tissue whether that be hair, nails or skin or simply sitting and watching TV.
Energy demands depend on two things – your total daily activity and your overall goal.
If you are more sedentary (less active) then, naturally, your energy demand will be lower than someone who is more active and you will require less food (fuel). Alternatively, you may previously have had an active job and now have a desk based job, therefore your energy demands will now be lower. Ideally need to adjust your food intake to match this otherwise over time you will gain weight. If you do lots of exercise you’ll need more fuel for the energy demands of the exercise. If you’re looking to shift some fat then your energy intake will need to reflect this too. . Depending on your goal (gain mass, lose body fat or maintain) this will dictate your nutritional intake, whether you should be eating more, less or just stick with what you are doing! It’s essential that the food you eat matches your goals and amount of activity within your working and day to day life
Now enough of the boring and complicated stuff, what do you need to eat? That’s what you are reading this for right!? Well, let’s break it down into 4 key areas of the basics of nutrition.
The Basics of Nutrition
1.FRUIT & VEG
Make sure you are eating a variety of vegetables and fruit! No matter what your goal is, this should always be top priority! By having a mix of vegetables and fruit you are supplying your body with the nutrients and vitamins it requires for everyday functioning! They really do make us grow big and strong!
Try and reach a daily protein goal! Even if your goal isn’t to build muscle each individual should hit an adequate amount of protein each day! Protein is essential for muscle recovery and repair, so if you exercise it is essential that you are getting sufficient protein in your diet. Ideally you should be aiming for 0.8g – 1.2g /kg of body weight per day!
Make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day. Adequate levels of hydration are not only essential for the body to function correctly but also help us to work, and train, at optimal levels.
4. TO CARB OR NOT TO CARB?!
To put it bluntly… both fat and carbohydrates are used for the production of energy so for a ‘lifestyle’ approach it’s best to consume both food sources in your diet! There really is no, ‘one is better than the other!’ However if you have specific training goals then you may choose to adapt your diet to reflect this, so if you prefer to eat carbohydrates or more fats then that’s totally up to you!
By applying these 4 tips in your daily routine you are guaranteed to become a healthier you! Remember, each person is unique and has an individual requirement, nutrition is never a one size fits all.