Last week I talked about how the body fat levels (low body fat think thin sheet, higher body fat think thick blanket) affect the definition of the body (by definition I mean visible lines or shapes of the muscles - often what people mean when they say 'toned')
Beyond aesthetics lower body fat levels mean less excess weight and so for activities like running it becomes easier, muscles don't have to work as hard to help you run at the same speed or you can run faster for the same amount of effort. Sounds great right!?
I mentioned correct training will help to shape the muscles and ensure the body is strong and has the stamina it needs, I'm not focusing on that though today, we're talking about nutrition! So how to get that thin blue sheet?
Above there are 2 pictures... the first a typical days food for myself (excluding a bit of extra veg I'd add to some of the meals, and my Dinner which I might have Salmon and green veggies, asparagus and broccoli with some soy sauce perhaps and to the right.. this is what a typical grocery shopping trip looks like.
I might add some cottage cheese and milk to that along with some fish and perhaps a few nuts. I probably eat out once or twice per week on average too, sticking with similar principles. Other than that daily Omega 3 fish oil and sometimes protein powder. I do vary my food intake depending on my training but lets keep it simple for now. Your food intake will vary depending on your weight, activity levels, muscle mass, body fat levels and a few other things (bare in mind that is the intake for an ultra runner who trains daily and is active all day)
Essentially we're looking at lean protein source (meat, fish, eggs) and a variety of veggies for each meal. The odd bit of fruit too but veggies are where it's at! The body will perform best when it has a range of vitamins and nutrients to work with, eating is a constant thing we do all our lives. All we need is right there. The body doesn't need huge doses of sugar and fat!
Ever heard someone say 'you are what you eat?' guess what!? It's true! Every part of you has been made up from food.... broken down in the body to it's components and used to rebuild cells in your body.
Eating this way will ensure balanced energy levels, nature is pretty good at watching our backs when it comes to food.
To really make a change, consistency is key. Having the occasional 'good week' wont make a lot of difference to anything, making good choices most of the time will!
Is your every day diet up to scratch? Or... to rephrase that are you in the shape you want to be in? Have you always got plenty of energy? If not.... nutrition is probably the first place you should make changes
My 3 top tips for optimum nutrition.....
1. Plan ahead... prepare your food and take it with you, you'll never need to grab something on the go that could mess your day up!
2. Natural food is best... if the ingredients list (if the food has one) has words you can't pronounce or don't know what they mean, it's probably not all that good!
3. Be consistent.... Having the occasional (ie once per week not twice per day!) meal that isn't quite perfect wont harm your results too much provided you get back on track straight away, having a weekend long binge on processed food isn't going to get you very far!