Nutrition is key when it comes to achieving your health, body and fitness goals. Making sure that your nutrition plan reflects the goals that you are looking to achieve is vital for success.
Follow my five steps to creating the ideal plan for you.
Step 1: Set your goals
Do you want to lose weight? Gain muscle? Run a marathon? Compete in a new sport? Improve your performance? Once you’ve decided on your goal, you can start to build you nutrition plan to reflect them. For example, if you want to lose weight, you know that the first element to creating your plan is to make sure that you’re in a calorie deficit – which can come from both food and exercise. If you want to gain weight then you’ll need to be eating more. Improving performance or getting the right nutrition for a particular sport can be trickier, the macronutrient balance needs to be accurate for the best results – in this case, it’s best to speak to a professional.
Step 2: Make it tasty
If you don’t like cabbage, then don’t base your food plan around it! You won’t stick to it because you won’t enjoy swallowing down foods you can’t stand. This is one of the main reason that commercial ‘diets’ fail! In truth, there are a lot of different whole and healthy foods available that will help you stay on track – find what you like and incorporate that into your plan.
Step 3: Assess your activity levels
Your daily activity levels will also play a part in dictating your caloric and macronutrient needs. Essentially, the more active you are, the more flexibility you’ll have with your nutrition plan. However, studies have been done that show what you eat is just as (if not more!) important as how much you eat. If you want to get the most out of your training programme this needs to be factored into what you are fuelling yourself with.
Step 4: Keep it real
Instead of opting for ‘diet’ foods loaded with chemicals and additives that can affect you hormonally, cause headaches and low moods or have links with more serious long term illness, opt for fresh, whole, ‘clean’ and unprocessed foods where possible. If you can support your body nutritionally from the inside, you’ll get better results on the outside.
Step 5: If at first you don’t succeed…
Try again! Your nutritional plan will have an element of trial and error. Everyone will react differently to different foods, macro and micronutrients. Everyone’s needs will be different. Give your food plan a few days to see if its making you feel great or like a bear with a sore head. If it’s the latter, tweak it and try again.