It’s January and we’re getting a host of nutrition related questions, so over the next few weeks we’re going to share some nutritional guidelines that everyone can use to support their training and help them get the most out of their time spent in the gym.
Nutrition is best done in stages. It is almost always counterproductive to try and adopt ‘the perfect’ diet, especially if you’re coming off the back of an indulgent festive period. We use our W10 Food Stages system, which is designed to help you decide where you are at now and how you can build upon this as you progress. We combine this with our Nutrition Made Simple traffic light system, which provides guidelines on which foods to eat. You can download this from our website via the link above.
The foundation of any programme and the most important thing to focus on out the outset is the focus on eating whole foods, foods from our green list. These green light foods contain lots of nutrients. A diet based on these foods cuts out processed food and eliminates the sources of most intolerance (gluten and grains, for example). In the right quanitities, these foods will give you the nutrients you need.
Don’t worry about calories
Unless you’re already some way along with your nutrition, forget calorie counting initially. Focus on getting nutrient dense foods into your system and cutting out processed, calorie dense and nutritionally devoid foods. Aim to get adequate protein (more on this later this week), a variety of vegetables, some fruit and some good fats, such as those found in nuts, butter and coconut oil. Calories are important – they do count! – but where they come from is as important the total consumed. You can get further into calorie and macronutrient counting as you move forward and you need to refine you nutrition.
Keep a diary
You’ll likely find it very useful to keep a food diary initially to see how certain foods make you feel. Becoming aware of how your body reacts to certain foods and how they make you feel is an integral part of finding the best ‘diet’ for you. One size does not fit all, we are all different and have different requirements and you need to get in tune with what works for you.