How to have your cake and eat it!
Nutrition fascinates me. I’m a food geek and constantly want to learn more on this topic but it can be very confusing. There are so many articles written on this subject that contradict each other and claims are frequently being published which lack adequate research. One minute we are told that saturated fat is bad for us and then we are told that it is not. More recently, sugar has been labeled as The Devil but is it? Does fat make you fat? Can hot lemon water in the morning really speed up your metabolism? Then there are the latest so-called superfoods and diet trends. No wonder so many of us get it wrong. So I’d like you to humor me and pretend that you have amnesia for the rest of this blog. Forget all the stuff you’ve read, or been told and lets follow in John Majors footsteps and go back-to-basics…
I keep barking on about ‘sustainability’ but if you would like to fuel your body with good stuff and feel flippin’ awesome then your diet needs to be sustainable. So eat 80% of good, whole, unprocessed food every day and then enjoy 20% less than optimal food. Guilt-free!!! I cannot survive life without cake so I enjoy a slice most mornings with my coffee. If I deprived myself of this sweet treat then those cravings would kick-in and it would probably all go horribly wrong! Lets do the math’s. I need 2,000 calories every day to maintain my current weight. That means I can enjoy 400 calories a day in a cake feast should I choose to do so. During the weekend I might abstain from cake and save my 400 calories for wine indulgence. That’s three small glasses in one sitting. Enough to see me dancing on tables!!! (Saturday night flashbacks). Joking aside, this approach to eating is genuinely easy to implement and I don’t feel like I am restricting myself in any way. Enough said.
Secondly, make sure you eat protein at every meal. I’m talking about meat, fish, poultry, seafood, eggs and nuts. Us UK folk are carb junkies. Toast and cereals for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and pasta or rice for dinner. Carbs, carbs and more carbs. Don’t get me wrong, carbs are not bad for you. I repeat, carbohydrates ARE NOT bad for you but protein provides us with amino acids, the building blocks of our bodies and we NEED them to function. Protein takes quite a long time and a bit of extra effort to break down so is therefore very satiating not to mention the fact that we burn quite a lot of calories during this digestion process. A win, win!! Instead, think eggs and fish for breakfast, soup for lunch and casserole for dinner. The options are endless. Get creative and think outside the box!
Thirdly, GET AMPLE SLEEP!!! Please do not skip this paragraph. I cannot emphasize just how important this is to our health and well-being. Go to bed earlier. This is when our bodies get their regular service. How amazing do you feel when you’ve had optimal sleep? Inadequate sleep and lethargy will inevitably lead us to reach for the coffee and make poor food choices. Probably in the name of carbohydrates. Calorie-dense carbohydrates at that. We should be consuming small amounts of caffeine for pleasure (or in my case, in an attempt to improve exercise performance) and not be relying on it for our survival!
Finally throw in a ton of veggies and some fruit every day for your daily dose of vitamins, minerals and fiber and you’re on to a winner. It really isn’t rocket science. Forget all the overcomplicated claims and stop looking for a magic answer to good health. Choose whole foods, eat your greens, sleep well and enjoy cake!