6 ways to stay on track with your nutrition to achieve your goals!

Spring is upon us, and chances are you or someone you know are trying to shed a few extra kilos to get in shape for summer. There are so many different approaches to eating when it comes to losing weight. You can speak to 10 different people, and they will all swear by a different approach.

It can be quite overwhelming when deciding which eating approach is best for you. But, at the end of the day, the way of eating that is best for you comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer to still have some carbs in their diet, whilst others are okay with consuming a diet higher in fats. As long as you are eating less than what your body needs to maintain your current body weight (combined with regular physical exercise), you will begin to see a difference on the scales.

Some of the most common eating approaches include:

–       Low carbohydrate: reducing the amount of carbohydrates you eat

–       No carbohydrate: Cutting out carbohydrates altogether

–       Keto/Atkins: High fat, moderate protein and minimal carbohydrates

–       Paleo: Eating mostly meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit; excluding dairy and cereal products, and processed food

–       Mediterranean: High consumption of vegetables and olive oil, and moderate consumption of protein

–       5/2: Intermittent fasting – five days of the week are normal eating days, while the other two restrict calories to 500–600 per day

–       Flexible eating: As long as your calorie count fits in within a breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and protein you can eat whatever you like

Restricting calories is fine, but what many people don’t realise is that a calorie isn’t a calorie. Calories can be in the form of protein, fat and carbohydrate. Food is made up of a mixture of the three, and vary depending on the food type. Meats and legumes are higher in protein, grains and potatoes are higher in carbohydrates, whist nuts, avocadoes and oils are high in fat.

Each eating approach will take a slightly different angle to how you balance out your calorie intake with protein, fat and carbohydrates. Most likely they will adjust the amount of fats or carbohydrates that you eat. As indicated above, some will restrict more carbohydrates, whilst others will skew further towards restricting more fats.

Remember, as long as you are consuming less calories than your maintenance requirements, you will begin to lose weight.

There are however some universal truths that everyone can adhere to, regardless of their eating approach, that will allow you to avoid undoing all the hard work you have put in. Generally, after the second week is when people start to waver and tread the fine line of falling off the bandwagon. Here are some tips, regardless of eating approach, that will help you stay strong.

Restrict cautiously

Don’t cut out, or reduce everything at the beginning. Be it dairy, sugar, carbohydrates. Changing your approach to eating needs to be a long-term commitment. Gradually restrict certain foods, depending on what eating approach you are following. This will help reduce cravings and develop better new long-term eating habits.


Keep variety


Life is pretty boring doing the same thing over and over, and eating is just the same. Even Popeye would become bored of eating just spinach after a while. Keep a mixture of foods in your diet, regardless of which food type they come from – carbohydrate, fat or protein. There are plenty of different tasty sources out there for each, so give them a go.


Avoid processed sh!t


If your grandmother wouldn’t recognize it, don’t eat it. They key is to eat foods that are as close to their original state as possible – fruits and vegetables, cuts of meat, nuts, etc. The more processed the food = more additives, preservative and are less beneficial for you. Eating real food has higher amounts of nutrition, essential vitamins and minerals and fibre.


Reward yourself


All work and no play isn’t sustainable. Now, we aren’t saying that you can give yourself a reward every day of the week. But once a week is fine. There might be something that is a real weakness for you that you crave, or a social engagement you have where there will be temptation. Factor these into your weekly eating plan, allowing yourself to have these special moments. Just don’t let them become more and more frequent.


Fibre is king


One of the biggest mistakes people make when they start a new approach to eating is that they restrict what they eat so much that they get hungry ravenous between meals. Whatever approach to eating you take, you shouldn’t get to this point. If this is the case you need to revisit what you are eating. Incorporating foods high in fibre into your diet will help you feeling full for longer. This well curve the hangry episodes between meals. Plus, adding plenty of fibre to your meals will keep your digestive processes functioning optimally.


Keep the protein up

One commonality between all approaches to eating is that they will be high in protein. Why? Protein is the godfather when it comes to building and maintaining muscle, burning calories and reducing excess fat stores. How? Muscle is protein, so by having a diet high in protein will ensure that you maintain what muscle mass you have. It takes a high amount of energy to digest protein, meaning that your body will burn more calories digesting it. And, finally, protein helps to keep you feeling full (along with fibre), and maintains cognitive function- a clear head and focus. The last thing you want when trying to lose weight is to have a foggy head leading to poor decisions and breaking your discipline.

Following these points regardless of what approach to eating you are following will help you to stay on track and more likely to achieve your weight loss goals. If you are confused about what approach to eating is best for you or how to tackle your calories, don’t hesitate to contact InnerFit, or speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable Coaches. The team can customize an eating plan to suit you and your goals.

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Scott Henry

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