There is an abundance of knowledge available regarding what we should be eating nowadays, there are more food programmes, more restaurants and more awareness about the benefits of healthy eating than ever before yet obesity continues to rise and it is expected that 50% of the population will be obese by 2050. Why with such education available does obesity continue to rise?
I believe that there is too much information and too many options available for people that they do not make a decision on what they should be eating and continue to make poor choices resulting in poor results. This article aims to keep things simple, I will explain what food you should have on your plate and how the portions on your plate can change depending on what you are doing each day. I believe that education on nutrition is the most important factor when it comes to weight loss and with just a few simple steps you can take control of your eating and get the results you want.
I am going to explain food using 3 simple terms that I first heard from (former Head of sports Science, Nick Broad at Chelsea FC) I have successfully used these terms to explain nutrition to athletes ever since. The 3 simple steps to creating a meal are Energy foods, Protection foods and repair foods, if all your meals combine these 3 types of food then you will be on your way to excellent eating. Below is a list of the basic types of food in each section and a rough template of what your plate should look like.
Energy foods- (Carbohydrates). These foods supply to body with energy and are essential for the brain. The quantity of energy foods will depend on the physical activity that you do each day. IF you are doing a lot of physical activity then you may require more energy foods, if you are not then you don’t. (This is where many people go wrong, they eat energy foods and do not do any activity or they do some activity and over eat energy foods)
Protection foods -(Fruit and Veg)- These foods contain high volumes of vitamins and minerals, they help the body to function at its optimal level and help protect us from infection. Every meal should contain a plentiful supply of protection foods.
Repair foods- (Meat)- These foods are essential for our muscles, hair, skin. Again the more repair that is required the more repair foods you should eat (to a limit). If you are completing a high volume of training especially weight training, high intensity training, Plyometrics then you may need to eat more repair foods.
Using the terms energy, protection and repair foods keeps creating a meal very simple, you know what each item on your plate is doing and can adapt the quantities around your daily activities. It surprises me that many people eat foods and have no idea what is in them or what they are doing in your body. Just like your car is built to run with specific fuels and oils to run efficiently, your body is built to run on certain foods and if you eat foods that are optimal for energy, repair and protection you will start to function to your full capacity.
See the portion size guide and food guide below and start to try to produce a meal plan following these simple steps yourself.
As a general rule you should aim for 30% energy foods, 30% repair foods, 40% protection foods.
A simple method to do this would be to have 1 palm size of repair foods, 1 fist size of energy foods and 2 fist sizes of protection foods.
Protection Food- Fruit and Veg
Energy Food- Fruit, potato and sweet potato
Repair Food- white meat, red meat, fish, tofu
Try to create meals from these simple steps adding flavours that you enjoy or check out the facebook page and post the meals that you have made
If you would like a sample food plan then comment in the box below and send me a message and I’d be happy to send you an example. For a personalised plan specific to you please contact me about nutrition coaching and planning.