Food is fuel

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Written By Suzan

The beginning of a new year holds a strong symbolic power, that’s why I believe it is a perfect opportunity for those seeking positive change. The transition can be less challenging than most people expect it to be. And I will tell you why.

You need to realise that to really get better, you will have to make a change in 3 segments of your life. Your mentality, your nutrition and your physical activity. The first step is to be aware of yourself. Why are you in this situation and where you really want to be. How can you realistically achieve that? Change your mentality about it. I already wrote about this first step in previous blogpost. 

First step

Make a clear, reasonable plan that you know you can execute. Don’t go 0 to 100. Start small. As I said before – If you are someone that was completely inactive up until now and is just trying to lose weight, you don’t even need to start working out yet. Start with changes in your nutrition first and you will see how much your body can change only with figuring out how to fuel your body properly.

Second step

Change your approach to nutrition – it is around 80% of success on this journey, while training contributes the last 20%. With nutrition it is vital to go slow. Think about what you eat and why. If you didn’t care about food before and were “eating everything”, first think about which food really fuels your body and which food is just for your own comfort and pleasure. Start slow. Try to remove one snack you are eating for comfort or at least change it with more nutritious and less calorie dense snack like fresh fruit. Then remove another snack after a week or two, after that remove extra mayo on your food and so on. Slowly – step by step, so you can get used to and it becomes a new habit. Just don’t go directly into extreme diets because you will feel miserable and probably quit after a few weeks and go back to where you were before.

Focus on protein

Small changes like eating grilled food instead of friend, low fat milk and yoghurt instead of full fat will help you remove unnecessary fat from your meals and reduce your daily caloric intake. After a few weeks you will start seeing changes in your body composition. Then you can start thinking about how to add more protein into your diet. Enough protein in your diet will give your body the nutrition it needs the most for recomposition. Protein is the main source of amino acids which are “building blocks” your body uses to build and repair muscles and bones. It is also important for your skin, nails, hair and your hormones. More protein in your meal will also make you feel fuller for longer. Keep in mind you are building these habits for life so they need to be sustainable for you and your lifestyle.

Positive impact of food

You must understand that if you want to feel better and be better you must control what you consume. What you put in your body affects what you will get out. If you eat food that is high in calories and low in nutrients your body will need more energy for digestion so you will feel more tired and have less energy, this will affect your productivity, your mood and your sleep so you will also have less desire to be active and move your body. On the other hand if you eat food that is rich in nutrients and give your body the right fuel you will feel better and have more energy which will also affect your overall mood. You will also be more productive and will want to do something with that extra energy – be active and move more and then also sleep better. 

I hope with this short explanation you can understand the importance of nutrition for your body and how much it can affect your mood and your daily decisions. It is a virtuous circle. Put in the good stuff and the outcome will be good.

I know this is new for many of you, so to understand more about calories in different food and meals go follow: Graeme Tomlinson, and for the best basic nutrition explanations and advices follow Alan Aragon.

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