Image credit: Alexandra Cooks
Sorry it has been so long for the third and final installment of my health and fitness series. But finally, we're up to the biggest and most time consuming part - nutrition. This is where people think they can just eat well for a few months, restrict calories excessively (I'm talking about eating 400 calories and burning 500 so they think they're in a 'deficit' when their body is already burning 1600cal, meaning they're over 2100 calories in deficit = your body's reaction "HOLY SHIT I'M STARVING AND NEVER GOING TO SURVIVE THIS APOCALYPSE!"
I've seen this many times on many blogs - tumblrs mostly, who claim they are 'healthy' but really they're 'thinspo/annorexic'. This is not a good way to go. Food is your friend. Food is yummy, it's makes your body run well, and it makes your hormones work for you. I always say - you can't get fat by not loving food, but you can't get thin by not loving food either. It's about what kinds of food you love and registering how those foods make you feel after - are you bloated after that bowl of pasta? Perhaps have half the amount next time, or try gluten free.
As I have excessively said in my previous two posts (1, 2) it is all about calories in versus calories out. If you eat more calories than your body has burned in a day, you will, eventually gain weight. Even 100 calories over per day equals a gain of 4.7kg or 10.4lb.
Portion sizes play a large part in us not being able to track our calories correctly - this is why it is important to invest in some small kitchen scales, and some measuring cups and spoons. I use mine every single day. Also try to track your calorie intake and expenditure on a site like Calorie Count or MyFitnessPal.
I've taken to browsing Pinterest for some more interesting healthy meal ideas, like above - yum!
Here are some tips for when you're out doing the grocery shopping:
- Shop the perimeter of the shop - this is where the freshest ingredients will be, they will also be natural. Fruit, Vegetables, Cheese, Yoghurt, Meat, fresh bread.
- Make a list of things you actually need - I've actually taken to online grocery shopping, as it dissuades me from making impulse purchases of chocolate.
- Go shopping on a full stomach - you're less likely to make impulse purchases like above.
- If you have children, under no circumstances, buy them something that you wouldn't eat yourself - or, should I say - that you think is not natural and made from whole foods. This is bad bad bad.
- Make everything from scratch - it's actually fun, and quite rewarding being able to cook from scratch and have something to show for it.
I always try to plan ahead what I'm going to cook for the week. I know I always have the same breakfast: muesli (1/2c - 200cal), greek yoghurt (100g - 90cal), fresh blueberries (15cal) and canned peaches (40 cal) = 345cal breakfast!
Lunch is the meal I usually get sick of and want to shake things up. I've been making Tuna/falafel burgers, and Crustless quiche lately.
For dinner I have a few options up my sleeve - risotto, chicken/mince tomato sauce thingy, stir fry is easy, zucchini fritters, pasta with olive oil and Parmesan (quick and easy favourite), beef casserole. It's about finding what you can do quick, easily and playing with flavours to figure out what works for you. Once you cook these things, you tend to use them over again, and know how many calories are in each.