At my personal training studio in London, the routine when a new client walks through the door goes a little something like this…..
We discuss their goals, their injury history, their current exercise regime and inevitably we move to the subject of diet. It’s at this point that one of these phrases usually comes out “I think I eat pretty healthily” or “I think my diet is good”.
This is the exact point at which I am enlightened as to what the main problem is, because what most people think of as an ‘ok’ or “fairly good’ diet is about as far away from what should be happening as you can get. Now, is this mismatch because of a lack of good information out there, or are we simply kidding ourselves that we are doing ok – simply because we want to believe it?
So, today I’m going to run through a few things that will get you in trouble when it comes to your diet – and help you set up a sustainable, nutritionally wholesome diet that WILL get you results.
“Not Writing it Down”
It’s easy to ‘forget’ the chocolate you have with your coffee every morning; the handful of nuts or cereal you have when you’re hungry and snacking before dinner – or the sneaky donut you grabbed for someones birthday at work. Keep a log of your food using MyFitnessPal or even an old fashioned pen and paper. Then see for yourself in black and white how many treats you had by the end of the week. Here’s a guideline for you – for every 20 healthy meals or snacks you have, you should only have one bad one. A ratio of 20:1. Now tell me, are you anywhere close to that number?
Most of us know by now that the sandwich from Pret is probably not the best pick of the bunch for lunch. But what about all these other places in the City that claim to be healthy. Pod, Vital Ingredients, Eat? Ever go into one of these so called ‘health food shops’ to buy a lunch and come away with a brownie in your hand as well? Hmmm, not so healthy any more.
The second problem is this – they are under no obligation to get the breakdown of the nutrients in their food correct – so that calories, carbs and fats could be more than 40% off their true values. That is a recipe for disaster when you’re working off a daily calorie deficit of around 200 to lose fat.
You HAVE to know what goes into the food you eat. Pack your own lunch – hell even leftover dinner is good enough! Don’t rely on shop bought varieties that are stuffed to the brim with salt, additives and fat. Pick a lean protein like turkey, pick at least two vegetables and a small (fist sized) portion of wholegrain carb like quinoa if you wish and make that the basis of your lunch.
Thinking That You Were Good During the Week so You Can Treat Yourself at the Weekend
Sorry folks, there is no such thing as a day off your diet. You can – and will stuff up a whole week of good work if you let it go at the weekend; a few glasses of wine, a pizza and a post night out bar of chocolate or loaf of bread….that’s your weeks results. Gone. So, I’m not the fun police, and I am not saying you can never let your hair down and have a good time! But you need to make trades – or sacrifices. Want the glasses of wine? Forgo your carbs in your evening meal (your body burns through alcohol in a similar way to carbs) Keep to salads and veggies and lean protein, then balance is restored! Know you’re going out for a nice dinner one evening? Have desert, but make sure you hit the gym that morning.
So, those are my tips for a healthier City life…..try them out and see the difference for yourself!
Becs Cronshaw – Look out for more articles on training, nutrition and how to transform your body over the next few months. If you would like to ask specific questions, feel free to email me at [email protected] or visit our website www.salecca.co.uk where you can register for our blog.