There's an underlying problem when trying to identify the best diet or eating habits for health and weight loss. Understand this principle first and sorting out your nutrition and health will be a lot easier to clarify:
***We're All Different***
Unlike cars, our body's respond differently to different macronutrients, timing, sleep patterns, digestion and absorption, exercise and stress. Just think, a 20 year old Kenyan marathon runner and a 40 year old mother of two will not respond the same to the same diet. We're all different. Some brands use these differences to sell extreme diets, claiming any of the following diets will suit you best:
How to Take an Individual Approach to Healthy Eating
Without the luxury of blood tests including intolerances and hormonal testing, these are the focal points for identifying your best eating habits. Use these are you basic guideline of steps to take, in order of importance, so you know where to start:
1. Identify and Eliminate any Food Intolerances.
It doesn't matter what you're eating, how much or little, or at what time of day; if you're gut is struggling to digest food properly you are causing tremendous stress on your body. Bloating, IBS, and other digestive problems are the most obvious symptom, and until this is fixed, you will really struggle to lose weight and maintain your health since your gut is so vital to our overall health and immune system.
The most common culprits found here ;)
Identify and eliminate all irritable foods and proceed to Step 2.
2. Quality of Food:
Notice this is the second most important. It is very common to be intolerant to foods which contain good quality benefits to your body, eg dairy can be good for calcium; but if you're intolerant to it then you are toxifying your body and you WILL NOT absorb these nutrients efficiently! eg if you're intolerant to milk, get your calcium from another source, preferably a non dairy source to be safe.
One mans meat is another mans poison... We're all different.
Caution: Those sensitive to dairy, most protein bars and powders are made from whey, which is a milk protein... Avoid at all cost!
This step involves building a nutrient dense diet which avoids all your intolerances. The easiest way to keep your mineral and vitamin count upis to ensure your diet consists a daily serve of all SEVEN different coloured fruits or vegetables (each colour offers different phytonutrients so should give you a healthy balance of everything you need ;))
3. Macronutrient Ratios:
Our modern traditional diets tend to be high in carbs, particularly sugar because it preserves food (longer shelf life), improves the taste, and is very cheap - a food manufacturers dream! Most people operate best on a a 50/50 split, that is, 50% of their food coming from carbs and the remaining an equal combination of 25% protein and fat each.
BUT re - read the Overview at the top, we're all different. Some people operate best on high protein (eg Atkins style diet), some on high carbs. Play around with breakfast in particular and see which one makes you feel satisfied but not sluggish. Cognitive function and digestion are the best indicators.
4. Calorie Check:
Few people tend to over eat once their macronutrient count is right for them, however it's still an easy check. Do a basic calorie count (using an app is easiest) and make sure no hidden sugar has crept in to your diet. Also check that you're eating throughout the day, not going hungry, no coffee cravings (stimulant), and have a good breakfast to help your metabolism fire.
5. Sleep and Stress:
If your digestion is fine (no bloating etc) and you've played around with different ratios, even tried some more extreme protein only breakfasts, but still struggling with your weight or health, it may be sleep or stress related. These two issues greatly impact hormone levels - women more so than men (go testosterone!).
6. Seek A Practitioner:
The above 5 Steps are quite simple, and can usually be done over 2 - 4 weeks successfully. If you are still feeling a little down, there's something going on and further tests would be more beneficial than continuing an elimination game.
Blood tests will show hormone levels, liver function, inflammation etc which all stress your body.
Food Intolerance Tests will test you against 100 - 220 different foods, additives etc
Naturopath can help with all of the above.
Meal Plan Examples
The below meal plans try to avoid the most common intolerances, and are based around 1300 - 1500 calories per day. This is what I'd recommend a good place to start, maybe eliminate a snack on non training days if you're not hungry (bringing your daily count closer to 1200 cals).
Try a couple of days of both and see which works best for you.
This is general information only. Medical advice should be sought before participating in any new diet or exercise regime. No responsibility is taken by Bounce Fitness or its staff.