Most runners understand that discipline and consistency in following a training plan will get you to the start line in the best possible shape.
What if you applied the same rules to your nutrition? Every decision you make about what to put into your body has an impact on how you recover, perform and feel during training.
This does not mean you have to be perfect all the time, but understanding that you have control over what you feed your body and ultimately how you feel.It’s about taking responsibility and creating awareness about your diet.
The first step to improving your nutrition is to understand the basic balance of macro nutrition – carbohydrates, protein and fat – how much do you need of each on a daily basis, and how to achieve this within your meals and snacks.
The next step is micro -nutrition, this is looking at the nutrient density of your diet and include a wide variety of foods.
There are hundreds of nutrients that our body needs for optimum functioning, which can be broken down into 7 major categories – carbohydrates, fats, fibre, water, protein, vitamins and minerals. Within the mineral category alone there are 60 that are essential minerals, such as iron, copper, zinc, selenium. Within the protein category there are 9 essential amino acids, and within the Vitamins there are 16 that are essential, and we haven’t discussed fats, fibre or carbohydrates yet !
As you can see, your body is a very complex machine that requires many essential nutrients. The way you feed your body will determine how many of these nutrients you are consuming. This is where nutrient density and variety comes in.
If you eat the same breakfast and the same lunch each day (which I often see in client’s food diaries) you are limiting the amount of nutrients available.
Ideas to boost nutrient density and variety in your diet:
Deciding to take action and actively improve your diet can feel a little overwhelming at first – it’s easy to stay in your comfort zone and eat the same things day in day out. But just like your training, you need to be disciplined and consistent, and also make space to learn something new in order to progress (adaptations).
If you need some more ideas or recipes, I have 7 day meal plans available
I hope you enjoy the journey.
I am a passionate and realistic qualified nutritionist and a high-quality athlete. I love food and exercise and supporting my clients to achieve their goals and optimum performance.
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