Know the basics.

In order for our bodies to function properly and stay healthy, it is important that we follow a good nutritious diet. Foods are made up of 6 sorts of nutrients. These nutrients are macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and water. We need a balance of these to stay fit and healthy.

The 3 macronutrients are the backbone to achieving your weight loss or fitness goals! With that being said, I will give you a brief description of the 6 classes of nutrients and explain why they are essential to live a healthy lifestyle.

Good nutrition helps rebuild our body

When you eat foods that contain protein, they are broken down in the body as amino acids. These amino acids are then used to build and repair any muscle tissue. This is great for those who are physically active or exercise regularly. This means you will be able to recover at a faster rate than if you were not to consume protein. Every tissue in your body is made up of protein and it is important to consume enough through your diet to replenish it. Protein is also needed to help your immune and nervous system.

Good Nutrition Provides Energy

The analogy I think of when discussing nutrition and our bodies is that of a race car. You need to put fuel in it every so often, change the oil and get new tires in order to maintain optimal performance. If you fail to do these things, eventually your body will break down and be worthless. However, if the right steps are taken, you will be well on your way to living a healthy lifestyle and reaping the benefits that come with this.

Your main source of energy comes from Carbohydrates (Vegetables, grains, fruit, etc) being converted into glycogen in the body. In fact, muscle glycogen is an important element to helping you maintain your energy levels throughout your day. When carbs are ingested your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps the carbs to be stored in the muscles or as fat. Glycogen (stored carbohydrates) is important to have in your body before working out. They will be an energy supply and not only enable you to achieve better fat loss results, but also help your overall physique.

Good Nutrition and Fats?

One of the most common dieting myths is that fats will make you fat. First and Foremost, without fats you will not be able to survive. They are one of the three macronutrients. Stored fats are our main source of energy.

Fats yield 9 calories per gram. They also help to keep our body warm during cold weather. Fats lubricate joints which in terms, keeps your muscles loose and mobile for better workouts. Several vitamins are stored in our body’s fat and can become toxic if too much is taken.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are important nutrients our bodies need in order to not only function properly but also allow chemical reactions to occur at a faster rate. They are needed just like the 3 macronutrients, however only in small amounts. B-complex vitamins provide a great health benefit as they help to further break down carbohydrates which in terms will give you energy. These are vital to reach your health and weight loss goals.

Don’t Forget Your Water

Poor hydration is often one of the main cause of feeling hungry, causing over eating. Most people substitute teas, coffee, fizzy drinks and other poor sources of water. Water composes about 65% of the human body. We need it to survive and its just as important as eating a healthy diet. It can also act as a detox and cleanse your body.

While exercising, water acts as a cooling agent and helps prevent any overheating. I suggest drinking your body weight (kg) x .03333 to get the amount of litres to drink on a daily basis. For example, if you weigh 70kg, you would want to drink (70 x .03333) = 2.33 litres of water.

For more information on nutrition and helpful tips on how to improve yours come along to our nutrition school. Available to everyone in the Attleborough, Watton, Thetford, Wymondham, Besthorpe areas with a keen interest in health, fitness and/or nutrition. Call us on 01953 498444 for more information.