Getting your nutrition right is the most important aspect of losing weight. You can put in all the hours you want at the gym, but if you’re still stopping at that fast food drive-thru on the way home you’re wasting your time. “It’s not easy getting your nutrition right, there are a lot of stealth foods that people don’t realise can scupper their progress,” says renowned personal trainer Nick Mitchell.
It’s not easy getting your nutrition right, there are a lot of stealth foods that people don’t realise can scupper their progress
“With all the fad diets, bad advice and naivety surrounding the subject of nutrition and weight loss, it’s best to stick to a few strict commandments when it comes to what you do and don’t eat. Apply these rules at all times and you’ll find your diet working in perfect harmony with your exercise routine for guaranteed weight loss.”
Here are Nick’s five tips for keeping your diet in check:
1. Keep processed food and drink to a minimum
“When a food has been created or significantly modified in a manufacturing plant, it loses nutrients and fibre and gains added salt, sugar and low-quality fats. These empty-calorie foods can impact your waistline and your health.
“One way to cut back on added sugars is to drink water instead of fizzy drinks or sports drinks. Avoid hydrogenated oils from processed foods and fats from processed meats too.”
2. Losing fat isn’t just counting calories in VS calories out
“Just burning more calories than you’re consuming isn’t the be all and end all of fat loss. Scientists will argue that a calorie is a calorie no matter where it comes from, but this isn’t true.
“100 calories from a chocolate bar are not the same as consuming 100 calories from scrambled eggs. Try to focus on quality calories that provide the three macronutrients of protein, carbohydrates and fats.
“That said, excess calories, even nutritious ones, can lead to weight gain. Avoid portion distortion by learning what a serving size really looks like, and check in with yourself while you’re eating to see if you’re still hungry.
3. Choose real food over supplements
“Losing weight shouldn’t have to mean a trip to the supplement aisle. Nutrients in food come in a complete package along with fibre and other complementary nutrients. Supplements can’t take the place of the variety of foods that are important to a healthy diet.”
4. Eat smaller amounts more often
“ If you let yourself go hungry in the hope that you’ll lose weight, you’re actually allowing your blood sugar to drop, meaning you’re likely to start craving (and probably eating) junk food.
“Avoid temptation by not putting yourself in this position in the first place. Eat small, healthy meals throughout the day and you’ll find that your cravings for foods like chocolate and crisps disappear.”
5. Vegetables are your friend
“Plant foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytochemicals, all of which people need for optimal health. Nonstarchy vegetables have the added bonus of being low in calories.
“To benefit from the full spectrum of nutrients in vegetables and fruits, increasing variety is as important as increasing quantity, so try adding a different vegetable to each of your daily meals.”