Nutrition plays a huge part at Northern Bootcamp, so here are a few words about our philosophy on nutrition. We have far more to say on the subject than we can put here, but we have a far more extensive explanation on nutrition in our recipe book, Bootcamp Kitchen, available here.
Life is for living and food plays a huge part in life. We do need to eat to survive, but we also want to enjoy our food and we want to feel satisfied and for many of us, food is at the heart of social engagements and can contribute to so many memorable positive experiences. So many of us have tried diets and followed a structure, lost weight (possibly muscle as well) but then watched the weight creep back up.
We need to rid our minds of the concept of “being on a diet”. The very word, turn this into a negative period, full of can’t and not allowed and lead to us “being good” and “being bad”. We are eating to fuel our body, and the choices we make need to become part of a lifestyle that we choose to lead. This can be a healthy lifestyle that in turn will result in fat loss (if that is your aim) and a change in body shape, however we do not want to encourage muscle loss that results from not enough of the right foods.
We believe that a healthy approach to nutrition is a balanced and realistic approach, that encompasses variety and makes way for the occasional “must-have moment” without bringing days of guilt or regret with it. After all, we do only get one life and to ban all of the food or drink that we really enjoy, in my humble opinion, is not sustainable, nor does not make for a happy life.
However, this does not mean that we can be healthy by eating processed junk food every day simply because we enjoy it. There has to be a balance and certainly the balance should be skewed toward fuelling your body with clean, unprocessed food that provides all the right nutrients to help you to live a very full and energetic life.
So what are the right nutrients?
There are four components to nutrition:
Protein builds and repairs muscle. We always start with this, as holding onto muscle and developing muscle is key to feeling good, maintaining a high metabolism and having the strength to train hard and improve your fitness. Protein has many other roles in the body and is part of every cell, it is also crucial for bone growth, carrying vitamins and minerals through the body and reduces insulin production which in turn regulates blood sugar and helps with weight loss.
Carbohydrates are made up mainly from sugar molecules and the simple carbs include, fructose, glucose, sucrose and lactose. The complex carbs, the starchy carbs are made from more complex chains of sugar molecules that take longer to break down.
Fat is a form of energy, essential in cell growth of the nervous system and it also enables us to transport fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E, K, produce hormones and very importantly feel satisfied. It is a myth that fat makes you fat, but it is crucial to understand what the core types of fat are, and where you can find them. The only fat you really need to avoid is trans fats (or hydrogenated vegetable fat), which can be found in fast foods,
Vitamins and Minerals
These are essential nutrients in the body and are needed to perform a multitude of roles to sustain a well-functioning, healthy body. A varied and well balanced diet should be able to provide you with all of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs in optimum levels.
A well balanced diet will contain all of these and all can be achieved from food alone, without the need for supplements, shakes or other well marketed manufactured products. There are individual exceptions to this rule but far the large majority of us, leading a sedentary to fairly active lifestyle, food and water should do the trick. Read the list of ingredients and look out for the words “hydrogenated vegetable fat” and put it back on the shelf!
Nutrition hints and tips
Use smaller plates
Don’t use food for reward
Earn it or burn it
Don’t use your body as a bin
Think… what is this giving me?
Ditch bread! – simple as that
Identify your weakest points and plan in advance what you will do at this point. Eg 9pm choccie biscuit time?
Break habits – take the pain for a few days and it soon becomes easier.
Look for colour and variety – avoid beige food