Despite what the latest bestselling diet book tells you, there is no ‘one size fits all’ magic nutrition plan for everybody. It is for this very reason that we get such opposing views from vegans to meat eaters.
How you respond to a food is dictated by your epigenetics, gut microbiome, and body composition amongst several other factors. In fact, it is far more dynamic with all these constantly changing, subtly manipulating your response to food from day to day.
At Results Driven Fitness are guidelines are based upon nutritional principles and strategies. The primary strategy used involves cleaning up your nutrition. Beyond this initial phase different strategies may be used dependent on the individual and how appropriate they are for an individual to continue to make progress.
Clean up through elimination
Modern western society is not conducive to eating optimally for health. The 24/7 availability of food has broken our neuro-regulation of appetite and modern food takes advantage of this. Our Brains are becoming leptin resistant and muscles insulin resistant. The result is that modern food is leading to higher rates of obesity, heart disease and diabetes than ever before.
The first step involves simplifying your nutrition. We evolved on single ingredient foods that changed with the seasons, so this is what we need to replicate. The steps are as follows:
Eliminate gluten, dairy, soy, and alcohol
Inflammation is at the heart of all modern disease and the foods listed above all have strong links. Cutting out the above foods and anything processed is the first step in addressing gut health, allowing your gut to heal and rebalance the microbiome. This will starve the bad bacteria in the gut which feed of simple sugars and thus enable the good bacteria to repopulate.
It is only by first lowering our intake of inflammatory foods that we can down regulate our immune response and start directing energy to detoxification and fat loss.
This is best achieved by moving to single ingredient foods made up of whole natural ingredients.
Increase fresh vegetable intake
If there is one thing that all nutritionists agree on, it’s that we should eat more vegetables. Vegetables are a fantastic source of fibre, minerals, and vitamins.
Fibre in veg aids digestion and feeds the good bacteria in our guts.
Vitamins and minerals in vegetables are very bioavailable to the body and play a crucial role in all major systems from respiration to detoxification.
It is important to eat a wide variety of vegetables and salads to give the body a full spectrum of nutrients.
Have adequate lean protein and healthy fats
We have evolved with high levels of stomach acid which means we thrive most when fed with animal protein. From the beginning of time all healthy indigenous people have always eaten animal protein when available.
We need adequate protein to support detoxification and to build a strong immune system. This is especially important when we are trying to lose body fat.
Protein is satiating and keeps you full for longer, it is also excellent for maintaining healthy blood sugar.
Good fats such as those that come from fish oil, olive oil, grass fed butter and avocado are needed for cell, joint and brain health.
To carry out the above it is best to implement the following:
Clean out your kitchen – throw away all processed inflammatory food that you have in the house. Out of sight out of mind, no matter how strong your will power, if bad food is readily available, sooner or later you will succumb.
Plan for three meals a day made up of single ingredient foods:
A hand size portion of vegetables and salad (approx. 75g-150g)
A palm size portion of lean protein (approx. 115g-175g)
A thumb size portion of health fats (approx. 20g)
Finish with fresh spice or herb
Breakfast: Three eggs / steamed spinach / half an avocado
Lunch: Chicken breast / green beans / olive oil
Dinner: Grilled seabass / steamed broccoli / melted butter
By following this simple nutritional strategy, you should expect to see the following benefits:
Improved energy levels
Improved performance in the gym
Better body composition
For many the above is a great way to reset their health and start moving forward with their fitness goals.
This is just the start, as everybody’s health and fitness journey is different, it’s important to be able to implement different strategies when appropriate. First and foremost when it comes to your food keep it simple.