Thursday, 12 January 2012

Diet Versus Nutrition

Due to it being the start of the year, I have now had a few people contacting me about their diet and what they should be doing. My first consideration is usually with their current build. Usually I say if you are of average build but want to tone up then consider resistance training and nutrition and not diet. Lets take no bones about it if you are chubby, or lets face it fat, then you gotta consider diet and resistance training. 

Whats the difference between Diet and Nutrition? Well, diet means usually cutting out certain things from your diet, for example if you are overweight, maybe you should consider a Ketogenic Diet (from Steve Maxwell) or a Neolithic diet where you eat primarily proteins with little or no carbos. Whereas, if I have mentioned to you Nutrition that means eat pretty much what you do eat but try and get the basics, in other words eat your Proteins, Carbs, Veggies and Fruit while they still look like the original thing. I don’t mean you should have a pigs leg on your plate but you should still be able to recognise a bit of meat without it being wrapped in pastry, shredded and mixed with potato etc, or smothered in some creamy sauce with sprinkles of parsley….

Now before you guys start reaching for the diet books, you gotta remember I have read a lot of these books and tried a lot of their advice and even tried cheating with Fat Metabolisers, Hydroxycut and things like Thermogenic serum. None of these supplements did any measurable good, however, I did find the Ketogenic Diet worked well for me so I suggest if you want to tone up a bit and drop a few pounds try this one out. Remember though this is only the case if you are overweight, chubby or fat. If you are average build but just want to tone go straight to the nutrition phase and just monitor your portions. Another thing that I have found is that everyone is shouting about how good this diet is or that diet. I think a lot of these diets work well individually for different people so not all work all the time for everyone. So, bottom line forget the diets for a minute even if you are fat, and yes, I do mean you reading this blog…In the words of the old masters – “CALORIES IN EQUALS CALORIES OUT!!!!” I can go out for a killer 20 Min HIIT Run burning around 300 cals in that 20 minutes to immediately get back to work and destroy it all in 3 minutes of eating a Snickers bar (and that’s the normal sized one). Whats the point??? If you are hungry, then at least eat something of good nutritious value and that won’t spike my insulin telling my body to store more fat.

Not all food is equivalent in caloric value though so really pay attention to that, however I don’t want you all to start counting calories either. Again see if you can eat pure foods, fish (not in batter in fact nothing deep fried), steak, pork, lettuce, carrots, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, apples, oranges, bananas etc. Celery is a negative calorie food, as you use more energy to eat and allow it to pass through your digestion than absorb from it. Good to know…If you are interested do a wee bit of comparison studies, go on line and compare some of your snacks with healthy alternatives and you’ll be impressed. My biggest, hugest, weakness is crisps, cos I love them, but equally I love Pop Corn (lightly salted or non at all) and that’s the homemade stuff (which is more fun) rather than the sticky stuff from the cinema or in pack from Tescos. The later will let you enjoy the odd snack (in reasonable portion size) without getting fat and having cravings.

Many books tell you, you must, must, must eat 6 meals a day to stabilise your insulin throughout the day … ehm…. No, your body is pretty good at coping with 3 meals a day provided you don’t overload it on SUGAR or STARCHY CARBOS. So if you want my advice, I suggest 3 portions per day of roughly the same size (breakfast, lunch and dinner), and the content is still to be Proteins(for the Greek Proteus meaning first), Carbos and Veggies/Fruit. Be carefull with fruit though as fructose is a sugar!!! Also although a potato is a Veggie its also very starchy – eat something that isn’t white is a simple thing to remember, what about some tasty Broccoli? You can still have a wee snack if you get peckish but try and make it healthy (1 handful of nuts, or seeds or pulses or a bit of fruit). But NO CRISPS, BISCUITS, CHOCOLATES, ETC…..!!! OK!!!

Next is the portion size, a good rule of thumb for me is the a normal dinner plate and the palm of you hand. Your dinner plate should be split in to thirds, each third should contain each of the following : Protiens, Carbos and Veggies. And each one of these should be no bigger than the palm of your hand (and not the palm of someone like John Wayne or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Now also notice that’s no starter and no desert unless you want to be fat and overweight blaming me and everyone else cos you haven’t seen your toes in a month as you choke down that Chocolate Éclair. If this is you, pick up that phone book and give yourself a good whack on the back of the head…. Pay attention!!! 

A quick note on eating out, do exactly the same as above, split your plate up and eat only what fits the solution above. Heck you may get a doggie bag to take it away for lunch tomorrow.

I guess I should have started with this but its boring so its ok here. I am giving you advice from what I have picked up with my own experiments. If you think it makes sense try it out, if not, that’s ok, just go and ask someone else. To some out there you may have diabetes or other health issue and you may need more than 3 meals a day, if you are you’d be better tracking down a Nutritionalist or Doctor. However, you may also be a Vegan or Vegetarian, well that’s just silly!?!? He.. He no, seriously that’s good too, and total Kudos to you, cos so far you are better than most other eaters reading this being able to stick to your own ‘Diet.’ The only problem is, sometimes Vegans or Vegeterians tend to be a little under nourished as the calorific value is less than the meat eaters and sometimes there are amino acid and vitamin deficiencies. This comes back again to balanced nutrition and either the palm of your hand or your plate in thirds. You can still get your proteins from nuts, seeds, pulses, etc, (and eggs, milk, etc for the non vegans). Try and avoid Tofu and Quorn as under scientific research have been proven to reduce testosterone in men – be careful men!!! I’m sure you can work out a testosterone drop isn’t just muscle mass drop….Work it out!!! If you want more info if you are Vegan or Vegetarian why not check out Mike Mahlers blogs cos he is a Vegan and is very strong and muscular.
If you are looking for supplements, keep them to a minimum. Magnesium Spray was suggested by Mike Mahler and I find it great (giving vivid dreams too). Vitamin C 1000mg when you feel like a cold is coming on (but don’t overdo it as your body can get used to it and it can do you no good when you need it). A fish oil or garlic oil (odourless) is good for your joints and hair too.
Finally, if you are all still with me, here is a secret that will help you all lose fat a bit more. Calories aren’t just in food!!! Calories are also in what you drink!!! Especially if you like milkshakes, frappaccinos, lattes, fizzy juice, soups etc. If you must drink fizzy drinks try and aim for the diet version (although it contains usually aspartame and sometimes formaldehyde so I’ve been told…) I’ll be sticking with my favourite (Mexican Lime cordial from Tesco – ok theres a little sugar but I make it weak). Mind you I also drink untold quantites of coffee, tea, green tea, diet caffeine drinks and good old H2O ( or water).

Well, I’ll wrap this up here, the next blog will be on resistance training. I hope this has been helpful, let me know…

Stay Happy, Healthy and Fit and remember save the planet - buy less, eat less, waste less!!!

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