Regardless of your current nutrition regime we could all do with getting in some more fruit and veg!
Fruit & Veg is a cornerstone of good health. Many of us have trouble putting this into practice and getting our 5+ a day.
We hear tonnes of excuses when it comes to members lacking in this department. Fresh produce is too expensive, unfamiliarity, prep time, old habits or flashbacks to soggy carrots and peas on the side of mum's lumpy mash are all common obstacles.
Here is a few sneaky tips how you can bump up your fruit & veg consumption:
If this info spoke to you maybe it’s time you started your own journey. If you want to join the Buildabody team, start crushing your goals today CLICK HERE.
Tying It All Together
Over the last few weeks we have explored some of the common diet trends around, including Gluten Free, Plant based (vegan/Vegetarian), Keto & Intermittent Fasting. If you’ve been through each of the posts you’ll probably have noticed a common trend…
Each of the trends seeks to eliminate a source of nutrition to restrict calories. Wheat, animals, carbohydrates and in the terms of fasting time.
There are plenty of benefits and downsides to each, ultimately each is governed by the quality of the choices we make.
Regardless of the method you decide shit food is shit food. If you're consuming high volumes of sugar, refined grain, saturated fats, processed & artificial sweeteners it's highly unlikely that you’ll reach your goals regardless of what they are.
The next three words might be the most powerful information you will get in terms of diet knowledge…
This alone is the absolute minimum required to help you move forward toward your goal. If you do absolutely nothing but eat real food you're likely to lead a relatively healthy and enjoyable life.
Let's put some structure around what a basic day of eating might look like on a Eat, Real, Food nutrition plan:
Regardless of your choice, if your main reason for entering into a style of dieting is for the purpose of weight management, remember at the end of the day its calories in versus calories out that really matters.
Choices & results will vary wildly from person to person. For every example of a diet success we could find 100 who failed and vice versa. Outside of calorie balance, adherence (your ability to stay focused) to the regime you’ve chosen is what will decide whether you succeed, fail or even regress.
So don’t split hairs on the small stuff. Put your energy into calorie balance and making the right decisions more than you stuff up! Because you will stuff up and that is ok, shake it off and get back on track from the very next meal.
Most people will never truly invest the necessary amount of time or effort into seeing if a particular plan works for them.
Ultimately leaving their goals on the table. The reality is most people will never reach their desired outcomes. Too often we seek instant gratification, rather than following through with the process. I'm sure you have all tried many different diet regimes, ask yourself:
Q: How strictly did you follow the guidelines?
Q: How long did you stick it out?
Q: Was it the diet's fault or did you just not try hard enough?
In my opinion the best plan is the one that has the most flexibility, variety while avoiding extreme measures in either direction. You will always get the 1-2% that thrive at either end of a bell curve. Most of us will fall somewhere in the middle. Take the pieces from each that resonate with your lifestyle, ethical beliefs. Start by removing the crap and focusing on real food and finding a plan you can stick to.
Intermittent Fasting (IF)
What is it?
IF diets require prolonged fasting (no eating) periods of typically 12-16 hours before consuming your calories for the day in a much smaller window of time than eating throughout the day.
Who should avoid IF diets?
IF can be a great form of dieting, allowing significant time for the digestive system to metabolise and process the food we have eaten. However there are some pitfalls:
What does the research say?
Again we have another trend that is lacking longer term research to back up a lot of its claims. Much of the supportive research is based on animals and there are many substantial health benefits associated with fasting. I'm only going to focus on the weight loss research, here's what we know:
Personally I quite like the idea of fasting and have used it myself sporadically and with clients to create structure and routine. However fasting can be one of the hardest options to adhere to. The combination of fasting and healthy eating choices can be an extremely successful combination for weight loss.
Similar to that of the PBD it can be hard to get a full spectrum of protein, micro-nutrients in a smaller eating window. Tracking your daily intakes is a necessity on both.
Overall this form of eating can be beneficial over a short period of time, however if you're someone who enjoys breakfast or trains early this probably is not the option for you. When planning and developing your own eating routines make sure to use options that fit to your lifestyle rather than what the current celebs are all over. EAT REAL FOOD!
Check out the other posts in the series, Gluten Free, Keto.
Ketogenic Diet (Low Carb)
Of all the common regimes I feel the keto diet is one of the most misunderstood & misinterpreted, misleading options out there.
What is a ketogenic diet?
Keto is a low carb not a no carb diet. Keto diets have been around for centuries and originated to treat specific medical conditions most commonly diabetes & epilepsy in children for which medication was ineffective. It has gained considerable fanfare due to the “war on carbs” and sugar free diet trends of many social media influencers & celebrities.
The most common versions of keto diets focus on fat rich sources of food (70-80% daily intake), followed by protein (10-15%) and your remaining intake from carbs.
Who should avoid?
Personally I think most people should avoid the keto diet in general due several factors:
What does the research show?
For the purpose of this post series I'm only going to focus on the major claim of the Keto Diet… That eating a keto diet will turn you into a fat burning machine for both weight loss & performance.
The bottom line is the research just not back the claims. While there may be some short-term benefit in the long term there is no substantial gain. While cutting out many healthy food choices with overwhelming benefits such as fruit and vegetables. Reaching micro nutrient intake (vitamins & minerals) will be extremely hard and could lead to greater health risks if followed for prolonged periods of time. All in all the keto diet just offers too many major pitfalls and risk of severe yoyo dieting. This is not to mention how hard a keto diet can be, it's not the free for all bacon, butter, cheese & pork grinds as many turn it in to. Instead you have to be hyper focused, prepared & vigilant with every food choice.
However if Keto is something you feel you want to try may I suggest instead a modified carbohydrate diet similar to the 10 Day reset we use based on the healthy eating plate model from the Plant Based Diet post that removes carbs (sugar, wheat, root vegetables) that are not fruit or vegetables.
At the end of the day a diet is a diet, they all seek to achieve one thing, calorie restriction. If it helps you make a conscious decision to cut out crappy foods so be it. Just don’t stay on the train too long, keep some fruits and vegetables in your day and if you start to develop any mental fog with the diet take the positive habits you created and move them on to the next phase.
Plant Based Diet (PBD)
Post 2 in the series, if you have not read the first not to worry pop over here when you are done to check out the "Gluten Free Diet"
While Vegan/vegetarian diets have been around for centuries, over the last decade there has been considerable uptake into mainstream society as health is an ever growing market and products become more widely available.
A recent documentary on Netflix really accelerated the adaption of many to a PBD. This isn't the platform to rant on my thoughts of the documentary but I will say that a good documentary should present both sides of the coin and allow watchers to make an informed decision on what's best for them. I also made note in the first post of the Series “Gluten Free Diet” that creative marketing is a common fuel behind many of these trends, it’s conveniently left out that the film's executive producer and main driver James Cameron is CEO & co-founder of Verdiant Foods Organic Pea-Protein Company & has partnered with Ingredion who are at the forefront of developing new plant based protein products for the PBD industry.
Let’s leave that for another day and get back on track…
What is a PBD?
Who should avoid?
What does the research say?
A PBD built around poor choices & highly processed options is just as unhealthy as a non PBD of overindulgence. When it comes to choosing a PBD that's right for you, opt for one high in fruits & vegetables, whole grains & healthy oils, while reducing animal product intake and highly processed plant based options. The research tells us it's the type & amount of the foods we consume that matters most. Refer to the chart below if you feel like this is a change you want to make.
Gluten Free Diet (GFD)
Hey Team, today I want to start a series of posts addressing popular diet trends we see and quickly give you a better understanding of the pros & cons so you can make more informed decisions before adapting your own eating regime.
Let’s kick things off with GLUTEN FREE DIET (GFD)
What Is GLUTEN?
Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat and similar type products. The standard NZ diet is generally high in products containing gluten due to ease of production, versatility and nutritional content. We have been led to believe that we should ingest a large amount of these types of foods from the healthy food pyramid since the day we are born.
Who should AVOID:
Who should RESTRICT:
What does the research show?
Outside of the 1% of the population unlucky enough to have Celiac Disease then avoiding gluten is unlikely to promote any substantial health benefits or aid in weight loss. 100% I believe the majority of us could do with reducing gluten or carb intake especially if you suffer IBS or IBS like symptoms then try removing gluten from your diet to see if that eliminates those issues. Also be aware gluten is a very common product in processed foods so perhaps rather than eliminating whole food sources of gluten eliminate/minimise processed foods first, over time reintroduce various forms of gluten to your diet to better understand your body and what it tolerates. Knowledge is power!
If you want to try a GFD regime here are some naturally GF occurring foods: