7 Ways to Eat for a Better Body
In this piece we list some dietary practices we should avoid. Many of these we list stem from an over-reaction or overcompensation. The message is clear: don’t throw the baby out with bathwater.
- Skip your pre- and post-workout meals in an effort to burn fat faster. What really matters is your caloric balance for the day. By not eating around exercise you will simply rob your body of desirable nutrients when they’re most needed. Cut calories at another time of the day when they are less needed.
- Avoid red meat altogether. Red meat gives us plenty of essential muscle-strengthening nutrients including iron, zinc and vitamin B12. Simply choose leaner cuts such as low-fat mince, sirloin steak, or venison and watch your portion size.
- Eat the same routine menu all the time. Although this helps us to maintain consistency, it also makes for malnutrition and boredom. Each month’s eating plan should include at least five different dishes.
- Spend your workout slurping sports drinks. The importance of sports drinks to exercise performance is generally over-estimated. If you’re doing a 45-minutes weights workout then there is very little opportunity for you to be dehydrated. Unless you’re training for endurance events then you probably don’t need the calories and electrolytes in these products- a bit of water should do the job!
- Avoid salt completely. The mineral is actually of immense benefit for a variety of bodily functions- so you should not aim to cut it out entirely. Just ensure you take in plenty of potassium as well so that your sodium-potassium levels are where they need to be- this attenuates many of the harmful effects of salt intake. What you need to be on the lookout for are high-sodium content such as fast food, frozen dinners, and canned foods- these are to be avoided.
- Rely on multivitamin supplements. You still need vegetables and whole foods too. At best, supplements are meant to fill the occasional nutritional gap not acts as substitutes. The evidence as to whether supplements have an effect that’s anything like the same nutrient when taken from source is very patchy indeed. So much so that a lot of the money we spend on vitamin pills and the like may be wasted.
- Shun frozen fruit and vegetables in favour of fresh. Frozen alternatives can be just as nutritious and far more convenient. Most important of all, if it makes the difference between eating vegetables and ending up not having any- then opt for the frozen every time!