The Importance of a Sustainable Diet

Embarking on a fitness journey with a diet that isn’t something you can see yourself doing for more than a few weeks, let alone perhaps a few months, strongly suggests it is not a sustainable diet. Of course it’s all about trial and error, but if you don’t like the concept of it before you’ve even started it, what will you be thinking and feeling further down the line?

The word ‘diet’ is horrible, really. The Oxford Dictionary states that definition number one for the word ‘diet’ is: “The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats”. Correct! However definition number two is where things get interesting: “A special course of food to which a person restricts themselves, either to lose weight or for medical reasons”. Ok, dieting for medical reasons is an entirely different topic, but the part where it mentions “lose weight” screams what is on many people’s minds. I must ‘diet’ to ‘lose weight’. This thought process can play havoc on your brain, causing you to lose sight of what a diet is actually intended to be.

So what is a sustainable diet? Here is example which many well-known food, health and fitness professionals swear by…

Fluids: drink two to four litres of water depending on your body composition, with limited teas and coffees (ideally with whole milk, for the REAL fats!). Oh, and you can forget those sugary bottled drinks, smoothies included!

Food: eat three meals per day, each ideally comprising a good balance of protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates. The idea is to eat more carbs on the days you train, and slightly less on rest days. When it comes to snacks, eat two to three small snacks per day, such as a handful of nuts, yoghurt or a piece of fruit. Snacking on wholesome foods will satisfy your stomach far more than a quick bag of crisps or chocolate bar, believe it or not.

Exercise: exercise three to five times per week, incorporating both weights and cardio into your training. Both The Body Coach and Kayla Itsines recommend doing 20-30 minutes of HIIT (high intensity interval training) for incredible, lean results, whereas many PTs will recommend more weight training as opposed to HIIT, in order to build muscle. A combination of both is best in our opinion, as it’s important to get that heart rate up for your overall health as you go about building a strong physique.

To some this plan of action may sound daunting, but it’s far easier than you might think, once you get into the routine of it. All you need to remember is that this is supposed to be a lifestyle change, not a temporary fix. Once you train the mind to learn to love this way of life, it becomes the norm!

Now we all know that there are countless diet plans which encourage severely reduced calories, processed foods and eating inconsistently, but at the end of the day, all your body needs is a solid, healthy food structure, with a small calorie deficit if you’re looking to lose weight, and regular physical activity. Et voila! Eating well and working out doesn’t just improve your body visually, it also massively improves your physical and mental health, which is ultimately far more important than how you look on the beach in the summer.

With that in mind, it’s important to know that life is for enjoying, which is where the 80:20, balanced diet rule comes in. It’s impossible to go through life without treating yourself, so be sure to allow yourself the odd treat now and then. How often? Well, the less the better, of course, but a little something every now and then isn’t going to hinder your progress too much, so long as you keep the portion size reasonable! The key to bouncing back? See the following day as a fresh start and get yourself right back on track. You shouldn’t feel guilty about occasionally treating yourself, we’re all human, after all!

In summary, scrap the fad diets, because healthy, nutritious and sustainable eating really is the answer to your health and weight loss troubles!

This blog is based on opinion and internet based research only, for professional advice we recommend you contact the NHS or a fitness/nutrition professional.

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Fitness Superstore

A "Bricks & Mortar" retailer founded in 1994, Fitness Superstore is the largest supplier of specialist fitness equipment in the UK, with eleven stores nationwide.
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