Nutrition

Planning a Diet | 3 Steps To Fixing Your Diet

 

Planning a Diet

3 Steps To Fixing Your Diet

 

Step One:

Identify and Correct Nutritional Deficiencies

 

When it comes to planning your diet it’s important to have an overview of what your current diet is like.Planning a Diet Ask yourself… what are you not eating enough of? What are you eating too much of? Start by recording a food diary for 3 days. Record everything you eat and drink- but make sure to go about as you normally would. Then when the three days are up you can review exactly what you have ate- compared to what you remember eating!

 

When we don’t receive the right amount of nutrients through our diets our bodies start to sufferPlanning a Diet – whether this is through just generally feeling fatigued or starting to see physical clinical symptoms. You may think dietary deficiencies aren’t so common in people who are considered “healthy” however  common deficiencies include:

 

Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies commonly include Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, Iodine, Zinc.

 

How can we correct these deficiencies?

 

1.Eat more foods rich in vitamins and minerals including plenty of colourful fresh fruit and vegetables.

2.Consuming a daily multi vitamin.

Protein Deficiency

Protein deficiency is more common amongst women on restrictive diets. However, when taking part in physical activity the demand for protein can increase, therefore occasionally athletes can be at risk of protein deficiency.

 

How Can we correct these deficiencies?

 

1.Consume more lean and red meat

  1. Consume more eggs and fish.
  2. Consume more dairy
  3. Consume other vegetarian sources of protein such as nuts, beans and legumes.
Essential Fatty Acid Deficiencies

 

Essential fatty acid deficiencies are extremely common amongst the population. It is recommended we consume at least one portion of fatty fish a week- however a huge proportion of the population fail to do this.

 

How can we correct these deficiencies?

 

Consume more sources of fatty fish such as mackerel and salmon.

 

Step Two: Work out how Much You Should be Eating

 

It’s important to remember everyone’s body is different and therefore your nutritional requirements are unique. The ratio of macronutrients you should be eating depends on your body type. Body types are generally separated into three main categories ectomorph, mesomorph and endmorph.

 

Ectomorph

Ectomorphs are described as “naturally skinny” generally macronutrients are broken down in a ratio of:

 

Carbs: 55%

Protein: 25%

Fat: 20%

 

Ectomorphs have a high revving metabolism and can burn off energy easily. Because of this they can tolerate carbohydrates well.

 

Mesomorph

Mesomorphs are described as “naturally athletic”. Generally macronutrients are broken down in a ratio of:

 

Carbs: 40%

Protein: 30%

Fat: 30%

 

Mesomorphs have bodies that are designed to be powerful machines, they tend to be testosterone and growth hormone dominant and therefore can usually gain muscle and stay lean easily.

 

Endomorphs

Endomorphs are described as having a slow metabolism. Generally macronutrients should be broken down in a ratio of:

 

Carbs: 25%

Protein: 35%

Fat: 40%

 

Endomorphs have a slow engine speed and are generally less active. They’re slower metabolic rate means they generally don’t tolerate carbs as well and are more sensitive to insulin. Unlike ectomorphs, Endomorphss generally require more cardio in their training regimes.

 

Step Three: When and How You Should Eat

 

Track Your Meals

The first rule to abide by when setting up a diet plan is to keep track of what you are eating- this means using apps such as myfitness pal and controlling your portion sizes.

 

Decide How Often you Will Eat

The next step is to look into how often you should be eating. Many people consume a standard 3 meals a day, whilst other look into consuming 6 to 8 small meals more regularly. In general terms the important thing is to eat the right foods in the right amounts.

 

Fit Your Diet in With Your Training

When it comes to fine tuning your diet consider what you eat around the timing of your training. Planning a Diet For example many people chose carb cycling as an effective method when dieting- this means on the days you lift weights you add starchy carbs to your diet, whereas on the days you are not lifting weights you stick to a diet of mostly protein and healthy fats with less than 40g of carbs.

 

However carb cycling, although shown to be effective for some, is not a method adapted by all. Pre and post workout nutrition however is an important concept for everyone.Planning a Diet Prior to a workout eat a meal that fits in your macronutrient ratios with a good source of complex carbohydrates and protein. During a workout be sure to get a good source of hydration and for optimum results consume 5 to 15g of branched chain amino acids. Following a workout, aid recovery with a good source of fast absorbing protein such as whey protein and some simple carbohydrates to restore your glycogen stores.

 

A Take Home Message

 

Planning a diet is hard work. It’s important not to initially be in denial and to be fully aware of the foods you are consuming and what foods you aren’t consuming enough of. Once you have identified obvious patterns and made corrections build your diet and tailor your food choices to your body type and personal preferences. Be sure to stick to your diet and eat for your health!

 

Optimise Your Diet With These Essentials:

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Jenny Watt

Jenny Watt

Writer and expert

Qualified Nutritionist and Personal trainer.


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