Eating for the individual MUST always be personalised and tailored to his or her needs. Not only from a nutritional requirement perspective but also for goals, ethics, religion and taste. “What is one person’s medicine, is another man poison.” The cookie cutter approach will work for some but certainly not all! See related article “Food that works for you” here.
However, there are key principles I believe can’t be ignored if we want to live a long and healthy life. Just because something is low calorie, paleo, vegan etc. doesn’t make it healthy. Always watch out for the latest media hyped up diet or marketing words like “super food” or “fat burning” just to name a few.
Here are 6 key principles that will ensure better health and performance
- If it has a bar code, sits on the shelf for months and has ingredients you can’t read or pronounce, chances are there are better options.
- Plan for long-term change and lifestyle. There mustn’t be an end date for eating well and health.
- Fresh, local and nutrient dense is always preferred.
- Diversify with colours, food types and always have a green on your plate.
- Undulation of calories and macronutrients. Don’t eat the same every day.
- Always be hydrated.
Following those key principles will help you make better choices, but the elusive question of “how much?” is just as important. You can eat all the right foods but if you overdo it then your goals and health can still be jeopardised.
With food science, these days we know down to the gram what will help you achieve health and goals. However, not everyone wants to weigh everything they put into their mouth. So, I have adapted a method from Precision Nutrition that helps you get a handle on portion size.
Breaking your foods up into macronutrients and measuring against different parts of your hand will give you an idea on what your plate should look like.
Protein: Men 2x palm – Women 1x palm
Carbs: Men 2x cupped hand – Women 1x cupped
Fats: Men 2x thumb length – Women 1x thumb length
I recommend (different from Precision Nutrition) unlimited non-starchy vegetables. I don’t know many people that eat too many. If you would like pictures example of this please comment below or contact me via social media.
Please note these are general recommendations and I suggest consulting with a Doctor before making any drastic nutritional changes. If you are an intermediate to advance with your training, then other methods might be more suitable. If you’re unsure, then contact me.
If you would like FREE access to my in-depth webinar on this topic and how to know what calories and protein requirements, you need for either fat loss or muscle gain, just submit your email below.