My goal for today is to start the nutrition conversation, and hopefully create some awareness and independent thought around what is best for you when it comes to food.
First off lets set some guidelines. Nutritional research is dynamic and constantly evolving. There is no single black and white definitive answer, and there is no one size fits all approach. As with most aspects of fitness we can only set out principles and guidelines. From there you must fill in the blanks with specific details that fit you.
We all have our biases around food. They may come from years of media and marketing telling us fat is bad, or from past success with a particular nutritional approach (i.e. paleo, weight watchers, IF, etc…). The key is, we have to acknowledge our biases and emotions around food. Then we can take a step back and make more objective nutritional decisions. If you can’t take this first step you will always be at the mercy of forces outside of your control.
What is the goal?
The demands of a full time athlete preparing for a competition and someone trying to fuel a productive 9-5 workday will vary. Once again acknowledging that there will be variations in the approach (based on the goals) will be a key factor in achieving those goals.
Quality always matters. A shirt made with quality material and craftsmanship is always going to feel, fit, and look better than a shirt that is haphazardly made with crappy material. However quality always require an investment. That investment may be time or dollars. The question then becomes how much are you willing to invest and what is the ROI on that investment. We will delve deeper into this in future articles but something to be aware in regards to nutrition.
Some beginner quick hitters
Protein should be included in every meal.
Hydration is key, be diligent about drinking plenty of water.
Athletic performance, body composition, and health are all affected by not only nutrition, but stress, sleep, and training as well.
Three square meals and two snacks are good starting points for healthy eating frequency. Try to master this schedule for a period of time before moving on to things like intermittent fasting.
Understand your food sensitivities. Joint pain, GI issues, and skin issues are all common side effects of food sensitivities. Experimenting with eliminating foods that cause these issues, or are known to cause these issues (examples grains, dairy) is a good starting point for improving your nutritional approach.
To wrap things up today I challenge you guys to send in some specific question so I can do a follow up article that addresses specific scenarios. As always continue to educate yourself and build a base of knowledge so you can make good decisions when it comes to nutrition.