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"Nutrition" isn't difficult. The lack of basic education is the problem.


A plate of healthy food. Rice, egg and fruit.

One of the most common questions I get asked is "what is the best detox diet?" In reality you cannot "detox" the body by consuming something. That is what your liver and kidneys do. Your body is very good at filtering and processing what you eat and drink..... up to a point.


The problems are in what is actually being consumed or not consumed on a daily basis. The body needs fuel to provide energy. That energy is calories. In the western world the nutrition business is big business and many things are packaged and sold as healthy yet indeed are not. It is important to eat the right kind of foods for health.


"Protein bars" are commonly nothing more than a candy bar and full of additives and sugar yet rely on the word "protein" as protein is a buzz word in the world of commercial gyms. A glass of full fat milk will more than likely contain more goodness at a fifth of the price.


"Cleansing" smoothies that claim to cleanse the body..... detox teabags and overpriced attractively packaged "health foods" do nothing to educate about the principles of nutrition.


🔶 THE REALITY


If my body filters and processes everything then what does it matter what I eat? The answer to that is health consequences. The western world is rife for mis-information and the complete wrong approach when it comes to improving nutrition. Contradictory advice, wrong advice and an increasing world of serious health complications.


The west has increased disposable income yet increased convenience food. A coffee shop on every street corner..... would you like anything else to go with that? A cake? A flapjack? Extra marshmallows? Sadly, that is a society acceptable habit..... that if done every day will likely take its toll on health somewhere down the line. There is no control or responsibility of education provided by that industry.


By improving what you eat you are giving your body an easier time by processing nutritionally rich foods..... that provide your body with the goodness it needs to keep it healthy. The risk of serious health conditions would be reduced..... which sadly is on the rise due to dietary lifestyles and lack of basic education.


Improvements to dietary intake takes time. The idea that the body can be "detoxed" in a couple of weeks is a myth, and especially so that many believe they can buy a product to do that? Hence the question, what is the best detox diet? Sadly..... the only way to improve is to adopt healthier eating habits as a lifestyle.


🔶 MY NUTRITION IS ON POINT. I HAVE A PROTEIN SHAKE, TRAIN HARD BUT MAKING NO PROGRESS.


If I had one pound for every person who has said that to me or read that in one of their social posts. Having a protein shake does not mean your nutrition is on point, and nor can it fix your nutrition if you are not eating properly in the first place. A protein shake cannot correct a bad dietary intake. It is not a magic pill.


What do you eat at home? Are you on a balanced diet? Just because the fitness industry may sell you something that doesn't mean to say it is good for you or you are using it in the right way.


Most people I know..... claim to be eating healthy but I have witnessed their dietary habits first hand. The protein shake is the "glossy" show in the their workout environment.


Skipping breakfast because they cant be bothered to make it, no water, just coffee, fatty foods everyday, snacks, cakes, pies, grossly overeating..... but its okay their nutrition is on point because they are drinking the latest protein shake after a half hearted attempt at an actual exercise session..... avoiding the harder exercises too in the process.


🔶 CULTURAL DIFFERENCES AND A POINT TO NOTE


There are vast differences in dietary lifestyles across different countries, and ironically the largest issues over nutrition tend to be in the western world. Especially the UK.


An example of a fantastic food lifestyle that I've green accustomed to over the years is the Thai lifestyle. When I was in Thailand the difference was incredible. There is no obsessing over protein amounts, low fat food or any noticeable allergy cautions or vitamin deficiencies or catering for specific dietary needs for example. That isn't to say it doesn't exist..... but even the level of obesity is exceptionally low.


People simply eat, but the authentic and readily available foods consumed are filling, nutritious and tasty. Breakfast choices were vast..... from a large fruit salad plate containing a whole sliced banana, watermelon, apple, mango and dragon fruit. Rice dishes are available as well as toast and various meats. The majority of these ingredients can also be found in UK supermarkets.


The image shows one of the evening meals I ate. An egg on top of a rice dish is common as when that egg breaks it provides a "gravy" over the food. That is also a great source of nutrients. Each day was different in food variety including "healthy" green curries and Thai sea bass with a whole host of side foods like cucumber to cleanse the palate.


True, the lifestyle is very different in Asia and eating out is the norm because it is inexpensive but many lessons can be learnt. You hungry? Eat, eat, eat. Enjoy. Eat right and exercise.


🔶 WHAT SHOULD THE BALANCE OF MACRONUTRIENTS BE?


Carbs, fats and proteins are your large groups of nutrients. Your body requires all three. The carbohydrates are your energy source and fuel for your body and brain. Fats have multiple jobs including the transmission of nerve messages, protecting cells and organs in the body as well as being a fuel source. Protein is the repair nutrient of the body (often talked about in weight lifting circles, but often misunderstood).


Percentages of each will vary from individual to individual and also if there are any dietary intolerances..... or another specific reason why an alteration is required. In cases like this then supervision would ideally come from a dietician for nutrition prescription.


In the old days (1980's) carb intake was recommended and standardised at 70% of macro nutrients. Today that number is at 50%. This is due to more understanding and research about dietary knowledge.


So. As a general guide and in the absence of any specific reason to alter.....


Carbs minimum 50%. Fats 35%. Protein 15%. Of course these are variable.


🔶 WONT CARBS MAKE ME FAT? SHOULD I NOT BE ON HIGH PROTEIN?


Carbs are not your enemy. Eating the right kind of carbs and exercising is what is required. Carbs get a bad name because people eat the wrong type of carbs and don't do enough activity. Carbs remain the fuel source for our body and that doesn't change.


When people say they need to increase their protein intake, one common flaw is they imagine increasing their protein intake and nothing else. Percentage of macronutrient intake is very different to calorific intake.


By the same token if a weightlifter is increasing their protein intake, then typically they would automatically be increasing their carbohydrate intake too. There is often something lost in the translation that confuses people.


A rule of thumb is that if you can visibly see high protein foods such as eggs or fish on your plate daily then you are consuming ample protein. Protein is easy to consume and most definitely NOT lacking in peoples diets as many "personal trainers claim".


🔶 IN SUMMARY


Improving nutrition goes hand in hand with improving activity levels. If basic nutritional education is taken on board then the heartache of fad diets, gimmicks, short lived and often dangerous diet plans and "detox diets" can be avoided.


Improving nutrition begins at home and the answers are closer to you than what you may think. As always, any enquiries about how I can help you simply get in touch and book your FREE consultation.....


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