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Week 2.1 - Nutrition Basics

Welcome to week 2 - Nutrition and Lifestyle.

Today I will be giving you a brief introduction into nutrition. Throughout the rest of the week I will be going into more detail about different aspects of nutrition whilst providing some handy tips to nail your nutrition and maintain it going into the future.

We will be covering the following today:

. What is nutrition

. What is energy balance & how to use it

. Nutrition & Training

. Supplementation

. Eatwell plate and balanced nutrition

. Why the word 'diet' should be banned

What is nutrition

Nutrition is the biochemical and physiological process by which an organism uses food & drink to support life. This includes the digestion, absorption and excretion of the consumed food & drink. Commonly nutrition is mainly categorized into 4 subcategories called:

. Proteins

. Carbohydrates

. Fats

. Water

These are called macronutrients and primarily make up all of the nutrition we consume. Within all of the above we have some wonderful things called micronutrients. They include your vitamins, minerals and fiber.

We will be covering these in more detail in blog 2.2 & 2.3

What is energy balance & how to use it

Energy balance is the relationship between the daily intake of calories through eating & drinking vs the amount of calories consumed by the body throughout the day.

Example - If you consume the same amount as you require daily.

Result - Body fat will remain the same

Example - If you consume more than you require daily.

Result - you will gain body fat

Example - If you consume less than you require daily

Result - you will lose body fat

So in summary:

. If you eat more than you burn - you will gain fat.

. If you eat less than you burn - you will lose fat

. If you eat the same as you burn - you will not change.

Finally, there are three ways you can change the balance. You can do either of the following:

. Change how much you eat & drink

. Increase how many calories you burn in a day

. Do a mixture of the above 2 points.

Nutrition and Training

In order to perform mental & physical daily tasks you require calories, this includes training. When we look at training it is handy to look at nutrition in 3 forms which is categorized by timing of consumption around physical training.

Pre Workout

This is the meal before training, this meal should assist the energy needed for training - this is commonly a complex carbohydrate source. A complex carbohydrate source takes longer to enter the bloodstream and allows a slower & sustained source of energy.


. Breads

. Grain

. Pasta

. Beans & legumes

. Non-starchy vegetables

Intra Workout

This is nutrition during exercise, this isn't always necessary unless you are one of the following:

. Athletic (Low body fat or highly muscular)

. Performance & endurance (when training occurs over a long period of time)

. Intense exercise (when pre workout meal won't fuel you for the session)

. Fasting prior to training or haven't consumed a pre workout meal

Most intra workout meals consist of simple carbohydrates, simple carbohydrates enter your blood stream a lot quicker and give you a quicker and shorter energy boost.


. Fruit

. Sweets

. Dairy

. Higher sugar foods

Post Workout

This meal is taken within an hour of training, most suggest sooner the better. This is what we call a recovery meal, a balanced meal of protein & carbohydrates would be preferred. Most individuals should focus on protein - this will aid recovery.


. Protein shakes

. Meat & Fish

. Dairy

. Certain vegetables


Most of your vitamin, mineral and fiber should come from food and drink however there is a term called supplementation which helps increase your daily intake of helpful micronutrients. Within the fitness world there have only been 3 categorically proven supplements that work:

. Protein powder

. Creatine

. Caffeine

However there are lots of other types of supplementation out there, try going onto fitness stores like 'myprotein' and you will see what I mean. I cannot confirm nor deny that these work and to be honest neither can the companies! You will notice in descriptions that it 'may' do what is states, this is to protect the company manufacturing the supplement.

Eatwell plate and balanced nutrition

You may have seen this a lot in school and it has become a little outdated however the lesson that should be taken from it is that you need variety in your nutrition. As I will explain more on blog 2.2, you should vary the foods you intake - this means different colours of vegetable/fruits, different types of meat and fish whilst ensuring you do not have too much of the higher calorie foods like oils, processed and simple carbohydrates.

Why the word 'diet' should be banned

The word diet is a horrible word, it has become worse with time especially through social media, publications and the news. For many the word diet has negative connotations, it is related to sacrificing something that we all love - food!

As a wider population we must stop dieting, these include:

. Atkins Diet

. Special K Diet

. Keto Diet

. 5/2 Diet

. 2/5 Diet

. Weightwatchers Diet

. Paleo Diet

. Dukan Diet

I could go on...

Unless the reason is medical, the sole purpose and similarity of all of these diets is a calorie deficit - it is the reductions of calories. We have to stop calling them diets! Let's reduce and moderate what we consume - this is energy balance.

Be your best!

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