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Nutrition and Hydration Awareness Week – the importance of a balanced diet 

It’s no coincidence that Nutrition Awareness Week falls at this time of year; as people start to think about their summer holidays and exposing a bit of extra flesh, then the temptation can be to go on fad or crash diets. Whilst this MIGHT, in some cases, have a SHORT-TERM effect it is a highly dangerous approach to a LONG-TERM hitch.

Good nutrition and hydration are fundamental to a healthy lifestyle, before you even think about getting down to the gym perhaps the first port of call should be to examine the contents of your shopping basket. It is a well-known fact that women should have approximately 1500 calories whilst men should have around 2000 calories per day. But what should these calories look like?

  • Fruit and veg should make up 1/3 of your daily food intake. It is essential to eat these in order for our body to gain the important nutrients that it needs to grow, operate, fight disease and be generally awesome! Some of your Fruit and veg intake should be raw and non-processed to ensure you are getting all the nutrients your food has to offer.
  • Carbohydrates are often frowned upon if you are a gym goer but remember they are a fundamental part of a healthy diet. Our bodies need them for sustenance particularly before those gnarly gym sessions. Oats, Sweet Potato, Brown Rice are just a few of many healthier alternative Carbohydrates that should make up about 1/3 of your daily intake.
  • Protein is often considered an important part of any athletes or bodybuilders diet. When we are using muscle tissue we are often damaging it, protein is essential to repair this muscle and allow further muscle growth. Protein can come from any meat but you should make sure it is as lean as possible. Beans, Eggs and Fish are other great sources of Protein. If you are focusing on muscle growth you may want to consider increasing your protein intake but it should take up roughly one sixth of your daily intake.
  • Milk and Dairy products including butter, milk and cheese are also important in a varied diet. Some recent studies have even shown that milk is a great way to rehydrate as it stays in your digestive system longer and allows your body more time to take on board fluid, not only that, milk contains nutrients which helps muscle repair. Dairy products can be high in fat that of course is still an important part of your diet.
  • Sweet and high fat foods are generally considered a no go area for the health conscious. Sugar can provide a quick intake of fast releasing energy that could help in the gym or on a workout whereas fat that is burnt can be replaced quickly. When thinking about Fat and Sugar it is important to consider feasibility, everyone needs a guilty pleasure every now and then. Studies around fat and sugar are ongoing and unsurprisingly they should only take up a small part of a balanced diet.

The underlying factor to consider, when thinking about diet this Nutrition Awareness week, is that it is important to balance out all of the essential ingredients. Being on a diet does not mean depriving your body of important nutrients. There may be things on this list that surprise you, things that you can cut out for a “quick-fix’ or short term goal but if you want long term results it is about changing your mindset and approach to food to be well rounded and accepting of all elements of nutrition. If you want further advice you can speak to any of our PT’s down at i-motion gym or seek advice from a medical professional. Good luck and be safe. Team i-motion.

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