Nutrition can be such a minefield. There’s so much conflicting info and it changes all the time. And there can be so many rules! Cut your carbs, don’t eat after a certain time, eat breakfast as soon as you wake……..
How do you know what to follow? My advice is instead of getting caught up with rules around what you should/shouldn’t eat, get in touch with you and your body and work out what’s right for you. Trying to follow someone else rules can cause a lot of stress. Stress is exactly what we want to avoid as it takes us into the wrong part of the nervous system to nourish the body and get it working optimally.
Instead of following a set programme, I encourage my clients to get to know themselves and what works for them. Start by becoming aware of how certain foods make you feel.
Are you sluggish lacking energy? Do you feel hungry or bloated? how well do you recover after training?
Getting to grips with what your body specifically needs is a bit of a science experiment. eg. Some of us do better on less carbs, some of us feel awful!
After a lot of trial and error over the years I finally know what works and doesn’t work for me. What works for me doesn’t necessarily fit into the rules of what the experts say you ‘should’ do. Here are some of the ‘rules’ I regularly break:
- I don’t eat my first meal till around 11/12pm. This is usually eggs on gluten free toast with some spinach on side which is a balanced meal of protein, fat and carbs.
- I eat carbs with my evening meal, usually some rice or potato along with veg.
- I eat quite late in the evening. My last meal is often around 9.30pm – not ideal but I work evenings and that’s what time I get home.
- I have the odd treat when I feel like it, usually some dark choc, a coke or the odd beer or vodka on the weekends.
This means I don’t binge. When I used to restrict myself and be perfect during the week, it would lead to binges on weekend.
It all goes back to balance – I’ve always stuck by the 80/20 principle. If you eat well 80% of the time, the body can handle a bit of sugar or cake the rest of the time.
Trying to force yourself to follow rules that don’t suit your lifestyle is a much more stressful way to live.
So my advice is let go of the rules and get to know your own body. Work out what’s right for you instead of trying to fit in with someone else’s model.