Don’t leave it down to guess work. When I ask my clients the question “Have you been eating well?” they often tell me “Yes, I’ve been eating good, hardly any chocolate or alcohol etc” which is great to hear, but it isn’t always the case.
Last month’s article, spoke about some tips which you can do which will have a positive impact on your overall health. This include: exercising daily, stretch in the mornings and challenging yourself. All are important but you will not see a real change, unless you look at your nutrition.
Before I tell you what you should and shouldn’t eat, here’s some basic terminology which you need to familiarise yourself with when thinking about your health and your nutrition. Have you heard of the following?
BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate
RDA – Recommended Daily Allowance
Sound familiar? Do you know what they mean? No problem if you don’t, read on and I will explain.
BMR is also referred to as your Daily Calorie Intake. This tends to be around 1500 calories a day for Females and around 2000 calories a day for Males. (For example, this means that as a guy, I can eat 2000 calories a day and not gain or lose weight, but will maintain my current weight).
Although, there are some factors that affect this, such as age. The older we become, the slower our metabolism gets, meaning we don’t burn as many calories as we used to when we were younger, so we are more likely to put on weight and gain. Another factor for BMR is our exercise or activity levels. If we are active, we burn more calories but we also need to eat more calories to give us energy to be more active in the first place.
Are you still with me? Let me continue… Having a higher BMR is good because our body can break down food more effectively so we can utilise fat. Exercising more, creates a calorie deficit so in order to maintain and stay the same weight. If exercising we need to eat more. If you want to lose weight, eating less calories and exercising more will do this. If you want to gain weight, eating more and exercising less is key. It really is that simple, but you need to know what your BMR is as every individual is different. Then you are able to count the calories you consume.
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance. If you’re at home, grab an item of food that has a food label on it. The government set the RDA for the average male and female, which shows us a snapshot for that particular food. This is usually illustrated as a percentage, of how many macronutritients are in this particular food and how much of those make up our daily allowance for a healthy balanced diet. However, not all food labels have these. What all foods do have is a Nutritional information table, showing a breakdown of the amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in that particular food. If you eat more and go over your fats for the day and then for the week, you’re more likely to gain weight and increase your body fat.
Understanding the above, can have a big impact on your overall health. As we get older, our metabolism will naturally start to slow down. We need to be more careful and smarter with our food choices. The quality of calories you eat on a daily basis will ultimately determine your body shape and overall health. Tune in to next month’s article for more tips on how you can lead a fit and healthier lifestyle. ■
Visit my Instagram page @nicky__fitness and my website www.nicky-fitness.com for more information.
Written by: Nicky Holland (Personal Trainer)
Photos: Nicky Holland (Personal Trainer)
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