What the hell are we putting into our bodies?

About three years ago I was having a ‘recovery’ drink in the form of a very sugary, high glucose Lucozade.

I had started getting into the habit of looking at the calorie content of any food I ate and was kind of shocked to see this energy drink with over 300 calories in it.

To put that into context, the 20 minutes I spent on the cross trainer, was undone just by having this drink.

It shows how clever advertising is, as Lucozade always has kind of hung onto the coat tails of sport.  So in the mind of the nutritionally uneducated you think:

Sport = Lucozade = Healthy

If I had not suddenly started thinking about my nutrition, checking the labels on food, then all my work put into the gym would be to cover the sins of my gluttony.

Not thinking about nutrition, destroys gym hardwork.

Unfortunately with physical improvement goals, it is 1 hour of hardwork in the gym.  Plus 23 hours of hardwork resisting temptation and thinking about what you put in your mouth.

I felt like such an idiot, I had been going to the gym for years and beyond the initial fat lost, I had kind of reached an equilibrium where I was not getting achieving my aims of dropping body fat, getting fitter or becoming a faster runner.

So I started paying serious attention to what I ate.  I had previously cut down or eliminated the obvious stuff such as sugary drinks and biscuits.

Reading up on nutrition I became aware of other issues such as energy drinks, cereal bars and keeping a high protein, low carb diet.

In later years I altered how I ate meals making simple switches such as switching processed food such as white pasta to wholegrain (brown) pasta.  I also begun snacking on nuts and eventually cut out my drinking.

The impact was major, I dropped weight, my body looked a lot leaner and I got faster and fitter, therefore whenever I trained I was able to put a lot more into it.

Because I came happier with my body and what I could do I felt a lot more content and happier in my life.  I couldn’t quite believe that I was able to achieve more at 28 than at 20.

A man’s lifestyle and diet…

Being a male, I think generally diet  is something we ignore and under estimate in our training.  We think it is for fat chicks and women with eating disorders.

Perhaps we are young and arrogant – we don’t like being told what to do, and that includes eating.

Useful resources.

I’m not perfect and I’m not a qualified nutritionist, but this is just some stuff I have learnt from experience.   I recommend reading the Gi Diet.  This programme categorises food into three different levels – green, amber and red.

This is a great way of simplyfing nutrition that even a complete idiot could understand.  By listing it in such a way the reader is able to make informed choices when going supermarket shopping.

There are plenty of other resources available, with books specialised towards diet and fitness.

So to close…

In conclusion some people can probably get away with eating crap and then compensating at the gym.  I have met many people who are happy to do this.

But I do find that there bodies are average/few extra pounds at best and they struggle more as time takes its toll.  If you want the perfect body however you need to remember the other 23 hours in the day.

So how about you put down the bag of M & M’s and start thinking about what you are doing to improve your body and fitness outside of the gym?

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