Fuel up!!

Focusing on fitness and not the fuel your using really doesn’t make any sense. There is no way you would expect a jet plane to run on the cheapest ‘any old fuel’, especially if you were on it!! The crazy thing though with the human body is that it will run on anything. Now just running is different to performing that’s for sure, and when you’re spending hours on the mat honing your skills the last thing you want to be doing is not performing. Now there are thousands of ways of eating and every second book / blog / magazine / training partner will give you some advice. Well, I’ve trialled many things and have a good working knowledge of physiology and biochemistry. I’ve seen trends come and go, people eating and not eating, and plenty of stars espousing this and that. Well, here are my top six starter thoughts just for you to think about
1. Eat mostly things not wrapped in plastic or has been sitting on the shelf for a long time. So much stuff is now is wrapped in plastic and can last for a long time in you cupboard. Having fresh food is likely going to have less preservatives in them.
2. No meal is the most important meal of the day. It does not matter when you eat. Read, experiment and work out whats right for you, your lifestyle and training needs. The most important thing is to fuel yourself for the right amount of energy required at the right time, and make sure your sleep is not affected. Remember that three meals a day is the based on the industrial working day not on your requirements.
3. Start by eating a little less. On average people will unintentionally put on about 200-500g a year after the age of 30. This doesn’t sound like much but all, but can add up. This alters your metabolism to basically restructure itself to that weight. The human body hates losing weight as it makes no real sense to an organism that really doesn’t know where its next meal is coming from. Eating a little less can be done through a variety of ways from reducing portion size, skipping meals and intermittent fasting. One simple way is cut out snack food. Its not necessary. Don’t but it, and don’t have it in your house. If its not in your house you will be less reluctant to go out and but it!! Fasting is a great way to reduce dietary intake and there is plenty of literature around. I eat one a day once a week, and have done for a while. I drink coffee and water after breakfast, and don’t eat again till the next morning. My weight hasn’t changed at all, and I still train 1-3 time on that day still.
4. Water and black tea/coffee should make up your daily fluid intake. Sports drinks and even fruit juices are sugar water. There is no value at all in them. You can add a small amount of salt to water and make your own isotonic drink. Isotonic means the drink has the same electrolyte balance as your body fluid. Its quite impossible though as your body regulates its electrolyte balance, shifting between the various theoretical fluid filled compartments as required. Volume is the next thought? There is again no right volume. Most volumes of fluids to be consumed are based thirst, urine output and who knows what. The body will regulate how much fluid you need. For example the Masai Warriors can drink once in the morning and work all day, and be still standing come night time. Masai warrior kidneys are just kidneys and all they have done is conditioned themselves both mentally and physically to drinking that volume. I no drink about 750mls on waking, then 1-2 coffees a day. I rarely drink when training even when its very hot. At night I drink nothing. After training I drink a coconut water, only because I like the taste.
5. Enjoy your food. People speak of days off their food and eating regimes, so that they can eat whatever they want. This has never worked for me. I have found that once eating well as a lifestyle will by habit force you to make better choices and then not crave foods that have no place in your eating pattern. In saying this, I don’t get bent out of shape if someone pulls out the Doritos or pizza. I will pretty much eat anything and not be worried. This is because I pretty much eat well just about all the time. In the same principle that one visit to the gym a month doesn’t improve your fitness, the occasional poor food choice wont destroy you. It’s a mindset that allows you to know the food your eating is just for fun. I have found the stricter you become with weight and diet, the more your intrinsic levels of stress will increase. This more than likely has an effect on your metabolism and weight, far out-weighting that of the occasional dietary indiscretion.
We will explore eating and diet but remember, eat for your plan and what works for you. Steer clear of fancy things and superfoods as they will make no real difference in the long term. Don’t get ripped off buying expensive gimmicks. And most of all, enjoy your food with great company!!!

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