The Perfect Diet - THE FIT MUM FORMULA

The Perfect Diet

What’s the perfect diet? Is it low carb? Vegetarian? Low sugar? Vegan? Paleo? Low fat? High fat? High fibre?

How many calories do we need? How many of these calories should be protein/carbohydrates/fat?

 

IS there such thing as the perfect diet? What exactly should I be eating?

I get asked these sorts of questions ALL the time. That’s fine, it’s my job, which I do because I love it and I’m passionate about eating well. But as to answering the above questions….

Is there the perfect diet? Yes, it’s a simple case of science, and science is exact, there are always answers, even if we are yet to discover them.

Will we ever know what the perfect diet is? No.

 

Watch this too: Why you need a personalised diet

 

Why not? Because what constitutes ‘perfect’ is different for everyone. Then for each person, what constitutes ‘perfect’ for them changes on a daily basis, depending on their weight, muscle/fat ratio, how much they’ve slept/rested/moved/exercised. What they are wearing, what they’ve eaten and drunk over the past day/week/month/lifetime. Their general current health and health history…heck even the weather changes a person’s requirements, and we know how unpredictable THAT is in the UK.

So what can we do? Unless you’re going to monitor EVERY variable, which I’m guessing you’re not, then we’re going to have to take the information we DO have, and go with that. THEN we have to look at what’s going on following those guidelines, and adjust accordingly.

To decide what you need, you have to determine your goals. Build muscle? Both adequate protein and carbohydrates, with an increase in calories, combined with weight and resistance exercise are what is needed. Want to lose weight? Eat fewer calories than you burn. Burn fat? Reduced calories and carbs along with resistance and weight training. Training for a marathon or taking part in other endurance sports? You’ll need fast absorbing carbohydrates to fuel your energy levels whilst training and competing. Want to boost your immunity and fight off illnesses? Tonnes of antioxidant rich fruit and veg. Suffering from inflammatory conditions such as arthritis or eczema? Healthy omega fats, which also are excellent for anything skin, hair and nails related. And as for calories, how long is a piece of string, but it’s safe to say that if you want to slim down you need to reduce calorie intake, and the opposite for weight or muscle gain.

Surely we have more info to go on than that?

  • Most studies would show organic produce is more nutritious than non-organic.
  • We should eat as many vegetables as possible, and some fruit, though try to eat more vegetables than fruit as fruit is high in (natural) sugar. 5-a-Day is considered meagre by most health professionals.
  • Wholegrains are better for us than processed white flour products.
  • Hydrogenated fats in processed foods are the worst sort of fat, whilst saturated fats are now being shown to be not as harmful as previously thought, and unsaturated fats are highly beneficial.
  • Simple sugars are not needed by the body and we could easily live without it. Fruit juice and dried fruit are also high in sugar.
  • Fibre is important for regulating digestion, and ‘live’ foods such as natural yoghurt and fermented foods like sauerkraut also play a big part in digestion as well as immunity.
  • Adequate protein is essential for tissue growth and repair and whilst meat, fish, eggs and dairy products are an excellent source, there are many vegetarian and vegan sources also, so no one need miss out.
  • Homemade foods are almost always much healthier than processed ones. Even treats like cakes and biscuits are better than some processed ‘healthy’ cereals.

I could go on, but most people already know much of this. What people are after is a concrete solution, a ‘fix’ for all they feel is wrong about their physical being. They want me to write them a mealplan and shopping list and for life to fall into place.

But it just doesn’t work like that. What works for some people won’t for others. It’s a case of finding out what works for you: try, asses, adjust, try, asses, adjust. Something wrong? Make changes. Feeling fab? Keep at it. We are all individual, and our individual selves are ever changing. Not a lot we can do about that, all you can do is move with the times and do what works for you right now. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being great.

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