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Fitness

Six week nutritional plan - April Ieremia loses it!

We all know that part of losing weight and leading a healthier lifestyle involves adjusting our nutritional intake. Here, Scott Cottier provides a complete and comprehensive guide on how to eat smart and eat healthy.

Nutrition, as discussed in the training programme, is 60% of living a healthy lifestyle. Understanding right from wrong; having the self-discipline to refrain from indulging and wanting to make a change through good eating has a huge impact on reaching your ideal weight.

Understanding different foods

There is an acronym I use constantly when cooking and eating throughout the day. It's called CNTROL and has the following meanings;
  • Colours; Try to have different colours on your plate. This mainly has to do with vegetables and fruit as most meat is either white or red.
  • Nutritional Value; A lot of the time I tell people that if you are eating food from the ground or a tree and/or from a portion of something that had eyes, you are close to a good nutritional product. Anything processed or made from off cuts is second-rate.
  • Taste; There's no need to give up taste, so add grains, spices, herbs and nuts to liven up bland meals. Keep in mind that too much salt and dressings can be detrimental. Use natural ingredients where possible.
  • Regularity; As stated in the training program, eating within every four hours is crucial. Having a reminder to eat at certain times allows the body to be tricked into burning fat first as it knows it will get something healthy again soon. This improves metabolism, the process by which your body converts food to energy. You should aim for six to seven sittings a day (refrain from calling them meals as they aren't).
  • Overall portion size; Ideally you should be eating small portions quite often. This will allow better digestion and a quicker response from your metabolism.
  • Love; Love what you do when it comes to healthy eating. Knowing when and why you eat helps you overcome temptations.
- The amount of calories you consume is affected by the type of food you eat. A vegetable like a carrot (one of the best snack foods you can eat), has less calories than a muffin so you can eat more carrots, and the body will have more energy to use.
- The body does not care what comes in; it uses the calories to do what the body requires. Any extra calories are stored by developing more cells; added weight. So less the caloric food you consume, the easier it is for the body to dispose of and for metabolism to improve.
- A major component of the metabolism process is to create lean muscle. Lean muscle zaps up the calories more than anything, so good food intake is important. Hypertrophy (muscle building) is also important for this reason.

Carbohydrates

For the next six weeks you will be placed on a high-carbohydrate meal plan that will assist with your metabolism and energy levels, allowing you to perform your exercises and remain alert during the day. Protein and fat will be included, however they will not be the dominant food nutrients.
As you can see, I do not believe in supplements as a relatively active person can gain the necessary nutrients in their daily food intake. If you don't consume enough carbohydrates, you will tire a lot more quickly. You will lose weight by cutting out carbs, but you won't have the specific energy to last the day - let alone training! Having a good level of vigour is important.

Challenge

I like to test your self-motivation and desire to achieve your goal by giving you little challenges that will assist with your eating habits. The challenge for this week is to not have butter, margarine or takeaways.
Some foods you buy may have it and that can't be helped, but physically opening a tub and spreading it on to your food is what I don't want you to do. After a certain time, you will not miss it and your taste buds will change to not wanting it.

A Typical Day of Eating

The following is the meal plan for the week. More than anything, it is a guide, as I am unsure of your work commitments, however it is imperative that you are disciplined and plan your daily meals the night before so when you leave for work, your food is with you and you can consume at the right times during the day.
Breakfast
(Should be before your exercise with a good break in-between. If you train early then a banana should suffice).
- 1 cup of cereal, preferably with oats
- Muesli (but not toasted) with 2 tablespoons of lite yoghurt.
- ½ cup of canned fruit
- 1 piece whole-grain bread with oarmite or Vegemite
- Glass of orange juice

Snack

(Ensure it is within 3 hours of last meal)
1 fruit of a good proportion or 2 smaller fruit
2 cups of water

Lunch

(Ensure it is within 3 hours of last meal)
- 2 bread rolls + chicken + salad. You can vary the meat; however be mindful of the colours in your rolls, or leftover dinner from night before.
- 1 muffin
- 2 cups of water

Snack

(Ensure it is within 3 hours of last meal)
2 mandarins or an orange or banana
2 cups of water
If you're running late with work and need to prepare dinner, then a snack bar should keep you within your time limits.

Dinner

(Ensure it is within 3 hours of last meal)
- A small serving of different vegetables - at least four on your plate. Raw is good.
- Meat is varied to what you had the night before and for lunch. If you ate a white meat, then have a red meat for the next meal.
- Fish is to be consumed at least once a week. The weight of the meat you consume should not outweigh your vegetables. Pasta and brown rice are also good options. Try not to use too much salt or fatty oils in your cooking. Deep-frying is a no-no.
-1 cup of ice cream and canned fruit
- A glass of iced water

Supper

(Ensure it is within 3 hours of last meal)
- A fruit smoothie of various fruits and colours. If there is any left over, store it in the fridge and have it for breakfast in the morning. Mr if you plan to work out early then drink that prior to performing the exercise.
or: A piece of whole-grain toast with marmite and avocado, which gives you a high form of good fat and protein to allow the body to rebuild throughout the night.

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