How to improve diet and health is a very complex question but can be answered with a few simple actions performed daily. This article focuses on 4 easy ways to improve your diet and sibsequent health.
Firstly, it is important to understand that everyone is different. You must experiment and find your own balance so that you are near to your dietary requirements but more importantly you feel healthy. A more physical job will use much more energy and cause more damage to their respective muscles than someone in a sedentary desk job. An individual digestion system may better absorb protein, fats and carbohydrates into the body. I refer to damage to your muscles because after strenuous activity because your muscles tear and force your body to repair, becoming stronger. To allow the body to repair efficiently you must intake the required proteins and other nutrients.
From a mathematical perspective, the normal equations I would use for understanding how much protein, fats and carbohydrates an active individual needs are as follows.
0.5 – 1 x bodyweight (kg) = protein
6 – 8 x bodyweight (kg) = carbohydrates
0.5 – 1 x bodyweight (kg) = fat
That being said a rugby player may require double the amount of protein and 25% more carbohydrates. A long distance runner may require much more fat compared to carbohydrates.
However, to counter the use of this, I have written 100’s of nutrition plans for elite level athletes and what I have learnt to be the most important factor in a good nutrition plan is its ability to actually change someone’s behaviour. You can create a detailed plan which precisely details exactly how much protein, carbohydrates and fats you should aim to hit in each meal or you can aim to make small changes in a person’s lifestyle so that the changes that they make are more long-term. I believe the first attack goes over most client’s heads so let’s take it step by step and make things a bit simpler. Below are 4 changes in your nutrition which will help you live a happier and healthier life. If you eat good food, you feel better about your body and thus your mental health improves. Eat good, feel good.
Four Easy ways to improve your diet and digestive health
Change 1 – Mindset change
Understand that the first month of creating a new nutrition or lifestyle habit is very hard. I reference it to a rocket taking off, you need a lot of energy to fight the initial force of gravity but as you fly higher and higher the gravity decreases until eventually you break-through to space, there is no more resistance because you no longer have to consciously think of your change. It is now a habit, it is now natural, an empty vacuum with no resistance. This mindset change is a great way to learn how to improve diet and health. Read – How to create better habits for more information on this.
Change 2 – High Protein Breakfast
Far too many people eat a non-nutritious breakfast of cereal or simple toast meals. Change to a high protein healthy oats based meal with a range of toppings or high protein egg based meal. The oats based meal (overnight oats or porridge) is perfect in comparison to cereal because it is naturally much higher in protein. This means that the meal is more complex and thus slower to digest. Cereal however is very easy to digest which means the sugar which it is predominantly made off is digested too quickly. The excess energy is then stored as fat. Great egg based breakfast ideas include a chicken pesto and tomato omelette or scrambled eggs with spinach and tomatoes. If you are trying to cut some extra fat I would choose the egg based meal over the oats. Learning the changes of how to improve diet and health through this simple changes may seem dramatic but once established habits it is an unconscious lifestyle choice.
Change 3 Lunch and Dinner Balance
Our lunch and dinner change is very simple. Balance your meals and eat fresh healthy food. Takeaways, fast-food and greasy lunches are out. Never to be seen again. Instead we prepare our lunches in advance and ensure we cook fresh food for dinner. To ensure a balance you must have a good portion of Great British Meat, slow releasing carbohydrates (brown rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, quinoa , etc.) and have half your plate/meal full of vegetables. This balance is non-negotiable. The large amount of highly fibrous vegetables means that the meal is digested slower so you feel fuller for longer and it highly reduces your calories per meal. Click here for more healthy lunch ideas and dive deeper into learning how to improve diet and health.
Change 4 – Water for Sugar
One of the biggest problems in modern society is the excess ingestion of sugary drinks. A simple fix is to simply swap all sugary drinks with water. This will make a dramatic impact on your body composition. Each sugary drink is excess calories with no nutritional impact on your body. I promise you that you do not need them and after 4 weeks of consciously changing the habit of having water instead of sugary drinks as a snack or with your food.
Overall, learning how to improve diet and health is a endless journey of learning and taking actions. Find out what works for you and take baby steps to changing your habits permenantly.
Coach Ed Young, Instagram – @Circuitspro, FB – @Circuitspro
Director of Circuits Pro, International Strength and Conditioning Coach
I have worked for the last 10 years with the ambition to further understand our bodies, their ultimate potential and how to better help people to improve the relationship with their own body. Our busy lives have left us disconnected to both our bodies and the natural environment around us. Our priorities are to pay the bills before really being conscious of how we are feeling both mentally and physically. I aim to grow a community of individuals willing to break this cycle and reconnect and explore their bodies once again. Try a bodyweight workout free today.