During the summer months we all become a bit more conscious of the way we look. It’s the time of year that our bodies get their annual airing and with this comes the usual worry about unwanted hair, winter-pale complexions and, of course, how toned and slim we look.
With all this in mind, this season I have decided to take a different approach. So, instead of eating lettuce leaves, relentlessly running around and completing multiple crunches, now it’s all about eating the right things.
My new mindset is a result of Matt Roberts (of Matt Roberts Personal Training gym) who suggested that I undertook a nutritional assessment. To do this I had to spend a week writing down everything that I ate or drank for an expert to examine. Before I began, they stressed how important it was to be honest – and this I found really insightful. It’s amazing how suddenly having to document all the food you eat instantly reduces your daily calorie intake. You start to reconsider that second (or third) digestive biscuit because you are aware of the potential scrutiny that you might face from an uber-healthy nutritionist and you are certainly more aware of what you are loading your supermarket trolley with, too.
Once complete, I sent off the food diary and awaited the results with baited breath. What came back wasn’t much of a surprise to be honest but it was affirmation that I do have to make adjustments to my diet if I want to see results in my physique.
The advice suggested lots of ways in which I could improve my diet. For example, when I’m training in the gym, my expert told me I really need to up my protein levels, introduce more (ideally green) veg on a daily basis and drink a lot more water. And, when it comes to snacking, I should be reaching for healthy protein snacks as opposed to quick fix sugary options.
I was also given a list of various things that I should stock up on in order to encourage me to eat more of the good stuff. This includes eggs a-plenty and luckily for me I’ve always got a ton of eggs in the house anyway. I eat them regularly, particularly after a long run or a tough gym session.
Chicken (or turkey) was also on the musteat list. Again, this is no hardship for me as I eat it most nights already. It’s the classic lean muscle-building protein source and you simply have to find healthy, original ways to serve it up to keep you enthused about having it again…and again…and again!
Other suggestions for me to pop on my shopping list included: tuna, salmon, tofu, steak, edamame, peanut butter, quinoa and cottage cheese. And, of course, no lean bikini body is made without the typical supply of whey protein. It’s low-calorie, fast-digesting, and perfect to take immediately after a workout, first thing in the morning, or even alongside low-protein meals.
So today is day two. It’s lunchtime, and I’m headed home for food. What will I be having? Chicken of course! If you are trying a special diet ahead of the summer, let me know what it is and how you get on.