Nutrition and Portion Control
UK Outdoor Fitness present Nutrition and Portion Control : We have collaborated with Nichola from Nics Nutrition based in Yorkshire to give you correct information with no spiels on secret fad “special diets” or latest trends
This will also help you improve your performance, eating habits, portion control and overall general health and fitness at our Bootcamp and Fitness classes This is also excellent reading for any non Bootcamp members:
Ever wondered what a balanced diet consists of or how much you should eat of what? Well here is UK Dietitian Nic from NicsNutrition.com to introduce you to what makes up a balanced diet!
“A balanced diet can be made up of the following food groups:
- Fruit & Vegetables, which provide our bodies with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre and water. Fruit, vegetables and salad are low in calories and high in volume. Fruit contains natural sugar (fructose), which releases its energy slowly meaning it keeps you fuller for longer. The majority of vegetables and salads contain very small amounts of energy and so are great to fill up on, especially if you are trying to lose weight.
- How Much Should we Eat? A portion of fruit is a handful, around 80g (40g of dried fruit though). Ideally you should eat between 5 and 9 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Aim to eat a variety of different colours, which means you will be eating a variety of different nutrients and vitamins. Fresh, frozen, juiced, canned and dried fruit and veg all count, with the exception of white potatoes (sweet potatoes do count!). If you love 100% pure fruit juice, great, but limit your intake to one small glass a day as it’s not as good as eating whole fruit. For weight maintenance you should fill 1/3 of your plate with vegetables or salad, and for weight loss you should fill up 1/2 of your plate, with fruit snacks in between or as a part of your breakfast.
- Starchy Carbs, such as granary bread, basmati rice, porridge oats and pasta provide our bodies with energy, some protein, B vitamins, minerals and fibre. Wholegrain foods such as oats protect us against the risk of heart disease and stroke, and those that are higher in fibre and less processed also have a lower glyceamic index (GI) which means that they release their energy slowly.
- How Much Should we Eat? At each meal i.e. 3 times a day, you should fill 1/3 of your plate with starchy carbs if you’re trying to maintain your weight and just under 1/4 of your plate if you’re trying to lose weight.
- Meat, Fish & Alternative sources of Protein such as eggs, nuts, beans and pulses provide our bodies with protein, which enables our bodies to grow and repair. These foods also provide B vitamins, including vitamin B12 needed to make red blood cells and keep our nervous systems healthy, and minerals including iron, zinc and magnesium. We should choose leaner cuts of meat and healthy cooking methods such as grilling or dry roasting (minus the skin on meat!). Bulking out meals with ‘plant-based proteins’ such as lentils and beans will make your meals higher in soluble fibre which helps to lower cholesterol levels.
- How Much Should we Eat? At each main meal i.e. 2 times a day, you should fill 1/3 of your plate with protein foods if you’re trying to maintain your weight, and just over 1/4 of your plate if you’re trying to lose weight (see below for more information on portion sizes!). We should eat at least 2 portions of fish a week, 1 of which is oily e.g. salmon, fresh tuna, mackerel, pilchards or sardines as they are rich in omega 3 which helps to keep our hearts healthy. They are also a good source of vitamin D which helps the body to absorb calcium. For more information about protein and protein powders checkout [this blog post].
- Milk & Dairy Foods provide our bodies with protein, calcium, vitamin B2 (needed to turn the food we eat into energy) and vitamin A (needed for healthy eyes and also teeth).
- How Much Should we Eat? Ideally we should be eating 2-3 portions of milk and dairy foods a day. A portion is the equivalent to 1/3 pint milk, 1 small pot of yoghurt or 30g (a match-box size) of cheese.
- High Fat/Sugar Foods such as butter, oil, biscuits, cake, sweets and pastry should be eaten in moderation. Foods high in fat and sugar are high in calories which may promote weight gain. Eating too many sugary foods can also cause tooth decay. Studies show that replacing trans fats (found in processed foods), with mono-unsaturated fats such as olive oil or rapeseed oil reduces the risk of diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
- How Much Should we Eat? If a portion of fat/sugar is 100 calories, e.g. a tablespoon of oil/butter, 1 snack sized chocolate bar or 2 plain biscuits, we should aim to eat 0-4 portions a day.. fewer if you’re trying to lose weight as there are no nutrients in these types of foods that we cannot get from other food groups.”