My Philosophies about Nutrition
When it comes to nutrition some of my main beliefs include –
- Practical Nutrition – I consider myself a practical nutritionist, this means that I prioritize effort vs reward in terms of your body. For me, most people have enough effort to get results but they apply it in the wrong areas. My role is to direct your efforts into the right resources for results. This means we make compromises in certain areas which perhaps other nutritionists would never “allow” you to do. It means you do not need to be perfect, you can eat any food (however bad) but at the same time you must make up the work in other parts of your diet.
- Individuality – Nutritional needs can vary between any two individuals. This stems from our different genetic backgrounds and the result is that one person may need a higher fat diet with plenty of red meat while another may need a low fat and higher carb diet with no red meat. The key is discovering what your body needs.
- Diet Contradiction – The conflicting advice exists because of our individuality. No one diet is better than another and there is no need to waste energy arguing over which is “right”. The key for success is simply determining which diet is the right one for your body at this present time. Eat the foods which your body needs and you will optimize your health levels and results.
- What to eat – To find out the foods you should be eating I use the Metabolic Typing Test to guide us to the starting point of what you need to eat. The foods recommenced can be greatly different from one person to the next. Check out the articles on Metabolic Typing for more information on this.
- How much to eat per meal – To find this out you simply need to listen to your body. Based on what your body tells you in the following 0-2 hours after eating you can work out how to change the ratio’s of protein-carbs-fat on your plate. This empowers you and allows you to feel good and craving free post eating. See your ideal fuel mix for more on this issue.
- How much to eat per day – Your daily amounts of food can be worked out by looking at body fat changes alongside signs of metabolism (body temperature etc). When you know your body fat gaining threshold, metabolism down regulation point and optimal fat loss zone then you know the exact amounts of how much to be eating per day. Through manipulation of these you can achieve the results you desire.
- Food sensitivities – This refers to foods that annoy you. Food sensitivity tests are a total mess with none able to test the different posisble types of intolerances. For most people their sensitivity to a food comes and goes based off how much they have been eating it recently. Identifying likely food annoyances is an important element of the plan and can be done through elimination protocols.
- Supplements – I am not too big into supplements. While there is a definite role and a place for their use with certain people it should never come at the expense of the food being in place. Recommended supplements include multivitamins based off your body chemistry. Digestion related supplements can be used for better digestion, to rebuild the gut or to revolve gut issues.
- Organic food – I do not put organic food at the heart of my nutrition plans like most nutritionists. I view myself as a Practical Nutritionist, which means implementing what works within the context of someone’s lifestyle. I fully support organic food but I do not believe it is the first thing they should address.
- Cooking – Like with organic food in an ideal world everything you eat would be prepared by yourself from organic sources using fresh produce. As a practical nutritionist I understand this is not possible for most people. So while again you should prepare your own food, again it is about how this fits within the context of results.
- Fresh food – The less processing a food goes through and the less time between production and serving the better – common sense! But at the heart of practical nutrition is understanding the effort vs the reward and what compromises will produce greatest results. For organic, fresh and self prepared food this area needs to be developed and increased over time.
- Eating out – If eating out is a rare event then I am all for eating whatever you want (yes that whole pizza, bottle of wine etc). If eating out is a regular event then you will need to investigate how many meals can you not worry about the food vs how many meals must you eat a more appropriate choice for your body.
- Taste – You must have taste in a certain percentage of your meals. The key is how do you add taste in a way that does not upset results? When you get to this point you will be set for life as your good meals will also be meals that you enjoy.
- Enjoying food – I am all for having and enjoying experiences in life and food provides this in many ways. However, there is a huge difference between trying that new recipe or new restaurant in town and having that bit of cake for the hundredth time this year. Similarly you must be able to enjoy a certain percentage of meals every week taste wise or you will not be able to stick to it long term.
- Alcohol – Like any “bad” food it needs to be examined to see if it is or is not undermining results. For most once a week drinkers, alcohol is way down on the list of things to address. For daily drinkers then it needs to be looked at. In my experience alcohol is less important than food for most people and almost everyone can get results without having to be tea total.
- Tea/coffee – The main negative effect of caffeine drinks is the way they act as a biochemical mask. That is, they allow you to eat less calories and think you are not annoying the body during that process. In reality you are annoying and upsetting your metabolism. If eating right then arguments can be made either way for the use of these drinks.
- Nutrition theories – Hundreds of theories, some absurd, others more well reasoned. Despite all the theories every diet comes down to the foundational principles of nutrition. which has only a handful of things you actually have to do. This simplifies nutrition.
- Metabolic Typing – This is a theory of personalised nutrition. I have used it since 2005 and have got amazing results. All diets work along the foundational principles of nutrition. Metabolic Typing is my preferred choice of working within these rules.
- Sports Nutrition – For optimizing sports performance you really must get your food in place. Whether you want to gain muscle, run a marathon or play a team sport. Nutrition is huge and you would be wise to investigate it more.
- Specific diets – I wrote about most of the major diets pros and cons in my article Diets Explained. All diets work upon the foundational principles of nutrition. As long as you get to your zone on each principles the name or reason behind the diet is fairly irrelevant.
- Vegetarians – I have helped numerous vegetarian get great results. I work within any limitations in lifestyle and look to do the best with whatever moral, religious or personal rules you have. One thing to say on vegetarianism, if you choose to be a vegetarian you HAVE to get good at nutrition. I have met vegetarians who have cut out meat but then do not want to learn how to use food properly. Something has to give, if you want to get results and avoid meat then LEARN how to do it.
- Fasting – Another tool that ties into the foundational principles of nutrition. There is a time and a place for it. There are some merits to it and some drawbacks. It is a tool to be used with certain people.
- Detoxes – Another tool that can be used for some people. Again it has pros and cons but is ideal for some people.
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Watch me being interviewed on the BBC 1 Breakfast show discussing milk and the plans to stop milk for under 5 years old’s.