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Fitness and Diet

Getting fit through exercise is only one part of a healthy lifestyle. Diet is another important building block in a fitness regime. We can exercise all we want, but we do not pay attention to our diet, ie what and how we eat, we will not see the changes in our bodies and health that we wish to see.

Which diet?

While we talk about the idea of a diet, it has got bad press because of the daft ideas that are pushed as the new discovery. When we talk about diet, we are not talking about some extreme , tightly confined food types that we eat for a given perion until we are sick of it (sometimes literally), but we are talking about what you will eat for the rest of your life. A diet, like exercise, has to be a lifestyle concept and not a passing fad. What you need to do is to establish some basic principles that will guide your eating habits through life, and be sustainable indefinately.

Basic Diet Principles

Our search for the perfect diet often involves looking for some unusual food combination that will help us to lose weight quickly, and will be used for a short term. What you should be doing however, is to look for a pattern in eating which will not necessarily make you loose weight quickly, but will give more steady and sustainable results. We have found the following broad principles to be effective and practical.

  • Eat three meals a day, and don't eat between meals. Snacking and grazing is out.
  • Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You should aim to eat more at the start of the day, and eat less as the day progresses.
  • Cut out sweet and fatty food, but don't compensate for this by eating larger portions or meals. Eat a balanced diet of fruit , vegetables, lean meat and carbohydrate such as rice, pasta and potato. In a meal of potato, meat and two vegetables, each portion should occupy one quarter of the plate.
  • If you feel you need to eat between meals, eat as much fruit and vegetables as you want. better to eat this than chocolate and crisps or potato chips.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Many of us spend a large part of the day in a dehydrated state, so drink water between meals. Coffee is a diuretic, and should be drunk in moderation
  • Minimise the amount of salt in your diet.

Glycemic Index

Foods can be categorised according to their Glycemic Index (GI). High GI foods break down quickly, so that you get a quick surge of energy but are then left feeling hungry in a short time. Low GI foods break down more slowly in a controlled way, and will sustain you for much longer meaning you don't get hungry quickly.

A good eating pattern will therefore maximumise the amount of low GI food you eat.

South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet emphasises the reduction sugar rich, high Glycemic Index foods and saturated fats. It is designed to be a sustainable long term diet plan. South Beach Diet

Body Mass Index

The Body Mass Index is a guide which suggests what weight is considered to be healthy for an individual, depending on their height. This can be used as a target to aim for when exercising, and means that weight loss can happen in a controlled way. It is possible to loose too much weight too fast, and the body mass index suggests a sensible target range. Body Mass Index

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