A lot of attention has recently been drawn to the meaning of proper eating within the general idea of building your fitness, health and strength. Even those who have just started their amateur training soon learn that their work on physical condition and aesthetics of their body shape may be a Sisyphean task if no care is taken to good selection of foodstuffs.
When browsing through the Internet forums searching for a selection of supplements or starting a thread on helping to modify a training which produces no results, you are usually quite often given the diagnosis: 'you have no diet' and a suggestion to start one. But since the work on qualitative improving your eating habits is desirable, the methods often indicated as optimal or only right raise doubts.
What should you start composition of a diet from? In one of my articles I presented a definition of a diet as: 'a term describing a way of eating of a person'. In other words, everybody has a diet, not everybody, though, has a diet that suits their needs and possibilities. So a positively logical solution seems to be, instead of creating a diet from scratch, to improve the current one. Skeptics might argue that analysis of your menu and its correction require expertise. Well, it does. But it's not secret knowledge. You should look for it in reliable sources and broaden it systematically. It's also worth making at least one appointment to a good dietician.
Aside from that, many people are perfectly aware that fries, pizza or cotton candy are not a valuable component of a good diet. This is what first should be eliminated. Once you do eliminate them, a gap appears which ought to be filled with something else. The best replacement of sweets would be fresh and dried fruits, the best replacament of crisps: nuts and almonds. It's just one step of many which should be regularly taken, consequently improving your diet. You used to have pork chops and fries for your dinner? Okay, next time decide on boiled potatoes or rice, or instead of frying your meat grill it or cook in the oven. And remember about a salad. This way, even though you don't introduce radical changed in your menu, after some time your eating habits will radically advance.
Composition of a diet: selection of nutritional products.
Eatables are a source of energetic, building and regulatory compounds such as proteins, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals, as well as many other substances that influence the way our organisms function. What underlies good sports diet is such selection of nutrients that would provide you with a complete and high quality of all needed elements.
It is worth to use low-processed foods, that is such where not many steps distance raw product from a final one. In other words, fresh meat is much better than ham made of it, not to mention sausage which has usually little to do with meat itself.
When composing a diet you should familiarize yourself with basic characteristics of individual groups of food products and be able to find out which are a source of proteins, fat and which: carbhydrates. What is important here is to distinguish good and bad sources of the above mentioned ingredients. To illustrate it, a good source of protein is products of animal origin. You should concentrate on fresh producs, such as fresh meat, and avoid highly processed ones. It's the same with cereals. Oatmeal is usually a much better option than finely processed 'fit' or 'light' products.
A good choice of nutritional products makes a basic element of your menu. Many people concentrate on counting callories or implementation of the appropriate amount of protein intake, while in fact it is the source of a given callorie or a given gramme of fat that is of essential meaning.
Composition of diet: selection of protein products.
In recent times proteins have gained more popularity owing to the fact that numerous slimming diets are based on proteins themselves, and authors of these diets elborate on how positive is the influence proteins have on your figure. Proteins, or acutally amino acids protein is composed of, are building material for your body. Adequate supply of them is of particular importance for those who want to increase muscle mass and - reduce fat tissue.
The best source of proteins are, naturally, aminal origin products, such as meat, eggs, fish and dairy. It stems from that fact that such foodstuffs contain so called complete protein, that is one which has all necessary amino acids. Vegetable products usually lack some of exogenous amino acids or they contain relatively small amount. But thanks to proper compilation of vegetable products people who don't eat meat can also receive complementary protein.
When chosing a source of proteiny you should focus on raw, unprocessed products and prepare them at home. Technologically changed foodstuffs, such as sausage or a canned tuna, should make up only a fraction of your daily menu. So instead of ham for your sandwich, where there is only 50% of meat, chose a home made roasted pork of grilled turkey breast that you can make yourself.
You should also remember about sufficient intake of vitamins, minerals and antioxidans, as well as fiber the great source of which are fruits and vegetables: preferably fresh, but also steam cooked or cooked in soups. Green vegetables, such as: romaine lettuce, broccoli, spinnach, and also tomatoes, cucumbers and carrot, should be included in your every meal. Even weight-loss diets should be supplemented with low-calorie fruits.
Composition of a diet: selection of fats.
There are many superstitions and misunderstandings connected with this component. Fat, after nutritional banishment when all of it was to be eliminted, gradually regains its good name as an important and valuable element of your menu. Similarly to other macronutrients, it's not only amount but also the quality of consumed fat that is of fundamental importance for optimisation of sports and health condition. Total amount of consumed fat is of equal importance with its type and relation among given fatty acids. But even without detailed calculations you can improve your meals if you add proper foodstuffs.
A great source of fat is "extra virgin” olive oil, and also walnuts, almonds, cashew nuts and hazelnuts which are a source of mainly monounsaturated fatty acids; the ones which should make a fat basis of our diet. It is definately worth including them in your meals. Whole eggs (egg yolks), oily fish, linseed oil of high level of alpha-Linolenic acid, rapeseed oil and avocado, as well as fresh butter should not be omitted when planning your menu. You must remember, though, that not every fat is advisable in your diet.
You should absolutely avoid refined oils, hard margarine and all products that have confectionery fat and hydrogenated vegetable fats in their composition. Also bear in mind that long heating induces changes in fats' properties and biocapacity. Use olive oil or rapeseed oil for short frying. If you have to fry foods for longer time, use lard. Under no circumstances should you use linseed oil or other EFA (Essential Fatty Acids) for frying since high temperature leads to their easy oxidation and insalubrious compounds are created.
Composition of a diet: selection of carbohydrate products.
A good pick of foods containing carbohydrates is of essential meaning. Carbohydrates, or actually their excess, are blamed for problems with unwanted fat tissue. As a matter of fact, too high intake of refined sugars like sucrose, fructose and glucose-fructose syrup may result in metabolic disorders and problems with your figure. All sorts of confectionery, sweets, sweetened drinks, white bread, but also fruit yoghurts and flavoured cereals should be omitted.
Such foods as rice, vegetables, fruits, not very popular sweet potatoes and wholemeal and whole grain porducts make a brilliant source of good carbohydrates, and should form the basis of your diet. What is especially important is to have carbohydrate-rich meal after your workout, and it is when you can let yourself to have sugars, but importantly, they should be of conventional source (for example fruits).
You ought to remember that long heat treating of foods may change properties of carbohydrated included in them. Starch, when treated with high temperature, undegoes hydrolysis or dextrinization. Overcooked meals may be a bit easier to digest but they may drastically raise the level of glucose in your blood, which, if you work on your shape, is not beneficial. I want to emphasise that it's not about eating raw, uncooked pasta, but about giving a wide berth to overcooking.
A proper choice of foods rich in carbohydrates is of equal importance as a good selection of protein or fatty products. A mere correction of quality of consumed carbohydrates can help you achieve improvement of metabolic parametres even without changes in quantities of consumed carbohydrates.