Nutrition and exercise – food or fuel?

When I first started on this fitness journey, I made myself some promises, they included not repeating old mistakes and making sure I took this seriously.

One of the old mistakes was eating well for a period when trying to exercise and lose weight and then going back to eating what I wanted. For the record I have never been a bad eater, not eating bad food, just eating too much food.

When I first started with my personal trainer he drew me up a nutritional plan. After I left that first session I went to the supermarket and bought what was on the list. I have adhered to it strictly from then. I am allowed treat days, but until I hit my target weight I didn’t allow myself them.

A big part of the change was a mental one. I had to change my relationship with food. Any food eaten during the day (breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, late afternoon smoothie) is fuel. It is what my body needs to get through the day without slumps and hunger. Dinner (although still healthy) is food for pleasure.

As my goals change so does my diet, with more protein and varying amounts of carbs, but the basic principles remain.
When I think of the results I am achieving and progress that I am making, a lot of it is down to hard work and effort, blood, sweat and tears. But a lot of it also is down to food and nutrition.

When the food that you are putting in your body is the correct food, with good balance of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, balanced with plenty of water, green tea and nutrient rich smoothies then your body is being fuelled. Combine this with sensible post work out proteins and carbs to aid recovery and you are working with your body to gain results.

If you workout hard to ‘earn’ the pizza or burger or junk food then you are working against yourself and your goals.

I’m no scientist and I am not a nutritionist, I am however fairly sensible and can see the results I am gaining and can feel the difference in myself and my energy levels.

I have a bad relationship with sleep, I suffer with insomnia, and sleep just a few hours a night usually. On my journey to learn more about this, and how it effects me, I have discovered a lot.

Reading Why we sleep by Matthew Walker has been enlightening. I now know that some of my relationship with food, eating a full meal then immediately snacking or having no will power to resist food at any time is related to my lack of sleep. This knowledge now empowers me to work on improving my sleep and relationship with food.

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