HIT YOUR PROTEIN
High protein foods are satisfying and will keep you feeling fuller for longer as part of a balanced meal. Inadequate protein intake can lead to health issues including loss of muscle mass (or a hard time gaining muscle), skin, hair and nail problems, increased severity of infections and prolonged healing time.
1.2-1.4 grams per kilo of body weight is considered plenty for health. More is unlikely to be unhealthy but if you do eat more in order to stay within your calories you’d have to consume less carbs and fats and this could be a problem for maintaining a social life. A little more could be beneficial (up to 2.2 grams per kilo) if you have muscle building aspirations but loading up on protein to the detriment of other macronutrients (or your calorie guidelines) probably won’t be beneficial.
Hand sized portion control can be used here, understanding that a palm sized serving of protein rich food is usually around 20-30g of protein.
Your protein rich foods include: Lean meat, eggs (whites), fish, cottage cheese, quark, whey protein. Personally, We consider protein from other sources (like the bit in bread, or veggies) incidental/a bonus and don’t keep track of it.
HIT YOUR CALORIES
This kind of applies no matter what your body composition goals are. If you want to lose weight/fat you need to be in a calorie deficit (less calories going in from food and drink than you need to maintain your current activity levels). If you want to gain weight/muscle you’ll need more than is necessary to stay your current size (surplus). And even if you don’t care about your body composition… any calories that aren’t needed could be diverted to storage (body fat) and that’s not good for your health long term.
If you consistently miss your target by more than a little you can’t expect to see the results you’re looking for, no matter what you think or feel about how you’re doing, the numbers don’t lie. You don’t have to count them exactly but being at least roughly aware of them. There are 4 calories in a gram of protein. 4 in a gram of carbs. 9 in a gram of fat. And 7 in a gram of alcohol.
How many you should eat depends on you goals, age, and activity levels. There are SO many ways to figure out a rough starting number. Just be aware that once you have a starting point some time and tuning will likely be required to get things spot on. Even getting started takes time.
EAT YOUR VEGETABLES
Fruits and vegetables contain lots of awesome vitamins and minerals that help keep your body working properly. They also generally have a pretty low calorie to volume ratio (assuming they aren’t covered in butter, sauce or cheese) which means you can have quite a large amount of them and still likely stay within your calorie guidelines.
Macronutrient wise they’re mostly carbohydrates but it’s important not to lump them in with bread and cereal and think that because you’ve eaten one you don’t have to eat the other. You have to eat your veggies! As many colours as possible. Local if possible. Or at least try to consider what’s in season locally, this will help ensure a greater variety throughout the year as the seasons change.
Or simpler pro-tip: Buy what’s on offer. Many supermarkets have a “5 at 50c” offer, or something like that, everyday. If you buy from these options you’ll ensure a bit more of a mix, maybe have to try something new, AND save money! #FinancialGenius
Squat. Hinge. Push. Pull. Lunge. Carry. Perform various versions of these things using weights that are challenging for YOU.
“Lift heavy” doesn’t mean lift as much as a man if you’re a woman. It doesn’t mean lift as much as a young person if you’re an older person. And it doesn’t mean lift as much as a competitive athlete if you’re a beginner. Part of your exercise routine should include doing things to help make you stronger. This is never not going to be useful. It won’t make you bulky (unless you specifically train for bulk).
If you aren’t currently lifting, start. If you don’t know where to start there are SO many resources available online or you could hire a professional (like many of our Kingfisher Fitness Instructors) and get some pointers. Group exercise classes are also a great way of starting weight training. We have a great selection in our Kingfisher Club’s check our timetable online RENMORE | UNIVERSITY OF GALWAY | WATERFORD
Take the stairs. Walk to the shop. Stroll while you have a coffee with your friend. Park on the far side of the car park (there’s always spaces). Get up on the trampoline with the kids.
Live an active life. This is especially important for those of us that have sedentary jobs. Workouts in the gym are not the only activity that matters. The calories burned through having an active day can be far higher than the number burned by most normal workouts.
Fitness trackers are not necessary but can be very useful for keeping an eye on this. There is no specific number of steps for health or weight loss but knowing your average daily steps and maybe getting an extra walk in if you’ve had a few low step days is unlikely to ever be a bad idea. It all adds up.
Don’t forget about our Summer Sports Camp for the kids, if you want to make sure they stay active during the holidays. Sign them up today! Call Kingfisher Renmore (091) 773344, Kingfisher University of Galway (091) 570800 or Kingfisher Waterford (051) 850300.