It is important to create and maintain a healthy, balanced diet. A good nutrition plan is key to the bodies optimum functioning, the USN diet plans have been structured to provide ideas and demonstrate food intake timings, so that your body receives all the vital nutrients it needs in such a way that you can reach your end goal without compromising your health and inducing starvation.
“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.”
Ancient Ayurvedic Proverb
Before you embark on your Body Makeover Transformation, please make sure that you have gone through all the nutritional information.
- Make sure that you take in daily:
- 2 grams of protein per kg of body weight.
- 2-3 grams of carbohydrates per kg of body weight.
- Males should consume 60 to 70 grams of fat, most of which should be essential fatty acids and ideally no more than 20 grams of saturated fat. Females should be no more than 50 grams, most of which should be essential fatty acids and again ideally no more than 20 grams of saturated fat.
- Eat balanced meals that contain protein, carbohydrate (low glycemic index starches, vegetables and fruit), and small amounts of healthy fat.
- Do not skip meals. Remember skipping meals lowers your metabolism, blood glucose level that causes one to crave sweet things (simple sugars) and it also lowers your energy levels.
Try to follow the following guidelines when you prepare your food:
- A portion of protein is roughly as large as your palm circumference and as thick as the palm of your hand.
- Low Glycemic Starchy Carbohydrates (such as bread, potatoes, pasta, cereal and rice), fruit and vegetables portions are more or less the size of what you can grab in your fist.
- Fats, such as soft margarine spreads, are the size of your thumb.
- Smaller Serving Sizes: by having smaller serving sizes and eating more frequently you are allowing your body to fully digest the food you put into it and get the most out of it.
Know your foods; do not limit yourself to just broccoli and chicken. If the diet says a cup of broccoli, you can substitute the broccoli with any vegetable under the vegetable category in the food chart on the USN website (www.usn.co.uk). Variety is essential for optimal nutrition.
When working out your meal options, please look to the USN plans for ideas and when creating your own meal options remember that:
- Carbs and protein each have 4 calories per gram.
- Fat has 9 calories per gram.
- For prepared/ processed food the fat content should be below 4g for every 100g.
- It is best to avoid eating high glycemic carbs, or simple carbs, such as sugar, fruit, sweets, or cakes.
As well as eating a balance of foods it is essential to stay hydrated, remember to consume at least 10 glasses (3 litres) of water during the course of the day. Alternatively you can consume fruit/herbal tea, slim pack or a slice of lemon in hot water.
You can also complement your diet with USN’s complete range of all the necessary vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids that you may need on your journey to your healthier, happier lifestyle; and always aim to get 8 hours of sleep each night.
- There are no overnight miracle cures to lose or gain weight; you need to eat well, exercise and intake all the appropriate nutrients and then you will see results.
- Do not skip meals. Remember skipping meals lowers your metabolism and blood glucose level that causes you to crave sweet things (simple sugars) and it also lowers your energy levels.
- Start your day with a good breakfast, look at the diet plans for guidelines, and follow this up with 5 other meals/ snacks during the course of the day and night. By eating every 2-3 hours over the course of a day you will consistently be fuelling your body; your energy will be higher and you are more likely to make healthier choices.
- Avoid eating the majority of your calories in the evening.
- Spice it up; add flavour to any meal without adding many calories, add spices like: cayenne pepper, coriander, oregano, parsley and spice blends.
- POWER OATS: cereals are often loaded with sugars, have a look at the back of packets next time you are in the supermarket. Porridge oats are a simple and tasty choice, combine with a spoonful of Manuka or regular honey and enjoy!
- Nuts = Good Fats. Unsalted and unsweetened nuts are a great snack. They are full of good fats (we all need these) and are a good source of protein and fibre. Have a quarter-cup serving/ hand full with a glass of fat-free milk or top your salad with nuts and seeds.
- Fibre is important. It improves your digestive system, regulates blood sugar levels and promotes long-term cardiovascular health. It’s found in fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and pulses as well as cereal, pasta, rice and bread. It is found mostly in carbohydrates, which is another reason not to deprive yourself of carbs. When choosing grains and carbohydrate rich snacks, make sure that there is 3g of fibre per serving and try to get the products in the least processed/ most natural form. Chose brown rice over white rice, and wholemeal pasta and bread over white pasta and bread products.
- Keep it colourful: the more natural occurring colours in your meal the better, make a salad packed full of colour with: lettuce, baby spinach leaves, crispy carrot strips, tomatoes and pepper etc.
This is an ideal guideline that will help you to follow a realistic and easy diet. The USN food plan has been designed so that you consume either a solid or a liquid meal every 2-3 hours. The easier you make your eating plan, the higher your chances of achieving your end goal, creating good eating habits and enjoying the journey along the way!