Do you feel nutrition is complicated? Like it fills you with anxiety just thinking about it? Ben Coomber is here to simplify things
What carb to eat? How much protein to eat? Which fats will cause heart disease? When to eat? How much? And why? It can all be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow this simple 18-point check list for maximum results.
- Know that health isn’t just physical. Having a social life that appeals to you, and taking care of your mental health, are just as important. Not everyone wants a million friends, but very few people should be alone for extended periods either, and at the same time not everyone will be happy all of the time. Find a place that feels right for you, and practice self-care to maintain this.
- Try to reduce sitting time. Sitting time independently predicts various disease states. And while activity and exercise can help you become ‘really healthy’, that’s not to say that a lack of them only brings you back to ‘sort of healthy’. In fact, if nothing happens after you read this column other than you spend an extra hour per day walking around I’ll consider it a HUGE success.
- Increase active time. The World Health Organisation recommends a minimum of 30 minutes moderate activity, three times per week, plus two sessions of resistance training per week. Two 45-minute workouts and a half-hour walk on three other days can make more of a difference to our longevity and quality of life than most of us realise.
- Be calorie conscious. You don’t need to track them with precision, but over or under-eating calories impacts your health negatively, and both are incredibly easy to do.
- Eat mostly whole foods. That’s vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, unsweetened dairy and lean meat. This should be about 80-90% of your diet.
- Learn some recipes and easy lunches to make with the above – it makes it all SO much easier.
- Make up the rest of your diet with whatever you like. Where possible, share meals and drinks with friends.
- Have protein at each main meal. This is going to help you stay full, and also do a ton of other useful things, like maintain healthy skin, hair and nails
- On the topic of main meals, have two to three per day at roughly the same times. Structure and routine are brilliant for dietary adherence – grazing makes tip #4 a lot harder.
- Minimise snacks. Eating protein and other whole foods with meals should reduce your need to snack.
- If you can’t help yourself around certain foods, don’t buy them for a while.
- Stay hydrated. Pay attention and when you’re thirsty, drink stuff that doesn’t contain calories.
- Supplement wisely, you don’t need everything when you start out. You may never need anything, but do your research. Check out www.Awesome Supplements.co.uk for simple, non-BS supplement info and advice, plus Awesome products.
- Manage your stress. Some stress is unavoidable but most of it isn’t – and even the unavoidable stuff can be mitigated in some way.
- Sleep more. Sleeping just one hour less than you need per night knocks all sorts of things out of whack. Seven to nine hours is about right for most adults.
- Don’t do stuff that you know is bad for you. Often this is easier said than done!
- Cultivate a meaningful relationship. Could be a partner, a close friend, a family member or someone else entirely. If the shit hits the fan, you need a number to call.
- Find a hobby outside of health and fitness. Give a few things a try, you’ll find something.
And if you do want help or guidance, consider working with me on my 90-day body transformation program Fat Loss for Life, otherwise you can find me all over social media, and on my #1-rated podcast Ben Coomber Radio.