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NUTRITION – The stuf to all the questions you may not have asked

Content by: Jenny Meyer RD (SA)

 

Good nutrition means nourishing your body and making good food choices on a daily basis to keep it healthy.

Jenny Meyer is a registered dietitian working in private practice at MME Dietitians in Bryanston. We asked her a few questions about what you need to know.

 

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How do I go about selecting the right eating plan based on my training/goals?

 

A registered dietitian can assist you with this by developing a personalized meal plan and/or guidelines that are in line with your health and training goals.

First get the basic principles of healthy eating right.  Focus should be on foods that are more natural and come from the ground and nature rather than from a factory.

Set training, weight and body compositions goals with time frames to achieve these goals.  Keep food and exercise records to track your current habits and progress; your dietitian can then help you to identify areas to tweak to achieve your desired results.

 

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Is there a healthy option for a constant “on-the-go” lifestyle?

 

Don’t lose sight of key healthy eating principles and keep the following tips in mind

 – Don’t skip meals: This generally results in you eating more later on.

 

 – Plan ahead: Eat at home before work or pack food from home to take with you for the day

 

 – Snacks: Keep healthy meal and snack options available at work e.g.

High fibre cereals with low fat milk/yoghurt or take high fibre toast with sugar free peanut butter, low fat cheese or boiled egg to eat on the run

High fibre crackers with lean protein toppings e.g. tuna, cottage cheese, hummus, boiled eggs, sugar-free peanut butter

Fresh fruit, yoghurt, vegetable crudites, lean biltong strips, small portions dried fruit and nuts

 

 – Cook extra: Make use of leftovers the next day

 

– Buy ready prepared: Choose salads and vegetables that are quick and easy to prepare

 

– Good Food Choices: Focus on making good food choices when eating out and resorting to convenience foods

 

 – Portion control: This is important, of both healthy and unhealthy foods

 

 

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Should I be using supplements?

Supplements should be taken to replace gaps in the diet that are not being met through diet alone. Where possible try to meet requirements through actual food intake.

Speak to your dietitian or health care provider about what supplements you should take.

 

 

What are 5 key principles to implement?

 

Make good food choices

Ensure that you are nourishing your body by making good quality, nutrient rich food choices.  Choose fresh, wholesome foods and limit convenience, refined and processed foods.

 

 

Follow a good meal structure

Eating regular meals through the day (breakfast, lunch and supper with small snacks in-between) is key in keeping blood sugar levels controlled, which assists with better appetite control and improved energy levels.

 

 

Include variety in the diet

Mix up the foods you are eating each day by including different types of foods from different food groups at each meal.  Include different colours, flavours and textures at the meal and try different combinations. This prevents you from getting bored as well as allowing for a wider intake of vitamins and minerals.

 

 

Enjoy your food

Part of healthy eating is enjoying your food and creating tasty meals. Food does not need to be bland and boring just because you are trying to lose weight.  Use natural herbs and spices to flavor foods and experiment with tasty ways to prepare your favourite meal. Allow yourself a treat meal and snack during the week to break the monotony of following a stricter diet.

 

 

Be consistent with healthy eating and exercise

Weight loss and healthy eating need to be a lifestyle approach.  It is not an all or nothing approach; everyone goes off track from time to time, but the sooner you get back on track and the more consistent you are with making healthy food choices and exercising, the better your results will be.

 

 

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If I am aiming to compete in an event, what should I change? How can I optimize my performance through nutrition?

 

Don’t change anything too close to the event. Plan ahead of time and implement dietary changes early on during your training sessions to see how your body responds.

Start with the basic healthy eating principles, monitor your own food intake and performance and adjust accordingly. A registered dietitian can assist you with this.

 

 

Jenny Meyer

 

 

JENNY MEYER RD (SA)

Jenny Meyer is a registered dietitian working in private practice at MME Dietitians in Bryanston.

Email: jenny@mmedietitians.co.za                                              Website: www.mmedietitians.co.za

Tel: 011-4634663                                                                              Fax: 011-4635602

 

 

 

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