Last week’s column about nutrition and food received a really positive response, and I got lots of messages via social media to say that readers were taking my tips and giving them a go.
So to everyone who has implemented some new lifestyle changes over the last seven days, it’s a big high-five from me!
I also received several messages asking my advice on calorie counting and whether or not it is necessary, so in this week’s column I’m going to share with you the next layer of nutritional advice.
For many people, simply ‘cleaning up’ their diet, getting rid of the excess junk food and being more mindful of portion size, will naturally mean they take on board fewer calories.
This reduced calorie intake often results in what is known as a calorie deficit, which is a shortage in the amount of calories consumed compared to the amount needed to maintain body weight ... basically you expend more than you consume!
However, it’s not uncommon to find that you come to a sticking point after a little while, if you simply ‘clean things up’.
When this happens it’s time to start educating yourself on the energy (or the number of calories) that is in your chosen foods.
Now by education, I don’t mean you need to go to Uni ... although you could if you want to! You just need to put a little time and effort into finding out more information about the things you eat and drink.
There a tons of apps out there that can help you with this, and one of my favourite tools is an app called My Fitness Pal.
It’s totally free to download and you can scan barcodes on food products to reveal their energy information, plus their is a never ending library of fresh foods with all their associated information.
It’s often said that knowledge is power and this is certainly the case when it comes to nutrition and taking control of your health.
You only get one body, and it’s solely down to you to take care of it.
So why not invest some energy and time into putting yourself first and learning that little bit extra about something that can have such a positive and powerful effect on your everyday life and long term health.
Someone who has done just that is David Bolt. David won a bronze medal in bowls at the Commonwealth Games this month, and prior to jetting off to Australia, dropped over two stone.
I had the pleasure of writing David’s gym-based programme and he showed tremendous commitment to both exercise and nutrition.
I’m sure everyone in the city will join me in congratulating David on this incredible achievement, and thanking him for helping put Sunderland on the map at the Commonwealth Games!