Are you eating healthy?
When we look at how we can keep ourselves healthy, it’s easy to get caught up in trendy diet challenges, fancy exercises, and clever marketing around ‘the best new supplements’ on the market. The most common mistake we see is taking the ‘kitchen sink’ approach – focusing on doing everything at once. So what should you focus on? Keep it simple.
Lifestyle factors: how much sleep do you get? Are you drinking enough water? Do you eat your 2-fruit and 5-veg daily? Are you exercising regularly?
Macronutrients: are you prioritising protein intake? Do you eat enough carbohydrate and fats to support your daily activities and exercise needs?
For most people in the general population, this is as complex as it needs to be – eating a balanced diet of colourful fruit and vegetables, lean meats, grains, and dairy will be enough to address most healthy eating needs. Once these factors are addressed, we can start to consider the smaller fish.
Micronutrients: these are your vitamins and minerals and are mostly found in colourful fruits, vegetables and fortified grains.
Nutrient timing: this includes pre- and post-exercise fuelling; fasting windows. These factors are only important once nutrient requirements have been met.
Supplements: the least important factor and should only be considered once all other factors have been addressed.
Bec Patterson, Exercise and Sport Scientist