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  • Writer's pictureBrooke Allwood

Food & Exercise

When it comes to weight loss, food is an essential ally on the journey. It is information for your cells, nutrients for your health, energy for your metabolism and so much more. The key is in the type of foods you consume, and allowing yourself to build a relationship with it out of love and nourishment rather than deprivation and fear.

What to eat

Foods to focus on for health and weight loss include high quality protein sources, healthy fats, nutrient dense vegetables & fruits, detoxifying fibre and metabolism boosting herbs and spices.

Proteins in particular are vital for muscle development and growth and repair of tissue.

Particular proteins to focus on include:

🔅Nuts and seeds – consume a variety and combine both nuts and seeds in the one go for optimal protein intake. A small handful daily is adequate. Excellent choices include; almonds, cashews, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds (tahini).

🔅Eggs – natures perfect protein! Consume hard boiled rubbed in spices, combined with vegetables into an omelette, fried in coconut oil, poached or however your heart desires.

🔅Fish - consume twice weekly and mix it up; Salmon, Tuna, Snapper, Cod, Mackerel, Perch, Trout, Sardines.

🔅Quality, (preferably free range and/or organic) meat up to 4 times weekly; again mix it up, rotate your consumption of pork, turkey, chicken, lamb, roo and beef.

🔅Lentils and legumes as part of a vegetarian dish or added to a dish containing meat to extend the serving sizes.

1 serve of protein is approximately the size of your palm; protein should be consumed with each meal.

Other important foods to include with each meal are:

🔅Green leafy veggies; rocket, spinach, broccoli, kale, silverbeet, brussel sprouts.

🔅A rainbow of vegetables; different coloured veggies contain different vitamins and nutrients, by consuming a wide variety of colours we are consuming a wider variety of the good stuff. Include beetroot, carrot, eggplant, pumpkin, sweet potato, squash, zucchini, mushrooms.

🔅Healthy fats – these are essential for weight loss as they help your body to burn fat, stabilise your appetite and reduce inflammation that can cause weight gain. Think oily fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds, avocados & coconut oil

🔅Herbs and spices such turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, garlic, cayenne and pepper.

When to eat

It’s important to eat something before you work out, so that your body has the energy available from the food. Aim to eat 1 hour to 45 minutes before exercise to ensure best results. Eating within 30 minutes post exercise is a fantastic habit, as it replenishes nutrient stores and helps build muscles (which helps boost metabolism!)

A snack containing both protein and carbs is the perfect option. See below for ideas.

Pre exercise:

🔅Coconut yogurt with berries and mixed crushed nuts and seeds

🔅Homemade bliss balls made with nuts, seeds and dates. If you are time poor ‘Bounce’ has a great range of protein balls including dairy free and vegan options.

🔅Protein powder smoothie with water, banana and spinach

🔅Rolled oats with mixed berries and nut milk or water

🔅Wholegrain sourdough toast (if there are no digestive issues present) with avocado and tuna

🔅Smoothie containing oat milk, mixed berries, banana, chia seeds, spinach and coconut yogurt

Post exercise

🔅Wholegrain crackers with salmon and tomato

🔅Grilled chicken with roasted veggies (remember to include a variety of colours; beetroot, eggplant, pumpkin, zucchini, sweet potato)

🔅An omelette loaded with mixed veggies (tomato, spinach, leek, beetroot, broccoli)

🔅Rolled oats with coconut yogurt, crushed nuts and seeds and mixed berries or a banana

🔅Cooked salmon with sweet potato and mixed greens

Remember that food is essential to life, and developing a healthy relationship with it will allow you to gain results and also enjoy your weight loss journey.

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