Guest Blog Post - Sarah Dudley - HIIT it HARD Personal Trainer - "Real food and why it is important"

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So when I was first asked if I would like to write this blog I thought to myself, what on earth would I say? Just talk about food or exercise I was told…. well gosh where do I even start? Personally I think that the world’s gone a bit nuts about food and exercise (yeah I know not a great advertisement for a personal trainer right?) but seriously, it’s actually not that hard to understand once you break it down.

So, first blog topic found – my general advice on nutrition for all new clients that are new to this game.

So there is low carb, no carb, no sugar, high fat, low fat, paleo, blah blah blah. No wonder people are so confused! As for exercise most people just need to do SOMETHING! It doesn’t need to be a scientifically formulated exercise regime similar to what an athlete would adhere to.

Obviously different people require different things from their programs and the fitter you are the more specialised your workouts will be but for the general population eating well and exercising should be a simple routine. But then maybe it does seem simple to me but not everyone understands it?

I will cover workouts (and specifically the benefits of weight training for women) in the next blog entry. For now let’s talk food..

For me personally I am just grateful that what was once labelled an obsession of mine (food and exercise) is now my profession so people no longer judge me for insatiable interest on the subjects. I have tried many different types of eating. Cutting out carbs (reduced my energy levels), no fat & high sugar (body felt awful, bad skin and may other unpleasant symptoms) but I feel that I have finally found what works for me, and obviously many others judging by how many people out there follow this type of eating.

I like to call it the “real food” eating way of life. It’s not a diet, its permanent. It doesn’t last for 6 weeks, 8 weeks or 12 weeks, it’s just how I eat. And it’s really easy- you just avoid packaged foods full of preservatives. I try to stick to fruit and veg, nuts and grains and meat (red meat, white meat, salmon, white fish, turkey, good quality mince etc). The way I tell clients to think of it - IF YOU CAN GROW IT OR KILL IT IT’S GOOD TO EAT!

Please note that I am human, I don’t want to just have eggs for breakfast, I want to have them on a piece of toast. That is what I consider normal. Yes I avoid white bread and go for a rye bread instead but I like toast. No I don’t eat a loaf of bread every day - I eat a slice when I feel like it. As we all should! I personally don’t agree with cutting out whole food groups, your body needs a bit of everything and hey, variety is the spice of life right??

I avoid junk food and I don’t miss it because I eat raw chocolate balls and home made muesli slice and the stuff I make is ten times better than any junk I can buy and I know its still full of goodness, even if I do overdose on the raw chocolate bliss balls from time to time (I did say I was human right?)

So a couple of general rules to follow are:

  1. If a product has numbers listed in the ingredients you don’t want to eat it.
  2. If it has words you can’t pronounce in the ingredients you don’t want to eat it.
  3. The ingredients are listed in order of what the products contains most at number 1, then second most at number 2… so if you have sugar in your top 5 that isn’t something you want to eat or give to your kids.
  4. Ideally you don’t want there to be many more than 5 ingredients in anything you are eating.

But let’s be realistic…. all you have to do is use your common sense. If its got 30 things listed on the back and you cant pronounce most of them don’t buy it! But if it looks mostly ok and its something you really want then buy it - just don’t go nuts and eat it all of the time.

Now onto the dreaded “C” word…..CALORIES!

Another point I stress to people and HAVE to share with you is that not all calories are created equal. I assumed that people knew this but after asking around apparently not.

So.. if you have a Big Mac burger (just as an example) at 900 calories and you have a small chicken breast with some carrot and cucumber and spinach and a slice of avocado and pumpkin and almonds that also comes in at 900 calories – are they the same thing? NO! Your body knows how use the chicken salad for fuel. Without getting too technical your body knows how to process the chicken salad and use the food correctly. It sends the right messages to the right body parts and it gives you a nice slow release of insulin and everyone runs smoothly.

The burger contains saturated fats and other nasties that can cause all sorts of issues with your body and it can’t break it down properly. This leads to weight gain, fatigue, messes around with your metabolism and many other issues, the list is endless. And this doesn’t just relate to burgers it’s any processed food that we are putting in our body. Our poor bodies! This is why “Calorie Counting” is not the way to go.

Like any sort of machine - we need to put the right things in for optimum performance! The hard thing is that there is so much “convenient” food out there that we fall into the trap of. But if you’re feeling lazy and want an easy option then fall back on beans and eggs on toast. It takes 5 mins and you would sit in a drive through for longer than that. At least you are getting nutritional value from your food – which is the KEY to maintaining good health.

So on that note I will love you and leave you. If you are interested in more tips, recipes (including the food pictured) and information check out my page on Facebook – HIIT it HARD. Information on group workout sessions and PT training is also on there.

I love what I do and I hope to motivate and inspire you with my passion. And remember….

YOU NEVER REGRET A WORKOUT!

Sarah Dudley
Personal Trainer
HIIT it HARD

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