I always thought seeing a nutritionist was for performance athletes (of which I am not) or for people with very serious weight loss goals. In fact once upon a time I thought that there was nothing really wrong with my diet … I had the occasional treat, okay slightly more than occasional, but I was eating “regular” food in what I assumed was “regular” quantities.
As my weight shifted, and my eating habits finally caught up with me I knew I needed to make some changes but suddenly realised that I was never fully aware of what a good diet actually consisted of. Growing up we were served meat and veggies for dinner, but there was no limit on carbs or sugars really. Nobody thought of bread as being something you shouldn’t eat too much of, and there was little discussion around why some food was good and some food was unhealthily. Moderation wasn’t really mentioned and “don’t be greedy” was more about being fair and everyone getting some, rather than avoiding over indulging.
Seeing a nutritionist is far more than calories in versus calories out, there’s a whole science behind it. Some will find they’re eating to much, while others not enough, there is also balancing your meals in line with what your body needs, not my body… your body. For me, when I was “eating healthy” I wasn’t doing so in the correct quantities. What makes determining your own meal plan and healthy lifestyle tricky is that social media and traditional media are both jam packed full of all kinds of hype and messaging around what we should eat and what forms a healthily diet. There are so many diet options…. Low Carb High Fat, Gluten Free, Paleo, the 5:2 Diet, the Dukan Diet and the list goes on and on and on. There’s no single right way to eat, and different things work for different people, and this is where a great nutritionist is priceless.
It’s common knowledge that while exercise is how you get toned, gain muscle and get stronger, weight-loss however, is largely about what you’re eating… what quantities, what types of foods, when you’re eating.
While Lynda doesn’t push a particular diet, she will help you create a food plan for a particular diet plan if you wish. Of course she will only do so if she doesn’t feel it’s not detrimental to your health. She asks though, that while adhering to her meal plan you also need to keep your own food diary noting what you actually ate, that way when things don’t go quite according to plan she can see why. After my first appointment she pointed out that I was actually forgetting part of my lunch each day, thus ripping myself off, I could’ve eaten more!!
For me it’s important that I don’t think of this as a diet, with an expiry date or an end goal, because it’s really about educating myself to make better choices. For example, it turns out I was eating a man’s sized portion of oats every morning, so now I’m eating half that and having a tasty morning tea treat at 10:30am. I don’t want to be a gym rat, body sculptor or super skinny minnie. I want to be fit, healthy and strong… and as everyone keeps saying “fit is the new skinny“. There are somethings in life I will never be, and a size 6-8 is one of them, but I can be fit and healthy, that’s definitely something I can achieve.
My typical day consists of:
Breakfast: half a cup of oats, 100g frozen berries, and 1-teaspoon ground linseed… as porridge. Once it’s heated and ready to eat I stir through 2 scoops of Clean Lean Protein (vanilla flavour) plus of course the all-important black coffee.
Morning tea: either corn thins and hummus or a handful of almonds.
Lunch: 100g meat (generally the regal pre-packed chicken) and either steamed veggies or salad plus either nuts, seeds or avocado.
Afternoon tea: Either fruit and yogurt or corn thins with peanut butter.
Dinner: 150g lean meat with 2 cups of veggies
I haven’t included too many specifics of my meal plan, what works for me won’t necessarily work for you and it’s important that rather than replicating my plan you build your own, ideally through a professional. My plan was put together based on my lifestyle, likes and dislikes… I don’t eat eggs, and can’t tolerate too much dairy. The best plan is the one designed for you.
Shortly I’ll have my measurements retaken so I can compare with last year… fingers crossed there’s progress eeeep!!!
My Nutritionist is Lynda Smith from Nutrition For Life
I highly recommend her, I drive well across Auckland for my appointments with her and it’s totally worth it.