5 nutritional habits to increase performance and longevity

The most impactful lifestyle change is your diet, followed by exercise.

It’s essential to make sure our diet is filled with the nutrients we need, to allow our body and mind to perform at its optimal level. So many people dismiss this and pivot straight into exercise. The answer lies in what we put into our bodies, that determines how our bodies operate and how well we perform. This also led to health on a gut level. Our gut should be working efficiently to digest our food and allow us to utilise the nutrients we need, to have the best life we possibly can. Nothing is more important than our health. I believe this is our wealth, and without it, you won’t be able to become the best version of yourself.

Below are some basics in nutrition that will help you make more positive choices, to fuel performance, longevity and optimal body composition.

Five nutritional habits to increase performance and longevity

  1. How do your food choices make you feel? Anything you may eat, which doesn’t feel right should be off-limits ultimately. That means anything that causes a stomach or guts upset, and that makes you feel tired as well. This particular food is not serving you, and no matter how delicious it may be, should never continue to become part of your diet. The reaction means your body finds this particular food hard to digest. It could be a possibility that you may lack the enzymes necessary to process grains or dairy. Perhaps it could be that your liver is not working optimally to metabolise fat. Maybe you don’t react well to carbs. If you get any of these symptoms at all, cut out what it is and see how much better you feel. This is a clear indication you should be avoiding this food.
  2. No more processed foods. Although it’s craving at times, and we think it’s needed, processed foods do not serve us in any way. Highly processed foods too often are a disaster for our health. They contain chemicals, preservatives, sweeteners, food dies and human-made fats. These are not designed to be metabolised in large quantities. When eaten very rarely, they don’t cause any inherent harm, but as you know, sometimes it’s not easy to stop with one doughnut or chocolate bar. Try to find healthier alternatives that at least contain some nutritional value – and don’t make you feel like absolute rubbish after you eat it!
  3. Gut health is essential if you want energy and performance. I can’t stress how vital gut health is in all aspects of your life. Your GI tract is pretty much in control of your entire body. The bacteria living int here affects our brains, thoughts and how many calories our bodies absorb. Making sure our gut is healthy and working to the best of its ability is a crucial factor for performance. You can take better care of your stomach by making sure you do not consume anything that makes you feel sick, eat plenty of fibre and include pre and probiotics as much as possible. Keep monitoring how food makes you feel and eliminate them if it’s not serving your gut health.
  4. Each meal you consume should have protein, vegetables and fats. Give high carb cereals, bagels and slices of bread the flick for breakfast. This is highly processed foods that leave you hungry and lethargic hours after consumption. Think about consuming protein sources from eggs, salmon, with some greens on the side. Or how about an omelette with rocket and feta cheese? If you think about your food choices a little bit more, it will help you to avoid hunger by improving your gut hormone levels that involve satiety, as well as keeping your blood sugar steady. That means optimal levels of concentration, energy and better performance on all levels.
  5. Always be aware of what you eat when tired or sleep-deprived. Lack of sleep will have a significant effect on your eating patterns and behaviour. Sometimes we crave positively proceed carbs or high sugar treats. And because we are tired, we’re more likely to perform less activity or skip our workout altogether. This will put you at risk of increasing body fat, and if not kept under control, increase your risk of obesity. Always keep this in mind when you may have a few late nights or experience some form of sleep deprivation. Monitor your food and get back on track the next day with your sleep and nutrition.

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