SFL Fitness Therapy
Sarah Cullen - Personal Trainer & Sports Massage Therapist convering Knutsford, Wilmslow & Alderley Edge

The correct nutrition is key to achieving your mind/body health & fitness goals

I have always had a keen interest in nutrition but it was only when I became a personal trainer that I fully understood the importance of correct nutrition. I have lost weight, gained weight, built muscle and reduced my body fat, all in my quest to achieve a perfect body.

"From experience I know how difficult it is to know what to eat & when."

There are so many different diets to choose from such as Paleo, low carb, low fat/high fat, herbal life to name a few. I know that when you are desperate to lose weight you will give anything a go!

"For years I was obsessed with any new diet trend."

I’ve popped diet pills, detoxed to the extreme, tried liquid diets…the list goes on. I was always hoping that the next new thing would be the answer to achieving my dream body, when all along all I had to do was stop what I was doing and keep it natural.

"The bad news is that there are no quick fixes that last."

When you go on a restricted diet you may well lose weight but you can guarantee that as soon as you try to go back to eating a normal diet again you will pack it straight back on as well as adding on a few more pounds. It also causes havoc for your hormones and will affect you mentally. It really is not something to be messed with.

Nutritional Balance

1. 28 days to break a habit

If you can go for 1 month, 4 weeks, 28-31 days on a healthy diet plan then you are more likely to stick to it.

Try it, check out my healthy tips below for one month and you will see an incredible difference not only physically but mentally too.

2. Eat breakfast

Always eat a protein rich breakfast! It raises your metabolism for the rest of the day, helps regulate your blood sugar levels and reduces food cravings.

3. Eat fat to burn fat

Do not be scared of fats, we need good fats such as olive oil, nuts, coconut oil to help us burn fat. Try to add these to at least 2 of your meals per day but be careful to measure these out as they are high in calories.

4. Eat every 3-4 hours

Eating every 3-4 hours regulates your blood sugar, appetite and mood. This will help you make sensible food choices and stop you from over eating.

5. Preparation

“By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail”. Preparation is key to sticking to your diet. Make a daily/weekly list of what you intend to eat and stick to it.

6. Water - Fat

You can not burn fat unless you are hydrated. Aim to drink at least 3 litres of water a day, you can add fresh lemon or lime for maximum benefits. Always take a bottle of water with you wherever you go.

7. Chill out man

If we eat when we are stressed then we will not absorb the nutrients from our meals and are more likely to over eat. Make your meal times a peaceful experience by sitting on your own or listening to some relaxing music. Before you begin take some nice deep breaths and make sure you are seated in an up right position for optimum digestion. Remember that after you have finished eating it still takes about 20mins for your stomach to register its level of satisfaction. Try and chew your food 20 times before swallowing, because elements in your saliva aid the digestive process.

8. Go organic

Eat Organic when possible, although organic foods are slightly more expensive they have so much more nutritional value which in the long run will help prevent illness and disease.

9. 5 + a day

Fruit and vegetables are the easiest ways to fill yourself up without having the added calories. They are packed with amazing vitamins and minerals and are key to maintaining a healthy body and mind.

10. Come dine with me

Eating out can be a nightmare when you are trying to lose fat. If the bread comes to the table then send it back ASAP, wait for your starter & go for light options such as: olives, salads or prawns. Choose a high protein meal if possible and aim to avoid rich sauces, chips, mash etc and opt for tomatoes based sauces & sweet potato, new potatoes or extra vegetables instead. If you do not eat meat then try to avoid high carb/fat pastas or risottos. Good choices are salads, grilled fish/seafood with a side of sweet potato, or a few sides together such as olives, mixed seasonal vegetables & Greek salad.

11. Tipple

In society today it is almost impossible to avoid alcohol. Alcohol is the number 1 barrier for my clients that can not lose the extra weight. It’s high in calories, messes with your blood sugar levels and stimulates your appetite. It is also burned off before fat and reduces your metabolism for the next 24 hours and prevents you from training as hard. Why do we do it to ourselves? If you are going to drink then a couple of good options are red wine (75-100cals 115m glass) white spirits with soda and lime/lemon. Please try to drink in moderation.

12. Treat yourself

Finally we can’t all be saints 100% of the time. Allow yourself a day of rest, eat something you love and chill out.

My Clients

I have had many clients over the years come to me in such a state, not knowing whether they are coming or going but with the right education and care we have worked together to rebuild their relationship with food.