Hi all and Happy Easter,
Today’s post is of course the third instalment of my introduction to ‘dieting’ and how best to approach it in our lives as construction professionals.
This comes on the final day of a long weekend that included a few too many pints and a steak and ale pie, but also one where I managed to keep my macros (as introduced in last weeks post here) in mind and minimise the damage to my routine while still having a good weekend away.
While this is a sound approach for maintaining body composition, or muscle-to-fat ratios for the most part; today we go a bit deeper into Level 3 and introduce micronutrients.
As mentioned briefly last week, micronutrients, by definition are the nutrients absorbed from our food on digestion, that are required by the body on a smaller scale. They include the vitamins and minerals within our food and for the sake of simplicity, the Get Constructive approach to getting enough micronutrients is going to be limited to simply eating enough readily available, cheap and easy to prepare vitamin and mineral rich food in our daily diet.
In again, limiting the science produced on today’s topic, the functions of various vitamins and minerals vary drastically in their benefits to our health and ultimately, if we consume enough of the right foods, supplementation in the form of multivitamins and other tablets are rarely necessary.
As an outline, the below shows a hit-list of vitamins and minerals that play important roles in bodily function, energy levels, fluid balance and promotion of healthy blood cells – just to name a few;
|Vitamin C||Berries, Citrus, Melons, Peppers, Leafy Greens|
|Vitamin B12||Red meat, oily fish (mackerel), dairy, eggs|
|Vitamin A||Leafy greens, carrots, sweet potato, peppers, apricots|
|Vitamin D||Oily fish (mackerel), dairy, eggs, moderate exposure to sunlight|
|Vitamin E||Green vegetables (broccoli and spinach)|
|Vitamin K||Green vegetables (broccoli and spinach)|
|Sodium||Table salt, cheese, processed foods with added sodium|
|Potassium||Yoghurt, fish, avocado, mushrooms, bananas|
|Chloride||Tomatoes, lettuce, celery, olives|
|Magnesium||Nuts, green leafy vegetables, whole grains|
|Iron||Red meat and white meat, green vegertables (watercress and kale), nuts and seeds|
Now this list is far from exhaustive, it is still just an introduction to the mindset and awareness of micronutrients in our food and I do not recommend going and filling your tucker box with table salt and red meat.
Here, we need to incorporate the knowledge we have from the last two posts in watching (loosely at first) both our calorie and macronutrient intake, as well as placing some emphasis on these newly introduced micros. For those of you getting a large proportion of your foods from processed sources, I think you will see very quickly that it is hard to satisfy, even remotely, the three categories without losing your mind…. and to put it very bluntly, this could be the primary cause of any shortcomings you may be experiencing in terms of health and fitness while operating in a construction role.
To sum this all up then and to, as always, relate this specific to the gals and girls strapping on the high vis and hard hats; here are a few simple rules of thumb to take away from today’s post and into your daily routines:
- Try to incorporate at least one or a maximum of two servings of your favourite fruit into your daily foods. If you do a bit of research and it satisfies any of the above listed vitamins or minerals then that is a big plus! Treat one or both of these serves as a snack at smoko or morning tea.
- Aim for a fist-size portion (your own fist) of either, red meat, chicken or fish of your choice at dinner. If you enjoy sauces to go with it, try to limit it to 1-2 tablespoons. If this approach can also be applied at lunch then that is also bonus points!
- Eat green vegetables ad-libitum. This means- as much as your heart desires. If you can get a serving of green veg in the form of spinach (bagged variety is fine), broccoli, green beans and the like, into each of your meals, you will be on your way to satisfying your macronutrient needs.
These are only three simple points to start, climbing the mountain always starts with a single step (or three) but for more tips on macros or even a look at an overall eating plan incorporating the three levels of dieting introduced so far, feel free to contact me here.
That’s me for another week and I’ll be back next week with a special post featuring an old mate of mine and his amazing story to changing his health, fitness and life as a construction supervisor.