If there is one thing most of us struggle with it would have to be nutrition, there is so much conflicting information floating around, we can end up feeling, lost, confused, overwhelmed and not reaching our goals.
The training part is usually easy to master but nutrition can take time, especially when it comes to reprogramming your brain to think differently about food, moving away from diet cultures and properly educating yourself. Sure nutrition plays a roll in fat loss, but what we often forget is that it is vital in rolls like energy, and disease prevention.
Luckily I sat down with a dietician and she answered some of your burning questions about nutrition.
And now, over to our guest blogger, Bronte Williamson from Nourished Not Deprived
Can you please introduce yourself to our readers and let them know what you do?
My name is Bronte Williamson and I am the CEO of the National Dietetic and Psychology company called Nourished Not Deprived. I founded Nourished Not Deprived in 2018. We began as a Dietetic Company, with the dream to decrease disordered eating in the community.
We are now a team of Psychologists and Dieticians, available from the comfort of your home via our tele-health system. Whether that be improving your performance in the gym so that you can lift heavier and run faster, to making sure your anxiety is being well managed, to managing your health issues, we can help.
My mission is to make our community healthier both mentally and physically, with an incredible team by my side. Now enough of the serious talk… one fun fact about me is that I love ice cream and coffee is the way to my heart always.
How long have you worked as a dietician? What led you to working in the industry and what’s your favourite thing about what you do?
I was drawn into the field of dietetics through my own lived experience of an Eating Disorder. At 15 I was diagnosed with Bulimia Nervosa, and when recovered from this I made a vow to myself that wherever possible I would prevent anyone from experiencing what I had experienced.
I also grew up with a father who was quite unwell with an Autoimmune disease. I saw the way misinformation plastered over the internet ruled his life. He tried everything under the sun, from extreme restriction to consuming the weirdest pills and powders purported to ‘’cure’’ his condition. I wanted to know how to help people like my father, and how to provide them with the correct nutrition information, so they could live their life supported well; knowing they had someone to turn to to help them sift through this misinformation.
My favourite thing to do… the relationships I form with individuals such as Tam that are aligned with my values. Health care is not an industry that should be driven monetarily; and unfortunately through my time in business I have realised that this community is riddled with Directors of healthcare companies that have money at the forefront of their minds. If patient’s health is not at the pinnacle of what you are doing, I think you are doing it wrong.
Why is protein so important? Do you have any tips for increasing daily protein intake?
Protein is the building blocks of our bones and our muscles! I like to think of protein as the soldiers of the body. They help to build, repair, fight off nasty bacteria and viruses in the body and they are our hormones!
Protein is important for appropriate healing, strength, growth and development. Without an adequate amount of protein our musculoskeletal system suffers, leaving us at risk of muscle and bone density loss. This loss of muscle and bone density can lead to a lowering of functional capacity (ie. ability to move around lowers) and our risk of things like osteoporosis increases. Not only that, but our immune system requires protein to fight off viruses. Without an appropriate amount of protein for our individual needs, our body’s immune system will suffer!
Tips to increase your intake would include becoming familiar with common protein sources and making sure to add them into 3 of your daily meals regularly!
Why do I crave sugar mid afternoon? And what are some simple things I can do to avoid this happening?
Ah cravings! There can be many reasons why we crave sugar mid afternoon, however the main reason is the lack of appropriate intake during the day. Basically, you’re probably not eating enough.
We have to think about what sugar is… it is our main energy source. If our body is lacking appropriate energy, then it will crave sugar in attempts to provide itself with energy. We like to explain this to our clients in a metaphor. Think of yourself as a lion. Say you are very hungry and a gazelle runs past you. Now say you know there is a hippo 2 kms down the road. If you are hungry, you are going to go for the gazelle right in front of you. Similarly, if you are a hungry human and you have a chocolate bar in front of you, or all of the ingredients available to make a sandwich, but that will take 20 minutes, your animal instincts are going to tell you to consume the chocolate bar; hence, sending a craving for the more convenient option, the chocolate bar.
Ways to avoid this, eat enough and eat regularly! If you are unsure where to start, a Dietitian can assist in teaching you what your individual needs are.
What are some good pre-strength training meals? What should I be looking to consume nutrient-wise?
Correct pre-training nutrition can make a significant impact on your performance during your sessions and optimise your recovery after, can decrease the risk of injury and optimise muscle gain or minimise muscle loss.
Because of this, it’s essential that you are consuming a decent pre workout meal/snack, usually within 20-60 minutes of your session where possible.
We want this meal to be low in fibre and fat but high in carbohydrate and protein to allow for quick energy provision to your muscles + optimal recovery after your session. Fat and fibre slow down the digestion of your meal which is not what we want before a workout (however, at other times of day this is perfect).
A good example of a meal 30-60 minutes prior to a pre-strength session would be 2 pieces of raisin toast with jam and a yoghurt on the side of a chicken and salad sandwich.
What are some good post-strength training meals? What should I be looking to consume nutrient-wise?
Post strength session will depend on your pre strength meal. If you have consumed an adequate amount of protein pre session you don’t have to be too fanatic about your post
session protein intake; however somewhere before the 4 hour mark post session we want ample protein and carbohydrate intake for replenishment of our carbohydrate stores and protein stores.
A good post strength meal could be a bagel with honey and a yoghurt on the side or some protein oatmeal with maple syrup and berries. We have some great recipes on the Nourished website that you could utilise here www.nourishednotdeprived.com
I am struggling to shift my mindset from strict dieting, burning calories and cardio to eating for my performance, eating more food & strength training. HELP?
We would love to help!
I suppose a few points here, firstly well done with wanting to shift this mindset. I personally resonate with how difficult that transition is. You should be very proud of yourself.
Secondly I think the biggest deficits for people here are two things. First is the people they are continuing to place themselves around, which is limiting their change of mindset, and the second is the lack of education, leaving an inability to change their thoughts due to lack of understanding on why they should even be trying to fuel themselves properly.
With this I would be attempting to decipher what is restricting you from moving forward from this mindset? Are you still surrounding yourself with people on social media or in your immediate friend group who are unfortunately pulling you back into this mindset?
Are you educated on how to fuel yourself for performance appropriately so that you can be excited, instead of confused on how to shift this mindset?
If you are sound in these two areas and are still struggling, it would be time to reach out to a professional to assist in these shifts. I think it is wonderful that you have recognised these unhealthy patterns and thoughts’ however sometimes we just need some extra support to push us through to the other side.
At Nourished we are always happy to have a chat about your individualised circumstances and see where we will be able to assist; whether that be here with us or at another facility that we can connect you too.
How would you approach a diet for someone recovering from injury? Is what they eat important from a healing point of view?
Absolutely! As we touched on briefly, protein is the building blocks of our musculoskeletal system. Therefore, if you injure a ligament, protein will be a key component in healing this area.
Furthermore, some integral nutrients required for appropriate healing are vitamin C, D, manganese, zinc and phytochemical. For example, if you came to us with a torn ligament, firstly we would make sure you are eating enough calories regularly, to fuel healing. Then we would make sure you are consuming enough protein regularly to support healing, and then your micronutrients would be reviewed to support the whole healing process., such as Vitamin C to support collagen synthesis.
Food is not only fuel, it is how our body heals too. Want help healing an injury? Check out our online program Power Women.
Would you like to learn more about nutrition? Visit Nourished Not Deprived to read more about Bronte and how the team can help you.