At NuovaHealth we believe that optimal health can be achieved through balanced and healthy eating coupled with a rigorous exercise regime.
What is optimal health?
Before we start this article we need to define optimal health. Optimal health can be best described as that energetic but level emotional feeling that goes with excellent markers of physical health such as endurance and strength. Can you run a mile? Can you bench press your bodyweight?
Optimal health will show up in blood tests with the ideal level of hormones and no deficiency in nutrient uptake. Optimal health is being within the ideal bodyfat range with a low level of central body fat.
Optimal health can be measured by emotional wellbeing, a healthy weight, optimal hormone levels (according to blood tests) and physical strength and endurance.
What Nutritional rules should I follow to achieve optimal health?
It is now common knowledge that processed foods are the scourge of our day. What is processed? Take a look at the food you are about to eat, generally if it doesn’t exist like it does in nature then it has had to be processed for you to eat it and thus it is processed. Bread = processed. Apple = Not processed (naturally occurring in nature). Pizza = processed. Beef = Not processed. However a word of caution for meat lovers. Meat is an excellent choice for protein intake but modern day farming has reduced its nutritional value and it can be harmful due to the diet the cow has been fed and or hormones injected into the cow to force growth. When you can we recommend going for organic and free range foods. Pesticides and herbicides can do damage to our bodies, reducing hormone production and causing strain on our digestive systems and liver as it has to remove the poison from our body. If you cannot afford organic fruit and vegetables then do make sure to wash them thoroughly to remove pesticide residue.
We recommend a paleo type diet. Paleolithic diet is based on the foods that the caveman would normally eat, however we would allow certain substitutes such as brown rice to be allowed for calorie load.
Calorie intake is recommended to be around your weight in pounds x15. If you are looking to gain muscle then increase protein and increase calories incrementally. It is important to slowly gain weight to avoid excessive fat gain. Weight loss can be obtained by reducing calories below your maintenance level. The maintenance level is the amount of calories required to sustain your current weight.
In conclusion we recommend a paleo type diet emphasising vegetables, fruit and meat and a reduction in processed foods such as sugars, sweets, pizzas, pies and breads. If you can stick to these fundamental rules you will be well on your way to optimal health. Only when you can stick to these rules should you experiment with advanced strategies such as intermittent fasting and carbohydrate cycling for improved results.