I get asked a lot similar questions, so over the next month both on my Instagram (@fitchicnic) and on here, I’ll be going through the alphabet talking about some of the most common health and fitness related questions and topics.
N is for Nutrition / Negative Reps
There’s so much I could say about nutrition and one Instagram post definitely wouldn’t do it justice. However in the fitness world, eating for health and eating for aesthetic results can sometimes seem like two different things. I’ll try and keep it simple:
– Losing body weight/fat is usually as simple as calories in vs calories out. Your body needs to be burning more than you’re consuming. However there’s so much more to it than simply just eating less.
– The quality of calories is definitely important for your health! (1000kcal of Mcdonalds vs 1000kcal of fruit and veg)
– For a balanced diet mentally and physically, focus on eating 70% single ingredient foods (fresh vegetables, meat, fruit, nuts etc), 20% “healthy” mixed foods (things you can buy in packages – almond milk, bread, sausages, flavoured nut butters etc) and 10% whatever else you like (the occasional pizza, chocolate, alcohol etc to keep you sane.)
– Choose high volume foods to keep you fuller longer (300kcal of veggies is physically bigger than 300kcal of coconut oil)
– Counting calories isn’t a “normal” behaviour in life. It can be a good tool/exercise to do short term to learn about portion sizes, but I wouldn’t advise it daily, or specifically to the gram.
– Finally, make sure you’re eating enough to fuel your workouts…crash dieting is not the answer!
A Negative Rep is when you control the tempo of a movement by slowing down the lowering phase, usually when you’re fighting against gravity. Imagine a bicep curl – you contract the muscle, but then slowly lower the weight back down to your side. In other examples, like a Lat Pulldown, pull the bar down towards your chest slightly quicker, but then slowly fight against it as it lifts back up. When training to do pullups, jump upwards to hold yourself in a pullup, but then slowly lower yourself back down to the floor. Doing this really works the muscles harder and with more intensity.
Photography by Jonathon Vines, London