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  • Craig Ali

Nutrition Basics for Lasting Results

It's that time again! New year comes and if you are anything like me, you enjoy yourself so much over the Christmas period, you are actually sick of chocolate and alcohol. The issue many people have when they 'tighten' the focus again on nutrition and health after indulgence is what to focus on.

The key is to have some solid foundations and basic habits that have a big impact rather than focusing on the latest fad that's being promoted in a magazine and will fizzle out with little impact in a few weeks. As Total Health consultant, Greg Stewart always says- "With health, we have to focus on adding the 'big rocks' first!". These 'big rocks' are what make 80% of the difference here so get these in place then tweak meals, look at new recipes and superfoods etc but they will only work if we have solid foundations in place to support them.

Follow these really easy basics below and as long as you are consistent, I can guarantee they will make a difference to your health:

  • Calorie control: This doesn't mean reduce calories necessarily, it means taking in the correct amount of calories for your energy requirements, lifestyle and goals. You may want to us a calorie counter for a few weeks to make sure that you are on point and not over or under eating for your needs. Easiest and most accessible is myfitnesspal app.

  • Hydration: Aim for 2-2.5 liters of water per day with 1-1.5 of that pure water and consumed before 2pm.

  • Veg & Fruit: Aim for 3-5 portions of veg and 2-4 portions of fruit per day.

  • Macro-nutrients: Carbs- take most of your carbs in through fruit & veg and limit starchy carbs, especially in the evening. Fats- eat fats from oils, nuts, seeds, fish, avocados, good quality meat & dairy but in small portions. Proteins- look to add as many plant-based proteins- beans, pulses, nuts, seeds, green veg and little amounts of quality meat, fish and dairy.

  • Micro-nutrients: Vitamins & minerals- If you follow the previous steps you may not have to worry about these levels but you can test these levels to see where you are deficient and add those in. I would always advice Vit D3 between Oct & Mar due to the lack of sun exposure and you could always take a multivitamin and mineral to boost your overall levels.

  • Natural vs processed: Whenever you can, go for natural foods and avoid processed. The more you can do this, the greater impact it will have on every area of health.

  • Make better choices: Take a food diary, see where you are making bad choices and replace them for healthier choice.

I know they seem really simple but I have seen them help hundreds of people over the years.

If you are looking to boost your wellbeing this winter you may also want to come along to the retreat that I am running in collaboration with the Mindful Enterprise on the 29th and 30th January 2022 at Dalkeith Country park, Midlothian (day tickets also available). Find out all of the info on the retreat here:

Wishing you good health and a positive 2022,


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