Fitness expert's tips on maintaining a healthy diet

Jason Eaton

Jason Eaton. - Credit: Cadbury House

Making sure you eat the correct food before and after exercise can and does make a big difference to the way you feel and how it impacts your day-to-day energy levels.

Of course, everyone is totally different and this means what we eat to fuel our daily routine and regular exercise differs from person to person.

Jason Eaton, general manager at theclub, Cadbury House says that eating a well-balanced diet not only helps keep you energised but helps with other important aspects of our daily lives such as sleeping.

What he’s also keen to point out that it’s not worth following an elite athlete programme of nutrition and exercise as most of us aren’t really expected to attain performance levels of someone like Olympian Jessica Ennis-Hill or Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas.

To help, Jason has put together a list of realistic dos which will provide those looking to make the most of their regular exercise regimes.

First on Jason’s list is to eat colour!

He said: “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, eat your five a day! Tinned and frozen count too and they contain more nutrients such as vitamin C than their fresh varieties too! Also, if you buy tinned fruit make sure it’s in juice as opposed to syrup.

Fruit bowl

Experts recommend eating at least five fruit and vegetables. - Credit: Pixabay

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“Next you need to think about variety and balance. You don’t need to eat a special diet as all foods provide some goodness. Three of the nutrients that help to support your immune system include vitamin A and can be found in sweet potato and spinach, vitamin C that’s in foods such as berries, tomatoes and peppers and zinc that’s in meat, shellfish, dairy and bread.

“Drinking an adequate amount of fluid is essential in order for you to feel and function at your best with water, squash, tea, coffee and milk all counting towards our fluid needs.”

Jason advises trying to avoid tea and coffee later in the day as they both contain caffeine which is a stimulant.

When it comes to sleep, the aim, if possible, is to get about eight hours a night and as no one is presently going out and less of us are travelling to work this should be achievable.

As for snack time, Jason suggests avoiding biscuits and sweet treats, and opting for protein and produce such as cheese and apple, yoghurt and berries, nuts and dried fruit or even hummus and carrots.

Jason added: “As for when we should eat, having a structure really does help. Have set times for meals, snacks, a walk/workout, calls with loved ones and work. That way you’ll avoid unnecessary snacking.

“I believe getting outside daily is really important, preferably amongst nature, as this does wonders for our mental health and also helps with vitamin D levels.

“Finally, indulge every now and then and now is certainly not the time for restriction. I read somewhere that you crave more what you ban from your diet, and this certainly is true, so the key is balance.”

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